Cyder: Book II

O Harcourt, Whom th' ingenuous Love of Arts
    Has carry'd from Thy native Soil, beyond
    Th' eternal Alpine Snows, and now detains
    In Italy's waste Realms, how long must we
    Lament Thy Absence? Whilst in sweet Sojourn
    Thou view'st the Reliques of old Rome; or what,
    Unrival'd Authors by their Presence, made
    For ever venerable, rural Seats,
    Tibur, and Tusculum, or Virgil's Urn
  Green with immortal Bays, which haply Thou,
  Respecting his great Name, dost now approach
  With bended Knee, and strow with purple Flow'rs;
  Unmindful of Thy Friends, that ill can brook
  This long Delay. At length, Dear Youth, return,
  Of Wit, and Judgement ripe in blooming Years,
  And Britain's Isle with Latian Knowledge grace.
  Return, and let Thy Father's Worth excite
  Thirst of Preeminence; see! how the Cause
  Of Widows, and of Orphans He asserts
  With winning Rhetoric, and well argu'd Law!
 Mark well His Footsteps, and, like Him, deserve
  Thy Prince's Favour, and Thy Country's Love.

  Mean while (altho' the Massic Grape delights
 Pregnant of racy Juice, and Formian Hills
 Temper Thy Cups, yet) wilt not Thou reject
 Thy native Liquors: Lo! for Thee my Mill
  Now grinds choice Apples, and the British Vats
 O'erflow with generous Cyder; far remote
 Accept this Labour, nor despise the Muse,
  That, passing Lands, and Seas, on Thee attends.

 Thus far of Trees: The pleasing Task remains,
 To sing of Wines, and Autumn's blest Increase.
 Th' Effects of Art are shewn, yet what avails
 'Gainst Heav'n? Oft, notwithstanding all thy Care
  To help thy Plants, when the small Fruit'ry seems
 Exempt from Ills, an oriental Blast
 Disastrous flies, soon as the Hind, fatigu'd,
  Unyokes his Team; the tender Freight, unskill'd
 To bear the hot Disease, distemper'd pines
 In the Year's Prime, the deadly Plague annoys
  The wide Inclosure; think not vainly now
  To treat thy Neighbours with mellifluous Cups,
  Thus disappointed: If the former Years
 Exhibit no Supplies, alas! thou must,
 With tastless Water wash thy droughty Throat.

 A thousand Accidents the Farmer's Hopes
  Subvert, or checque; uncertain all his Toil,
 'Till lusty Autumn's luke-warm Days, allay'd
 With gentle Colds, insensibly confirm
  His ripening Labours: Autumn to the Fruits
 Earth's various Lap produces, Vigour gives
 Equal, intenerating milky Grain,
 Berries, and Sky-dy'd Plums, and what in Coat
 Rough, or soft Rind, or bearded Husk, or Shell;
 Fat Olives, and Pistacio's fragrant Nut,
 And the Pine's tastful Apple: Autumn paints
 Ausonian Hills with Grapes, whilst English Plains
 Blush with pomaceous Harvests, breathing Sweets.
 O let me now, when the kind early Dew
 Unlocks th' embosom'd Odors, walk among
  The well rang'd Files of Trees, whose full-ag'd Store
 Diffuse Ambrosial Steams, than Myrrh, or Nard
 More grateful, or perfuming flow'ry Beane!
 Soft whisp'ring Airs, and the Larks mattin Song
 Then woo to musing, and becalm the Mind
 Perplex'd with irksome Thoughts. Thrice happy time,
  Best Portion of the various Year, in which
  Nature rejoyceth, smiling on her Works
  Lovely, to full Perfection wrought! but ah,
  Short are our Joys, and neighb'ring Griefs disturb
  Our pleasant Hours. Inclement Winter dwells
  Contiguous; forthwith frosty Blasts deface
  The blithsome Year: Trees of their shrivel'd Fruits
  Are widow'd, dreery Storms o'er all prevail.
  Now, now's the time; e'er hasty Suns forbid
  To work, disburthen thou thy sapless Wood
  Of its rich Progeny; the turgid Fruit
  Abounds with mellow Liquor; now exhort
  Thy Hinds to exercise the pointed Steel
  On the hard Rock, and give a wheely Form
  To the expected Grinder: Now prepare
  Materials for thy Mill, a sturdy Post
  Cylindric, to support the Grinder's Weight
  Excessive, and a flexile Sallow' entrench'd,
  Rounding, capacious of the juicy Hord.
  Nor must thou not be mindful of thy Press
  Long e'er the Vintage; but with timely Care
  Shave the Goat's shaggy Beard, least thou too late,
  In vain should'st seek a Strainer, to dispart
  The husky, terrene Dregs, from purer Must.
  Be cautious next a proper Steed to find,
  Whose Prime is past; the vigorous Horse disdains
  Such servile Labours, or, if forc'd, forgets
  His past Atchievements, and victorious Palms.
  Blind Bayard rather, worn with Work, and Years,
  Shall roll th' unweildy Stone; with sober Pace
  He'll tread the circli
Font size:
Collection  PDF     

Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on March 05, 2023

3:41 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic pentameter
Characters 4,406
Words 691
Stanzas 4
Stanza Lengths 22, 8, 15, 52

Discuss the poem Cyder: Book II with the community...



    Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)


    Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:


    "Cyder: Book II" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 21 Jun 2024. <>.

    Become a member!

    Join our community of poets and poetry lovers to share your work and offer feedback and encouragement to writers all over the world!

    More poems by

    John Arthur Phillips


    June 2024

    Poetry Contest

    Join our monthly contest for an opportunity to win cash prizes and attain global acclaim for your talent.

    Special Program

    Earn Rewards!

    Unlock exciting rewards such as a free mug and free contest pass by commenting on fellow members' poems today!



    Are you a poetry master?

    Who wrote the poem "School Boy" as a part of the poetry collection entitled "Songs of Experience"?
    A Robert Frost
    B William Blake
    C Walt Whitman
    D William Wordworth