Cowley, Abraham . The Third Part of the Works of Mr. Abraham Cowley
Being his Six Books of Plants
Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Library
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FIrst PENNY-ROYAL, to advance her Fame
(And from her mouth a grateful Odour came)
Tells 'em, they say, how many ills that source
Threatens, whene'r it stops its purple course. 180
That foggy dulness in the Limbs attends,
And under its own weight the body bends.
Things ne'r so pleasant once, now will not please,
And Life it self becomes a mere Disease. [Latin: 180]
Ulcers and Inflammations too it breeds,
And dreadful, bloudy, vomiting succeeds.
The Womb now labouring seems to strive for breath,
And the Soul struggles with a short liv'd Death.
The Lungs opprest hard respiration make,
And breathless Coughs soon all the fabrick shake.
Yea the proud foes the Capitol, in time;
And all the minds well-guarded Towers climb.
Hence watchful Nights, but frightful Dreams proceed,
And minds that suffer true, false evils breed.
Dropsie at last the wearied Life o'rflows,
Which floating from its shipwreck'd Vessel goes.
How oft, alas! poor, tender, blooming Maids
(Before Loves pow'r their kinder hearts invades)
Does this sad Malady with Clouds o'rcast,
Which all the longing Lovers passion blast? 200
The Face looks green, the ruddy Lips grow pale,
Like Roses tinctur'd by a sulphurous gale.
To ashes, coals, and Lime their appetite
(A loathsom treat) their stomach does invite. [Latin: 200]
But 'tis a sin to say, the Ladies eat
Such things; those are the vile distempers meat.
Thus Penny-royal spake (more passionate
In words, than humane voice can e'r relate)
At which, they say, the whole Assembly mov'd
Wept o'r the loss of Beauty, once belov'd.
So that good Company, when Day returns,
The setting of the Moon, their Mistress mourns.
She told the means too; by what secret aid
That conquering Ill did all the limbs invade.
Through the Wombs Arteries, said she, it goes,
And unto all the noted passes flows.
(Whether the Wombs magnetick pow'rs the cause,
As the whole bodies floods the Kidney draws;
Or that the Moon, the Queen of fluid things
Directs and rules that, like the Oceans springs.) 220
But if the Gates it finds so fortified,
That the due current that way be deny'd;
It rages and it swells; the gross part stays,
And in the neighbouring parts dire revels plays: [Latin: 220]
Whilst the more liquid part does upward rise,
And into veins of purer nature flies.
It taints the rosie Channels, as it goes,
And all the soil's corrupted, where it flows.
The bane its journey through the Cava takes, 99
And fierce attacks upon the Liver makes,
And Heart, whose right-side Avenue it commands,
Whilst that for fear amaz'd and trembling stands.
But the left Region so well-guarded seems,
That in her walls safe she her self esteems.
Nor stops it there, but on the Lungs does seize,
Where drawing breath it self grows a Disease.
Thence through a small Propontis carried down,
It makes the Port and takes the left-side Town.
What will suffice that covetous Disease,
Which all the Hearts vast treasures cannot please? 240
But Avarice still craves for more and more,
And if it all things don't enjoy, is poor.
Th'Aorta its wild Legions next engage,
Bless me! how uncontroul'd in that they rage!
The distant head and heel no safety knows,
Through ev'ry part th'unbounded Victor flows. [Latin: 240]
But as the bloud through all the body's us'd
To run, this Plague through all the bloud's diffus'd.
They all agreed; for none of them e'r doubt,
How Life in Purple Circles wheels about.
That Plant they'd hiss out of their company,
Which Harvey's Circulation shou'd deny. [image]
 Vena Cava, a large place.