The Abraham Cowley Text and Image Archive


from Part Three of the Works tr. Nahum Tate et al. (1689; editor's copy)

Prose Notes // Image-references keyed to the Latin line-numbers

Plantarum Liber Secundus = De Plantis Liber II   (opening in new window)

CYBELES Holy Mysteries now begin; 87
Hence all you Males; for you it is a sin
One moment in this hallowed place to stay,
You jibing Males, who no devotion pay.
Allow the female Secrets, do not pry,
Or them at least pretend you don't descry.
'Tis rude that Sex t'inspect too narrowly,
Whose outside with such Beauties treats the Eye.
Auspicious Glory of th'inlighten'd Skie,
More sacred than thy Brothers Deity,
With thy whole Horns, kind Luna, favour me,
And let thy crescent Face look luckily.
Thee many Names and Offices adorn.
By thy kind aid poor, tender Babes are born: 88
Thou easest Women, when their Labour's hard,
And the Wombs vital Gates you, Jana, guard.
The menstruous courses you bring down, and them,
Changing convert into a milky stream.
Women, unconstant as the Sea, you bind,
To Rules; both flow according to thy mind.       20
Oh! may the Rivolets of my Fancy glide
By the same secret force, which moves the Tide.
Be thou the Midwife to my teeming brain,
And let it fruitful be as free from pain.       [Latin: 20]

It was the time, when April decks the year,
And the glad Fields in pompous garbs appear.
How pleas'd they are the Heav'ns again to see,
And that from Winters fetters they are free!
The World around, and Sisters, whom they love,
They view; such Objects sure their smiles must move.
Straight their great work the diligent Nation ply,
And bus'ness mind amidst their luxury.
Each one contends with all her might and main
Each day an higher, verdant Crown to gain.
Each one does leaves with beauteous Flow'rs, produce,
And hastens to be fit for humane use.
Equipp'd they make no stay, but one and all,
Intent upon th'Affair, a Council call.
Each Tribe (for there are many) as of old
Their custome was, a separate Council hold.       40
They're near a thousand Tribes; their Minutes well
An hundred Clerk-like tongues can scarcely tell.       [Latin: 40]
Nor cou'd I know them (for they won't reveal
Their sacred Acts, but cautiously conceal)
Had not my Laurel told me (whose Tribes name [image] [image]
The Female's stil'd) which summon'd thither came.
The secrets of the House she open laid,
Telling, how each Herb spoke and what it said.
Ye gentle, Floral part of humane kind
(To you and not to Men, I speak) pray mind
My words, and them most stedfastly believe,
Which from the Delphick Laurel you receive.
'Twas midnight, (whilst the Moon, at full, shone bright,
And her Cheeks seem'd to swell with moisten'd light)
When on their loosen'd roots the Plants, that grow
In th'Oxford Gardens, did to Council go; [image]
And such, I mean, as succour Womens pains;
Orpheus, you'd think, had mov'd them by his strains. [image]
They met upon a bed, neat, smooth and round,
And softly sate in order on the ground.       60
Mugwort first took her place (at that time
She The President of the Council chanc'd to be.)       [Latin: 60]
Birthwort, her Predecessor in the Chair,
Next sate, whose virtues breeding Women share.
Then Bawm, with smiles and pleasure in her face,
Without regard to Dignity took place.
Tyme, Sav'ry, Wormwood, which looks ruggedly,
Sparagus, Sothernwood both He and She, 89
And Crocus too, glad still soft Maids to chear, 90
Once a sad Lover, merry does appear,
And thou, Amaracus, who a trifling Ill 91
Didst mourn, when thou the fragrant Box didst spill
Of Ointment, in this place now far more sweet
Than the occasion of thy Death dost meet.
There Lilies with red Peonies find a Room,
And purple Violets the place perfume.
Yea noisome Devils turd, because she knows 92
Her worth, into that sweet Assembly goes.
The milky Lettuce too does thither move,
And Water-Lily, though a foe to Love.       80
Sweet Ladies glove with stinking Horehound come,
And kind Germander which relieves the Womb.
Poley and Calamint, which on Mountains dwell,
But against Frost and Snow are guarded well.       [Latin: 80]
Next vital Sage, well join'd with wholsom Rue.
And Flower-de-luce, nam'd from its splendid hue.
Then Hart-wort (much more grateful to the Deer
Than Dittany) with Wild Carrots, enters there.
Consound and Plantain; frugal herbs are they, 93
Who all things keep safe under Lock and Key.
And Master-wort, whose name Dominion wears,
With her, who an Angelick Title bears. 94
Lavender, Corn-rose, Pennyroyal sate,
And that which Cats esteem so delicate. 95
After a while, slow-pac'd, with much ado,
Ground-pine with her short Legs crept thither too.
Behind the rest Camomile cou'd not stay,
Through stones and craggy Rocks she cut her way.
From Spanish Woods the wholsome Vett'ny came, 96
The only glory of the Vettons name.       100
Minerva's Plant did likewise thither hie,
And was Companion to Mercury.
There Scarlet Madder too a place did find,
Drawing a train of its long root behind.       [Latin: 100]
Thither at last too Dittany did repair,
Half-starv'd, and griev'd to leave the Cretan air.
With her the bold, strong Sow-bread came along,
And hundred more (in short) to them did throng.
Many besides from th'Indies cross'd the main,
Plants, that of our chill Clime did much complain.
But Oxfords Fame; through both the Indies told,
Eas'd all their cares, and warm'd the nipping cold:
The Pigmey and Gigantick Sons o' th'Wood
Betwixt all these in equal spaces stood;
Spreading their verdant glories round above,
Which did delight and admiration move.
The scarlet Oak, that Worms for fruit brings forth, [image]
Which the Hesperian fruit exceed in worth,
Was there, good Womens Maladies to ease,
And Sprains, which we as truly call, Disease.       120
Her treacherously the Ivy does embrace,
And kills the Tree with kindness in her face.
Hardly, in nobler Scarlet clad, the Rose,
The envy of those stately Berries grows.       [Latin: 120]
Near which the Birch her rigid Arms extends,
And Savine which kind Sinners much befriends.
Next them the Beech with limbs so strong and large,
With the Bush purchas'd at so small a charge.
Nor did the golden Quince her self conceal,
Or Myrrh, whose wounds distemper'd Mortals heal. 97
Lastly (ye Plants whom I forget to name
Excuse me) Juniper too thither came, 98
And Laurel, sacred to the Sons of Fame.
Such reverend Heads did the green Senate fill;
The Night was calm, all things were hush'd and still;
Each Plant, with listening leaves stood mute to hear
Their Pres'dent speak; and these her Dictates were.


[87] This Book treating only of female Plants, is dedicated to Cybele, at whose Mysteries no Man ought to be present.


[88] The Moon is call'd Lucina, the Goddess of Midwifry; and Jana, as the Sun, Janus; and Mena, as she is the governess of Womens menstruous courses.


[89] Gynæcilis.


[90] Lavender-Cotton.


[91] i. e. Saffron; Crocus was a Boy that died for Love, and was turn'd into Saffron.


[92] The name of a Boy that spilt a Box of sweet Ointment, and was turn'd sweet Marjoram.


[93] Laserpitium, the Gum of which is called Assafoetida [in 1689 transposed with the "Dittany" note on mad dogs].


[94] They are binding.


[95] Angelica.


[96] Cat-Mint.


[97] Betony called Vettonica from a People of Spain that first found it out, and are memorable only upon that score.


[98] It is cut that the Gum may flow forth.

MUGWORT [The President.]

AFter long cold, grave Matrons! in this place,
(For th'good of ours (I hope) and human race)
This sacred Garden, we whilst others sleep       140
Blest Aprils sacred Nights come here to keep.
Our thanks to Thee, great Father, Sun! we pay,
And to thee, Luna! for thy nursing Ray;
Who the bright Witness art of what we say.
But the short moments of our Liberty
(Who fetter'd at Day break again must lie)       [Latin: 140]
Let us improve, and our affairs attend,
Nor festal hours, like idle Mortals, spend.
'Tis fit at this time we shou'd truly live,
When Winters colds of half our life deprive.
Come then, from useful pains make no delay,
Winter will give you too much time to play.
How many Foes Jove has to you assign'd,
And what a task you in the Conquest find,
By numerous and great fatigues you've try'd,
And to th'opprest kind aid have oft supply'd.
You're generous, noble; female Plants, nor ought
The glory of your Sex cheap to be bought.
The self same Battels you must wage again,
Which will as long as teeming Wombs remain.       160
But that to War you may securer go
'Tis fit the foes and your own strength you know.
Call the bright Moon to witness what you say,
Whilst each such tributes to their Countrey pay.       [Latin: 160]
Let each one willingly both teach and learn,
Nor let that move their envy or their scorn.
And first (I think) upon the menstruous source
My constant task, 'tis fit we shou'd discourse.
From what original Spring that Nilus goes,
Or by what influx it so oft o'rflows.
What will restrain, and what drive on the tide,
And what goods or what mischiefs in it glide.
See you its secret Mysteries disclose,
A thing so weighty 'tis no shame t'expose.
She spake, the rest began, and hotly all
(As Scholars use) upon the business fall.


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]


[99] Vena Cava, a large place.


DIttany, though cold Winds her Lips did close,
Put on her Winter-gown and up she rose.
For what can hinder Grecian plants to be
Rhetorical, when they occasion see?
For Penny-royal, painting that Disease,
Her nice, and quainter fansie did not please.
She spake to what the other did omit,
And pleas'd her self with her own prating wit.       260

If this dire Poisons force their duller Eyes
Can't see, whilst in the body warm it lies,
Think with your selves how it offends the sense,
When all alone (nay dead) if driven thence.
Let Dogs or Men by chance but taste of it
(But on Dogs rather let such mischiefs light.)       [Latin: 260]
Madness the tainted Soul invades within,
And sordid Leprosie rough casts the skin:
While panting Dogs quite raving mad appear, 100
And thirst for water, but the water fear.
It stabs an half-Man by abortive birth,
And from the Womb (oh! horrid) drags it forth.
Now fansie Children born of such base bloud,
Which gives the Embryo Poison 'stead of food.
Nor is this all; for Corn and Vines too know
Its baneful force, by which fields barren grow.
A Tree, once us'd to bear, its fruit denies;
If young it fades, and if new-born, it dies.
Witness the Ivies ('tis no shame) to you
What good does their medicinal virtue do?       280
These also, Rue! who all things do'st o'rcome,
From this strong venom must receive thy doom.
Plants dry and yellow, as in Autumn, grow,
And Herbs, as if they had the Jaundice, show.
Offended Bees with one small touch it drives
(Though murmuring to be exil'd) from their hives.       [Latin: 280]
The wretched Creatures leave their golden store,
And sweet abodes, which they must see no more.
Nor do strong Fats their wine within defend,
Which in their very youth draw to their end.
But I name things of litle eminence;
The warlike Sword it self makes no defence;
And Metals, which so oft have won the Field,
To this effeminate distemper yield.
For frequent bloudshed, bloud now vengeance takes,
And mortal wounds ev'n in the weapons makes.
Beauty, the thing, for which we Women love,
Th'occasion of keen Swords does often prove;
Let then the female-plague those Swords rebate,
Yea even the mem'ry of what's so ingrate.       300
Maids with proud thoughts, alas! themselves deceive,
Whilst each herself a Goddess does believe;
Like Tyrants they misuse the po'r they have,
And make their very Worshiper their Slave. [image]
But if they truly would consider things,
And think what filth each month returning brings,
If they their cheating Glasses then wou'd mind,
(Which now they think so faithful and so kind)
How beautiful they are they needs must find.       [Latin: 300]
The smooth Corrupter of their looks they taint,
Which long and certain signs at that time paint.
Each Maid in that still suffers the disgrace
Of being poisoner to her own face.
What an unnatural Distemper's this,
Which ev'n to their own shadows mortal is.
Thus she, and as much more she was about
To say, the whole Assembly gave a shout.
Through all the boughs and all the leaves around
There went an angry, loud and murm'ring sound.
For they of Womens honour tender are,       320
Though she thereof had seem'd to take no care.


[100] If a Dog tastes it, he'll run mad. Plin. [in 1689 transposed with the earlier note glossing "Devils Turd".]


NExt Way-bred rose, propt by her seven nerves, 101
Who th'honour of a noble house preserves:
Her nature is astringent, which great hate
Of her among Bloud-letters does create.
But her no quarrels more than words engage,
Nor does she ever like mad mortals rage.
I envy not the praises, which, to you,
Ye num'rous race of Leechy kind, are due.
The purple Tyrant wisely you expel,
And banishing such murdering bloud, do well.       [Latin: 320]
Proudly he o'r the vital spirits reigns,
And cruelly insults in all the veins.
Arms he of deadly Poisons bears about,
And leads of Maladies a mighty Rout.
But why shou'd you such vain additions make,
And ills already great soe greater make?
Whilst you so tragically paint the foe
More dreadful, but less credible they grow:
He lessens that wou'd raise an Heroes fame       340
By Lyes; false praises cloud a glorious Name.
One Geryon slew (a mighty feat) and He
Three bodies had, in this I can't agree.
You any Monster easily subdue;
But I scarce think such monstrous lyes are true.
Greek Poets, Ditt'ny, you who oft have read, 102
Keep up their Art of lying, though they're dead.
But what their Countrymen once said of you 103
Pray mind it, for I fear 'tis very true.
Let that which blasts the Corn a Goddess be, 104
I cannot think her courses e'r cou'd be       [Latin: 340]
So hurtful to the grain. And then, I 'm sure,
A Fat of lusty Wine is more secure
From danger, where a thousand Damsels sit,
Than if one drunken Beldam come at it.
None, cause a tast of that rank bloud they've had,
But for the place, from whence it comes, run mad.
Madness of Dogs most certainly it cures,
As thy own Author Pliny us assures.
Whether by Womens touch the Bee's annoy'd       360
I cannot tell; but Maids shou'd Bees avoid.
Rue ought to let the fatal blou'd remain
Within its Vessel and ne'r force a vein,
If for her pains nought but her death she gain.
Thou, Ivy, too more careful oughtst to be
Both of thy self and thy great Deity. 105
But when she says, Swords edges it rebates,
I cou'd rejoice methinks and bless the Fates,
If that be all the mischief it creates.
I only wish a Beauty might remain
Perfect, till that the Lookinglass wou'd stain.
But I wast time -- By this sufficiently
These Grecian wonders are o'erthrown, that I

No Woman see of this dread Poison die.

At which the Bramble rose (whose fluent tongue [image]
With thorny sharpness arm'd it neatly hung)       [Latin: 360]
And said, all Serpents have the gift to be,
As much as these, from thir own venom free;
Nor wou'd the Basilisk, whose baneful Eye
All others kills, by his own Image die.       380
This mov'd 'em and they quaver'd with a smile,
Some Wind you wou'd ha' thought, pass'd by the while,
For by that Cynick Shrub great Freedoms shown,
Which he by constant use has made his own.
Way-bred at this took pet, displeas'd, that she
By such an one shou'd interrupted be,
And sate her down; when straight before 'em all
These words the Rose from her fair lips let fall;
Whilst modest blushes beautified her face,
Like those in Spring, that blooming Flowers grace.


[101] The many Virtues of Plantain are to be read in Pliny and Fernelius. The old Physician Themison wrote a whole Volume concerning them.


[102] See Dittany.


[103] Epimenides Cretensis said, The Cretans were always Lyars.


[104] Rubigo.


[105] Bacchus, to whom the Ivy is consecrated.

The ROSE. [image]

YOU Cretan Dittany, who such Poisons mix
(For on my Kinsman Wild-rose I'll not fix)
With Womens blood; see what a sprightly grace
And ardent Scarlet decks their lovely face.
No Flower, no not Flora's self to sight
Or touch than these appears more soft and white.
But at the same time also take a view
Of Mans rough, prickly limbs and rusty hue.       [Latin: 380]
You'll say with Butchers-broom sweet Violets grow, [image]
And mourn that Lilies shou'd with Brambles go.       400
Then let their Eyes and Reason testifie,
Whether pure veins their purer limbs supply.
You cannot say that Dying Vat is bad,
From whence a florid colour may be had.
But this you'll say, committed some offence,
Or the just Moon had never driv'n it thence.
No, you're mistaken; it has done no wrong,
But all the fault lies in its copious throng:
It therefore from the rest, by the great Law
Of publick safety, order'd to withdraw.
So if a Nation to such numbers rise,
That them their native Countrey can't suffice;
To seek new Lands some part of them are sent,
And suffer, for their Countrey, banishment.
But why does Woman-kind so much abound?
Oh! think not Nature e'r was lavish found.
Nor does she lay up Riches to the end
(Like Prodigals) she more may have to spend.
Whate'r she does is good; what then remains?
No room for doubt; the thing it self explains.       420       [Latin: 400]
This bloudy Vintage, see, lasts all the year,
And the fresh Chyle duely does Life repair.
The Presses still with juice swell to the brink
Of which their fill the hot, male bodies drink.
But temperate Women seem to kiss the Cup,
Nor does their heat suck all the liquor up.
A vital treasure for great uses She
Lays up, lest Nature shou'd a Bankrupt be.
Lest both the Parents shares of mingled Love
Too little to beget a Child shou'd prove,
Unless the Mother some addition made
To perfect the design they both had laid.
One part on't's red, the other white as snow,
And both from springs of the same colour flow.
One wood, you'd think, and t'other stones did yield,
Whilst out of both a living House they build.
The former, of such poysoning Arts accus'd,
In which you fansie, venom is infus'd,
(Perhaps with this that fatal Robe was dy'd,
Which Hercules had sent him from his Bride) [image]      440       [Latin: 420]
The tender Embryos body does compose,
And for ten months to kind nutrition goes.
Nor is this all; but on the Mothers breast
Again it meets the little Infant Guest.
Then chang'd it comes both in its hue and course,
Like Arethusa through a secret Source. [image]
Then from the Paps it flows in double tides
Far whiter than the banks in which it glides.
The golden Age of old such Rivers drank, [image]
That spring from Dugs of e'ry happy bank.
The candor and simplicity of Men
Deserv'd the milky food of the Infants then.
How just and prudent is Dame Natures care
Who for each age does proper food prepare!
Before the Liver's form'd, the Mother's bloud
Supplies the Babe with necessary food.
And when to work the Novice Heat first goes
In its new shop, and scarce its bus'ness knows,
Its first imployment is in Scarlet grain
(A childish task for learners) Milk to stain.       460       [Latin: 440]
At last in e'ry kind its skill it tries,
And spends it self in Curiosities.
Now say, it venom in the members breeds,
With which her Child the careful Mother feeds.
Their bane to Infants cruel Stepdames give,
Whilst Mothers such from better springs derive.
But how, you'll say, does that which Infants love
So prejudicial to their Mothers prove?
'Tis lively whilst i' th'native womb it lies,
But by the veins flung out, decays and dies.
Then shipwrack'd on the neighbouring shore it lies,
And gasping wishes for its Obsequies.
This being deni'd, new strength it does recover,
And flies in vapours all the body over.
But what first tast fruits from the tree receive,
When rotten, they no natural sign can give.
So in pure seed the Lifes white mansion stands,
But surly Death corrupted seed commands.
Of Life Death's no good witness; do not think
A living Man can like a Carcass stink.       480       [Latin: 460]
But you a running stream (that duly flows,
And no corruption by long standing knows)
To be as hurtful in their nature hold,
As if from some corrupted springs they rou'ld.
But now do you go on (for much you know,
Part false, I think, part very true) and shew:
If any hurtful seeds you can descry
In humane bodies (where they often lie)
How quickly Natures orders they obey,
when to the bloud the Flood-gates once give way.
The courses this perhaps may putrifie,
'Tis dangerous to keep bad Company.
Is this the blouds fault? I'm no witch, I hope,
Though with my juice a Man shou'd Poison tope.
She spake, and with Ambrosial Odours clos'd
Her Speech, which many there, they say, oppos'd.
At last the Laurels thoughts they all desir'd,
Th'Oracular Laurels words they all admir'd.


THat fate which frequently attends on all
Great Men, does Thee, egregious Bloud, befal. [image]       500       [Latin: 480]
Some praise what others too much disapprove,
Excessive in their Hatred as their Love.
This Man in prejudice, that in favour lies,
Whilst to their Ears a various rumour flies.
Hear Dittany; she says, each Woman known
The Moon to bring each moneth with Poisons down.
Nor need we mingle Herbs, or Charms, each one
Medea proves in her own bloud alone.
Yet the fair Rose, if all be true as sh' as said,
Each Woman has in that a Goddess made.
From thence, she says, Life spins its Purple thred,
And tells you how the half-form'd Embryo's fed.
But if my dear Apollo ben't unkind,
Nor I in vain his sacred Temples bind,
Such bloud nor form, nor nourishment supplies,
And so that triumphs in false Victories.
The many reasons, here I need not tell
Which me induce; this one will serve as well:
Woman's the onely Animal we know,
Whose veins with such immoderate courses flow.       520       [Latin: 500]
Yet every Beast produces young, we see,
And outdoes Mankind in fertility.
Hhow many do small Mice at one time breed!
Scorning the product of the Trojan Steed.
With what a bulk does yon vast El'phant come!
She seems to have a Castle in her womb.
Thy circuits, Luna, Conies almost tell
By kindling, near like thee their Bellies swell.
And yet their young no bank of bloud maintains,
Or nourishment that flows from gaping veins,
For when i' th'amorous war a couple vies,
A living spark from the Males body flies,
Which the wombs thirsty jaws, when they begin
To feel and tast, immediately suck in:
Into recesses which so turn and wind,
That them Dissecters Eyes can hardly find.
In the same Chambers part o' th'female Life
Keeps; a brisk Virgin, fit to make a Wife.
Them Venus joins, and with connubial Love
In mingled flames they both begin to move.       540       [Latin: 520]
There redness caus'd by motion you may see,
And bloud, the sign of lost Virginity.
Of their Invention, bloud, they're mighty glad;
And to Inventions easie 'tis to add.
The smallest spark 'tis easie to augment
If you can get it proper nutriment.
You need not introduce new flames besides,
Th'Elixir by this touch rich store provides.
All fires, (provide them fuel) think it shame
To yield to Vesta's never dying flame.
Thus the first generous drop of bloud is bred,
Which proudly scorns hereafter to be fed.
With the seeds native white at first 'tis fill'd,
And takes delight with its own stock to build.
But when that fails, then life grows burthensom,
And aid it wisely borrows from the womb.
Herself the stuff she borrows purifies,
And of a rosie, scarlet colour dyes.
From whom the wombs full paps with thirsty lips
Into its veiny mouths it daily sips.       560       [Latin: 540]
Look, where a child's new born, how soon it goes
And that food swallows, which of old it knows.
Kindly it plays and smiles upon the breast,
O'rjoy'd again to find its former feast.
Shall Nature glut her tender young with bloud?
No; that can't be their Elemental food.
That fare wou'd make them savage, were it so,
And all mankind fierce Cannibals wou'd grow.
I Nero's acts cou'd hardly then dispraise,
Nor wou'd Orestes fury wonder raise,
If Mothers bloud for wretched Infants first
By Heav'n's design'd, to satisfie their thirst.
Yet still that Fluxes cause we don't reveal,
Which does so cautiously its spring conceal.
A female brute whate'r her womb contains
Cherishes; yet no Moon dissolves her veins.
Some qual'ty then we for the cause must find
Which is peculiar to the female kind.
This is the onely thing, which I can tell,
That Man in form and softness they excel.       580       [Latin: 560]
No Horse a Mare outdoes, nor Bull, a Cow;
If through this , through that Jove may low. [image] [image]
The Lions savage are both he and she,
And in their aspect equally agree.
The she's no neater lick'd than rough he-Bears,
Nor fitter to adorn the starry spheres.
She-Tygers ha' n't than males more spotted charms,
And Sows are clean as Boars, whom Thunder arms.
No painted Bird for want of Feathers scorns
Her Mate, but Heav'n them both alike adorns.
The Swans (who are so downy, soft and white)
Leda can scarce distinguish by the sight.
In Fishes you no difference can see,
Both in the glttering of their Scales agree.
Venus in them, arm'd by their naked sex, [image]
The darts of Beauty needed not t'annex.
In them no killing eyes the conquest gain,
Their smell alone their Triumphs can maintain.
But humane Race in flames more bright are try'd,
By Reason and resplendent Heat supply'd.       600       [Latin: 580]
Nor is Fruition their Original,
(A paltry, short-liv'd joy) Oh! may they All
Perish, who that alone true Pleasure call.
Kind Nature Beauty has on Maids bestow'd,
And with a thousand Charms all o'r endow'd.
Men she with golden fetters chose to bind,
And with sweet force their roving Souls confin'd. [image]
Nor Women made for bestial delight,
But with chaste pleasure too to rape the sight.
Hence all that bloud, which after pressings squeeze
Out of the grosser Chyle, as dregs or lees,
And that, which on the body and the chin
With dusky clouds o'rcasts the hairy skin,
From their fair bodies constantly she drains,
And Luna her commission for' t obtains.
But if those slimy flouds, by chance supprest,
Excessive heats to nutriment digest,
Manlike in time the Womens cheeks become,
And they, poor Iphis, undergo thy doom 106 [image]
So Phaëthusa, once so smooth and fair, 107       620
Wonder'd to feel her face o'rgrown with hair.       [Latin: 600]
Her Hand she often blam'd, and for a Glass,
She call'd, to look how 'twas; but there, alas!
A bearded Chin and Lips she found, and then,
Blaming the Glass, felt with her hands agen.
Long-looking she her own strange visage fear'd,
And started, when an unknown voice she heard.
Thus and much more (but who can all relate)
Apollo's Laurel did expatiate.
Hence to the Wonders of the teeming Bed
The way it self their grave Discourses led.
Then Birth-wort, Juno's plant, the Court commands
To speak, who Women lends her Midwife hands.
Willing enough to talk her stalk she rais'd,
And her own Virtues very boldly prais'd.


[106] The Story of Iphis chang'd into a Boy on her Wedding-day, see Ovid. Met. 9.


[107] Hippocrates, lib. Epidem. says that Phaethusa, Wife of Pithæus of Abdera, having before been a fruitful Woman, upon the banishment of her Husband, and her Courses stopping, she became hairy and had a Beard, and her Voice grew strong hoarse, like that of a Man; the same he writes of Nemisa the Wife of Gorippus.


GReen Berries I, and Seed, and Flowers bear;
And Patroness o' th'Womb's my Character.
But deeper yet my great Perfection lies,
For as my chiefest fruit my root I prize.
This Nature did with the Wombs figure seal,       640
Nor suffer'd me its Virtues to conceal.
Thence am I call'd Earths Apple; such a one,
As in th'Hesperian Gardens there are none.       [Latin: 620]
Had this (fair Atalanta!) then been thrown
Before you, when you ran (I know you'll own
Now you are married), 't has so sweet a face,
You for this sooner wou'd ha' slack'd your pace,
Than that, for which you lost your Maiden race.
Hence in her own Embraces Mother Earth
Retains and hugs it, where she gave it birth,
Nor trusts dull Trees with things of so much worth.
Easing all Births, 'tis I the wonder prove
O' th'Earth our universal Parents love.
That Poet was no fool, nor did he lye,
Who said each Herb cou'd shew a Deity.
Nor shou'd we Egypts Piety despise,
Which to green Gods paid daily Sacrifice.
Rome, why dost jeer? "They are in Gardens born,
"And Vegetable Gods the Fields adorn.
What's Ceres else, but Corn, and Bacchus, Vines?       660
And every holy Plain with Godheads shines.
And I Lucina am; for I make way, 108
And Lifes streight folding doors wide open lay.
Oh! pardon, Luna! what I rashly spoke,
That from my lips such impious words have broke.
In me, in me, Lucina, you remain,
And in disguise a Goddess I contain:       [Latin: 640]
For in my roots small circle you inclose
Part of those Virtues, which your Wisdom knows.
Triumphant Conquests over Death I make;
Arms from my self, but Pow'r from thee I take.
O'rseer o' th'ways the body's roads I clear,
And streets, as I that Cities Aedile were.
Straight passages I widen, stops remove,
And every obstacle down headlong shove.
The Soul and her attendants nothing stays,
But they may freely come and go their ways.
I also dry each sink and fenny flood,
Lest the swift Messengers shou'd stick i' th'mud.
But to my stricter charge committed is       680
The pleasant, sacred Way that leads to bliss.
When dawning Life Cimmerian night wou'd leave,
And its relation Days bright rays perceive,
I keep Death off the Wombs straight passages,
That them the watchful Foe can ne'r possess.
You'd wonder (for great Nature when she shows,
her greatest wonders, nothing greater does)       [Latin: 660]
Which way the narrow womb, so void of pain
Such an unweildy weight cou'd e'r contain,
How such a bulk, forc'd from its native place,
Though such a narrow Avenue shou'd pass.
When such cross motions teeming wombs attain
First to dilate, then fold themselves again,
What knots unties and solid bones divides,
And what again unites the distant sides.
But this I cannot do, nor all the Earth,
Wherever pow'rful Plants receive their birth.
'Tis true, both I and you, my Sisters, share
In this great work, and humble Handmaids are.
But God (you know) performs the chiefest part;       700
This work is fit for the Almighty Art.
He to the growing Embryo bids the womb
Extend, and bids the Limbs for that make room.
He parts the meeting Rocks, and with his hand
They gently forth at open order stand.
Mean time th'industrious Infant, loth to stay,
Struggles and with his head wou'd make its way.       [Latin: 680]
Whilst the tormented, labouring Wretch wou'd fain
Be eas'd both of her burthen and her pain.
Them too my piercing heat both instigates,
And the inclining quarters separates.
Sometimes within his Mothers fatal Womb,
Before he's born, the Infant finds his Tomb.
Life from her native soil Deaths terrors chase,
Who fertile is herself in such a place.
Th'included carcass breaths forth dire perfumes,
And its own Grave the buried Corps consumes.
Strange! the preposterous Child's his Mothers death,
And dead deprives his living Tomb of breath.
From that sad fate, ye Gods, chast Women guard;       720
And let it be Adulteries reward.
As far as in me lies, I save the tree
And take the rotten [fruit] away with me.
The goods to drown, 'tis the best way I think,
Lest in a storm the Ship and all shou'd sink.
Rash Infants often make escapes; unbind
Their cords and leave their luggage all behind.       [Latin: 700]
Their thicker coats and thinner shirts they leave,
And that sweet Cake where they their food receive.
Lucina twice poor Women then implore
Their throws return although the Birth be o'r.
Here to the Womb again my aid I lend,
And hard as well as noisom work attend.
What I to cleanse the passage undergo,
You wot not, but, let no man, pray you, know.
For if he do, 'twill Cupid's power impair,
Nor will he such an awe o'r mortals bear.
But though in me a secret Virtue lie
Of pulling Darts from deepest Wounds, yet I 109
Thy pleasant Darts, kind Cupid never strove       740
To draw; That me no friend to th'womb wou'd prove.
In me one Virtue I my self admire
(Ah! who can know themselves as they desire.)
For 'tis a Riddle; wherefore I wou'd know
How I so oft have done the thing I do.
For though I life to humane Creatures give,
Yet if he eat of me, no Fish can live.       [Latin: 720]
As soon as me they tast, away they fly
Under the water and in silence die.
What may the cause of this strange quarrel be?
I know them not, nor have they injur'd me.
No Animals, than these more fruitful passe,
When yet I hate, though fruitfulness I love.
Th'Effect is plain and easie to be found,
But deep the Cause lies rooted underground.


[108] Luna and Lucina, both the same Goddess of Midwifry, etc.


[109] It draws splinters, scales of bones, etc. Fernel.


THen Chian Mastick thus began; said she,
This sutes not with this opportunity.
To Fishes (Sister) do whate'r you please,
Depopulate and poison all the Seas.
This let that Herb beware, who back again       760
Made Glaucus fishes bounce into the Main, [image]
Which with new forms the watery World supplies, 110
And changes Men into Sea-Deities.
But these are trifles; since curs'd Savin here
Dares in a throng of pious Plants appear;
She, who the Altares of the Womb prophanes,
And deep in bloud that living Temple stains.
Impatient to be wicked she destroys
The naked hopes of thousand future Boys.       [Latin: 740]
'Tis one of Wars extream and greatest harms,
To snatch an Infant from his Mothers Arms.
But here the Womb (oh strange!) close shut and barr'd,
The Mothers very bowels are no guard.
Whilst Poisons onely in a civil rage,
And lingring Ills the Step-dames hands engage.
Oh! simple Colchis, rude and ignorant,
Who the new Arts of wickedness dost want!
Medea, Savin knows a better way
Than thy Medea Children to destroy. [image]
Thou, Progne! know'st not how revenge to take, [image]       780
Let Itys live; thy stay amends will make.
Lie with thy Husband, though against thy will,
Let thy swell'd Womb with hopes fierce Tereus fill.
When you are ripe for hate, let Savin come,
And dress the fatal Banquet in your Womb.
The reeking bits let thy curst Husband take,
And meat of thine and his own bowels make.
Abortion, caus'd for spite's a generous crime,
Th'effect of pleasure at the present time.       [Latin: 760]
Officious Savin is at the Expence
Of so much Wit and so much Diligence;
To make the lewdest Whore most chast appear,
That of her crimes, no token she may wear.
To make her lechery frugal, and provide
That thy apartment, Lust ben't made too wide.
The wrinkles from her belly to remove,
Which with disgrace, may her a Mother prove.
If Men shou'd all conspire with such a Plant,
The whole World soon Inhabitants wou'd want.
You then the Brutes alone in vain wou'd see,       800
And no employment for your Art wou'd be.
But you, who scatch the rapid, wheeling Days,
And Fate beguile with Art and sweet delays;
You, verdant Constellations here below,
To whom their birth and fate all Mortals owe;
Do you take care this tree-like Hag to burn,
Who makes the Womb the Infants living Urn.
Let Natures mortal Foe receive her doom,
And with moist Laurel purge the tainted room       [Latin: 780]
Or let her live in Crete, her native home,
And with her Virtues purge Pasiphäes womb.
There two miscarriages she might ha' made
At once; Oh! prize, now never to be had!
But I suppose she never wou'd tha' torn,
Or kept that hopeful Monster from being born; 111
For seven Boys, shose death to her was dear,
That Half-man was to swallow e'ery year. [image]
Hast, Savin! home to Crete; we won't complain,
Though Ditt'ny too with Thee return again.

At this they were divided; and the sound       820
Of various murmurs flew the Court around.
Whilst sharp'ned leaves did Savin's anger show
As when a Lion bristles at his Foe.
Those three degrees of heat which she before
From Nature had, her anger now made four.


[110] Concerning Glaucus his Fishes, see Ovid. Met., lib. 13. fab. ult..


[111] The Minotaur.


THou, wretched Shrub (in passionate tones) said she;
Dost thou pretend to be my Enemy?
Dost thou a Plant, which through the world is known,
Disparage? all mankind my Virtues own.       [Latin: 800]
Whilst thou for hollow Teeth a Med'cine art, 112
And scarcely bear'st in Barbers shops a part.
Go, hang thy Tables up, to show thy Vows,
And with thy Trophies load thy bending bows.
Among the Monuments of thy Chivalry
The greatest some old, rotten Tooth will be.
What? cause thy Tear stops weeping rheum, and lays
A Damm, which currents of defluxions stay,
Dost think thy force can keep the Womb so tight,
As to restrain Conceptions liquid flight?
No sure; but thou by Cheats a Name hast sought,       840
And woud'st, though vile though art, too dear be bought.
By false pretences you on Fame impose,
But I the truth of what I am disclose.
Children, I own, I from the Belly wrest;
Go now, of my confession make your best.
I own, I say; nor canst thou for thy heart,
(Though thou more tender than the Mother wert,)
Prevent me with thy tears or all thy Art.
Thee let the pregnant Mother eat, and fence
With thee her womb; with Pitch and Frankincense;       [Latin: 820]
A Loadstone too about her let her bear; 113
(That I suppose, does thy great Virtues wear.)
For that, we know, fix'd to their native place
Retains the Iron-seeds of humane Race.
Let Emeralds and Coral her adorn,
And many Jaspers, on her Fingers worn;
With Diamonds and Pearl, Child of a shell
Whose fish herself and that secures so well.
But above all let her the Eagles stone
Car, and two of them, not onely one.       860
For nothing strengthens Nature more, than that;
Nothing the Womb does more corroborate.
Let her do all, yet all shall prove in vain,
If once access to her my juices gain.
I own it; nor will I ungrateful be

To bounteous Nature, lest I anger thee,

Though thou hast done thy worst to anger me.
'Tis Natures gift, whose wisdom I esteem
Much more than thine, though thou a Cato seem
Into the Womb by stealth I never creep,
Nor force my self on Women, whilst they sleep.       [Latin: 840]
I'd rather far, untouch'd, uncropt, be seene
In Gardens always growing, fresh and green.
I'm gather'd, pounded, and th'untimely blow
Must give, which I my self first undergo.
You justly blame Medea, but, for shame,
The guiltless knife, she cut with, do not blame.
The listening Trees will think thee drunk with Wine,
If thou of drunkenness accuse the Vine.
Nor this bare Pow'r do I to Heaven owe,       880
Which greater Virtues did on me bestow.
For I the Courses and the After-birth,
With the dead Members deadly weight bring forth.
Poor Infants from their native Goal I free,
And with astonish'd Eyes the Sun they see.
But nothing can they find, worth so much pain;
And wou'd return into the dark again.
They wish my fatal draught had come before,
Ere the great work of life was yet quite o'r.
That which you call a Crime, I own to be,
But you must lay't on Men and not on me.       [Latin: 860]
Ah! what at first wou'd tender Infants give
(When newly form'd they scarce begin to live)
For this, if possibly they cou'd but know,
Through what a passage they must after go?
Ah! why did Heav'n (with reverence let me say)
Into this World make such a narrow way?
You'd think the Child by 's pains to Heav'n shou'd go,
"Whilst he through pain's born to a world of woe.
Through deadly strugglings he receives his breath,       900
And pangs, i' th'birth resemble those of death.
Mothers, the name of Mothers dearly buy,
And purchase pleasure at a rate too high.
But thou, Child-bearing Woman, who no ease
Canst find, (tormented with a dear Disease)
Whose tortur'd bowels that sweet Viper gnaws,
(That living burthen, of thy Rack the cause)
Take but my leaves with speed, their Virtue try
(In them, believe me, sovereign juices lie.)
Thy barriers they by force soon open lay,
And out o' th'world, 'tis scarce a wider way.
The Infant, ripe, drops from the bows, and cries
The whilst his half-dead Mother silent lies;
But hearing him she soon forgets her pain,
And thinks to do that pleasant trick again.       [Latin: 880]
But thou, on whom the silver Moons moist rays
(For the wombs night its Lady Moon obeys)
No influence have, I charge thee, do not take
My leaves, but hast, though loaded, from 'em make.
Down from the Trees by my force shaken, all       920
The fruits though ne'r so green and sour, fall.
(This I foretel you, lest, when you're aggriev'd,
You then shou'd say, by me you were deceiv'd.)
For innocent Girls sin sore against their will,
None ever wish'd her womb a Child might fill:
Yet if I were not in the world, they wou'd
Incline to do the fact, but never cou'd.
But many other Plants the same can do,
Wherefore if banishment you think my due,
Companions in it I shall have, I know;
And into Creet a troop of us shall go.
Thou, Myrrh! for one shalt go, who heretofore 114
For lewdness punish'd now deserv'st the more.
But thou, though lewd didst not prevent the birth,
Though 'twas a Crime to bring the Infant forth.       [Latin: 900]
And All heal too, who Death affrights, must pack, [image]
With Galbanum and Gum Ammoniack.
And Be s to Cyrenians never sold,
Unless they brought the sweeter smell of Gold.
Ground-pine and Saffron too will Exiles prove,       940
Saffron, once Crocus, yellow dy'd by Love.
Madder, and Colloquintida with me,
And Dragon too the Cretan shore must see.
And Sowbread too, whose secret darts are found
Child-bearing Women distantly to wound.
And Rue, as noble a Plant as any's here,
Physick to other things, is Poison there.
What shou'd I name the rest? We make a throng,
Thou Birthwort too with us must troup along;
Nor must you, President, behind us stay,
Rise then and into Exile come away.
She ended, with great favour and applause;
And there's no doubt but she obtain'd her cause.
the Mugwort next began, whose awful Face
Check'd all their stirs, and silence fill'd the place.       [Latin: 920]


[112] Mastick is good for the Tooth-Ach.


[113] Sennertus and other Physicians recommend these Stones to be held in the hand, or otherwise applied to those who fear Abortion.


[114] Plants that procure Abortion.

MUGWORT [The President.]

IF the green Nation, Sister, banish Thee,
I'll go along and bear thee Company.
If we for Womens faults must bear disgrace,
We, the Ecbolicks, are a wretched Race. 115
On her head let it (if a Woman shall       960
To her own bowels prove inhumane) fall;
Not part of Deaths sad penalties, but all.
Why are we sent for at untimely hours?
That Day, when lucky Juno comes, is ours. 116
She's wicked and deserves the worst of fates,
Who to ill ends that time anticipates.
For the admitted juice knows no delay,
But torpid as it is will force its way.
Nor is it hard a Fabrick to confound
Ill-fix'd within it self or to the ground.
A Ship, well tackled, which the winds may scorn,
Ill rigg'd away by ev'ry gust is born.
The Elements of Life what can't o'rethrow?
No wonder; Life it self's an empty show.
Sometimes it smells a Candles snuff and dies; 117
The weaker fume before the stronger flies.       [Latin: 940]
Let Cesar round the Globe with 's Eagles fly,
And grieve with Jove to share Equality.
Yet what a trifle might ha' been his death,
Preventing all his Triumphs with his breath.       980
One farthing Candle by its dying flame
Wou'd have depriv'd the world of his great Name;
Nor had we had such numerous supplies
Of mighty Lords and new-found Deities.
Thou, Alexander, too might'st so ha' dy'd,
(How well the world that smell had gratifi'd.)
Thou, who, a petty King o' th'Universe,
Thought'st with thy self alone thou didst converse.
Yea the same chance might have remov'd from us,
Both Thee, Jove's Son, and thy Bucephalus.
And if thy Groom his Candle out had slept, 118
Bucephala he from being built had kept.
So slight a stink you'd scarce think this could do,
Unless the niceness of the womb I knew.
How shie it is of an ungrateful smell
You, by its secret coyness, know full well.
(But that's no prudence in it: since that place
For pleasure no good situation has)       [Latin: 960]
But greedily sweet things it meets half-way,
And into its own bosom does convey.       1000
The secret cause of which effect to find,
Is hard; nor have the Learned it assign'd.
Let's see if any thing further we can say;
The Night grows late, and now 'tis toward Day.
Wherefore a thousand wonders that remain
Concerning Childbirth, as may entertain
I' th'next Assembly, when we meet again.
You, Myrrh! who from a Line of Monarchs came,
The glory of their angry Fathers name; 119
[image] [image]
Sacred and grateful to the Gods; again
A Virgin, and shalt always so remain;
you know the secrets of the female kind,
And what you know, I hope, can call to mind.
Then surely you the nature of a smell
Among rich Odours born must clearly tell.
Besides, when formerly their Reason strove
Weak as it was, to cope with conquering Love;
You in the middle of the fight wou'd fall,
They say, and lie in fits Hysterical. 120       [Latin: 980]
Come then. Let's hear, what you at last can say?       1020
Speak, modest Myrrh! why do you so delay?
Why do the tears run down thy bark so fast?
Thou need'st not blush for faults so long time past.
Ah! happy faults, that can such tears produce,
Which to the World are of such Sovereign use. [image]
No Woman e'r deserv'd before this time
So much for Virtue, as thou for a Crime.


[115] Ecbolics, i. e., such Medicines as bring away dead Children, or cause abortion.


[116] The smell of a Candles Snuff, 'tis said, will make Women miscarry.


[117] The smell of a Candles Snuff, 'tis said, will make Women miscarry.


[118] The Stink of the Snuff of a Candle, is said to cause Abortion in Mares.


[119] Cynaras, King of Cyprus. See the Story of his Daughter Myrrha, Ovid. Met.


[120] i. e., Fits of the Mother.


AT last when Myrrh had wip'd her od'rous tears,
Putting aside her leaves, her Face and Head she rears.
Then she began, but blush'd, and stopp'd anon,
Nor cou'd she be entreated to go on.
So a dry Pump at first will hardly go,
From which a River by and by will flow.
'Tis known, the female Tribe, or all that live,
Above the rest is far more talkative.
And that a Plant, who was a Maid before,
Speaks faster much than all the rest and more.
Her story therefore gently she begins,
And with her Art upon the Audience wins.       [Latin: 1000]
Her Wars with unchast Love she reckon'd o'r;       1040
For fear of doing ill, what ills she bore:
She told, how oft her breast her hands had try'd
To stab, whilst chast fair Myrrha might ha' dy'd. [image]
How long and oft unequally with Love,
Who even Goddesses subdu'd, she strove.
And many things besides, which I'll not name,
Since Ovid with more wit has said the same.
Then of the Wombs intolerable pains
(Sh'ad felt them) sadly she, 'tis said, complains.
Had I an hundred fluent Womens Tongues,
Or made of sturdy Oak, a pair of Lungs,
The kinds and forms, and names of cruel fate,
And monstrous shapes I hardly cou'd relate.
What meant the Gods, Lifes native Seat, to fill
With such a numerous Host, so arm'd to kill?
What is it, Pleasure! guards Man's happiness,
If thy chief City, Pain, thy Foe, possess.
But me my Laurel told; then most she rail'd,
When the sad Fits o' th'Mother she bewail'd.       [Latin: 1020]
Woe to the bodies wretched Town (said she)       1060
When the wombs Fort contains the Enemy!
Thence baneful vapours ev'ry way they throw,
Which rout the conquer'd Soul where e'r they go.
The troops of flying Spirits they destroy,
As stenches from Avernus Birds annoy. 121
If they the Stomach seize, the Appetite's gone,
And tasks design'd for veins lie by half done.
No Meats it now endures, much less requires,
And the crude Kitchin cools for want of fires.
If they the Heart invade, that's walls they shake,
And in the vital work confusion make;
New waves they thither bring, but those the vein,
Which Vena Cava's called, bears back again.
The Arteries by weak pulsings notifie,
Or else by none, the Soul's then passing by.
By that black Cloud all joy's extinguish'd quite,
And hopes, that make the mind look gay and bright.
So when grim, Stygian shades, they say, appear,
The Candles tremble and go out for fear.       [Latin: 1040]
Grief, fear, and hatred of the light invade       1080
Their Heart, the Soul a Scene of trouble's made.
Then straight the jaws themselves the Ill
With deadly, strangling vapours strives to fill.
T'Æthereal Air it never shews desire,
But Salamander-like lives all on fire:
Sometimes these restless Plagues the Head too seize,
And rifle all the Souls rich Palaces.
In barbarous triumph led, then Reason stands,
Hoodwink'd and manacled her eyes and hands.
For the poor wretch a merry madness takes,
And her sad sides with doleful laughter shakes.
Her Dreams (in vain awake) she tells, and those,
If no body admire, amaz'd she shews.
She fears, or threatens ev'ry thing she spies;
A piteous, she, and dreadful Object, lies.
One seems to rave, and from her sparkling Eyes
Fierce fire darts forth; another throbs and cries.
some Deaths exactest Image seizes, so
That sleep compar'd to that like Life wou'd show.       [Latin: 1060]
A solid dulness all the senses keeps       1100
Lock'd up; no Soul of Trees more soundly sleeps.
Her breath, if any from her nostrils go,
The Down from Poppy tops wou'd hardly blow.
If you one dead with her compar'd, you'd say,
Two dead ones there, or two Hysterick lay.
But then ('tis strange, and yet we must believe
What we from long experience receive)
Under her Nose strong-smelling Odours lay,
The other vapours these will chase away.
burn Partridge feathers, hair of Man or Beast,
Horns, leather, warts, that Horses legs molest;
All these are good; but what strange accident
first found them out, or cou'd such Cures invent?
Burn Oil, that Nature from hard Rocks distills,
And Sulphur, which all things with Odours fills.
To which the stinking Assa you may add,
And Oil which from the Beavers stones is had.
Through Pores, Nerves, Arteries, and all they go,
And throng t'invade the labouring Womb below.       [Latin: 1080]
But that each Avenue, which upward lies,       1120
With mounds and strong-built Rampires fortifies.
Tne being contracted to a narrower place
(For force decase spread in too wide a space)
No humours foul or vapours these must stay,
But out it purges them the lower way.
On Forein parts now no assaults she makes,
But care of her domestick safety takes.
Carthage to Hannibal now sends no supply,
To break the force of distant Italy.
When from their walls with horror they descry
The threatning Roman Darts and Eagles fly.
This for the Nose; the Womb then you must please
With such sweet Odours as the Gods appease.
With Cinnamon, and Goat-bread, Ladanon.
With healing Balsam and my oily Gum.
Civet, and Musk, and Amber too apply,
(Scarce yet well known to humane industry)
With all that my rich, native Soil supplies,
Such fumes as from the Phoenix Nest arise.       [Latin: 1100]
Nor fear from Gods to take their Frankincense,       1140
In such a pious case, 'tis no offence.
Then shalt thou see the limbs faint motions make,
A certain sign, that now the Soul's awake.
Then will the Guts with an unusual noise,
The Enemy o'rthrown, seem to rejoice.
Bloud will below the secret passage stain,
And Arteries recruited beat again.
Oft, glad to see the light, themselves the Eyes
Lift up; the Face returning purple dies;
One jaw from t'other with a groan retires,
And the Disease it self, like Life, expires.

Tell me, sweet Odours, tell me, what have you
With parts so distant from the Nose to do?
Or what have you, ill smells, so near the Nose
To do, since that and you are mortal Foes?
And why dost thou, abominamble stench!
Upon remote Dominions so intrench?
Say, by what secret force you sling your Darts,
Whom from your Bow, the Nose, such distance parts.
For some believe, that to the brain alone       1160
They fly, through ways, which in the head are known;       [Latin: 1120]
And that the Brain to the related womb
Sends (good and bad) all smells, that to it come.
The Womb too oft rejoyces for That's sake,
And when That's griev'd, does all its griefs partake.
The Womb's Orestes, Pylades the Brain,
And what to one, to th'other is a pain.
I don't deny the native Sympathy,
And like respects, in which these parts agree.
Each its conception has, and each its birth,
And both their Off-springs like the Sire, come forth.
Still to produce both have a constant vein,
And their streight bosoms mighty things contain.
Much I omit in both; but know, that This
O' th'Body, That o' th'Soul the Matrix is.
But th'womb has this one proper faculty,
Its actions oft from Head and Nose are free.
Oft when it strives to break its bonds in vain
(And often nought its fury can contain)
A sweet Perfume apply'd (unknown to th'Nose)       1180
Does with a grateful glew its body close.       [Latin: 1140]
But when oppress'd with weight the womb falls down
(As sometimes it, when weak, does with its own)
With dreadful weapons arm'd a noisom smell
Meets it, and upward quickly does repel.
So when th'Helvetians their own Land forsook,
(People which in their Neighbours terror strook)
A stronger Foe, their wandering to restrain,
To their old quarters beat 'em back again.
Here different reasons different Authors show,
But none worth speaking of, I'm sure, you know.
What can I add? You, Learned President, please
To bid me speak; the case says, hold your peace.
Yet you I must obey; Heav'n is so kind
To let us seek that truth we cannot find.
This truth must be i' th'wells dark bottom sought,
Pardon me, if I make an heavy draught.
You see the wondrous Wars and Leagues of Things, [image]
From whence the worlds harmonious consort springs.
This he that thinks from th'Elements may be had,       1200
Is a grave Sot, and studiously mad.       [Latin: 1160]
Here many causes branch themselves around,
But to 'em all one onely Root is found.
For those, which mortals the four Elements call,       1220
In the worlds fabrick are not first of all.
Treasures in them wise Nature laid, as store,
Ready at hand, of things that were before.
Whence she might Principles draw for her use,
And mixtures new eternally produce.
Infinite seeds in those small bodies lie
To us, but numbred by the Deity.
Nor is the heat to Fire more natural,
Nor coldness more to Waters share does fall,
Than either bitter, sweet, or white or black,
Or any smells, that Noses e'r attack.
Our purging or astringent quality
Have proper points of matter, where they lie.
With Earth, Air, Water, Fire, Heav'n all things bore,
Why do I faintly speak? They were before.
For what Earth, Air, Fire, Water now we call,
Are Compounds from the first Original.       [Latin: 1180]
For -- But a sudden fright her senses shock'd,
And stopt her speech; she heard the gate unlock'd.
And Rue from far the Gardener saw come in, [image]
Trembling, as she an Aspen leaf had been.
(For Rue, a sovereign Plant to purge the Eyes 122
Remotest Objects easily descries)
She softly whisper'd, Hence make hast away;
Here's Robert come, make hast, why do we stay?
Day was not broken, but 'twas almost light
And Luna swiftly rowl'd the wheeling Night;
Nor was the Fellow us'd so soon to rise,
But him a sudden chance did then surprize.
His Wife in pangs of Child-bed loudly roar'd,
And gentle Juno's present aid implor'd.
But he who plants that in his Garden grew,
Than forty Juno's, of more value knew,
Came thither Sowbread all in hast to gather,
That he with greater ease might prove a Father.
Soon as they saw the Man, straight up they got,       1240
With gentle hast and stood upon the spot,       [Latin: 1200]
When briefly Mugwort; I this Court adjourn;
What we have left we'll do at our return.
Without tumultuous noise away they fled,
And every Plant crept to her proper Bed.

[121] A noisom Lake, over which if Birds flew, they were often choked with the stench of it.

[122] The name of the Gardener of the Physick-Garden in Oxford [whose actual name was "Bobart," not "Robert"].

The End of the Second Book.

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