Let now my Muse more lofty numbers bring [image] Proportion'd to the lofty Theme we sing, The Race of Trees, whose towring branches rise In open Air, and almost kiss the Skies. Too light those strains that tender Flow'rs desir'd, Too low the Verse that humbler Herbs requir'd; Those weaklings near the Surface of the Earth Reside, nor from the Soil that gave them birth Dare launch too far into the airy Main, The Winds rough shock unable to sustain: These to the Skies with Heads erected go, Laughing at tender Plants that crouch below. Not Man the Earth's proud Lord so high can raise His Head, they touch those Heav'ns which he surveys.
Between th'Herculean Bounds and Golden Soil [image] By great Columbus found, there lies an Isle Of those call'd Fortunate the fairest Seat, [image][image] Indulg'd by Heaven and Natures blest retreat. A constant settled Calm the Sky retains, Disturb'd by no impetuous Winds or Rains. 20 Zephyr alone with fragrant Breath does chear [Latin: 20] The florid Earth, and hatch the fruitful Year. No Clouds pour down the tender Plants to chill, But fatning Dews instead from Heav'd distill, And friendly Stars with vital Influence fill. No Cold invades the temp'rate Summer there More rich than Autumn, and than Spring more fair. The Months without distinction pass away, The Trees at once with Leaves, Fruit, Blossoms gay; The changing Moon all these, and always does survey. Nature some Fruits does to our Soil deny Nor what we have can ev'ry Month supply, But ev'ry sort that happy Earth does bear, All sorts it bears, and bears 'em all the Year.
This seat Pomona now is said to prise, And fam'd Alcinous Gardens to despise. Betwixt th'old World and new makes this retreat Of her Green Empire the Imperial Seat: [image][image][image] And wisely too, that Plants of ev'ry sort May from both Worlds repair to fill her Court. 40 Hedges instead of Walls this Place surround, Brambles and Thorns of various kinds abound, [Latin: 40] With Haw-Thorn that does Magick Spells confound. The well rang'd Trees, within broad walks display Through which her Verdant City we survey: [image] I' th'midst her Palace stands, of Bow'rs compos'd, With twining Branches, and Green Walls enclos'd; [image] By Nature deck'd with Fruits of various kind, You'd swear some Artist had the work design'd.
When Autumn's Reign begins the Goddess here, (Autumn with us eternal Summer's there) When Scorpio with his Venom blasts the Year, The Goddess her Vertumnal rites prepares, [image][image] (So call'd from various Forms Vertumnus wears) No cost she spares those Honours to perform, (For no Expence can that Rich Goddess harm) She then brings forth her Gardens choice Delights, To treat the Rural Gods whom she invites. The twelve of Heavenly Race her guests appear, [Latin: 60] Wanton Priapus too is present there, 60 The fair Host more attracts him than the Fare. Then Pales came, and Pan Arcadia's God, [image] On his dull Ass the Fat Silenus rode Lagging behind; the Fauni next advance, With nimble Feet, and to the Banquet dance, Nor Heav'ns Inferiour Pow'rs were absent thence, Whose Altars seldom smoak with Frankincense. Picumnus who the barren Land manures, Tutanus too who gather'd Fruit secures, Collina from the Hills, from Valleys low 188 Vallonia189 came, Rurina190 from the Plow, With whom a hundred Rustick Nymphs appear, Who Garments form'd of Leaves or Bark did bear, To these strange Powers from New-Found India came, 191 Most dreadful in their Aspect, Form and Name. [image]
The hundred Mouths of Fame cou'd ne'r suffice To taste or tell that Banquet's Rarities. With change of Fruits the Table still was stor'd, For ready Servants waited on the Board [Latin: 80] In various Dress, the Months attending too 80 In number twelve, twelve times the Feast renew. Of Apples, Pears and Dates they fill'd the Juice, The Indian Nut supply'd the double use Of Drink and Cup: the more luxuriant Vine
Afforded various kinds of sprightly Wine. Canaria's neighb'ring Isle, the most Divine. Of this glad Bacchus fills a Bowl, and cries, O sacred Juice; O wretched Deities! Who absent hence of sober Nectar take Dull draughts, nor know the Joys of potent Sack. [image] The rest who Bacchus Judgment cou'd not doubt, Pledg'd him in Course, and sent the Bowl about. Venus and Flora Chocolate alone Wou'd Drink, -- the Reason to themselves best known.
The Gods (who surely were too wise to spare, When they both knew their welcome and their Fare) Fell freely on, till now Discourse began, And one, exclaiming cry'd, O foolish Man! That grossly feeds on flesh, when ev'ry field Does easie and more wholesom Banquets yield. 100 Who in the blood of Beasts their hands imbrue, [Latin: 100] And eat the Victims to our Altars due. From hence the rest occasion take at last The Goddess to extol, and her Repast: The Orange one, and one the Fig commends, Another the rich fruit that Persia sends, Some cry the Olive up above the rest, But by the most the Grape was judg'd the best. The Indian God who heard them nothing say Of Fruits that grow in his America, (Of which her Soil affords so rich a store Her Golden Mines can scarce be valu'd more) Thus taxes their unjust partiality, As well he might; the Indian Bacchus he.
Can Prejudice, said he, corrupt the Powers Of this old World? far be that Crime from ours. If when to furnish out a noble Treat You seek our Fruits, the Banquet to compleat; (Which I with greediness have seen you eat) Are these your thanks, ungrateful Deities? 120 Your Tongues reproach what did your Palates please: You only praise the growth of your own Soil, [Latin: 120] Because the Product of long Ages toil; But had not Fortune been our Countrey's foe, And Parent Nature's self forsook us too, Had not your armed Mars in Triumph rode O'r our Ochecus, a poor naked God, Had not your Neptune's floating Palaces Sunk our tall Ochus Fleet of hollow Trees, Nor thundring Jove made Viracocha yield, Nor Spaniards yet more fierce laid wast our field, [image][image] And left alive no Tiller to recruit | [image][image] The breed of Plants, and to improve the Fruit, Our Products soon had silenc'd this Dispute. But as it is, my Climate I'll defend, No Soil can to such num'rous Fruits pretend; We still have many to our Conqu'ror's shame, Of which you are as yet to learn the name, So little can you boast to shew the same. This I assert; if any be so vain 140 To contradict the Truth that I maintain, (Since from both Worlds this Feast has hither brought All Fruits with which our diff'rent Climes are fraught) The Deities that are assembled here Shall judge which World the richest will appear; [Latin: 140] In Fruits I mean, for that our Lands excell In Gold, you to our sorrow know too well. [image]
His Comrade-Gods in this bold Challenge join, Nor did our Powers the noble strife decline; Minerva in her Olive safe appear'd; Bacchus who with a smile the boaster heard, As in the East his Conquest had been shown, Now reckons the West-Indies too his own. His Courage with ten Bumpers first he chear'd; Then all agree to have the Table clear'd, And each respective Tree to plead her worth; The Goddess one by one commands them forth. She summon'd first the Nut of double Race, And Apple, which in our old World have place, Of each the noblest Breeds, for to the name 160 A thousand petty Families lay claim.
The Nut-trees name at first the Oak did grace, Who in Pomona's Garden then had place, Till her nice Palate Acorns did decline, Scorning in Diet to partake with Swine: At last the Filbert and the Chesnut sweet Were scarce admitted to her verdant seat; [Latin: 160] The airy Pine of form and stature proud, With much entreaty was at length allow'd.
The Hazel with light Forces marches up, The first in field, upon whose Nutty top A Squirrel sits, and wants no other shade Than what by his own spreading Tail is made; He culls the soundest, dextrously picks out The Kernels sweet and throws the Shells about, You see, Pomona crys, the cloyster'd Fruit, That with your Tooth, Silenus, does not suit. That therefore useless 'tis you cannot say, It serves our Youths at once for Food and Play; But while such toys, my Lads, you use too long, 180 Expecting Virgins think you do them wrong; [image] 'Tis time that you these childish sports forsake, Hymen for you has other Nuts to crack. O Plant most fit for Boys to patronize (Cries Bacchus) who my gen'rous juice despise, A restive Fruit, by Nature made to grace The Monky's jaws and humour the Grimace. The sudden Gibe made sober Pallas smile, [Latin: 180] Who thus proceeds in a more serious style. A strong and wondrous Enmity we find In Hazel tree 'gainst Poysons of all kind, More wondrous their Magnetick sympathy, That secret Beds of Metals can descry,192 And point directly where hid treasures lie. In search of Golden Mines a Hazel Wand The wise Diviner takes in his right Hand, In vain alas! he calls his Eyes about To find the rich and secret Mansions out, Which yet, when near, shall with a force Divine The Top of the suspended Wand incline. 200 So strong the sense of gain, that it affects The very Lifeless twig, who strait reflects His trembling head, and eager for th'embrace, Directly tends to the Magnetick place. What wonder then so strange Effects confound The minds of Men, in mists of Errour drown'd; It puzzles me, who was at Athens bred, Ev'n me the off-spring of great Jove's own head; Let Phoebus then unfold this Mystery, Much more than Man we know, but Phoebus more than we. [image] She said -- Apollo, with th'Ænigma vext, [Latin: 200] And scorning to be pos'd, in words perplext, Strove to disguise his Ignorance, and spent [image] Much breath on Atoms, and their wild ferment: Of Sympathy he made a long Discourse, And long insisted on Self-acting force; But all confus'd and distant from the mark, His Delphick Oracle was ne'r so dark. 'Twas Mirth for Jove to see him tug in vain At what his wisdome onely cou'd explain: 220 For those profounder Mysteries to hide From Gods, and Men is sure Jove's greatest pride.
The shady Chesnut next her Claim puts in, Though seldom she is in our Gardens seen. So coarse her fare, that 'tis no small Dispute If Nuts or Acorns we shou'd call her fruit; So vile, the Gods from Mirth cou'd not forbear To see such Kernels such strong Armour wear; First with a linty Wad wrapt close about, (Useful to keep green wounds from gushing out) Her next defence of solid wood is made, The third has Spikes that can her foes invade. Thersites sure no greater sport cou'd make; With Ajax sev'nfold Shield upon his Back. [Latin: 220]
The Pine with awful Rev'rence next did rise Above Contempt, and almost touch'd the Skies: Carv'd in his sacred Bark he wore beside 193 Great Maro's words, to justifie his Pride: Pan own'd th'approaching Plant, and bowing low His Pine wreath'd Head, but just respect did show; 240 Were Neptune present he had done the same; To that fair Plant that in his Isthmian Game The Victor crowns, whose loud Applauses he With equal transport hears in either Sea. Neptune of other Plants no Lover seems, But with good reason he the Pine esteems; The Pine alone has courage to remove From 's native Hills (where long with winds he strove In youth) on watry Mountains to engage With 's naked Timber fiercer tempests rage. In vain were Floods to Plants and Men deny'd In vain design'd for fishes to reside. [Latin: 240] Since Natures Laws by Art are overcome, And Men with Ships make Seas their Native home.
But of all Pines Mount Ida bears the best, By Cybele prefer'd above the rest. This Plant a lovely Boy was heretofore, Belov'd by Cybele, upon whose score [image] He sacrific'd to Chastity, but now Repents him of the rashness of his Vow. 260 His fruit delaying Venus now excites, His Wood affords the Torch which Hymen lights.
Ia, for whom her Father, of White-thorn194 A Torch prepar'd (e'r Pine by Brides was born) When she shou'd meet her long expected Joy Embrac'd the Pine-tree for her lovely Boy, Dire change, yet cannot from his trunk retire But languishes away with vain Desire: Till Cybele afforded her relief, 195 (Her Rival once, now partner in her grief) Transform'd her to the bitter Almond-tree, 196 Whose fruit seems still with sorrow to agree. Her Sister who the dreadful change did mark, [Latin: 260] Strove with her hands to stop the spreading Bark; But while the pious Office she perform'd In the same manner found her self transform'd. But as her grief was less severe, we find Her Almond sweet and of a milder kind. 197 Thus did this Plant into her Arms receive Th'unfortunate and more than once relieve. 280 Poor Phyllis thus Demophoon's absence mourn'd, Till she into an Almond-tree was turn'd. Thus Phyllis vanish'd; Ceres saw her bloom, And prophesy'd a fruitful Year to come.
The firm Pistachoe next appear'd in view, Proud of her fruit that Serpents can subdue.
The Walnut then approach'd, more large and tall, [image] His fruit which we a Nut, the Gods an Acorn call; Jove's Acorn, which does no smal praise confess, 198 [Latin: 280] T'have call'd it Man's Ambrosia had been less. Nor can this Head-like Nut, shap'd like the Brain Within, be said that form by chance to gain, Or Caryon call'd by learned Greeks in vain. For Membranes soft as Silk her kernel bind, Whereof the inmost is of tendrest kind, Like those which on the Brain of Man we find, 199 All which are in a Seam-join'd Shell enclos'd, Which of this Brain the Skull may be suppos'd. This very Skull envelop'd is again In a green Coat, his Pericranion. 300 Lastly, that no Objection may remain, To thwart her near Alliance to the Brain; She nourishes the Hair, remembring how Her self deform'd without her Leaves does show: On barren scalps she makes fresh honours grow. Her timber is for various uses good The Carver she supplies with lasting wood; She makes the Painters fading Colours fast, A Table she affords us and repast; [Latin: 300] Ev'n while we feast, her Oil our Lamps supplies, The rankest Poison by her Virtue dies, The Mad-dogs foam, and taint of raging Skies. The Pontick King who liv'd where Poisons grew, Skillful in Antidotes, her Virtues knew; Yet envious Fates that still with Merit strive, And Man ingrateful from the Orchard drive This Sov'raign Plant excluded from the Field Unless some useless Nook a Station yield: Defenceless in the common Road she stands, Expos'd to restless War of vulgar hands; 320 By neighb'ring Clowns, and passing Rabble torn, Batter'd with stones by Boys, and left forelorn.
To her did all the Nutty-tribe succeed, [Latin: 320] A hardy Race that makes weak Gums to bleed; But to the Banquets of the Gods preferr'd, Are said to open of their own accord. 'Twixt these and juicy fruits of painted Coat, Such as on Sunny Apples we may note; Advanc'd the tribe of those with rugged skin, More mild than Nuts, but to the Nut a kin.
Pomgranate Chief of these, whose blooming Glow'r [image] (Pomona's pride) may challenge Flora's Bow'r, The Spring-Rose seems less fair when she is by, Nor Carbuncle can with her colour vie; Nor Scarlet Robes by proudest Monarchs worn, Nor purple streaks that paint the rising Morn, Nor Blushes that consenting Maids adorn. In the Euboan Isle did stand of old Great Juno's Image, form'd of massy Gold, In one Right Hand she held a Scepter bright, 340 (For with the Pow'rs Divine both Hands are Right) 200 Her Carthage lovely fruit the other grac'd, And fitly in Lucina's Hand was plac'd; 201 Whose Orb within so many Cells contains, In form of Wombs, and stor'd with seedy Grains. But Proserpine implacable remain'd 202 Against this Plant, for former wrongs sustain'd, Nor Ceres yet her hatred cou'd disguise, [Latin: 340] But from Pomgranate turn'd her weeping Eyes. For the Elysian Fields (whence fates permit Nought to return) what Tree can be more fit That this restringent Plant? a single tast 203 Of three small grains kept Ceres Daughter fast. [image]
Orange and Lemon next like Lightning bright Came in, and dazled the Beholders sight; These were the fam'd Hesperian Fruits of old, Both Plants alike, ripe fruit and Blossoms hold, This shines with pale and that with deeper Gold. | [image][image] Planted by Atlas, who supports the Skies, Proud at his feet to see these brighter Stars to rise. 360 To keep them safe the utmost care he took, He fenc'd 'em round with walls of solid Rock, Nor with Priapus Custody content A watchful Dragon for their Guard he sent. [Latin: 360] Let vulgar Apples, Boys and Beggars fear, These, worth Alcides stealing did appear. From Lands remote he came, and thought his toils Were more than recompenc'd in those rich spoils. He onely priz'd 'em for their taste and hue, For half their real worth he never knew: [image] Nor cou'd his Tutor Mars to him impart The nobler secrets of Apollo's Art. Had he but known their juice 'gainst Poison good The Hydra's Venom mixt with Centaur bloud, Had never made Mount Oeta hear his Cries, Nor th'oft-slain Monster more had pow'r to rise. The Plums came next, by Cherry led, whose fruit [image] Th'expecting Gard'ner early does salute, To pay his thanks impatient does appear, And with red Berries first adorns the Year. 380 [Latin: 380] May, rich in Dress, but in Provision poor, Admires and thinks his early Fruit a Flow'r. To wait for Summer's ripening heat disdains, Nor puts the Planter to immod'rate pains. He loves the cooler Climes. Egyptian Nile Cou'd ne'r persuade him on her Banks to smile. He scorns the bounty of a two-months tide That leaves him thirsting all the year beside. Proud Rome, her self this Plant can scarcely rear Ev'n to this day he seems a Captive there. Pris'ner of War from Cerasus he came; (From 's native Cerasus he took his name) 204 From thence transplanted to th'Italian Soil Lucullus triumph brought no richer spoil: Loud Pæans to your noble Gen'ral sing, Italian Plants, that such a Prize did bring. The Conqu'rours Laurels as in triumph wear [Latin: 400] The blushing Fruit, and captive Cherries bear. Yet grieve thou not to leave thy native home, Erelong thou shalt a Denizen become 400 Amongst the Plants of World-commanding Rome.
A num'rous Host of Plants did next succed, Diff'ring in colour and of various breed:
The Damask Prune, most antient led the Van, Who in Damascus first his Reign began. Time out of mind he had subdu'd the East, 'Twas long ere he got footing in the West; But now in Northern Climates he is known, A hardy Plant makes ev'ry Soil his own.
Next him th'Armenian Apricock took place, Not much unlike but of a nobler Race; Of richer Flavour and of tast Divine, Whose golden Vestments, streakt with Purple, shine.
Then came the Glory of the Persian Field, [Latin: 420] And to Armenia's pride disdain'd to yield. The Peach with Silken Vest and pulpy juice, Of Meat and Drink at once supplies the use. But take him while he's ripe, he'll soon decay, For next Days Banquet he disdains to stay, Of Fruits the fairest, as the Rose of Flow'rs, 420 But ah! their Beauties have but certain Hours. [image]
A Fruit there is on whom the Rose confers 205 Her Name, of smell and colour too like Hers. A Plum that can it self supply the Board, To hungry Stomachs solid food afford. To please our Gust and Stomach to recruit He thinks sufficient Tribute to his Fruit; For Physicks use his other parts are good, His Leaves, his Blossoms, ev'n his Gum and wood. Does to us health and joy alike restore, Friend to our Pleasure, to our Health much more.
Not so the Corneil-tree design'd for harms, 206[image] Her wood supplies dire Mars with impious Arms, [Latin: 440] For such a Plant our Gardens are too mild, Harsh is her Fruit and fit for Desarts wild.
With her the Jujube-tree, a milder Plant [image] Which (tho offensive thorns she does not want) In Peace and Mirth alone does pleasure take, Her Flow'rs, at feasts, the genial Garlands make, Her wood the Harp that keeps the Guests awake. 440
Next comes the Lote-tree in whose dusky hue [image][image] Her black and Sun-burnt Countrey you might view, 207 To whom th'Assembly all rose up (from whence Came this Respect?) and paid her Reverence. Priapus onely with a down-cast look, And conscious Blushes at her presence shook: Th'All-seeing Gods through that obscure disguise Nymph Lotis saw: conceal'd from humane Eyes. 208[image] They knew how on the Hellespontick shore T'escape the dreadful Dart Priapus wore, [Latin: 460] And zealous to preserve her Chastity, She lost her Form and chang'd into a Tree. Though now no more a Nymph, a better Fate She does enjoy, and lives with longer Date. A longer Date than Oaks she does enjoy, Those long-liv'd Oaks that call'd old Nestor Boy. She calls them Girls, green Branches she display'd When Rome was built, and when in Ashes laid. 'Tis true, she did not long survive the fire, (With grief and flames at once forc'd to expire.) [image] 460 Almost nine hundred years were past away, Yet then she grudg'd to die before her Day. Ev'n after Death her Trunk appears to Live; 210 Does vocal Pipes and breathing Organs give, And fitly, like us Poets, may be said To make the greatest Noise when she is dead. A thousand Years are since elaps'd, yet still She flourishes in Praise, and ever will. Her Trees rich Fruit with which she charm'd Mankind [Latin: 480] Shew'd, when a Nymph, the sweetness of her mind; These sounds express the Musick of her tongue, More sweet than Circe's or the Syren throng.
But Nymph, retire, triumphant Palm appears, She thrives the more the greater weight she bears, No pressure for her Courage is too hard, Of Virtue both th'Example and Reward. She flourish'd once in Solymæan ground, 211 Fam'd Joshua's and Jessides sacred triumphs crown'd. But since that Land was curst, the gen'rous Plant Grieves to continue her Inhabitant. 480 Pisa bears Olives, Pines the Isthmian Fields, But all breed Palms, the prize of Victory, All Lands in honour of the Palm agree. And 'tis but the just tribute of her Worth, Virtue no fairer Image has on Earth. Her Verdure she inviolate does hold, In spight of Summer's heat and Winter's cold. Opprest with weight she from the Earth does rise, [Latin: 500] And bears her Load in triumph to the Skies. [image] What various Benefits does she impart 212 To humane kind; her Wine revives the Heart, Her Dates rich Banquets to our Tables send, At once to Pleasure, and to Health a friend. A Lover true, and well to love and serve Is Virtues noblest task, and does the Palm deserve.
Evadne who a willing Victim prov'd, 213 Nor chast Acestis so her Husband lov'd, 214 As does the Female Palm her Male, her Arms to him are stretch'd with most endearing Charms, Nor stops their passion here; like Lovers, they 500 To more retir'd Endearments find the way, In Earth's cold Bed their am'rous Roots are found In close Embraces twining under ground.
Let Arms to Learning yield, the Palm resign, The conqu'ring Palm to Olive more Divine; Peace all prefer to War -- thus Pallas spoke; And in her Hand a peaceful Olive shook. 'Twas with this Branch that she the Triumph gain'd (The greatest that can be by Gods obtain'd.) On learned Athens to confer her Name, A Right which she, most learn'd of Powers, might claim. Not Gods in Heav'n without Ambition live, [Latin: 520] But, who shall be poor Mortals Patrons, strive.
First, Neptune with his Trident struck the ground; the warlike Steed no sooner heard the sound, But starts from his dark Mansion, shakes his Hair, His Nostrils snort the unaccustom'd Air, Neighs loud, and of th'unwonted Noise is proud, With his insulting Feet his native Field is plough'd, Intrepid he beholds of Gods the circling Crowd. | 520 Pallas on th'other side with gentle stroke Of her strong Spear, Earth's tender surface broke, Through which small Breach a sudden Tree shoots up, Ev'n at his Birth with rev'rend hoary top, And vig'rous fruit; the Gods applaud the Plant, And to Minerva the Precedence grant. The vanquish'd Steed and God in rage assail'd The Victors, but ev'n so, their malice fail'd, Wit's Goddess and the peaceful Tree prevail'd.
Hail sacred Plant, who well deserv'st to be 216 By Laws secur'd from wrong as well as we; [Latin: 540] From War's wild rage Respect thou dost command, When Temples fall thou art allow'd to stand. Neptune's bold Son revenging the disgrace 217 His Sire sustain'd, fell dead upon the place, The whirling Ax upon his Head rebounds, The stroke design'd on thee, himself confounds. [image] The Gods concern'd Spectators stood, and smil'd To see his impious Sacrilege beguil'd. Such be his fate whoe'r presumes to be 540 A Foe to Peace and to her sacred Tree. Yet ev'n this peaceful Plant upon our guard Warns us to stand, and be for War prepar'd. In peace delights, but when the Cause is just, Permits not the avenging Sword to rust. With suppling Oil and conqu'ring wreath's supplys The Martial Schools, of youthful Exercise: Nor is the strong propension she does bear To Peace, th'effect of Luxury or Fear. [Latin: 560] Earth's teeming Womb affords no stronger Birth, No Soil manuring needs to bring her forth. Allow her but warm Suns and temp'rate Skies, The vig'rous Plant in any Soil will rise. Lop but a Branch and fix't in Earth, you'll see She'll there take root and make her self a Tree. Her youth, 'tis true, by slow degrees ascends, But makes you with long flourishing years amends. Nature her care in this did wisely show, That useful Olive long and easily shou'd grow. Most sov'raign taken inward, is her Oil, 560 And outwardly confirms the Limbs for toil. Lifes passages from all obstruction frees, Clears Natures walks, to smarting wounds gives ease. With easie Banquets does the poor supply, And makes cheap Herbs with Royal Banquets vie. [Latin: 580] The Painters flying Colours it binds fast, Makes short-liv'd Pictures long as Statues last, The Student's Friend, no Labour can excel And last, but of Minerva's Lamp must smell. Nay, This does so! -- - Most justly therefore may this Liquor rise O'r all in mixture, justly does despise T'incorporate with any other Juice; Sufficient in himself for ev'ry Use. Most justly therefore did Judæa's Land, (Who best religious Kings did understand) Oyl, potent, chast and sacred Oyl appoint Her Kings, her Priests, and Prophets to anoint.
Such was th'appearance which the Olive made, With noble Fruit and verdant Leaves assay'd; 580 From whom Minerva took as she withdrew, A joyful Branch, and with it wreath'd her Brow. Fresh Armies then advanc'd into the Plain, First those whose Fruit did many Stones contain, In their first Lists the Medlar-Tree was found Proud of his putrid Fruit because 'twas crown'd. 218 Of Beauties Goddess then the Plant more fair, Whose fragrant motion so perfum'd the Air; The smoak of Gums when from their Altars sent, Ne'r gave th'Immortal Guests such sweet content. [Latin: 600] Let Phoebus Laurel bloody Triumphs lead The Myrtle those where little blood is shed, 219 Th'Ovation of a bleeding Maiden-head. No Virgin Fort impregnable can be To him that Crowns his Brow with Venus Tree.
The tribe of Pears and Apples next succeed, [image][image] Of noble Families, and num'rous breed; No Monarch's Table e'r despises them, Nor they the poor Man's board or earthen dish contemn. Supports of Life, as well as Luxury, | 600 Nor like their Rivals a few Months supply, But see themselves succeeded ere they die. Where Phoebus shines too faint to raise the Vine, They serve for Grapes, and make the Northern Wine. Their Liquor for th'effects deserves that name, Love, Valour, Wit and Mirth it can enflame, Care it can drown, lost Health, lost Wealth restore, And Bacchus potent Juice can do no more. With Cyder stor'd the Norman Province sees 220 [Latin: 620] Without regret the neighb'ring Vintages, Of Pear and Apple-kinds an Army stood, Before the Court, and seem'd a moving Wood; On them Pomona smil'd as they went off, But flouting Bacchus was observ'd to scoff.
The Quince yet scorn'd to mingle with the crowd, [image] Alone she came, of signal Honours proud, With which by grateful Jove she was endow'd. A silky Down her golden Coat o'r-spreads, Her ripening Fruit a grateful Odour sheds; Jove otherwise ingrateful had been stil'd, 620 In Honey steep'd she fed him when a Child, In his most froward Fits she stopt his cries; And now he eats Ambrosia in the Skies, Reflects sometimes upon his Infant Years, And just Respect to Quince and Honey bears.
The nobles of Wine-Fruits brought up the Rear, But all to reckon, endless wou'd appear, The Barberry and Currant must escape, Though her small Clusters imitate the Grape. [Latin: 640] The Raspberry, and prickled Goosberry, Tree-Strawberry, must all unmention'd be, With many more whose names we may decline; Not so the Mulberry, the Fig and Vine, The stoutest Warriours in our Combat past, And of the present Field the greatest hope and last.
But cautiously the Mulberry did move, And first the temper of the Skies wou'd prove, [image] What sign the Sun was in, and if she might Give credit yet to Winter's seeming flight. She dares not venture on his first retreat, 640 Nor trust her Leaves and Fruit to doubtful Heat: Her ready Sap within her Bark confines, Till she of settled warmth has certain signs. But for her long delay amends does make At once her Forces the known signal take, And with tumultuous Noise their Sally make. In two short Months her purple Fruit appears, [Latin: 660] And of two Lovers slain she tincture wears. 221[image] Her Fruit is rich, but Leaves she does produce, That far surpass in worth and noble Use; The frame and colour of her Leaves survey, And that they are most vulgar you must say, But trust not their appearance, they supply The Ornaments of Royal Luxury. The Beautiful they make more beauteous seem, The Charming Sex owes half their Charms to them. Effeminate Men to them their Vestments owe, How vain that pride which insect-worms bestow!
Such was the Mulberry of wondrous Birth, The Fig succeeds; but to recite her worth, 660 [image] And various Powers, what numbers can suffice? Hail, Ceres, author of so great a Prize. By thee with Food and Laws we were supply'd, And with wild Fare wild Manners laid aside. With Peace and Bread our Lives were blest before, And modest Nature cou'd desire no more; [Latin: 680] But thou ev'n for our Luxury took care, And kindly didst this milky Fruit prepare. The poor Man's Feast, but such delicious Cheer Did never at Apicius Board appear; The grateful Ceres with this Plant is said Her hospitable Host to have repaid; 222 Yet with no vernal Bloom the Tree supply'd; To lighter Plants, said she, I leave that Pride; To lighter Plants I leave that gaudy Dress, Who meretricious qualities confess, And who like wanton Prostitutes expose Their Bloom to ev'ry Hand, their Sweets to ev'ry Nose. My Fruit, like a chast Matron does proceed, And has of painted Ornament no need, 680 They study Dress, but mine Fertililty; Forcing her Off-spring from her solid Tree. Through haste sometimes abortive Births she bears, But ever makes amends in those she rears. For whom her full-charg'd Veins supplies afford, Like a strong Nurse with Milk she's ever stor'd. [Latin: 700]
Our Voice by thee refresh'd, ingrateful 'twere If, Fig-Tree, thy just praise it shou'd forbear; The Passes of our vital Breath by thee Are smooth'd and clear'd, obstructed Lungs set free. Nor only dost to Speech a Friend appear, Ev'n for that Speech thou dost unlock the Ear, Set'st ope the gate, and giv'st it entrance there. The foulest Ulcers putrid sinks are drein'd By thee, by thee the Tumour's Rage restrain'd; The Gangrene, Ring-Worm, Scurf and Leprosie; Kings evil, Cancers, Warts are cur'd by thee: Of flaming Gout thou dost suppress the Rage, Of Dropsie thou the deluge dost asswage. 'Twere endless all thy Vertues to recite, | 700 With all the Hosts of Poysons thou dost fight, Aided by Rue and Nut put'st Africa to flight. Encounter'st the Diseases of the Air, And baneful Mischiefs secret Stars prepare; Whence does this Vegetative Courage rise? [Latin: 720] Even angry Jove himself thou dost despise, His Lightning's furious Sallies thou dost see, That spares not his own Consecrated Tree, While he with Temples does wild havock make, While Mountains rend, and Earths foundations quake, Of thy undaunted Tree no Leaf is seen to shake.
Hail, Bacchus! hail, thou powerful God of Wine, Hail Bacchus, hail! here comes thy darling Vine, [image][image] Drunk with her own rich Juice, she cannot stand, But comes supported by her Husbands hand, The lusty Elm supports her stagg'ring Tree; My best lov'd Plant, how am I charm'd with thee? Bow down thy juicy Clusters to my Lip, Thy Nectar sweets I wou'd not lightly sip, [image] But drink thee deep, drink till my Veins were swell'd, 720 Drink till my Soul with Joys and thee were fill'd. What God so far a Poets friend will be, Who from great Orpheus draws his Pedigree? [image][image][image] (And tho his Muse comes short of Orpheus fame, Yet seems inspir'd, and may the Ivy claim) [image][image] [Latin: 740] To place him on Mount Ismarus, or where Campanian Hills the sweetest Clusters bear, Where Grapes, twice ripen'd, twice concocted grow, With Phoebus beams above, Vesuvius flames below. Or in the fortunate Canarian Isles, Or where Burgundia's purple Vintage smiles. 'Tis fit the Poet should beneath their shade Transported lye, or on their Hills run mad, His Veins, his Soul swell'd with th'Inspiring God, Who worthily would celebrate the Vine, And with his grateful voice discharge agen The Deity, which with his Mouth he drank so largely in. O vital Tree, what blessings dost thou send? Love, Wit and Eloquence on thee attend, Mirth, Sports, green Hopes, ripe Joys, and Martial Fire. 740 These are thy Fruits, thy Clusters these inspire; The various Poysons which ill Fortune breeds (Not Pontus so abounds with baneful weeds, Nor Africa so many Serpents feeds) [Latin: 760] By thy rich Antidote defeated are, 'Tis true, they'll rally and renew the War, But 'tis when thou our Cordial art not by, They watch their time and take us when w' are Dry. Thou mak'st the Captive to forget his chain, By thee the Bankrupt is enrich'd again, The Exul thou restor'st, the Candidate 223 Without the People's Vote thou dost create, And mak'st him a Caninian Magistrate. Like kind Vespasian thou Mankind mak'st glad, None from thy presence e'r departed sad. What more can be to Wisdom's School assign'd, Than from prevailing Mists to purge the Mind? From thee the best Philosophy does spring, Thou canst exalt the Beggar to a King; Th'unletter'd Peasant who can compass thee, 760 As much as Cato knows, and is as great as he. Thy Transports are but short, I do confess, But so are the Delights Mankind possess. [image] Our Life it self is short, and will not stay, [Latin: 780] Then let us use thy Blessing while we may, And make it in full streams of Wine more smoothly pass away. [image]
The Vine retires; with loud and just Applause Of European Gods; As she withdraws Each in his Hand a swelling Cluster prest; But Bacchus much more sportive than the rest, Fills up a Bowl with Juice from Grape-stones drein'd, And puts it in Omelochilus hand: Take off this Draught, said he, if thou art wise, 'Twill purge thy Cannibal Stomach's Crudities. [image]
He, unaccustom'd to the acid Juice Storm'd, and with blows had answer'd the Abuse, But fear'd t'engage the European Guest, Whose Strength and Courage had subdu'd the East; He therefore chooses a less dang'rous fray, And summons all his Country's Plants away: 780 Forthwith in decent Order they appear, And various Fruits on various Branches wear; Like Amazons they stand in painted Arms, [image] Coca alone appear'd with little Charms, Yet lead the Van, our scoffing Venus scorn'd The shrub-like Tree, and with no Fruit adorn'd. The Indian Plants, said she, are like to speed [Latin: 800] In this Dispute of the most fertil Breed, Who choose a Dwarf and Eunuch for their Head. [image] Our Gods laugh'd out aloud at what she said. Pachamama defends her darling Tree, And said the wanton Goddess was too free, You only know the fruitfulness of Lust, And therefore here your Judgment is unjust, Your skill in other off-springs we may trust. With those Chast Tribes that no distinction know Of Sex, your Province nothing has to do. Of all the Plants that any Soil does bear, This Tree in Fruits the richest does appear, It bears the best, and bears 'em all the year. 800 Ev'n now with Fruit 'tis stor'd -- why laugh you yet? Behold how thick with Leaves it is beset, Each Leaf is Fruit, and such substantial Fare No Fruit beside to Rival it will dare. Mov'd with his Countries coming Fate, (whose Soil Must for her Treasures be expos'd to spoil) Our Viracocha first this Coca sent, Endow'd with Leaves of wondrous Nourishment, Whose Juice suck'd in, and to the Stomach ta'n Long Hunger and long Labour can sustain; [Latin: 820] From which our faint and weary Bodies find More Succour, more they chear the drooping Mind, Than can your Bacchus and your Ceres join'd. Three Leaves supply for six days march afford, The Quitoita with this Provision stor'd, Can pass the vast and cloudy Andes o'r, The dreadful Andes plac'd 'twixt Winters store Of Winds, Rains, Snow, and that more humble Earth, That gives the small but valiant Coca Birth; This Champion that makes war-like Venus Mirth. | 820 Nor Coca only useful art at home, A famous Merchandize thou art become; A thousand Paci and Vicugni groan, Yearly beneath thy Loads, and for thy sake alone The spacious World's to us by Commerce known. Thus spake the Goddess, (on her painted Skin Were figures wrought) and next calls Hovia in. That for its stony Fruit may be despis'd, But for its Vertue next to Coca priz'd. Her shade by wondrous Influence can compose, [image] And lock the Senses in such sweet Repose, [Latin: 840] That oft the Natives of a distant Soil Long Journeys take of voluntary Toil, Only to sleep beneath her Branches shade: Where in transporting Dreams, entranc'd they lye, And quite forget the Spaniards Tyranny.
The Plant (at Brasil Bacoua call'd) the name [image] Of th'Eastern Plane-Tree takes, but not the same: Bears Leaves so large, one single Leaf can shade The Swain that is beneath her Covert laid; 840 Under whose verdant Leaves fair Apples grow, Sometimes two hundred on a single Bough; Th'are gather'd all the year, and all the year They spring, for like the Hydra they appear, To ev'ry one you take succeeds a Golden Heir. 'Twere loss of time to gather one by one, Its Boughs are torn, and yet no harm is done; New-sprouting Branches still the loss repair, What would so soon return 'twere vain to spare.
The Indian Fig-Tree next did much surprise [Latin: 860] With her strange figure all our Deities. Amongst whom, one, too rashly did exclaim (For Gods to be deceiv'd 'tis woful shame) This is a Cheat, a work of Art, said he, And therefore stretcht his hand to touch the Tree; [image][image] At which the Indian Gods laugh'd out aloud, And ours, no less surpriz'd with wonder stood. For lo! the Plant her Trunk and Boughs unclos'd, Wholly of Fruit and Leaves appear'd compos'd; New Leaves, and still from them new Leaves unfold, 860 A sight 'mongst Prodigies to be enroll'd.
The Tuna to the Indian Fig a kin [image] (The Glory of Tlascalla) next came in; But much more wonderful her Fruit appears, Than th'other's Leaves, for living Fruit she bears. To her alone great Varicocha gave The Priviledge, that she for Fruit should have Live Creatures, that with purple Dye adorn Th'Imperial Robe; the precious Tincture's worn With pride ev'n by the Conqu'rors of the Soil, But ah! we had not grudg'd that Purple spoil, Our Cochinel they freely might have gain'd, If with no other Blood they had been stain'd.
Guatimala produc'd a Fruit unknown To Europe, which with pride she call'd her own; Her Cacao-Nut with double Use endu'd, (For Chocolate at once is Drink and Food) [Latin: 880] Does strength and vigour to the Limbs impart, Makes fresh the Countenance and chears the Heart. In Venus Combat strangely does excite 880 The fainting Warriour to renew the fight; Not all Potosi's silver Grove can be Of equal value to this useful Tree. Nor cou'd the wretched hungry owner dine, Rich Cartama, upon thy Golden Mine. Of old the wiser Indians never made Their Gold or Silver the support of Trade, Nor us'd for Life's support what well they knew Useless to Life, at best, and sometimes hurtful too. With Nuts instead of Coin they bought and sold, Their Wealth by Cacao's, not by Sums, they told. One Tree, the growing Treasure of the Field, Both Food and Cloths did to its owner yield; [Latin: 900] Procur'd all Utensils, and wanting Bread, The happy Hoarder on his Money fed. This was true Wealth, those Treasures we adore By Custom valu'd, in themselves are poor, And Men may starve amidst their Golden store. Too happy India had this Wealth alone, And not thy Gold been to the Spaniard known. 900
The Aguacat no less is Venus Friend (To th'Indies Venus Conquest does extend) A fragrant Leaf the Aguacata bears, Her Fruit in fashion of an Egg appears; With such a white and spermy Juice it swells, As represents moist Life's first Principles.
The Cacao's owner any thing may buy, But he that has the Metla, may supply Himself with almost all things he can want; From Metla's almost all sufficient Plant; Metla to pass as Money does despise, Or Traffick serve, it self is Merchandise. She bears no Nuts for Boys, nor luscious Fruit, That may with nice Effeminate Palates suit. Her very Tree is fruit; her Leaves when young, Are wholesom Food, for Garments serve when strong; [Latin: 920] Not only so, but to make up the Cloth 224 They furnish you with Thread and Needle both. What though her native Soil with drought is curst, Cut but her Back, and you may slake your thirst, 920 A sudden Spring will in the Wound appear, Which through streight passes strein'd comes forth more clear; And though through long Meanders of the Veins 'Tis carry'd, yet no vicious hue retains, Limpid and sweet the Virgin-stream remains. These Gifts for Nature might sufficient be, But bounteous Metla seem'd too small for thee; Thou gratifi'st our very Luxury.
For liqu'rish Palates Honey thou dost bear, For those whose Gust wants quickning, Vinegar. But these are trifles, thou dost Wine impart, That drives dull care and trouble from the Heart. If any wretch of Poverty complains, Thou pour'st a golden Stream into his Veins. The poorest Indian still is rich in thee,
In spight of Spanish Conquests still is free, The Spaniard's King is not so blest as he. If any doubts the Liquor to be Wine, Because no Cristal Water looks more fine, Let him but drink he'll find the weak Nymph fled, 940 [Latin: 940] And potent Bacchus enter'd in her stead. To all these Gifts of Luxury and Wealth, Thou giv'st us sov'reign Med'cines too for Health: Choice Balm from thy concocted Bark breaks forth, Thou shedst no Tear, but 'tis of greater worth Than fairest Gems, no Lover more can prize The tears in his consenting Mistris Eyes, When in his Arms the panting Virgin lies: No Antidote affords more present aid 'Gainst doubly mortal wounds by pois'nous Arrows made.
Almost all Needs thou Metla dost supply, Yet must not therefore bear thy self too high; While th'all-sufficient Coccus Tree is by. To Coccus thou must yield the Victory. Where she preserves this Indian Palm alone, America can never be undone, Embowell'd and of all her Gold bereft, Her liberty and Coccus only left,
She's richer than the Spaniard with his theft. What sensless Miser by the Gods abhorr'd, 960 Wou'd covet more than Coccus doth afford? House, Garments, Beds and Boards, ev'n while we dine, [Latin: 960] Supplies both Meat and Dish, both Cup and Wine. Oyl, Honey, Milk, the Stomach to delight, And poignant Sawce to whet the Appetite. Nor is her service to the Land confin'd For Ships intire compos'd of her we find, Sails, Tackle, Timber, Cables, Ribs and Mast, Wherewith the Vessel fitted up, at last With her own Ware is freighted, all she bears Is Coccus growth, except her Mariners; Nor need we ev'n her Mariners exclude Who from the Coco-Nut have all their food.
The Indian Gods with wild and barb'rous voice And Gestures rude, tumultuously rejoice; Ours as astonish'd and with envious Eyes Each other view'd, if as weak Men surmise, Envy can touch immortal Deities.
My modest Muse that Censure does decline, 980 Nor dares interpret ill of Pow'rs Divine. The Indian Pow'rs (though yet they had not shown The hundredth part of Plants to India known) Already did conclude the Day their own. Rash and impatient round the Goddess throng, And think her Verdict is deferr'd too long. [Latin: 980]
Pomona seated high above the rest, Was cautiously revolving in her Breast, (The cause depending was no trifling toy, That did the Patrons of both Worlds employ) T'express her self at large she did design, And handsomly the Sentence to decline; (If I may guess at what the Goddess meant) But lo! a slight and sudden Accident Puts all the Court into a wild Ferment. For, during th'tryal, the most tipling Brace, Omelochilus of the Indian Race, And our Lenæus, at whate'r was spoke 225 Or done that pleas'd him, a full Bumper took And drank to t'other, him the Metla-Tree 1000 Supply'd with juice, thy Vine, Lenæus thee. Each Bowl they touch'd, they turn'd the Bottom up, And gave a brisk Huzza at ev'ry Cup. Their Heads at last the rising vapour gains And proves too hard for their immortal Brains. With mutual Repartees they jok'd at first, Till growing more incens'd they swore and curst; Omelochilus does no longer dread [Latin: 1000] (With present Metla warm'd) the Grecian God, But throws a Coco Bowl at Bachus Head. Which spoil'd his Draught; but left his forehead sound, And rests betwixt his Horns without a wound.
Bacchus enrag'd with Wine and passion too, With all his might his massy Goblet threw, Directly levell'd at the Rustick's Face, That laid him bruis'd and sprawling on the place: He in his native Gibb'rish cries aloud, And with his Noise alarms the savage Crowd; [image][image] Gnashing their foamy Teeth, like Beasts of prey, Promiscuously they bellow, roar and bray; 1020 The frighted Waves back to the Deep rebound, The very Island trembles with the sound.
Next him Vitziliputli sat, in smoak Of foul Tobacco almost hid, that broke In Belches from his gormandizing Maw, Where humane flesh as yet lay crude and raw, [image] Throwing in rage his kindled Pipe aside [image] And snatching Bow and Darts, Arm, Arm, he cry'd. [Latin: 1020] Tescalipuca (of the salvage Band the next in fierceness) took his Spear in hand, And all in Arms the barb'rous Legion stand. The Goddesses disperse, and sculk behind The Thickets, frighted Venus bore in mind Her former Wound, th'effect of mortal Rage, What must she then expect where Gods engage? Pallas, who onely courage had to stay, In vain her peaceful Olive did display: Th'He gods with manly weapons in their Hand Devoted to the dire Encounter stand; Most woful some had that days Battel found, 1040 And long been maim'd with many an aking wound, (For to suppose th'Immortals can be slain Though with Immortals they engage, is vain) Had not Apollo in the nick of time Found out a Strat'gem to divert that Crime; Which with his double Title did agree The God of Wit and healing Deity; None better knew than he to use the Bow, But now resolv'd his nobler Skill to show Sweet Musicks Powr; he takes his Lyre in hand, And does forthwith such charming sounds command, [Latin: 1040] As struck the Ear of Gods with new delight, When Nature did this world's great frame unite: When jarring Elements their War did cease, And danc'd themselves into harmonious Peace. Such streins had surely charm'd the Centaur's Rage, [image] Such streins the raving Billows cou'd asswage; Wild Hurricanes had due obedience shown, And to attend his sounds supprest their own. The wrangling Guests at once appear bereft, 1060 [image] Of ev'ry Sense, their Hearing onely left.
Vitziliputli, fiercest of the Crew, While to the Head his venom'd Shaft he drew, Lets fall both Dart and Bow; with lifted Hands Astonish'd, and with Mouth wide gaping stands, So high to raise his greedy Ears he's said, As forc'd his feather'd Di'dem from his Head. Pomona's Altar hew'd from solid Rock In both his Hands bold Varicoca took; which like a Thunder bolt he wou'd have hurld, (He is the Thund'rer in the Indian world) But at the first sweet strain forgot his heat, [Latin: 1060] Laid down the stone, and us'd it for a Seat; [image] His ravish'd Ears the peaceful sounds devour, His hundred Victims never pleas'd him more. Their Magick force in spight of his disgrace And gore yet streaming from his batter'd Face, Omelochilus self did reconcile; At first, 'tis true, he did but faintly smile, But laugh'd anon as loud as any there; 1080 For such the sacred Charms of Measures are; The ambient Air struck with the healing sounds Of Phoebus Lyre, clos'd up the bleeding wounds. Ev'n of their own accord the Breaches close, For pow'rful Musick all things can compose. Pleas'd with his Art's success, Apollo smil'd To see the aukward Mirth and Gestures wild Of his charm'd Audience; having thus subdu'd Their ravish'd sense, his Conquest he pursu'd, And still to make the pleasing Spell more strong, Joins to his Lyre his tuneful Voice and Song. He sung, how th'inspir'd Hero's mind beheld A World that for long Ages lay conceal'd.
Most happy thou whose Fancy cou'd descry [Latin: 1080] A World seen onely by my circling Eye. 226 Thou who alone in Toils hast equal'd me, Great Alexander is out-done by thee; By thee whose Skill cou'd find and courage gain That other world for which he wish'd in vain. Not my own Poets Tales cou'd thee deceive, 1100 No credit to their fables thou didst give, Me, weary'd with my Day's hard course, they feign To rest each Night in the Hesperian Main, Can Phoebus tire My great Columbus thou Didst better judg, and Phoebus better know. For I my self did then thy thoughts incline, Inspir'd thy Skill, and urg'd the bold Design. Herculean Limits cou'd not thee contain Nor terrour of an unexperienc'd Main; Nor Nature's awful Darkness cou'd restrain. Thy Native worlds dear sight for three Months lost, For three long Months on the wide Ocean tost, New Stars, new Floods, and Monsters thou didst spy Unterrify'd thy self, new Gods didst terrifie: Thou only thou undaunted didst appear, While thy faint Comrades half expir'd with fear; They urge thee to return and threaten high, When, Guanahan, thy Watch-light they descry, Thy flaming Beacon from afar they spy: Whose happy Light to their transported Eyes 1120 Discloses a new World; with joyful cries [Latin: 1100] [image] They hail the sign that to a golden Soil Unlock'd the Gate; forgetting now their Toil, They hug their Guide at whom they late repin'd; From this small Fire, and for small use design'd, How great a Light was open'd to Mankind! How easily did Courage find the way By this Approach to seize the golden Prey, That in a secret World's dark Entrails lay! For Courage what attempt can be too bold? Or rather what for thirst of Pow'r and Gold? While to the shoar the Spanish Navy drew, The Indian Natives with amazement view Those floating Palaces, which fondly they Mistook for living Monsters of the Sea; Wing'd Whales -- nor at the Spaniards less admire, A Race of Men with Beards and strange Attire, Whose Iron-dress their native Skin they deem'd: the Horse-man mounted on his Courser seem'd To them a Centaur of prodigious kind; 1140 A compound Monster of two Bodies join'd: That cou'd at once in sev'ral accents break, Neigh with one Mouth, and with the other speak. But most the roaring Cannon they admire, Discharging sulph'rous Clouds of Smoak and Fire; Mock-Thunder now they hear, mock-Lightning view, With greater Dread than e'r they did the true. Ev'n thou the Thunderer of the Indian Sky (Nor wilt thou Varicocha this deny) [Latin: 1120] Ev'n thou thy self astonish'd didst apear When Mortals louder Thunder thou didst hear.
Strange Figures, and th'unwonted Face of things No less amazement to the Spaniard brings, New Forms of Animals their sight surprise, New Plants, new Fruits, new Men and Deities, Intirely a new Nature meets their Eyes. But most transported with the glitt'ring Mould, And wealthy Streams whose Sands were fraught with Gold, | These they too much admire with too much love behold. For these forthwith against their Hosts engage 1160 The treach'rous Guests in impious War and Rage; From these, inhumane slaughter did ensue Which now I grieve to tell, as then I blush'd to view. By sudden force, like some demolish'd Town, I saw the Indian world at once o'rthrown. [image][image] What can this Land by this Dispute intend? About her Fruits she does in vain contend, Who knows not how her Entrails to defend.
Thy Slaughters past, do thou at length forget: For with no small Revenge thy wrongs have met, And Heav'n will give thee greater Comforts yet. Enjoy thy fate whose bitter Part is o'r [Latin: 1140] And all the sweet for thee reserv'd in store.
Here Phoebus his most chearful Airs employs And melts their savage Hearts in promis'd Joys. They felt his Musick glide through ev'ry vein, Their heavy Limbs from Dancing scarce refrain, [image] But fear'd to interrupt his charming strain.
That Gold which Europe ravish'd from your Coast O'r Europe now a Tyrants pow'r does boast. 1180 Already has more Mischiefs brought on Spain Than from insulting Spaniards you sustain. Where e'r it comes all Laws are straight dissolv'd, In gen'ral Ruin all things are involv'd: No Land can breed a more destructive Pest Grieve not that of your Bane y' are dispossest, Call in more Spaniards to remove the rest. The fatal Helen drive from your Aboads, Th'Erinnys that has set both worlds at odds. Fire, Sword and slaughter on her footsteps wait; Whole Empires she betrays to utmost Fate. [Latin: 1160]
Mean while these benefits of Life you reap Consider, and you'll find th'exchange was cheap. Your former salvage Customs are remov'd, The Manners of your Men and Gods improv'd: With humane flesh no more they shall be fed; Whether dire Famine first that practice bred, Or more detested Luxury -- Nor long shalt thou Vitziliputli feed On bloudy feasts, or smoak thy Indian weed; 1200 Er long (like Us) with pure Ambrosial Fare Thou shalt be pleas'd, and tast Celestial Air.
To live by wholesom Laws you now begin, Buildings to raise and fence your Cities in, To plow the Earth, to plow the very Main, And Traffick with the Universe maintain; Defensive Arms and Ornaments of Dress, All Implements of Life you now possess. To you the Arts of War and Peace are known, And whole Minerva is become your own. Our Muses to your Sires an unknown Band, Already have got footing in your Land, And like the Soil -- Inca's already have Historians been, [Latin: 1180] And Inca-Poets shall ere long be seen. [image] But (if I fail not in my Augury And who can better judg events than I?) Long rowling years shall late bring on the times, When with your Gold debauch'd and ripen'd Crimes, Europe (the world's most noble Part) shall fall, 1220 Upon her banish'd Gods and Virtue call In vain; while forein and domestick War At once shall her distracted Bosom tear; Forlorn, and to be pity'd ev'n by you. -- - [image] Mean while your rising Glory you shall view; Wit, Learning, Virtue, Discipline of War Shall for protection to your world repair, And fix a long illustrious Empire there. Your native Gold (I would not have it so But fear th'Event) in time will follow too: O, should that fatal Prize return once more, 'Twill hurt your Countrey as it did before.
Late Destiny shall high exalt your Reign Whose Pomp no Crowds of Slaves, a needless Train, Nor Gold (the Rabble's Idol) shall support Like Motezume's, or Guanapati's Court, But such true Grandeur as old Rome maintain'd, Where Fortune was a Slave and Virtue Reign'd. [Latin: 1200] [image][image]