Dr Triller`s Rules of Health. This reputable author flourished towards the close of the 17th century, and published a highly esteemed series of Epic poems, entitled, The Abduction of a Saxon Prince.
RULES OF HEALTH.
There is a charm in health and length of days,
Which all men covet, and which most might gain;
And I shall now attempt, in humble lays,
To tell how I my aged-life did gain.
However man the debt of nature pays.
He may,at least,longevity obtain;
Learn how I lived, and note what I advise,
As proper means to win so rich and rare a prize.
Tis to divine beneficence we owe
Not only life, but that great blessing—health;
Yet,man must ever carefully bestow
Attention on himself, to aid the wealth
Which nature has bestowed, as though.
Without our will, she would do good by stealth;
Nor should we treat her rudely,lest we feel
That nerves and muscles are not made of stone nor steeL
This lesson have I learned in nature's school —
To act as she dictates, A calm, contented mind
I sought;took food and exercise by rule;
And hence, was able year to year to bind.
Our delicate construction, man's misrule
Too oft destroys body,and,with it,mind.
It was not by the aid of drug,nor herb,nor charm,
I reached old-age, and kept life free from harm.
The curing virtues which in med'cines dwell,
Should in disease alone be in request;
If you resort to them when you are well,
You may expect them to disturb your rest.
Besides,you rob them of their power disease to quell,
If in your service they are idly pressed;
They who would not medicaments forestall,
Should take in health no medicines at all.
By tinctures,powders,mixtures,draughts, and pills,
A hale man always undermines his strength;
Lays the foundation for a host of ills,
Which take away from life degrees of length:
Medicine not needed, many a person kills,
Which, kept till wanted, might give health and strength;
He who a sink-hole of his body makes,
Decided steps for its destruction takes,
Those are mistaken who in every Spring
And Autumn fancy that they physic need;
Nature relieves herself:both man and thing
Are subject to her laws; to purge and bleed
For custom's sake, what is it but to fling
Health, strength, and life away? Blockhead indeed
Is he,who swallows med'cines he does not require ;
Long ere his time, shall such a dunce expire.
He who would spend an aged life in ease,
Must, in his habits, keep within due measure;
In labor,food,and sleep,the medium seize,
in wine and women take not too much pleasure.
Such was the counsel of Hippocrates,
Who thought good health was an important treasure:
And,at the age of six score years, expired,
Loved, honored, reverenced, and much admired.
Night into day let no man think of turning,
Nor sleep by day to wake up when tis night;
A brain confused, or with strong potions burning,
Cannot conceive of men or things aright:
Let me remark,such feasting folks concerning,
They are not wise; but act as if in spite
Of sense and reason;for,surely,every one
Requires some rest after hard labor done.
Why should we,glutton like,our bodies feed
As if we wished grim Death to cast his dart?
Why should we hasten to the grave with speed,
As if from all our friends we longed to part?
Of temperance every man on earth has need.
To save him from affliction's direful smart;
Then why use food as if it held the germs
Which make ourselves rich nourishment for worms?
Suppose that we should wish our lamp to burn,
We trim it,nicely, with sufficient oil;
But,if we overcharge the feeding urn,
Of course,the brilliancy of light we spoil,
Or,put it wholly out:hence, we may learn,
Without much labor or fatiguing toil.
If man his " feeding urn " ( his body ) surfen,
The darkness of the grave must prove the forfeit.
A little generous wine makes glad the heart;
Unbends the mind o'er which dull sorrow reigns:
Lightens sad melancholy of its smart,
And makes infirmity forget its pains;
Invigorates the blood; performs its part
In quickening circulation through the veins;
It prompts digestion, and the stomach braces,
Languor dispels, depression, too, displaces.
If you a recipe for Death require —
Drink, when o'ertieated, ice-cold water;
The effect of which, when freely you perspire.
Is,to produce of health a complete slaughter:
Should this not fully act to your desire,
It will to comfort leave but little quarter;
And a consuming, slow, yet sure decay,
Will take, midst sufferings, life, at length, away.
But above all things, let us never fail
To seek the freshest and the purest air;
The richest blessing in the world's vast pale,
Either for peasants, courtiers, or the fair;
Without it, all creation would grow stale,
And Death usurp dominion everywhere;
All animated nature through its aid
Is vivified, and from destruction stayed:
Tis the balsamic stay of human life,
Increasing strength, and general health bestowing;
All those who slight it, set themselves at strife
With the Creator's aim, with good o'erflowing:
Enjoy the bracing air when Spring is rife
With balmy odors gentle zephyr's blowing;
They are rich stores of nature's vital wealth,
Producing length of days and perfect health.
Therefore I say to those who age admire,
In the free air gaily yourselves disport;
And of its virtues full supply acquire,
By vigorous exercise and merry sport;
So may each one most healthfully respire,
And strengthen every outwork of life's fort;
By air and exercise the body thrives,
And men of sense thus lengthen out their lives.
But, while I thus commend the bracing air,
I must enjoin, in terms not less emphatic,
That you avoid all drafts; for they prepare
The way, and bring on pains rheumatic,
Which to remove may baffle all your care,
And leave, for years, those twinges so erratic:
Air is of use, but drafts are dangerous things
And spare not peasants, merchants, bankers, kings,
Also avoid, as you would shun the pest,
Air that is foul, no matter how created;
In crowded rooms be not a frequent guest,
Nor sit for hoars with wine or grog elated;
Foul-air and drinking will disturb your rest.
And bring on pains not easily abated ;
And should you feel such fumes affect your brain,
Rush to fresh-air to make you well again.
Cleanliness is next to Godliness, says Paul;
And common-sense corroborates his saying;
Some wash but seldom, others not all —
Yet, washing is as needful, oft, as praying:
If once you into filthy habits fall,
You are from prudence and religion straying;
Keep pure your body by such free ablutions
As may preserve you from unclean pollutions.
"Neglect not bathing, as too many do,
For, thereby, you may ward off many an ill;
Sometimes a warm-bath may your strength renew;
But, of the cold, be sure to take your fill.
The Easterns, old and young, this course pursue,
Nor shun the water though it should be chill ;
"Hence, such diseases as fell gout and stone,
To Indians and to Persians are scarce known.
Clean linen as a comfort we esteem,
And frequent changes of our underdress ;
These as essential to our health, I deem,
And therefore urge them on you with some stress-
'Tis of importance, trifling though it seem.
What I would now upon your minds impress —
Forget not that whene'er you are attiring.
Not to put on cold garments, while perspiring.
Do not neglect the sea, nor flowing river.
But, in due season, go to beach or brink;
Yet, do not stand undressed, to shake and shiver,
Nor from the healthy plunge affrighted shrink;
Lave well your limbs, e'en though muscles quiver.
And learn to swim, nor be afraid to sink;
Swimming invigorates all the limbs and breast.
Makes the day cheerful, and at night brings rest.
But, above all, let Diet have your care,
For, therein healthy action most depends
Of after-efforts you may well despair
For past imprudences to make amends:
To this point, therefore, I again repair,
As frequent repetition sometimes tends
To impress a truth more strongly on the mind,
And its observance to our practice bind.
A few words more, and then, I shall have done —
Let man consider well our nature's laws;
In every mortal underneath the sun,
Effects are consequent upon some cause;
Body and mind united are in one,
And each affects the other; therefore, pause
Before intemperance blasts the body's healty
And robs the mind of intellectual wealth.
All who these Rules will wisely lay to heart,
May hope to reach a venerable age,
Nor wish to stay, nor fear hence to depart;
For what is Death hut freedom to the sage?
Death has no terrors that can make them start;
And when they quit, at length, this mortal stage,
Pleased with the life of prudence that is past,
In hope they quietly shall breathe their last !