1736 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Aaron Hill

J. F., L. M. &c, "Of the Praise of Tobacco; or The Smoker's Epitome. Mr. A. H.'s Style imitated" Grub-Street Journal (23 September 1736).



He who would think must smoak: — For Smoakers find
An art, by smoaking, to improve the mind:
With your TOBACCO weigh these maxims right;
Steering thy match to the befriending light:
On the rais'd lip, oft mov'd, oblique strait
Let the glaz'd tube recline, with easy state—
Pointedly look: — Fix your attention high,
Whiff meeting still with whiff, and eye with eye:
Thus catch sage dictates others may impart,
And feel warm SENSE, strong-glowing at thy heart:
Think, while you draw with breezy balms your breath
Think — not those breezy balms can save from death.
But if, o'ertrampling gravity's controul,
The quaint CONUNDRUM reach thy depth of soul:
Spread be your opening smiles, and chang'd your face
Pausingly wise, (significantly) think.
And when you've caught the jest, — laugh out, — and drink.
—Ne'er hold thy tube in vain; — BE what you SEEM.
Fill first your pipe with all your pipe can stream.
—Smoaking, be smoak'd, — Flash from thy mouth away
The fume, persuasive up the nice-bor'd clay:
Strong, yet distinguish'd, let thy breathings flow,
Not straining, quick: not indolently, slow:
Nor for example take, the bad Bards SEEMING,
Who without fire puffs on, to gain esteeming.

O modern Poets! whom NO Muse inspires,
In vain you fill your tubes or string your lyres,
Unless to both ye add enlivening FIRES!
Behold the Muse that H— has deign'd t' invoke!
Her flamings, like his pipe's, fly up in smoak:
By this blest weed to inspiration wrought,
He paints his soul, and limns his living thought:
This, beyond Egypts GUMS emblams his mind,
While he mysterious sings in cloudings shrin'd:
On rising steams his TASTE, his WIT take wing,
His fancy in each spiry gale attends,
And his shot SOUL at ev'ry PUFF ascends.
Dick's, Temple-bar.

* See His Actors Epitome and the Dedication to Zara.