The Stuffed Owl

The Gastric Muse

        There are, whose blood
Impetuous rages through the turgid veins,
Who better bear the fiery fruits of Ind
Than the moist melon, or pale cucumber.
Of chilly nature others fly the board
Supplied with slaughter, and the vernal powers
For cooler, kinder, sustenance implore.
Some even the generous nutriment detest
Which, in the shell, the sleeping embryo rears.
Some, more unhappy still, repent the gifts
Of Pales; soft, delicious and benign:…
The fostering dew of tender sprouting life;
The best reflection of declining age….

The stomach, urged beyond its active tone,
Hardly to nutrimental chyle subdues
The softest food: unfinished and depraved,
The chyle, in all its future wand’rings, owns
Its turbid fountain; not by purer streams
So to be cleared, but foulness will remain.