The Ladies Delight

- By Anonymous
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THE Natural H I S T O R Y OF THE T r e e of L I F E.
THE Tree of which I fain would sing, If the kind Muse her Aid would bring, Is Arbor Vitæ; but in brief, By vulgar Men call'd-Tree of Life.
First for Description then, 'tis such As needs must captivate you much. In Stem most streight, of lovely Size, With Head elate this Plant doth rise; First bare-when it doth further shoot, A Tuft of Moss keeps warm the Root: No Lapland Muff has such a Fur, No Skin so soft has any Cur; This touch'd, alone the Heart can move, Which Ladies more than Lap-dogs love; From this erect springs up the Stalk, No Power can stop, or ought can baulk;
On Top an Apex crowns the Tree, As all Mankind may plainly see; So shines a Filbeard, when the Shell, Half gone, displays the ruby Peel Or like a Cherry bright and gay, Just red'ning in the Month of May. As other Trees bear Fruit at Top, And they who rob 'em must climb up;
This still more rare doth upward shoot, But at the Bottom bears its Fruit, And they who'd reap its Virtues strong, Need but to lay 'em all along, Ope' wide, their Mouths, and they'll receive The Fruit of Life, and eat, and live:
Not the fair Tree that India bears, All over Spice both Head and Ears, Can boast more Gifts than the Great Pow'rs Have granted to this Tree of ours: That in good Ale its Power boasts, And ours has Nutmeg's fit for Toasts And Bags by Nature planted grow, To keep 'em from all Winds that blow.
The Rise is slow, and by Degrees, Both Fruits and Tree itself increase So slow, that ten Years scarce produce Six Inches good and fit for Use; But fifteen ripen well the Fruit, And add a viscous Balm into't; Then rub'd, drops Tears as if 'twas greiv'd, Which by a neighbouring Shrub's receiv'd;
As Men set Tubs to catch the Rain, So does this Shrub its Juice retain, Which 'cause it wears a colour'd Robe, Is justly call'd the flow'ring Shrub. In every Nation springs this Tree, In some confin'd; in others more free; In England, 'tis of mod'rate Size, And oft' does nine full inches rise:
But Ireland, tho' in Soil most poor, Exceeds all Lands in this fame Store; And sent o'er hither, it is such As does exceed our own by much, And gets the Owner many a Farthing, For Ladies love it in their Garden.
That it's a Tree right sensitive, Denies no honest Man alive: Tho' as one shrinks and will not stand, This rises at a Lady's Hand, And grows more strong the more 'tis strok'd, As others fall when they are pok'd.
When nipping Cold bites off our Nose, And hoary Frosts the Morn disclose, In Hot-beds only then 'twill live, And only when-well warm'd will thrive; But when warm Summer does appear, 'Twill stand all brunts in open Air; Tho' oft they're overcome with Heat, And sink with Nurture too replete;
Then Birchen Twigs, if right apply'd To Back, Fore-part, or either Side-- Support a while, and keep it up, Tho' soon again the Plant will droop.
Motteux had one very untow'rd, And thought to mend it with a Cord, But kill'd the Tree, yet gain'd his End, Which makes th' Experiment condemn'd.
Others have thought to mend the Root, By taking from the Tree its Fruit; But in the Nutmegs lies the Breed, And when they're gone we lose the Seed; Tho' Virtuosi still have don't, And always found it yield Accompt; For Hey--gg--r then buys the Wood, And of it makes us Whistles good, Which yearly from Italia sent, Here answers his and our Intent. Others too curious will innoc Ulate their Plants on Medlars Stock, (i.e. as Tongues in Vulgar pass, They graft it on an Open-arse;)
But Gardeners, Virtuosi, all, Say this is most unnatural. That Soil is certainly the best, Whence first it sprang, and first increast, In Vallies hollow, soft, and warm, With Hills to ward off every Storm, Where Water salt runs trickling down, And Tendrils lie o'er all the Ground, Such as the Tree itself shoots forth, And better if't be tow'rds the North;
When such a Piece of Ground you see, If in the midst a Pit there be, There plant it deep unto the Root, And never fear--you'll soon have Fruit.
Tho' let young Botanists beware Of Insects that oft' harbour there, Which 'mongst the tender Fibres breed, And if not kill'd, eat up the Seed: Good Humphrey Bowen gives another, (As each Man should assist his Brother) That is, to take especial Care Not to set Vulvaria near; Of them two Sorts are frequent found, One helps, and to'ther spoils the Ground;
And many a Plant thriving and tall, Destroy'd by them, has got a Fall. But Misan's taken this just napping, And against all Things that can happen Both to the Shrub and Tree, has told some How to make the deadliest Wholesome;
These venomous Vulvaria grow At Vaux-Hall and St. James's too; Nay, and about the Tree so leap, That very few good Plants can 'scape.

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Word Lists:

Viscous : having a thick, sticky consistency between solid and liquid; having a high viscosity

Hoary : grayish white

Nip : pinch, squeeze, or bite sharply

Captivate : attract and hold the interest and attention of; charm

Mend : repair (something that is broken or damaged)

Graft : a shoot or twig inserted into a slit on the trunk or stem of a living plant, from which it receives sap.

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Additional Information:

Words: 895

Unique Words : 460

Sentences : 18

Reading Time : 3:58

Noun : 300

Conjunction : 101

Adverb : 65

Interjection : 3

Adjective : 75

Pronoun : 51

Verb : 114

Preposition : 75

Letter Count : 3,607

Sentiment : Positive

Tone : Neutral (Slightly Formal)

Difficult Words : 215

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