Erskine on Tobacco

Discussion in 'Poetry and Song' started by NaphtaliPress, Jan 16, 2006.

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  1. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    I typed this up some years ago, and think I lost the first version. This version is dated December 1999 with some changes I made January 16, 2006. It was very strange typing this, balancing an elephantine folio and banging the keyboard at the same time.:) From The Sermons, and Other Practical Works of Ralph Erskine (Glasgow: Robert Urie for John Newlands, 1764), 2.662.
    "œFor smokers´ meditation"

    "œThe following poem, the second part of which, was wrote by Mr. [Ralph] Erskine, is here inserted, to fill up this page, as a proper subject of meditation to Smokers of Tobacco.

    Smoking Spiritualized. In Two Parts. The first part being an old meditation upon smoking tobacco; the second, a new addition to it, or improvement of it.

    This Indian weed now wither´d quite,
    Though green at noon, cut down at night,
    Shows thy decay;
    All flesh is hay.
    Thus think, and smoke tobacco.

    The pipe so lily-like and weak,
    Does thus thymortal state bespeak.
    Thou are ev´n such,
    Gone with a touch.
    Thus think, and smoke tobacco.

    All when the smoke ascends on high,
    Then thou behold´st the vanity
    Of worldly stuff,
    Gone with a puff.
    Thus think, and smoke tobacco.

    And when the pipe grows foul within,
    Think on thy soul defil´d with sin;
    For then the fire,
    It does require.
    Thus think, and smoke tobacco.

    And seest the ashes cast away;
    Then to thyself thou mayest say,
    That to the dust
    Return thou must.
    Thus think, and smoke tobacco.

    Part II

    Was this small plant for thee cut down?
    So was the Plant of great renown;
    Which mercy sends
    For nobler ends.
    Thus think, and smoke tobacco.

    Doth juice medicinal proceed
    From such a naughty foreign weed?
    Then what´s the pow´r
    Of Jesse´s flow´r?
    Thus think, and smoke tobacco.

    The promise, like the pipe inlays,
    And by the mouth of faith conveys
    What virtue flows
    From Sharon´s rose.
    Thus think, and smoke tobacco.

    In vain the´unlighted pipe you blow;
    Your pains in outward means are so,
    Till heav´nly fire
    The heart inspire.
    Thus think, and smoke tobacco.

    The smoke, like burning incense, tow´rs;
    So should a praying heart of yours,
    With ardent cries,
    Surmont the skies.
    Thus think, and smoke tobacco."
    [​IMG]
     
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