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THE PROPHECY of FAMINE.
A SCOTS PASTORAL.
1 WHEN CUPID first instructs his darts to fly
2 From the sly corner of some cook-maid's eye,
3 The stripling raw, just enter'd in his teens,
4 Receives the wound, and wonders what it means;
5 His heart, like dripping, melts, and new desire
6 Within him stirs, each time she stirs the fire;[Page 2]
7 Trembling and blushing he the fair one views,
8 And fain would speak, but can't — without a MUSE.
9 So, to the sacred mount he takes his way,
10 Prunes his young wings, and tunes his infant lay,
11 His oaten reed to rural ditties frames,
12 To flocks and rocks, to hills and rills proclaims,
13 In simplest notes, and all unpolish'd strains,
14 The loves of nymphs, and eke the loves of swains.
15 Clad, as your nymphs were always clad of yore,
16 In rustic weeds — a cook-maid now no more —
17 Beneath an aged oak LARDELLA lies —
18 Green moss, her couch; her canopy, the skies.
19 From aromatic shrubs the roguish gale
20 Steals young perfumes, and wafts them thro' the vale.
21 The youth, turn'd swain, and skill'd in rustic lays,
22 Fast by her side his am'rous descant plays.
23 Herds lowe, Flocks bleat, Pies chatter, Ravens scream,
24 And the full chorus dies a-down the stream.
25 The streams, with music freighted, as they pass,
26 Present the fair LARDELLA with a glass,
27 And ZEPHYR, to compleat the love-sick plan,
28 Waves his light wings, and serves her for a fan.
29 But when maturer Judgment takes the lead,
30 These childish toys on Reason's altar bleed,
31 Form'd after some great man, whose name breeds awe,
32 Whose ev'ry sentence Fashion makes a law,
33 Who on mere credit his vain trophies rears,
34 And founds his merit on our servile fears;
35 Then we discard the workings of the heart,
36 And nature's banish'd by mechanic art.
37 Then, deeply read, our reading must be shewn;
38 Vain is that knowledge which remains unknown.
39 Then OSTENTATION marches to our aid,
40 And letter'd PRIDE stalks forth in full parade,
41 Beneath their care behold the work refine,
42 Pointed each sentence, polish'd ev'ry line.
43 Trifles are dignified, and taught to wear
44 The robes of Antients with a Modern air,
45 NONSENSE with Classic ornaments is grac'd,
46 And passes current with the stamp of TASTE.
47 Then the rude THEOCRITE is ransack'd o'er,
48 And courtly MARO call'd from MINCIO's shore;
49 Sicilian muses on our mountains roam,
50 Easy and free as if they were at home;[Page 4]
51 NYMPHS, NAIADS, NEREIDS, DRYADS, SATYRS, FAUNS,
52 Sport in our floods, and trip it o'er our lawns;
53 Flow'rs which once flourish'd fair in GREECE and ROME,
54 More fair revive in ENGLAND's meads to bloom;
55 Skies without cloud exotic suns adorn;
56 And roses blush, but blush without a thorn;
57 Landscapes, unknown to dowdy Nature, rise,
58 And new creations strike our wond'ring eyes.
59 For bards, like these, who neither sing nor say,
60 Grave without thought, and without feeling gay,
61 Whose numbers in one even tenor flow,
62 Attun'd to pleasure, and attun'd to woe,
63 Who, if plain COMMON-SENSE her visit pays,
64 And mars one couplet in their happy lays,
65 As at some Ghost affrighted, start and stare,
66 And ask the meaning of her coming there;
67 For bards like these a wreath shall MASON bring,
68 Lin'd with the softest down from FOLLY's wing;
69 In LOVE's PAGODA, shall they ever doze,
70 And GISBEL kindly rock them to repose;
71 My lord, — to letters as to faith most true —
72 At once their patron and example too —[Page 5]
73 Shall quaintly fashion his love-labour'd dreams,
74 Sigh with sad winds, and weep with weeping streams,
75 Curious in grief, (for real grief we know
76 Is curious to dress up the tale of woe)
77 From the green umbrage of some DRUID's seat,
78 Shall his own works in his own way repeat.
79 Me, whom no muse of heav'nly birth inspires,
80 No judgment tempers when rash genius fires,
81 Who boast no merit but mere knack of rhime,
82 Short gleams of sense, and satire out of time,
83 Who cannot follow where trim fancy leads
84 By prattling streams o'er flow'r-empurpled meads;
85 Who often, but without success, have pray'd
86 For apt ALLITERATION's artful aid,
87 Who would, but cannot, with a master's skill
88 Coin fine new epithets, which mean no ill,
89 Me, thus uncouth, thus ev'ry way unfit
90 For pacing poesy, and ambling wit,
91 TASTE with contempt beholds, nor deigns to place
92 Amongst the lowest of her favour'd race.
93 Thou NATURE, art my goddess — to thy law
94 Myself I dedicate — hence slavish awe[Page 6]
95 Which bends to fashion, and obeys the rules
96 Impos'd at first, and since observ'd by fools.
97 Hence those vile tricks which mar fair NATURE's hue,
98 And bring the sober matron forth to view,
99 With all that artificial tawdry glare,
100 Which virtue scorns, and none but strumpets wear.
101 Sick of those pomps, those vanities, that waste
102 Of toil, which critics now mistake for taste,
103 Of false refinements sick, and labour'd ease
104 Which Art, too thinly veil'd, forbids to please,
105 By Nature's charms (inglorious truth!) subdued,
106 However plain her dress, and haviour rude,
107 To northern climes my happier course I steer,
108 Climes where the Goddess reigns throughout the year,
109 Where, undisturb'd by Art's rebellious plan,
110 She rules the loyal Laird, and faithful clan.
111 To that rare soil, where virtues clust'ring grow,
112 What mighty blessings doth not ENGLAND owe,
113 What waggon-loads of courage, wit and sense,
114 Doth each revolving day import from thence?
115 To us she gives, disinterested friend,
116 Faith without fraud and STUARTS without end.[Page 7]
117 When we prosperity's rich trappings wear,
118 Come not her gen'rous sons, and take a share,
119 And if, by some disastrous turn of fate,
120 Change should ensue, and ruin sieze our state,
121 Shall we not find, safe in that hallow'd ground,
122 Such refuge, as the HOLY MARTYR found?
123 Nor less our debt in SCIENCE, tho' denied
124 By the weak slaves of prejudice and pride.
125 Thence came the RAMSAYS, names of worthy note,
126 Of whom one paints, as well as t'other wrote;
127 Thence HOME, disbanded from the sons of pray'r,
128 For loving plays, tho' no dull DEAN was there;
129 Thence issued forth, at great MACPHERSON's call,
130 That old, new, Epic Pastoral, FINGAL;
131 Thence simple bards, by simple prudence taught,
132 To this wise town by simple patrons brought,
133 In simple manner utter simple lays,
134 And take, with simple pensions, simple praise.
135 Waft me some muse to TWEDE's inspiring stream,
136 Where all the little loves and graces dream,
137 Where slowly winding the dull waters creep,
138 And seem themselves to own the power of sleep,[Page 6]〈1 page duplicate〉[Page 7]〈1 page duplicate〉[Page 8]
139 Where on the surface Lead, like feathers, swims;
140 There let me bathe my yet unhallow'd limbs,
141 As once a SYRIAN bath'd in JORDAN's flood,
142 Wash off my native stains, correct that blood
143 Which mutinies at call of English pride,
144 And, deaf to prudence, rolls a patriot tide.
145 From solemn thought, which overhangs the brow
146 Of patriot care, when things are — God knows how;
147 From nice trim points, where HONOUR, slave to rule,
148 In compliment to folly, plays the fool;
149 From those gay scenes, where mirth exalts his pow'r,
150 And easy Humour wings the laughing hour;
151 From those soft better moments, when desire
152 Beats high, and all the world of man's on fire,
153 When mutual ardours of the melting fair
154 More than repay us for whole years of care,
155 At Friendship's summons will my WILKES retreat,
156 And see, once seen before, that antient seat,
157 That antient seat, where majesty display'd
158 Her ensigns, long before the world was made?
159 Mean narrow maxims, which enslave mankind,
160 Ne'er from its bias warp thy settled mind.[Page 9]
161 Not dup'd by party, nor opinion's slave,
162 Those faculties which bounteous Nature gave
163 Thy honest spirit into practice brings,
164 Nor courts the smile, nor dreads the frown of Kings.
165 Let rude licentious Englishmen comply
166 With tumult's voice, and curse they know not why;
167 Unwilling to condemn, thy soul disdains,
168 To wear vile faction's arbitrary chains,
169 And strictly weighs, in apprehension clear,
170 Things as they are, and not as they appear.
171 With thee GOOD-HUMOUR tempers lively WIT,
172 Enthron'd with JUDGMENT, CANDOUR loves to sit,
173 And Nature gave thee, open to distress,
174 A heart to pity, and a hand to bless.
175 Oft have I heard thee mourn the wretched lot
176 Of the poor, mean, despis'd, insulted Scot,
177 Who, might calm reason credit idle tales,
178 By rancour forg'd where prejudice prevails,
179 Or starves at home, or practises, thro' fear
180 Of starving, arts which damn all conscience here.
181 When Scriblers, to the charge by int'rest led,
182 The fierce North-Briton foaming at their head,[Page 10]
183 Pour forth invectives, deaf to candour's call,
184 And, injur'd by one alien, rail at all;
185 On Northern Pisgah when they take their stand,
186 To mark the weakness of that Holy Land,
187 With needless truths their libels to adorn,
188 And hang a nation up to public scorn,
189 Thy gen'rous soul condemns the frantic rage,
190 And hates the faithful, but ill-natur'd, page.
191 The Scots are poor, cries surly English pride;
192 True is the charge, nor by themselves denied.
193 Are they not then in strictest reason clear,
194 Who wisely come to mend their fortunes here?
195 If by low supple arts successful grown,
196 They sapp'd our vigour to increase their own,
197 If, mean in want, and insolent in pow'r,
198 They only fawn'd, more surely to devour,
199 Rous'd by such wrongs should REASON take alarm,
200 And e'en the MUSE for public safety arm;
201 But if they own, ingenuous, virtue's sway,
202 And follow where true honour points the way,
203 If they revere the hand by which they're fed,
204 And bless the donors for their daily bread,[Page 11]
205 Or by vast debts of higher import bound,
206 Are always humble, always grateful found,
207 If they, directed by PAUL's holy pen,
208 Become discreetly all things to all men,
209 That all men may become all things to them,
210 Envy may hate, but justice can't condemn.
211 "Into our places, states, and beds they creep:"
212 They've sense to get, what we want sense to keep.
213 Once, be the hour accurs'd, accurs'd the place,
214 I ventur'd to blaspheme the chosen race.
215 Into those traps, which men, call'd PATRIOTS, laid,
216 By specious arts unwarily betray'd,
217 Madly I leagu'd against that sacred earth,
218 Vile parricide! which gave a parent birth.
219 But shall I meanly error's path pursue,
220 When heav'nly TRUTH presents her friendly clue?
221 Once plung'd in ill, shall I go farther in?
222 To make the oath, was rash; to keep it, sin.
223 Backward I tread the paths I trod before,
224 And calm reflection hates what passion swore.
225 Converted, (blessed are the souls which know
226 Those pleasures which from true conversion flow,[Page 12]
227 Whether to reason, who now rules my breast,
228 Or to pure faith, like LYTTLETON and WEST)
229 Past crimes to expiate be my present aim,
230 To raise new trophies to the SCOTTISH name,
231 To make (what can the proudest Muse do more)
232 E'en faction's sons her brighter worth adore,
233 To make her glories, stamp'd with honest rhimes,
234 In fullest tide roll down to latest times.
235 Presumptuous wretch! and shall a Muse like thine,
236 An English Muse, the meanest of the nine,
237 Attempt a theme like this? Can her weak strain
238 Expect indulgence from the mighty THANE?
239 Should he from toils of government retire,
240 And for a moment fan the poet's fire,
241 Should he, of sciences the moral friend,
242 Each curious, each important search suspend,
243 Leave unassisted HILL of herbs to tell,
244 And all the wonders of a Cockle-shell,
245 Having the Lord's good grace before his eyes,
246 Would not the HOME step forth, and gain the prize?
247 Or if this wreath of honour might adorn
248 The humble brows of one in England born,[Page 13]
249 Presumptuous still thy daring must appear;
250 Vain all thy tow'ring hopes, whilst I am here.
251 Thus spake a form, by silken smile, and tone
252 Dull and unvaried, for the LAUREAT known,
253 FOLLY's chief friend, DECORUM's eldest son,
254 In ev'ry party found, and yet of none.
255 This airy substance, this substantial shade
256 Abash'd I heard, and with respect obey'd.
257 From themes too lofty for a bard so mean
258 Discretion beckons to an humbler scene.
259 The restless fever of ambition laid,
260 Calm I retire, and seek the sylvan shade.
261 Now be the Muse disrob'd of all her pride,
262 Be all the glare of verse by Truth supplied,
263 And if plain nature pours a simple strain,
264 Which BUTE may praise, and OSSIAN not disdain,
265 OSSIAN, sublimest, simplest Bard of all,
266 Whom English Infidels, MACPHERSON call,
267 Then round my head shall honour's ensigns wave,
268 And pensions mark me for a willing slave.
269 Two boys, whose birth beyond all question springs
270 From great and glorious, tho' forgotten, kings,
271 Shepherds of Scottish lineage, born and bred
272 On the same bleak and barren mountain's head,
273 By niggard nature doom'd on the same rocks
274 To spin out life, and starve themselves and flocks,
275 Fresh as the morning, which, enrob'd in mist,
276 The mountain top with usual dulness kiss'd,
277 JOCKEY and SAWNEY to their labours rose;
278 Soon clad I ween, where nature needs no cloaths,
279 Where, from their youth enur'd to winter skies,
280 Dress and her vain refinements they despise.
281 JOCKEY, whose manly high-bon'd cheeks to crown
282 With freckles spotted flam'd the golden down,
283 With mickle art, could on the bagpipes play,
284 E'en from the rising to the setting day;
285 SAWNEY as long without remorse could bawl
286 HOME's madrigals, and ditties from FINGAL.
287 Oft at his strains, all natural tho' rude,
288 The Highland Lass forgot her want of food,
289 And, whilst she scratch'd her lover into rest,
290 Sunk pleas'd, tho' hungry, on her SAWNEY's breast.
291 Far as the eye could reach, no tree was seen,
292 Earth, clad in russet, scorn'd the lively green.
293 The plague of Locusts they secure defy,
294 For in three hours a grashopper must die.
295 No living thing, whate'er its food, feasts there,
296 But the Camaelion, who can feast on air.
297 No birds, except as birds of passage flew,
298 No bee was known to hum, no dove to coo.
299 No streams as amber smooth, as amber clear,
300 Were seen to glide, or heard to warble here,
301 Rebellion's spring, which thro' the country ran,
302 Furnish'd, with bitter draughts, the steady clan.
303 No flow'rs embalm'd the air, but one white rose,
304 Which, on the tenth of June, by instinct blows,
305 By instinct blows at morn, and, when the shades
306 Of drizly eve prevail, by instinct fades.
307 One, and but one poor solitary cave,
308 Too sparing of her favours, nature gave;
309 That one alone (hard tax on Scottish pride)
310 Shelter at once for man and beast supplied.
311 Their snares without entangling briers spread,
312 And thistles, arm'd against th' invader's head,[Page 16]
313 Stood in close ranks all entrance to oppose,
314 Thistles now held more precious than the rose.
315 All Creatures, which, on nature's earliest plan,
316 Were form'd to loath, and to be loath'd by man,
317 Which ow'd their birth to nastiness and spite,
318 Deadly to touch, and hateful to the sight,
319 Creatures, which, when admitted in the ark,
320 Their Saviour shunn'd, and rankled in the dark,
321 Found place within; marking her noisome road
322 With poison's trail, here crawl'd the bloated Toad;
323 There webs were spread of more than common size,
324 And half-starv'd spiders prey'd on half-starv'd flies;
325 In quest of food, Efts strove in vain to crawl;
326 Slugs, pinch'd with hunger, smear'd the slimy wall;
327 The cave around with hissing serpents rung;
328 On the damp roof unhealthy vapour hung,
329 And FAMINE, by her children always known,
330 As proud as poor, here fix'd her native throne.
331 Here, for the sullen sky was overcast,
332 And summer shrunk beneath a wintry blast,
333 A native blast, which arm'd with hail and rain
334 Beat unrelenting on the naked swain,[Page 17]
335 The boys for shelter made; behind the sheep,
336 Of which those shepherds ev'ry day take keep,
337 Sickly crept on, and, with complainings rude,
338 On nature seem'd to call, and bleat for food.
339 Sith to this cave, by tempest, we're confin'd,
340 And within ken our flocks, under the wind,
341 Safe from the pelting of this perilous storm,
342 Are laid emong yon thistles, dry and warm,
343 What, Sawney, if by shepherd's arts we try
344 To mock the rigour of this cruel sky?
345 What if we tune some merry roundelay?
346 Well dost thou sing, nor ill doth Jockey play.
347 Ah, Jockey, ill advisest thou, I wis,
348 To think of songs at such a time as this.
349 Sooner shall herbage crown these barren rocks,
350 Sooner shall fleeces cloath these ragged flocks,
351 Sooner shall want sieze shepherds of the south,
352 And we forget to live from hand to mouth,[Page 18]
353 Than Sawney, out of season, shall impart
354 The songs of gladness with an aching heart.
355 Still have I known thee for a silly swain;
356 Of things past help, what boots it to complain?
357 Nothing but mirth can conquer fortune's spite;
358 No sky is heavy, if the heart be light:
359 Patience is sorrow's salve; what can't be cur'd,
360 So Donald right areeds, must be endur'd.
361 Full silly swain, I wot, is Jockey now;
362 How did'st thou bear thy MAGGY's falshood? how,
363 When with a foreign loon she stole away,
364 Did'st thou forswear thy pipe, and shepherd's lay?
365 Where was thy boasted wisdom then, when I
366 Applied those proverbs, which you now apply?
367 O she was bonny! all the Highlands round
368 Was there a rival to my MAGGY found!
369 More precious (tho' that precious is to all)
370 Than the rare medicine, which we Brimstone call,
371 Or that choice plant, so grateful to the nose,
372 Which in, I know not what, far country grows,
373 Was MAGGY unto me; dear do I rue,
374 A lass so fair should ever prove untrue.
375 Whether with pipe or song to charm the ear,
376 Thro' all the land did JAMIE find a peer?
377 Curs'd be that year by ev'ry honest Scot,
378 And in the shepherd's calendar forgot,
379 That fatal year, when JAMIE, hapless swain,
380 In evil hour forsook the peaceful plain,
381 JAMIE, when our young Laird discreetly fled,
382 Was seiz'd, and hang'd till he was dead, dead, dead.
383 Full sorely may we all lament that day:
384 For all were losers in the deadly fray.
385 Five brothers had I, on the Scottish plains,
386 Well dost thou know, were none more hopeful swains;
387 Five brothers there I lost, in manhood's pride,
388 Two in the field, and three on gibbets died;
389 Ah! silly swains, to follow war's alarms,
390 Ah! what hath shepherd's life to do with arms?
391 Mention it not — there saw I strangers clad
392 In all the honours of our ravish'd Plaid,
393 Saw the FERRARA too, our nation's pride,
394 Unwilling grace the aukward victor's side.
395 There fell our choicest youth, and from that day
396 Mote never Sawney tune the merry lay:
397 Bless'd those which fell! curs'd those which still survive,
398 To mourn fifteen renew'd in forty-five.
399 Thus plain'd the boys, when from her throne of turf,
400 With boils emboss'd, and overgrown with scurf,
401 Vile humours, which, in life's corrupted well
402 Mix'd at the birth, not abstinence could quell,
403 Pale FAMINE rear'd the head; her eager eyes,
404 Where hunger e'en to madness seem'd to rise,
405 Speaking aloud her throes and pangs of heart,
406 Strain'd to get loose, and from their orbs to start;
407 Her hollow cheeks were each a deep-sunk cell,
408 Where wretchedness and horror lov'd to dwell;
409 With double rows of useless teeth supplied,
410 Her mouth, from ear to ear, extended wide,
411 Which, when for want of food her entrails pin'd,
412 She op'd, and cursing swallow'd nought but wind;
413 All shrivell'd was her skin; and here and there,
414 Making their way by force, her bones lay bare;
415 Such filthy sight to hide from human view,
416 O'er her foul limbs a tatter'd Plaid she threw.
417 Cease, cried the Goddess, cease, despairing swains,
418 And from a parent hear what Jove ordains!
419 Pent in this barren corner of the isle,
420 Where partial fortune never deign'd to smile;[Page 22]
421 Like nature's bastards, reaping for our share
422 What was rejected by the lawful heir;
423 Unknown amongst the nations of the earth,
424 Or only known to raise contempt and mirth;
425 Long free, because the race of Roman braves
426 Thought it not worth their while to make us slaves;
427 Then into bondage by that nation brought,
428 Whose ruin we for ages vainly sought,
429 Whom still with unslack'd hate we view, and still,
430 The pow'r of mischief lost, retain the will;
431 Consider'd as the refuse of mankind,
432 A mass till the last moment left behind,
433 Which frugal nature doubted, as it lay,
434 Whether to stamp with life, or throw away;
435 Which, form'd in haste, was planted in this nook,
436 But never enter'd in Creation's book;
437 Branded as traitors, who, for love of gold,
438 Would sell their God, as once their King they sold;
439 Long have we born this mighty weight of ill,
440 These vile injurious taunts, and bear them still,
441 But times of happier note are now at hand,
442 And the full promise of a better land:
443 There, like the Sons of Israel, having trod,
444 For the fix'd term of years ordain'd by God,[Page 23]
445 A barren desart, we shall sieze rich plains
446 Where milk with honey flows, and plenty reigns.
447 With some few natives join'd, some pliant few,
448 Who worship int'rest, and our track pursue,
449 There shall we, tho' the wretched people grieve,
450 Ravage at large, nor ask the owner's leave.
451 For us, the earth shall bring forth her increase;
452 For us, the flocks shall wear a golden fleece;
453 Fat Beeves shall yield us dainties not our own,
454 And the grape bleed a nectar yet unknown;
455 For our advantage shall their harvests grow,
456 And Scotsmen reap what they disdain'd to sow;
457 For us, the sun shall climb the eastern hill;
458 For us, the rain shall fall, the dew distil;
459 When to our wishes NATURE cannot rise,
460 ART shall be task'd to grant us fresh supplies.
461 His brawny arm shall drudging LABOUR strain,
462 And for our pleasure suffer daily pain;
463 TRADE shall for us exert her utmost pow'rs,
464 Her's, all the toil; and all the profit, our's;
465 For us, the oak shall from his native steep
466 Descend, and fearless travel thro' the deep,[Page 24]
467 The sail of COMMERCE for our use unfurl'd,
468 Shall waft the treasures of each distant world;
469 For us, sublimer heights shall science reach,
470 For us, their Statesmen plot, their Churchmen preach;
471 Their noblest limbs of counsel we'll disjoint,
472 And, mocking, new ones of our own appoint;
473 Devouring WAR, imprison'd in the north,
474 Shall, at our call, in horrid pomp, break forth,
475 And, when, his chariot wheels with thunder hung,
476 Fell Discord braying with her brazen tongue,
477 Death in the van, with Anger, Hate, and Fear,
478 And Desolation stalking in the rear,
479 Revenge, by Justice guided, in his train,
480 He drives impetuous o'er the trembling plain,
481 Shall, at our bidding, quit his lawful prey,
482 And to meek, gentle, gen'rous Peace give way.
483 Think not, my sons, that this so bless'd estate
484 Stands at a distance on the roll of fate;
485 Already big with hopes of future sway,
486 E'en from this cave I scent my destin'd prey.
487 Think not, that this dominion o'er a race
488 Whose former deeds shall time's last annals grace,[Page 25]
489 In the rough face of peril must be sought,
490 And with the lives of thousands dearly bought;
491 No — fool'd by cunning, by that happy art
492 Which laughs to scorn the blund'ring hero's heart,
493 Into the snare shall our kind neighbours fall
494 With open eyes, and fondly give us all.
495 When ROME, to prop her sinking empire, bore
496 Their choicest levies to a foreign shore,
497 What if we seiz'd, like a destroying flood,
498 Their widow'd plains, and fill'd the realm with blood,
499 Gave an unbounded loose to manly rage,
500 And, scorning mercy, spar'd nor sex nor age;
501 When, for our interest too mighty grown,
502 Monarchs of warlike bent possess'd the throne,
503 What if we strove divisions to foment,
504 And spread the flames of civil discontent,
505 Assisted those who 'gainst their king made head,
506 And gave the traitors refuge when they fled;
507 When restless GLORY bad her sons advance,
508 And pitch'd her standard in the fields of France,
509 What if disdaining oaths, an empty sound,
510 By which our nation never shall be bound,[Page 26]
511 Bravely we taught unmuzzled war to roam
512 Thro' the weak land, and brought cheap laurels home;
513 When the bold traitors league for the defence
514 Of Law, Religion, Liberty, and Sense,
515 When they against their lawful Monarch rose,
516 And dar'd the Lord's Anointed to oppose,
517 What if we still rever'd the banish'd race,
518 And strove the Royal Vagrants to replace?
519 With fierce rebellions shook th' unsettled state,
520 And greatly dar'd, tho' cross'd by partial fate;
521 These facts, which might, where Wisdom held the sway,
522 Awake the very stones to bar our way,
523 There shall be nothing, nor one trace remain
524 In the dull region of an English brain,
525 Bless'd with that Faith, which mountains can remove,
526 First they shall Dupes, next Saints, last Martyrs prove.
527 Already is this game of fate begun
528 Under the sanction of my Darling Son,
529 That Son, whose nature royal as his name,
530 Is destin'd to redeem our race from shame.
531 His boundless pow'r, beyond example great,
532 Shall make the rough way smooth, the crooked straight,[Page 27]
533 Shall for our ease the raging floods restrain,
534 And sink the mountain level to the plain.
535 DISCORD, whom in a cavern under ground
536 With massy fetters our late Patriot bound,
537 Where her own flesh the furious Hag might tear,
538 And vent her curses to the vacant air,
539 Where, that she never might be heard of more,
540 He planted-LOYALTY to guard the door,
541 For better purpose shall Our Chief release,
542 Disguise her for a time, and call her PEACE.
543 Lur'd by that name, fine engine of deceit,
544 Shall the weak ENGLISH help themselves to cheat;
545 To win our love, with honours shall they grace
546 The old adherents of the STUART race,
547 For pointed out, no matter by what name,
548 TORIES or JACOBITES are still the same;
549 To sooth our rage, the temporising brood
550 Shall break the ties of truth and gratitude,
551 Against their Saviour venom'd falshoods frame,
552 And brand with calumny their WILLIAM's name;
553 To win our grace, (rare argument of wit)
554 To our untainted faith shall they commit,[Page 28]
555 (Our faith which, in extremest perils tried,
556 Disdain'd, and still disdains, to change her side,)
557 That Sacred Majesty they all approve,
558 Who most enjoys, and best deserves their Love.
About this text
Author: Charles Churchill
Themes: corruption; politics
Genres: heroic couplet; satire
Text view / Document view
Churchill, Charles, 1731-1764. The prophecy of famine. A Scots pastoral: By C. Churchill. Inscribed to John Wilkes, Esq;. London: printed for the author, and sold by G. Kearsly, 1763, pp. -28. ,28p. ; 4⁰. (ESTC T42786; OTA K041717.000)
The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.