« PreviousContinue »
The windy summit, wild and high,
See on the mountain's southern side,
O may I with myself agree,
Now,' ev'n now, my joys rua high,
Be full, ye courts, be great who will;
Grass and flowers Quiet treads,
Beast, bird, air, fire, the heav'ns and. rolling worlds.,
Come, village-nymphs, ye matrons, and ye maids,
"Point your quick eye; and'let the handVassist
To guide and stretch the gently-lessening threa&i •'
Even, unknotted twine will praise your skilh
Country Workhouses proposed—a Description of One—good Effects of Industry..
Behold, in Calder's§ vale, where wide around
* Ereci the mansion-^This alludes to the Workhouses at Bristol, Birmingham, Sec.
§ Calder, a river in Yorkshire, which runs below Halifax, and pawri by Wakefieid. ,'
The sprightly scene; where many a busy hand,
Where spoles, cards, wheels, and looms, with motion quick,
And ever-murmuring sound, th' unwonted sense
Wrap in surprise. To see them all employ'd.
All blithe, it gives the spreading heart delight.
As neither meats, nor drinks, nor aught of joy
Corporeal can bestow. Nor less they gain
Virtue than wealth, while on their useful works
From day to day intent, in their full minds
Evil no place can find. With equal scale
Some deal abroad the well-assorted fL'ece; i
These card the short, those comb the longer flake;
Others the harsh and clotted lock receive,
Yet sever and refine with patient toil,
And bring to proper use. Flax too, and hemp,
Excite their diligence. The younger hands
Ply at the easy work of winding yarn
On swiftly-circling engines, and their notes
Warble together, as a choir of larks:
Such joy arises in the mind employ'd.
Another scene displays the more robust,
Rasping or grinding tough Brasilian woods,
And what Campeachy's disputable shore
Copious affords to tinge the thirsty web;
And the Caribbee-isles, whose dulcet canes'
Equal the honey-comb. We next are shown
A circular machine*, of new design,
In conic shape: It draws and spins a thread
Without the tedious toil of needless hands.
A wheel invisible, beneath the floor,
To ev'ry member of the harmonious frame
Gives necessary motion. One, intent,
O'erlooks the work: the carded wool, he says,
Is smoothly lappd around those cylinders,
Which, gently turning, yield it to yon cirque
Of upright spindles, which, with rapid whirl,
Spin out, in long extent, an even twine.
From this delightful mansion (if we seek Still more to view the gifts which honest toil Distributes) take we now our eastward course., To the rich fields of Burstal. While around Hillock and valley, farm and village, smile:
* A most curious machine, invented by Mr. Paul. It is at present C»ih trived to t;.in cotton; but it may be made to spin fine carded wooL
And ruddy roofs, and chimney-tops appear,
Of busy Leeds, up-wafting to the clouds
The incense of thanksgiving: all is joy;
And trade and business guide the living scene,
Roll the full cars, adown the winding Aire
Load the slow-sailing barges, pile the pack
On the long tinkling train of slow-pac'd steeds. j
As when a sunny day invites abroad
The sedulous ants, they issue from their cells
In'bands unnumbered, eager for their work;
O'er high, o'er low, they lift, they draw, they haste,
With warm affection to each other's aid; ,
Repeat their virtuous efforts, and succeed.
Thus all is here in motion, all is life:
The creaking wain brings copious store of corn:
The grazier's sleeky kine obstruct the roads;
The neat-dress'd housewives, for the festal board
Crown'd with full baskets, in the field^way paths
Come tripping on; tli' echoing hills repeat
The stroke of ax and hammer; scaffolds rise,
And growing edifices; heaps of stone,
Beneath the chissel, beauteous shapes assume \
Of frize and column. Some, with even line,
New streets are marking in the neighb'ring fields,
And sacred domes of worship. Industry,
Which dignifies the artist, lifts the swain, . \
And the straw-cottage to a palace turns,
Over the work presides. , Such was the scene
Of hurrying Carthage, when the Trojan chief
First view'd her growing turrets. So appear
Th' increasing walls of busy Manchester,
Sheffield, and Birmingham, whose redd'ning fields
Rise and enlarge their suburbs. Lo, in throngs,
For ev'ry realm, the careful factors meet,
Whisp'ring each other. In long ranks the bales,
Like war's bright files, beyond the sight extend.
Straight, ere the sounding bell the signal strikes,
Which ends the hour of traffic, they conclude
With speedy compact; and, well pleas'd, transfer,
With mutual benefit, superior wealth
To many a kingdom's rent, or tyrant's hoard.