A Prospect of Manchester and its Neighbourhood, from Chamber, upon the Rising Grounds, Adjacent to the Great Northern Road: A Poem/A Prospect of Manchester and its Neighbourhood

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ON rapture's wings, by gayest fancy borne,
Tir'd of the town, to Chamber's bowers I turn,
And lonely musing o'er the terrace mound,
Pour the rude wreathes of poesy around;
Or, on some verdant bank, with moss o'erspread,
Bid memory ponder o'er th' illustrious dead.
Thence thoughtful wandering thro' the alleys green,
Contemplate o'er the wide extended scene,
Where spreading Commerce, Britain's favorite child,
Supplants the shepherd's reed, and Doric measure wild.
Here hills on hills, extend their alpine reign,
Stretch their wide arms, and bound the fertile plain;

View of the Country—Bolton—The Earl of Derby.

To the far west, where rolling Mersey bends,
In one long view the wide champaign extends.
Here might the shock of hostile armies join,
Push the deep mass, or move th' extended line;
Wrapt in the thought, to former days I turn,
And pensive weep o'er noble Derby's[1] urn.

The Earl of Derby—Manchester—Its Manufactures.

In Charles's cause, our gallant youth he arm'd,
And his bright deeds each meaner bosom warm'd;
Till treason, mounting o’er his cold corpse flew,
Where Bolton's blushing spires fade in the distant view.
Lo! where Mancunium boldly soars on high,
Mocks the rude blast, and dares th' inclement sky:
Thrice happy spot, whose joys from commerce spring;
At her command thy genius spreads her wing;
Bids arts revive, gives latent actions light,
And calls from chaos, all thy native might.
Thy manufactures, curious eyes explore,
From Po's proud streams, to frozen Wolga's shore;
And wondering nations view thy active soul,
And thy bright name extends from pole to pole.

Its Influence—Noon—The High Road.

Dear seat of former joys—on every side,
The vassal country swells thy generous pride:
And as the tender ivy, firm entwin'd
Round the broad oak, but mocks the wint'ry wind;
So on thy trunk the neighbouring towns impose,
Play in thy beams, and in thy shade repose.
So to the swelling lungs, the purple tide,
Through the blue veins, flows in on every side;
Draws vital life, thence refluent to the heart,
The crimson torrent pours through every part;
Warms the huge limbs, gives every fibre tone,
And rosy health pervades the frame alone.
Now rising to the zenith, Sol o'erlooks
The wide champaign; and now the bubbling brooks,
Trembling afar, reflect the solar ray,
As through the envious leaf, they ripple into day.
The burning wheels o'er the wide pavement speed,
And clouds of dust obscure the foaming steed.
Here in the lock safe rides the loaded barge,
The massy gates sustain the ponderous charge;


There the bold prow cleaves through the liquid tide,
The careful rudder keeping for its guide:
Not here the gilded Gondola shall sweep,
Nor pageant union mock the silent deep;
But for her riches and her power renown'd,
Shall Britain's glory far and wide resound.
Thee, fairy prince of rivers, floods, and streams,
Rouse from thy coral cave and sportive dreams:
The long canal, by Brindley's[2] genius led,
Exhausts thy secret stores, and drains thy rocky bed.

Address to the Irwell—Confluence of the Irk & Irwell—Lords de la Warr.

Arise, and quick to Irwell's banks repair,
With fairy barge, and floating streamers fair;
Blow the loud conch, collect thy sprites around,
Till rocky Hulme re-echoes wide the sound;
Thence gently floating with the favouring gale,
Ply the long oar, and swell the purple sail;
And where old Irwell meets fair Mersey's tide,
Exert thy powers, and o'er thy waves preside.
Where ripling Irk joins Irwell's silent flood,
Old de la Warr's manorial castle stood.[3]

The College—Sir Humphrey Cheetham—The Library.

But now how chang'd; where iron armour rung,
And vaulting steeds o'er the wide court-yard sprung;
Where noble lords, and lusty squires held sport,
Whose spears reek'd blood at glorious Agincourt;
Bedew'd the fleur-de-lis with streams of gore,
And o'er pale France, old England's banner bore:
These halls long fall'n to hoary time a prey,
And milder scenes have open'd into day.
Here Cheetham's heart a nobler fame uprear'd;
Fair learning's friend, and drooping orphan's guard,
Not as the man, who erst, where Nilus pours
His fertile flood round Egypt's sultry shores,

Address to the Memory of the late Mr. Gibson.

At one dire word whilst servile bands attend,
Bade the quick flame o'er learning's stores ascend.
Lo! pensive genius, o'er her Gibson's[4] bier,
Hangs the pale wreath, and drops the silent tear;
Decks with the laurel and the cypress round,
That hallowed turf which forms his sacred mound.
He, like the brilliant streamers issuing forth,
O'er the high arch of heav'n, from the cold north,
With splendid radiance caught the raptur'd eye;
Blaz'd out a star, but blaz'd, alas! to die.

Address to Mr. Gibson continued—Alkrington Hall.

Oh! loss, by suffering darkness still deplor'd!
Oh! name, still bless'd by those his hand restor'd!
'Tis not for him to err, at whose dread call,
From darkest chaos, order burst through all;
At whose command the towering hills arose,
And dashing waters fell to sweet repose;
Whilst sweeping whirlwinds, passive at his nod,
Sunk to their secret caves, and own'd a God.
Submissive then to his almighty laws,
We mourn our loss, nor scrutinize the cause.
Where shadowy woods and rising uplands swell,
High towers the dome, fair science lov'd so well;
Where Lever's taste, by favouring genius taught,
From utmost Thule each curious object brought;
With classic order bid fair nature rise,
And learn'd arrangement strike the wondering eyes,
Nor brook, nor dell, withheld its secret stores,
From Greenland's icy strand, to sultry India's shores.
Hence, dearer far, fair Alkrington shall reign,
Than Ducie's bowers retired, or Suffield's rich domain.

Chadderton Hall and Park—General Burgoyne.

Deep in yon dell, by rising grounds obscur'd,
Sweetly retired, lie Horton's bowers immur'd.
When yet a youth, I left the noisy town,
And sought, within thy glades, to lay me down
Beneath the lofty pine, or beechen shade;
Fit spot for lonely contemplation made:
On fancy's visions careless sat and mus'd,
Or more intent, th' historic page perus'd:
Learn'd how the brave, the wrong'd Burgoyne[5] retir'd,
Gave up the hopes his ardent soul inspir'd;

Retrospect—Broughton—Strangeways Park.

Sought in thy shades a juster path to fame.
And gave the warrior's for the poet's name.
Beneath this pine, screened from this solar beam,
Bid memory make her former joys the theme:
When rich in friends, by Broughton's dells I stray'd,
Or shun'd the heats, in Ducie's favourite shade.
Tell how by love of books and learning lead,
Wisdom I sought from the immortal dead.
Tell how my flute, from echoing Irwell's streams,
In softer murmurs sooth'd my nightly dreams.

The Source of Human Actions.

Bid memory tell, how still to friendships true,
She loads the passing gale with many a fresh adieu.
So on the topmast's height, the hardy tar,
With tearful eye, reverts to joys afar:
Still hopes the unknown something to attain,
Then back return, but still his hopes are vain,
That something does for aye his grasp elude;
When gain'd, not known, and known but when pursu'd,
Up the steep hill, thus does Sysiphus push,
The magic stone still doom'd adown to rush;
When the high height, the mighty mass attains,
And joyful ease rewards the labourer's pains.
Look o'er our isle, our teeming lawns, our hills,
And shew the man, whose breast contentment fills.
The human mind, intent on what is new,
Still quits possession, novelty in view.
Fruitless pursuit; for yet above—below,
Or in the vale, or on the mountain's brow—
By noisy towns, or by the murmuring streams,
Content still flies, and haunted are our dreams.

Discontent—Not diminished by Riches.

In all pursuits, to which the anxious mind
Ardent impels—successful—still we find
The gnawing venom rancour in the breast,
Destroy the peace, and rob the mind of rest.
Stern discontent! thrice dipt in gall, thy dart
Slow breaks the health, and triumphs in the smart:
The wounded deer nor dies, nor health regains,
But, drooping, languid, slow moves o'er the plains;
Nor joins the herd, nor rears aloft his head,
Proud of his branching antlers wide outspread.
Thee, discontent, thy Proteus form I view,
Chalk out our path, and every step pursue:
The things of life are phantoms of the air,
Nor wealth, nor honours soothe the brow of care.
Mark then the man, pale, haggard, void of rest,
Master of unknown thousands, still unblest;
His madden'd thoughts, disturb'd with every sound,
Affrighted start, and fear his treasure found.
Does he enjoy the trash which millions crave,
That trash for which all dangers millions brave?

A Character.

Spare is his food, and ragged his attire,
Niggard his thoughts, thoughts which to nought aspire;
No social footsteps tread his cobweb'd hall;
No faithful menial joyful hears his call;
No tender partner sooths his heavy toil,
Nor prattling infant cheers him with a smile.
From morn to night the gloomy days roll on,
As polar winters, never cheer'd by sun;
Broke are the painted windows, which of old
Illum'd his halls, and fenc'd them from the cold:
Dark is the cheerful hearth, from whence, of yore,
The heap'd up faggot blaz'd along the floor:
The graceful scutcheon, once the pride of age,
The source of generous lesson from the sage;
Whilst the young bosom, caught by virtue's fire,
Grasp'd hard the falchion of his noble sire;
The graceful scutcheon, trembling to its doom,
In solemn grandeur decks th' neglected room.
Hence sick'ning scenes! the heart with grief opprest,
With fainter impulse strikes the languid breast.

The Approach of Eve—The Milkmaid.

Now lengthening shades bespeak approaching eve,
And western skies a ruddier tint receive:
As Sol his steps to blushing Thetis bends,
Impervious gloom o'er Chamber's bowers descends.
And see with hasty step, and lively tread,
The beauteous Celia tripping o'er the mead;
Whilst pendant from her shoulders hangs the pail,
With milk replete scenting the western gale;
The spotted kerchief hides her snowy breast,
The checker'd apron girds her lovely waist,
The russet gown, put on with native ease,
And graceful tuck, bespeak the wish to please.
At every step, attending hinds admire,
And in soft looks express the soft desire.
Finish'd their toil, they meet upon the green,
And eve steals over them unmark'd, unseen.
Stretch'd at her feet upon the grassy plain,
The cheerful labourer raises high the strain;
Nor tuneful art, nor polish'd verse requires,
To sing those charms, which every heart inspires.


Dear girl, when around me the dark clouds are low'ring,
When loud o'er my head the deep thunder shall roll;
When fast o'er the wild heath the rain it falls pouring,
And the quick lightning's blaze shall illumine the whole,
Oh! thy name still responsive from my lips issued forth,
Shall ride on the blast, which blows rude from the north.

When lost and bewilder'd, no house or friend nigh,
And the torrent shall fearfully sweep o'er my way;
When the lightning shall shew me the precipice high,
Which I cautiously pass'd at the closure of day,
Oh! thy name still responsive shall answer the roar
Of the big waves that dash o'er the rude pebbl'd shore.

And, oh! if by fate, or by darkness decreed,
One false step shall encircle me deep in its bed,
And struck 'gainst a rock, as exhausted I bleed,
And feel I must quickly extended be laid,

Evening Sports—Throwing the Quoit or Discus.

Oh! thy name, in faint whispers, shall give to me power,
As struggling I stem the rough wave to the shore.

Now sports succeed, and o'er the verdant green,
In busy groupes, the sprightly race are seen.
Each amorous youth his manly vigour shews,
And hopes to please the maid for whom he glows.
The ponderous quoit with sportive haste he tries;[6]
Hurl'd from his well-nerv'd arm, the massy circle flies,
Mounts high in air, whilst eager for its fall,
With anxious eye, he marks it to the goal.
Disc succeeds disc, till scatter'd all around,
In heaps confus'd, they strew th' Olympic ground;
Whilst for a kiss th' enraptur'd victor turns,
Meed of reward from her for whom he burns;

The Approach of an Autumnal Storm over the Hills.

And dearer far shall be the kiss, when gain'd,
Than Rome's proud triumphs o'er her kings enchain'd.
But, mark the gathering clouds and night's foul bird,
With harsh discordant scream, from distance heard,
Bespeaks the rising storm; from ether hurl'd,
Th' expansive lightning strikes the trembling world;
Far south on Cambria's hills, the coming storm,
Faintly at first, now strengthening, shews its form,
And nearer now, from Werneth's corn-clad low,
And Hartshead's hoary head, illumes the world below;
Fainting and soft sighs zephyr through the trees,
And magic whispers load the passing breeze.
Fear not, ye hinds! no mischief will be found,
To-morrow's sun will shew your corn embrown'd:
Your ready sickles for the field prepare,
Nor heed the sultry heats, nor rapid lightning's glare.
Jove's red right arm alone directs the storm,
Nor arm'd with bolts, nor angry is his form;
And Jove's great queen, as erst from Ida's height,
On Ilion's plain, she view'd the doubtful fight,

Surprise—The Maniac's Song.

Sees unappall'd her spouse the storm direct,
And all our earth his fiery form reflect;
Whilst every object, cloath'd in silvery hue,
With momentary radiance strikes the view.
But, hark! what fairy voice floats mournful near,
Steals o'er the sense, and strikes the raptured ear?
Softly ye winds, be every sigh represt,
Whilst magic numbers sooth the throbbing breast:
Let graver thoughts to music's powers unbend,
And pleasing languor o'er the mind descend;
And whilst the notes swell on the trembling gale,
Let gentle pity weep the mournful tale.

The sod is his pillow, the cold earth his bed,
Whilst I, a poor maniac, wander forlorn,
Or pluck the pale primrose, his grave to o'erspread,
Or wash it with tears from evening to morn.

The Maniac.

Oh when, or oh where shall this poor heart have rest?
Since the cold earth lies heavy on Corydon's breast.

With pansies and yew they encircled his bier,
They chaunted the hymn as they bore him along,
And, as slowly they moved, from each eye fell a tear,
And it fell for the youth whom they loved so long.
Oh when, or oh where shall this poor heart have rest?
Since the cold earth lies heavy on Corydon's breast.

Ob! cold are the lips of the youth that I lov'd,
And gone the emotions he glanced from his eye,
And still is that heart which so constantly prov'd
How my presence was dear, as it rose in a sigh.
Oh when, or oh where shall this poor heart have rest?
Since the cold earth lies heavy on Corydon's breast.

And see the pensive form glides lonely near,
With languid eye and melancholy air;
To deep despair a prey, her wandering mind
Starts at the straw, and trembles at the wind.


The passing breeze, sweeping the dewy lawn,
Echoes her sighs for breathless Corydon.
The living lustre of her eyes are flown,
"And melancholy marks her for her own."
Fantastic wreathes twine her fair form around,
Float on the wind, or trace the dewy ground.
The drooping willow round her wan form creeps:
Wove in her braided hair, the gloomy cypress weeps.
Ah, what avails! nor youth, nor beauty's bloom,
Nor weeping friends shall save her from the tomb.
Grant me, kind heaven, whilst here below I stay,
Reason's free use to guide my devious way;
Then, proud of strength, the conscious mind shall rise,
Mount in the storm, and adverse fate despise.


R. & W. DEAN, Printers, Manchester.

  1. James, Earl of Derby, was beheaded at Bolton; he was an active supporter of the royal cause, against the unjust usurpations of parliament. He raised, by his personal influence, a body of thirty thousand men, in the counties of Lancashire and Cheshire, and brought them to, the support of his Sovereign. Some unfortunate prejudice, not yet cleared up by History, seems to have withheld from him the confidence of his royal master. However injurious such a prejudice was to the Earl, his actions approved him a brave, active; and loyal man. He retired to the Isle of Man, which ha held for the king a considerable time; afterwards joining his son Charles the second, he was taken prisoner after the battle of Worcester; tried by a council of war, according to Rapin; and beheaded at Bolton, October 15th. 1652. His lady, famous for her ever memorable defence of Latham House, we are informed by Hume, retained the "the glory of being the last person in the three kingdoms, and in all their dependent dominions, who submitted to the victorious commonwealth." Tindal has the following remark in a note, "What reward his son had for this famous Earl's loyalty, will appear by the following inscription, fixed by the present Earl of Derby on a building erected at Knowsley, in Lancashire—James, Earl of Derby, Lord of Man, and the Isles, Grandson of James, Earl of Derby, and Charlotte, daughter of Clande Duke de la Tremonille, in France; whose husband James was beheaded at Bolton, on the 15th. of October, 1652, for strenuously adhering to Charles the second, who refused a bill, passed unanimously by both houses of parliament, for restoring to the family the estate lost by his loyalty to him, 1732.'".
  2. James Brindley, a man of a most extraordinary capacity, was born at Tusted, in Derbyshire, in 1716, and died at Turnhurst, in Staffordshire, in 1772. He was bound apprentice to a millwright, and followed the business some time at Macclesfield: as his talents developed themselves he was consulted by the late Duke of Bridgewater, and entrusted with the planning and formation of his canal; an undertaking which he executed in so masterly a manner, as to recommend and make himself necessary to all those projections which so quickly followed the success of the Duke's. He became a mechanic and engineer of the highest consequence, and was consulted upon almost all the important concerns, connected with his profession, in the kingdom. It is said he fell a victim to the intensity of his application. It was his custom to retire to bed for the space of two, three, or four days, to contemplate upon the undertakings he was employed for. In making his calculations he only used the pen to note the result of his mental operations; from this point he again took up the calculation, and arriving at a new result, noted it, and thus continued step by step advancing to his conclusion: hence his memory must necessarily have been exceedingly retentive, and his reasoning faculties and judgment clear. He is spoken of as a man liberal and communicative; of a most astonishing capacity; of a great genius, though unimproved by science or letters; of an intense application, and strict integrity.—See Aikin's History.
  3. The Lords de la Warr were formerly Lords of the manor, and their house stood upon the ground now occupied by the College. The College was founded by Thomas Lord de la Warr, in the ninth year of Henry the fifth. It is an heavy stone building, strongly situated upon an eminence at the conflux of the Irk and the Irwell. When Humphrey Cheetham, Esq. founded and endowed an hospital and library at Manchester, the College was purchased for that purpose, in 1655. The object of the endowment was to maintain and educate 40 poor boys, and to bind them apprentice, or otherwise provide for them: since that time the property has so much increased in value, that the trustees are now enabled to provide for more than double the original number. The library consists of about 20,000 volumes.
  4. The late Benjamin Gibson, Esq. was a man of the highest professional attainment and talent; a man warm in his friendships, communicative upon professional subjects, of a great delicacy of sentiment, and peculiar tenderness of honour. His genius was penetrating, and judgment solid; of a clear head and steady hand; attentive, tender, and humane; of a remarkable prepossessing address and suavity of manner, admirably calculated for ensuring confidence. As a lecturer upon Anatomy and Physiology, his claims to reputation were very superior; his delivery was clear, fluent, and unembarrassed, arising from a perfect knowledge of his subject. As an occulist, his fame has never been exceeded, except in the Metropolis. He was a man possessed of a constant activity in the search of professional improvement; of a just and laudable ambition; too soon snatched away from his friends and the public.
  5. General John Burgoyne, a man memorable for his misfortunes and his talents; a privy councellor; Lieutenant General; Colonel of the 4th. Regiment of Foot; and Member for Preston. In 1777 he advanced from Canada, with a mixed army of British, Germans, and Indians. The difficulties of a march through woods, whose roads had been broken up or rendered impassable, together with the necessity of keeping open communications in his rear, for the purpose of ensuring a supply of provisions, seem to have contributed greatly to the failure of the expedition. To these may be added a want of regular communication betwixt his army and those of Sir William Howe, and Sir Henry Clinton, as well as a jealousy occasioned by his superseding Sir Guy Carlton. The difficulties of his army increased to such an extent after the passage of Hudson's river, and particularly after the affair at Bennington, that he was under the painful necessity of agreeing to a convention with General Gates at Saratoga, on the 16th. October, 1777. In his "State of the Expedition from Canada," he complains very heavily of the intrigues of Lord George Germaine. After his return from America, he came down to Chadderton, and seems to have relaxed his mind by the use of the pen. He wrote the Heiress, one of the most beautiful of our sentimental Comedies; and was the author of several other lighter compositions. He married Charlotte, daughter of the Earl of Derby and died in London, August 4th. 1792. He had the character of an accomplished gentleman, and scholar; of a fine writer; brave and enterprising; benevolent and liberal; and of a strong and vigorous mind, unimpaired by injuries or misfortune.
  6. ————Quisque suis accingitur armis,
    ————Jactique legens vestigia, primam,
    Qui certamen init, sphæram demittit————
    ————Radit iter, donec sensim primo impete fesso
    Subsistat; subito Globus emicat alter et alter.
    Vide Sphæristerium a Jo. Addison.