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AN ACCOUNT OF MATLOCK BATH,
And the Picturesque Scenery of the Country
OH! that my pencil could those charms pourtray,
Which Matlock's variegated scenes display;
Where gliding through her rich romantic vale,
The Derwent circulates her healthful gale,
Gently meanders by the rocks above,
Bathing their feet in token of his love,
Or, dashing rolls along his murky waves
Through thick groves hanging from the rocks he laves
Where hills, and vallies, woods, and plains appear
In all those charms, which Nature's fav’rites wear;
The woodlands sloping, and the vallies green,
Huge rocks, with here and there a tree between,
Whose roots surprise the wond’ring stranger's eye,
Shooting on spots where earth can scarcely lie.
Where immense crags o’erhang the mountain's base,
That seem prepar’d to quit their destin'd place,
Threat’ning to crush whole townships in their fall,
And in one moment overwhelm them all.
Yet where are seen to climb the rock's rough steep,
The shepherd's boy, and still more daring sheep,
Browzing 'twixt fragments of mishapen rocks,
A view so frightful, as the boldest shocks;
Whilst the hoarse raven, croaking from her nest,
Wonders that these, should dare disturb her rest.
Where various cots adorn the mountain's side,
Like those of Gades, Britain's glorious pride,
With but one path the peasant's steps to guide ;
This too, so narrow, zig-zag, stecp, and rough,
For one to walk, there's hardly space enough ;
But should two meet, unaided by a wall,
Without great care, the outermost will fall,
And rolling down, some hundred feet of rock,
Strike on the ground, with a tremendous shock:
Sad awful victim to that want of thought,
Which Nature here, to most her sons has taught;
Rough in their speech, uncouth in their attire,
Whose wishes seldom beyond this aspire,
To live and die in honest Freedom's breast, That noblest boon, with which the peasant's blest. Nor think, O Matlock, I'll forget to praise Thy min’ral waters, in these humble lays ; That healing spring, which Heav'n has caus’d to flow, To ease the sad varieties of woe, . To raise the drooping, and dejected maid, When fell Consumption, seem'd her lungs t' invade; And hov'ring o'er a dark untimely grave; No med'cine else, her precious life could save; Restor’d to all the pleasing cares of life, The happy honors, of a virtuous wife; Restor’d, her parents' latter years t' assuage, “And rock the cradle of reposing age;" Restor’d, a mother's anxioas joys to feel, And raise up children, to the Common Weal. What grateful tide the lover's bosom warms, When now he clasps his mistress in his arms; What grateful tide the parent's heart o’erflows, When now his daughter's freed from sick bed woes, None but a parent or a lover knows. O bounteous heaven, whose goodness to mankind, In nought more plainly than in this we find, B 2
Diseases few our tender frames molest,
With which we are not with the remède blest.
On Matlock's spring I'll one more praise bestow,
Myself to it, my present spirits owe :
But its great virtues, now from few conceal’d,
Will be in time to all the world reveal’d.
Yet farther up thy sweet enchanting vale,
As though some magic spell our eyes assail,
There bursts upon them Cromford's stately mills
Rising majestic, 'midst encircling hills.
Here Nature kindly, o'er an Arkwright show'rs,
To swell our Commerce, the mechanic pow'rs ;
Whose wond’rous aid, to poor weak manual skill,
With vast conceptions, our ideas fill,
With mute submission, teaching us still more
The Great Mechanic of this World t'adore.
LINES WRITTEN AS AN EPITAPH,
On the premature Death, of my ever to be lamented
Friend, and Relation,
AUTHOR OF SANDFORD AND MERTON, &c. &c.
MOURN, mortals, mourn, here tomb’d untimely lics
God's noblest work, the virtuous, and the wise.
One, whose great mind, with gen'rous passions fraught,
Ne'er meanly acted, or e’er meanly thought.
His honor nice, his sense and judgment clear,
Sound in his morals, yet to none severe,
Equal his temper, eloquent his tongue,
His manners lively, and his talents strong,
Bold as the lion, gentle as the dove,
His bosom warm, but delicate his love ;
His kindness fostring, as Apollo's heat,
Illum’d the child of sorrow's dark retreat,
Dispell’d the gloom, that round the negro rose,
Loos’d his strong chains, and eas'd his heavy woes ;