i A1r

The
Scottish Village:

or,
Pitcairne Green.

Price two shillings.

ii A1v iii A2r
15.

The
Scottish Village:

or,
Pitcairne Green.

A
Poem.

By Mrs. Hannah (Parkhouse) Cowley.

London:
Printed for G.G.J. and J. Robinson, in Pater-Noster-Row.
1786M DCC LXXXVI.

iv A2v
v A3r

A Preface.

Reading the paper lately at breakfaſt, I ſaw an account of the ſplendid ceremonies uſed at Pitcairne Green, in Scotland, on marking the boundaries of an extenſive village to be erected on that ſpot, for the purpoſe of introducing the Lancaſhire manufactures. Theſe ceremonies were aſſiſted by all the perſons of conſequence, of each ſex, in that part of the kingdom;――amongſt the Ladies were Mrs. Graham, Lady C. Graham, &c; &c; As my eye ran it over, it dropt a tear on the paſſage. It muſt have appeared ridiculous enough, for there was certainly nothing very moving in it:――however, I have ventured to give both the tear and the feelings which made it ſtart, to the Genius of the place. I wrote merely to appeaſe my ſenſations; and having written (according to the old ſtory) my friends 8 adviſed vi A3v vi adviſed me to publiſh; and they are obeyed. If the public ſhould not find the trifle intereſting, they will at leaſt do it the juſtice to let it ſlide into oblivion, and forgive (I truſt) the few hours the compoſition coſt me.

The little work has not been without its difficulties. My canvas was to hint a Landſcape――a Landſcape in a country which I had never ſeen. The accounts preſented by travellers might be falſe, or they might be invidious, yet they were to govern me! Notwithſtanding I yielded to this, images very diſſimilar crouded to my pen; the proſpects of Devon――dear native ſcenes! were for ever before me; and all my recollection was neceſſary, to prevent the tears of Dryades from falling for the loſs of their ſhades, and Nightingale from pouring its regrets, that its ancient habitations were invaded.

Had the ſcite of the intended village been in that province, deſcription would have had room to range;――fancy might have rioted, and the moſt luxuriant imagination ſated itſelf. There, a poet might have led his readers through verdant lanes (for ſo in other counties Devon’s turnpikes would be named) where the high hedges compoſed of hawthorn, ſweet-brier, myrtle, and vii A4r vii and a thouſand flowers, effectually ſcreens the traveller from the moſt ſultry ſun,――there, through the breaks, a country preſents itſelf, all enchantment! and where, if the Cottager did not boaſt views as delightful as the Nabob and the Patrician, the whole province might be miſtaken for one vaſt artificial pleaſure-ground. Whilſt the ear is filled with all the muſic, poured from the throats of the goldfinch, the blackbird, and the thruſh, the eye inceſſantly wanders over painted meads, and roves from hill to dale――reſts on the ſoft foliage of ſloping woods, and purſues the ſerpentine of pellucid rivers;――beholds fields of burniſhed corn waving like a golden ſea, to the tremulous breeze; and orchards loaden with ſuch fruit, as makes the ſtory of the Heſperides ſcarcely ſeem a fable.

This little ſketch (literal, not poetical) is for the information of thoſe of my friends in Scotland, who have not yet croſſed the Tweed; and to ſuggeſt to them when they do, not to return perſuaded of having ſeen the landſcapes of England, unleſs they have travelled through Dorſetſhire, Somerſet, and devon.

7 It viii A4v viii

It has been told to me, that this village, and Doctor Goldſmith’s will be contraſted――I earneſtly deprecate ſo fatal a compariſon! Goldſmith’s is the poem of a Politician, and ſoars with a ſtrong wing!――mine is a butterfly fluttering over the field, and here and there repoſing on a cowſlip, or a daiſey. That was defended from criticiſm by its magnitude; may this find ſafety in its littleneſs!

H. Cowley.

To thoſe who may think the meaſure in which the poem is written, needs an excuſe, the following is offered. The alternate verſe of ten ſyllables, has been pronounced by Dryden, whoſe knowledge of Engliſh metre was not inconſiderable, to be the moſt perfect of all the meaſures which our language affords. Doctor Johnson.

The 01 B1r

The Scottish Village: or, Pitcairne Green.

Why weeps the Genius of the arid waſte,

Bending thus penſive from her fulgent ſky?

Can beings pure like thee of ſorrow taſte――

Thoſe next to Angel ever breathe a ſigh!

Sage, yet unlearn’d! ’tis now thy hour to know

That the dear privilege to feel――to ſigh――

To bid the tear from ſacred pity flow,

Is not alone for man, or earth-form’d eye.

Where the pre-eminence that Angels boaſt,

If coldly conſcious, in eternal reſt

B They 02 B1v 2

They form a bright, inſenſate, vap’ry hoſt

By Heav’n’s moſt precious gift to feel unbleſt?

The keeneſt feelings of the human mind

Exiſt more keenly in the angelic frame,

More elevated, poignant, and refin’d――

As earth’s more ſordid than ethereal flame.

Wonder not therefore that an Angel’s brows

Thus drooping, ſhould no cheering luſtre ſhed;

But give attention――ſo thy fate allows!

Whilſt I record the woes for which it fled.

Behold this plain, ſtretch’d by Creation’s hand,

When each chaotic element arous’d

Sprung forth elaſtic at the dread command――

Fled to its home, and there obedient hous’d.

Since that firſt inſtant of the young-born time,

Guiltleſs the moments of this plain have run;

Each cloſing year, and ſummer’s happy prime,

In ſweet ſimplicity its hours have ſpun.

7 The 03 B2r 3

The yellow broom that gilds its fartheſt bounds,

And verdant carpet ſoftly ſpread between,

Mark, where light fairies nightly trip their rounds,

Happy to gambol ſecret and unſeen.

Here calmeſt zephires waft their airy wings,

And birds of ſolitude flit muſing by,

And ſometimes too the bird that ſweetly ſings,

Chants forth its pleaſures to the lucid ſky;――

Whilſt in the bluſhing chambers of the weſt,

A thouſand tender dies their tints prepare,

Which rapidly th’ horizon round inveſt,

Streaming priſmatic glories thro’ the air!

That ruſſet mountain, on whoſe fartheſt ſide

The modeſt beams of morn firſt ever play,

Till from its top the ardent ſun looks down,

And gilds the valley with a bolder ray――

Owns in its riven baſe a cavern dank,

Where oozing, filter’d drops of doubtful green,

B2 Harden’d, 04 B2v 4

Harden’d, ſuſpended, hang like willows lank,

A ſparkling, jewell’d, vegetative ſcene!

In that reſplendent grove a hermit read

Myſterious nature’s laws that never ſwerve,

His life, the virtues and religion led

To ſanctify the ſpace you now obſerve.

Here, rapt in second sight he frequent ſaw

The future ſcene appear, and fade away;

His country groan beneath the feudal law,

Or glut with power, the tyrant of the day:

Its neighbour England with irruptive bands

Watching each turn, and ſhadings of its fate,

To bind with manacles its warlike hands,

And make it feodal to her haughtier ſtate.

At length with pride he ſaw his Scotland give

Monarchs, to wear its rival’s ſplendid crown;

Bleſt in the union, ſaw each kingdom live――

Bound in one Empire――taſting one Renown!

Sacred, 05 B3r 5

Sacred, to viſions grand like theſe, was kept

The varied circle this horizon bounds,

And when with Seers long paſt, the Hermit ſlept,

Still ſhadowy viſitants breath’d heav’nly ſounds.

’Twas thus when feuds unfilial tore the land,

And horrid war her crimſon flag unfurl’d,

And dread rebellion, with its ſanguine hand,

Midſt peaceful ſwains its ſharpeſt mis’ries hurl’d――

’Twas thus this hallow’d ſpot misfortune ſpar’d,

Nor war nor mis’ry in its precincts dwelt,

No cry of woe its peaceful bound’ries ſcar’d,

No mother by her bleeding offspring knelt.

Did turbid clans e’er preſs this moſſy heath,

Have rival Thanes here proudly claſh’d the ſhield?

’Twas not with hoſtile thoughts, nor vows of death,

They came not here to conquer, but to yield.

Here hath the oath of mutual peace been bound,

Here melting Chiefs their melting foes embrace,

3 And 06 B3v 6

And all the ſounds that martial joy breathes round,

Erſt, have reach’d Heaven, from this ſelected place.

But rolling years have drawn their veil between,

Nay ages, born of ages, paſt away,

Since the ſoft calm which bleſt this modeſt green,

Knew the loud clamours of a martial day:

Repoſe and peace have hover’d near,

Whilſt vice and ſhame their haunts at diſtance keep;

Unknown alike to violence, and fear,

Here terrors ſhrink not, and no ſorrows weep.

But now approacheth faſt the hour of change;

E’en whilſt I ſpeak, the ſcene I vaunt is paſt;

Here ſhall no more the feath’ry fairies range――

The late nocturnal revel, was their laſt!

See, quick advance the num’rous motley croud,

Mechanics, Pedants, Traders pour along;

Their joy breaks forth in carols rude and loud,

And beauty’s preſence animates the ſong.

The 07 B4r 7

The verdant face of this once happy plain,

The ſharp-tooth’d mattock ſhall deform and tear,

That evil firſt, and then an endleſs train,

Follow the footſteps of yon graceful Fair!

They bid!

The future Town, ſubmiſſive to their will,

Riſes from Earth, and ſpreads its ſkirts around――

Oh! that the marble, in its quarry ſtill,

Unhewn, unform’d, had kept its reſt profound!

With it, the ſocial evils all ruſh in,

The’ oppoſing paſſions that diſtract mankind,

The blazon’d crime, the fly, well-cover’d ſin,

Nor will one petty vice remain behind.

Slander, and avarice, and pen’ry ſcant,

The proud man’s ſcorn, the rich man’s ſturdy mien,

Wide-ſquand’ring luxury, and pallid want,

All haſte to form the varied, wretched ſcene.

And ſhall the mighty woes of hapleſs love

Be here unfelt; the heart not here be torn?

Oh 08 B4v 8

Oh no! in all their violence they’ll rove――

Swains ſhall betray, and maidens feel their ſcorn.

Already ſure, the diſmal ſounds I hear,

The broken vow accus’d, the rending ſigh――

Ah ſee! the love-lorn ſtretch’d upon her bier,

Rent from all joy, ſhe only knew to die!

Falſe friendſhip too, ſpreads out its cloſe-wove net,

And ſtabs the truſting with a barbed ſpear;

Its arrows, black ingratitude has ſet――

Yonder a robber ſkulks; a murd’rer here!

Ah, canſt thou wonder, Sage! I mourn the hour?

Thou’ſt heard the cauſe that ſwell’d my ſtarting tear;

Haſte and reflect within thy ſecret bower――

Ponder the change, and be thy grief ſincere!

Here paus’d the Genius! Age bent low its head,

Its hoary treſſes floating on the wind;

Oh bright Intelligence! then firmly ſaid,

Permit a mortal to unveil his mind.

Sad 09 C1r 9

Sad is your prophecy, and oh too ſure

Fate will its utmoſt latitude fill up;

Each promis’d ill ’tis fix’d we muſt endure,

And drink from ſorrow’s ſtill repleniſh’d cup;――

But not unmix’d the bitter draught ſhall flow,

Not unallay’d the hov’ring mis’ries ſting,

Felicities ſhall blunt the ſenſe of woe,

And o’er it, joys their downy mantle fling.

If ſocial evils overſpread thy plain,

The ſocial bleſſings too will haſte along,

And on the ſpot where vice ſhall lead its train,

Illuſtrious virtues eagerly ſhall throng.

Yonder rude circuit, where th’ obtruſive fern

In ſullen vegetation chills the glance,

A few revolving halcyon months ſhall turn

To an all-cheering, lucid, gay expanſe.

C scotland’s 10 C1v 10

Scotland’s grand staple there ſhall glad the ſight,

Courting the blanching beams of day’s bright orb,

Who’ll give enduring luſtre to its white,

And ev’ry ſlight impurity abſorb:

There from the loom the coſtly web be brought,

By Pallas taught in ſoft feſtoons to riſe;

Which late from Belgia, diſtant kingdoms ſought,

But now ’tis Caledonia grants the prize!

There the rich damaſk ſpread its fruit and flowers,

For royal tables, and for halls of ſtate:

There the tranſparent lawn diſplay its powers,

To ſoften beauty, and new charms create.

Proud Mancheſter will here her fame divide,

Her varied works, her faſhion, and her taſte;

This, bind in ſnowy veſt Horatio’s ſide,

That, flow in graceful folds from Chloe’s waiſt.

7 The 11 C2r 11

The ſtripe ſo well diſpos’d, the glowing bloom

Which overſpreads the whole, ſhall here be ſeen:

Go Manchester, and weep thy ſlighted loom――

Its arts are cheriſh’d now in Pi’tcairne green!

For theſe, whilſt Labour chants her jocund ſong,

Shall foreign prows be pointed to our ſhores;

Each rival port our ample harbours throng,

Pouring its tribute, for our native ſtores.

Thus bleſt, this village ſhall ſome unborn age

Behold a city, grac’d with many a dome;

Of note in commerce, and of arts the ſtage,

Where taſte induſtrious, ne’er ſhall want a home.

If here the craving miſer heaps his gold,

And frowns upon the ſhiv’ring needy wretch;

Here ſhall benevolence her charger hold,

And pity, wide her foſt’ring arms outſtretch.

Soft elegance ſhall bid around us riſe

The ſpell all feel, but never can deſcribe,

C2 Scarce 12 C2v 12

Scarce tangible by thought, the pen it flies,

Pride cannot catch it, nor importance bribe;――

Not ſenſe, not lovelineſs, nor wealth, nor wit,

But form’d of all, the charming phantom roſe,

Adorns each time and place with graces fit,

But in domeſtic hours ſupremely glows!

And who like Scotland’s daughters ſo prepar’d

To ſpread the faſcinating ſweet around?

When thro’ the Sex, great Nature beauty ſhar’d,

Who knows not, here the richeſt gift was found?

Thus, tho’ diſaſt’rous love ſhould find a grave,

Or mourn the violated vow of bliſs,

Yet here ſhall faithful Love the maiden ſave,

And parents cheer her with the nuptial kiſs.

The ſong of rapture ſhall the bridegroom pour,

As oft he wanders thro’ the ſunny glades,

And 13 C3r 13

And brides ſhall bleſs the ſacred binding hour;

Whiſp’ring their tranſports in the ſecret ſhades;

For ſhades shall be, where now the thiſtle red

Spreads o’er the heath its ſlender prickly ſtalks;

And where the tangley furze conceals its bed,

There ſhall the grove divide its tepid If this word is objected to, it may be recollected, that though a grove in Africa would be cool, in Scotland it muſt be warm. walks.

For Nature’s ſelf to Commerce ever yields,

Commerce, whoſe power each hemiſphere adorns――

Which bids the dunny heath bloom forth in fields,

And in the Deſert pours the Naiades’ urns.

Yes, that bleſt power will here exert her force,

And wooing ſterile nature to its arms,

Bid ſtranger riv’lets wind their ſilv’ry courſe,

And native moors conceal with foreign charms.

But happier ſtill! learning ſhall raiſe the pile

Deſign’d the fret of ages to withſtand;

Within, 14 C3v 14

Within, the claſſic ſcholar form his ſtile,

And pour inſtruction thro’ the liſt’ning land.

Ah! from its walls some future ſage may burſt

To charm or awe the centuries to come;

A Thomson in its cells be haply nurs’d,

A Blair ſhed ſplendor o’er the choſen dome.

The Lawgiver from thence ſhall draw the ſeeds

Of growing honour, dignity, and fame,

Here ſhall enſure the future ſplendid meeds,

That crown his labours, and extend his name.

A Mansfield, Erskine, Loughborough ſhall riſe,

The boaſt of genius in untaſted times,

Spreading our glory round the diſtant ſkies,

And mark us envied by more happy climes.

Philoſophy’s profound diſciples too,

Shall in its ayles a new Lyceum find;

Platonic 15 C4r 15

Platonic ethics, ſyſtem plain, and true,

Shall there be honour’d in the tutor’d mind.

A Hume!――a ſecond Hume from thence may ſhine,

In luſtre like the firſt, but oh his heart

Shall humbly melt before Religion’s ſhrine,

And prompt his talents to a better part!

A Robertson ſhall bid the copious ſtream

Of long-collected knowledge fill his page;

Dark ages make with light reverted gleam,

And bright-ſtept freedom trace from ſtage to ſtage.

So a vaſt reſervoir’s compacted flood

To bleſs a famiſh’d people ſpends its wealth,

Pours our itſelf to renovate their blood――

By Heaven ſupplied with future ſtores of health.

A poliſh’d Stuart too will then be known,

To ſcatter roſes o’er the ſlander’d Fair;

To 16 C4v 16

To bind the cypreſs round the riven crown,

And ſteal our tears, for miſeries ſo rare!

His name ſhall ever tender Beauty prize

Firſt, in the climax of the literate few,

Who from the mold of time ſtill bright ariſe,

And ev’ry rapid cent’ry keep in view.

And ah! whilſt future Bayes luxuriant ſpread,

Shall not the Myrtle in our gardens glow?

Yes; whilſt the laurel crowns the manly head,

The bloſſoms for the fair ſhall gladlier blow.

A Scottiſh Seward ſhall demand the prize――

She from whoſe penſive and mellifluous throat,

Where e’er misfortune ſcowls her cheerleſs eyes,

Is pour’d the pitying, melancholy note!

Thus the ſad Nightingale throughout the night

Her fond complaint rings thro’ the leafy grove;

And 17 D1r 17

And ſo endears the ſcene, we dread the light――

Deteſt the ſprightlier note, and ſorrow love.

For glowing Barbauld ſhall another Iſle

Be found, amidſt ſome diſtant frozen waves,

Which deck’d in all the fervors of her ſtile,

Shall bloom like that , Corſica. ſhe from oblivion ſaves.

Perchance that Iſle, convulſive nature tore

Wrathful! from ſad Meſſina’s once-fam’d port,

When the proud marbles which adorn’d its ſhore,

Were daſh’d on rocks, and made the billows’ ſport.

When the mad mother, and the ſwallow’d child,

The tott’ring palace, and the tower prone,

Gave at one view, ruin ſo vaſt and wild,

As chills the quicken’d fleſh almoſt to ſtone.

Then! in that lab’ring moment of the earth,

Midſt the Norwegian ſeas an iſland ſprung――

D Let 18 D1v 18

Let Barbauld celebrate the wond’rous birth,

And all its grandeur by her muſe be ſung!

She’ll lift the veil of time, and ſhew us how,

The climate works upon the cind’ry The iſland on its emerging, about three years ſince, was ſaid to make this appearance, and afterwards to diſgorge flames. maſs;――

What, the vaſt proſpects of the unborn now

And all its figures, in her magic glaſs.

She’ll ſhew that land which when beneath the ſkies

Of ſoft Italia, bloom’d in ſcented flowers,

Painted its ſurface with the richeſt dyes,

And burſt in hills, and gave its ſhade in bowers;――

She’ll ſhew it then, diveſt of ev’ry ſweet

That once endear’d it to the eye of taſte;

No flowers, no rills, the wand’ring eye ſhall meet――

No ſoft embroid’ry o’er the ſnowy waſte.

But tho’ not ſweet, the ſcen’ry will be grand!

Not rills but torrents, will her muſe diſplay;

That 19 D2r 19

That roar when rigid winds become more bland――

Grow dumb and ſtiffen, in the wint’ry ray.

No gentle hill, but mountains vaſt ſhe’ll ſhew,

Whoſe cracking pines confeſs ſtrong Boreas’ arm,

Where wild volcanoes from their ſummits glow,

And give the plains beneath an awful charm.

Arcades and temples, perhaps her muſe will ſing,

But not of marble form’d, nor part for part――

O no!

Nature will here the noble ſculpture bring

Wildly magnificent, not cramp’d by art.

Th’ arreſted cataract a dome will form,

And rapid torrents bound, in pillars riſe

Their capitals be ſculptur’d from a ſtorm――

Snatch’d, as ’tis ruſhing from the Zemblian ſkies;

On theſe the polar ſun will pour its beams,

Tinting the glacid ſcene with ſhifting hues,

D2 Now 20 D2v 20

Now ſtrong, now fading into fainter gleams――

And then at once, a ruddy blaze infuſe.

Theſe are but outlines――an unſkilful ſketch;

A powerful Barbauld muſt the ſhadings give――

No colder genius on its utmoſt ſtretch,

Can bid the frigid, cheerleſs landſchape live.

Attention tired with fancied ſcenes like theſe,

Recoils, and wiſhes for familiar hours;

Pants for the pillow’d chair, the robe of eaſe,

And gladly yields to common life, its powers.

What pen but Burney’s then, can ſooth the breaſt?

Who draw from nature with a ſkill ſo true?

In ev’ry varying mode it ſtands confeſt,

When brought by her before th’ enquirer’s view.

A power peculiar, all her portraits fill.

When lines are bold and ſtrong, a vulgar pen

5 May 21 D3r 21

May take the ſketch; it aſks no mighty ſkill

Miſers to paint, or mad, or wayward men.

But human nature in its fainteſt dye

Burney detects; drags it to open day――

Makes evident what ſlip’d the unmarking eye,

And bids it glare, with truth’s pervading ray.

The huddled beings of the common maſs,

Who to themſelves appear of equal ſort,

Muſt not in unawaken’d error paſs――

And ſure ’tis this, is keen-ey’d Burney’s fort!

Touch’d by her ſpear, they ſudden ſpring to ſight,

But not new form’d――ſhe ſhews them as they are;

She molds no character, but gives the light

Which makes them clear, as Herſchel ſees a ſtar!

Yes, ſuch as theſe, thy plain may one day boaſt:

Prize!――ſweet Intelligence, oh prize the change!

Laurels 22 D3v 22

Laurels will then ſurround our letter’d coaſt,

And here, the muſes from Parnaſſus range.

This vacant wild, till now expanſe unbleſt!

Unknown, and uſeleſs in the general ſcale,

Slumb’ring its ages in ignoble reſt,

Scorn’d, or unheeded in th’ hiſtoric tale,

Shall hence aſſume a rank, confeſs a name――

Nor hid a barren diſregarded ſpot,

But living in the breath of future fame,

Shall bleſs its happy, tho’ its late-drawn lot.

Thus ſtopt the Sage;――the Genius paus’d awhile,

As tho’ his honied words revolving o’er;

Firſt raised her eye with a celeſtial ſmile,

Which ſeem’d to promiſe ſhe would mourn no more,

Then in ſweet tone――Oh man of ſnowy years!

’Tis truth inſpires thee, and her force I own;

’Tis 23 D4r 23

’Tis ſhe hath chid away the falling tears,

And bad my fading joys again be blown.

Yes! the great Guardian of the gen’ral weal

Ne’er gives a mis’ry, but he ſends a cure;

As herbs, their antidotes will e’er reveal,

In the ſame fields which pois’nous herbs endure.

To thee I leave the bliſs which juſt men know,

Felicities which pious acts attend――

O’er thy white treſſes they ſhall ever flow,

And cheer the anxious moments of thy end!

Then darting upwards as the Sage ador’d,

Her golden pinions clave the liquid way,

A bluſhing radiance mark’d the path ſhe ſoar’d,

Till loſt amidſt the blaze of azure day!

The End.

24 D4v

The Dramatic Works of Mrs. Cowley, conſiſting of the following Pieces, viz.

  • I.

    The Runaway. A Comedy. Price 1s. 6d.
  • II.

    Albina, A Tragedy. Price1s. 6d.
  • III.

    Who’s the Dupe? A Farce. Price 1s.
  • IV.

    Belle’s Stratagem. A Comedy. Price 1s. 6d.
  • V.

    Which is the Man? A Comedy. Price 1s. 6d.
  • VI.

    Bold Stroke For a Husband. A Comedy. Price 1s. 6d.
  • VII.

    More Ways Than One. A Comedy. Price 1s. 6d.
  • VIII.

    Firſt Part of The Maid of Arragon. A Poem. Quarto. Price 2s. 6d.

May be had of Meſſrs. G.G.J. and J. Robinson, in Pater-noſter-Row.