TALBOT ROAD: A POEM.

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Argument.

 

Invocation -- Subject proposed -- Colonel Talbot, the projector of the Talbot Road Settlement, and the first who settled in, and explored the country -- Its general outline before settlement -- Discovery of Bayham and Mallahide --Exclamation of Colonel Talbot on taking a view of it, and his determination to see it settled -- First settler on Talbot Road -- Fame tells aloud its advantages -- Impressions it makes on those who visit it, and their resolution to return as settlers -- Emigration described -- Avidity with which emigrants procure lands -- Commencement of their improvements --Log Houses -- Feelings of the proprietors when reflecting on their privileges as British Subjects -- Burning timber from new lands -- Night scene at a new farm -- Apostrophe to Hope and Anticipation -- War -- Its influence on the Talbot Settlement-- The Settlers quit their occupations, and prepare to vindicate their country's rights -- Plundering of the settlers -- Peace -- Its influence on Talbot Road --Continuation of Talbot Road to the settlement below Amherstburgh -- Communication Road from Point aux Pins, to Chatham, on the Thames -- Settlement of the North Branch of Talbot Road, through the Townships of Southwold and Westminster, to the River Thames -- A short recapitulation of the preceding parts of the Poem, and a connected survey of Talbot Road, from its eastern to its western extremities -- A prophetic view of the future state of Talbot Road.

 

AWAKE my muse! awake the tuneful lyre,

And thro' its numbers breathe with hallowed fire;
Direct my hand, warm with new life my heart,
And to my soul thy gift divine impart.
A nobler theme than ever has been mine, 5
Is now the arduous task to me assign'd;
A theme, whose dignity should summon forth
The best, and boldest powers of mental worth:
Then hear, O muse! and grant my humble prayer,
And deign to give me thy peculiar care. 10

For Talbot Road, say first, what master hand

This work projected, and its order plann'd?
Bade the wild woods their rudest forms resign,
And springing beauty o'eresert shine?
'Twas TALBOT -- he, with ardent, patriot mind, 15
The noble plan, philanthropic, design'd;
Began the same, upheld, and saw it close,
Tho' all the warring fates against him rose.
On Erie's bank, first his lone cabin stood,
Remote from man, amidst a tow'ring wood, 20

Thro' which, the frequent morn, and evening blast,

In hoarse and hollow sounding murmurs past.

'Twas here th' eventful scheme of Talbot Road,

Great scheme! first from his mind spontaneous flow'd,

Destin'd to bless, some not far distant time,

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The happiest country in the happiest clime.

He found a land, by nature's bounty blest,

Pure were its waters, and its soil the best;

Healthful air its; extending far and wide,

Its nodding forests wav'd in ancient pride.

30

Its front is bounded on Lake Erie's shore,

From east to west, full fifty leagues or more;

And Thames' beauteous current, in the rear,

Rolls round his silver waters fair and clear.

Erie's broad wave, which a vast region fills,

35
Receives the tribute of some thousand rills,
Which flowing on, join in collected tides,
And fertile vales, and flowery banks divide.
There Otter Creek unfolds a beauteous scene­-
Its rising margins wave eternal green, 40
With tow'ring pines, majestic hemlocks Crown'd,
And chrystal fountains bursting from the ground­-
Its rippling branches, and its purling rills,
Descending softly from unnumber'd hills.
Gentle and balmy summer's breezes blow, 45
And woodland sweets in streams of incense flow.
Here blooming nature decks the vernal year,
While thro' the forest leaps the bounding deer;
Here health presides,--she wears ethereal plume,
And breathes the fragrance of eternal bloom; 50
Here the full feathery choir their notes prolong,
While echo answers to their mellow song.
Sweet birds!--from nature's gayest wardrobes drest,
With gaudy plumage, and with downy vest.
Thro' a broad valley rapid Catfish glides,­- 55
O'er pebbly beds descend his foamy tides;
His various branches intersect the land,
And bring their cooling streams on either hand;
Pure, and translucent, from the fount they run,
Grateful as nectar to the thirsty tongue. 60

Then Kettle Creek a little Bay unfolds,

Which to the lake its wat'ry tribute rolls;
Where scaly myriads, each revolving May,
In countless shoals, their stated visits pay.
The margin's bounded by a beauteous vale, 65
On which the tall grass bows before the gale;
And, rising upward, forms a charming plain,
Where sports fair Flora and her flow'ry train.
Uninterrupted roves the careless eye,
Where hills and vales in gay perspective lie; 70
Or where the lake its billowy surges pours,
And round the beaten cliffs tremendous roars;
Or, mirror-like, smooth and unruffled lies,
And seems to mingle with the distant skies,
Where oft the vessel glides with swelling sails, 75
Or waits impatient for the fav'ring gales.

Productive nature smiles o'er all this land,

And strews her bounties with a lavish hand,

In wild profusion--soft meand'ring rills,

Deep woods, rich dales, smooth plains, and sunny hills,

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Sylvan recesses, dark o'erhanging groves,

Where vocal songsters tune their throats to loves;

Where lurks the fox in crafty, sly career,

And in light gambols bounds the wary deer.

A land like this, created for delight,

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Industry's hardy sons might well invite,

And quickly call the energetic worth,

The powers of enterprising freemen forth,

Whose hands would soon transform the rugged wilds

To fruitful fields, and bid tam'd nature smile.

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   TALBOT was first who trod this desert ground,

Its woods he pierc'd, its situation found;

And two fair towns, from geographic night,

Bayham and Mallahide, were brought to light;*

The whole he canvass'd, its importance weigh'd

95

And, in his mind, its future state survey'd.

"Ah why," he cried, "should nature work in vain?

Why this fair land untenanted remain?

Why unappropriated lie the soil,

And thousands want its 'vantages the while?

100

It must not be--No, soon the lofty oak

Shall bow before the sturdy woodman's stroke;

Earth shall resign the burden of her breast,

And wear a richer, variegated vest;

Man shall be here, yes, man shall swarm the ground,

105
And human beings rear their dwellings round;

And, far as its extremest limits lie,

A beauteous zone shall guide the stranger's eye.

Then, mine the task to see this work begun,

And mine the pleasure to behold it done."

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Now, first of all, on Talbot Road, began

The settlement, one solitary man;

An arduous task--unaided and alone,

The place a wilderness, and scarcely known;

But he, unmindful of surrounding toils,

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Mock'd fortune's every frown--but caught her smiles­

He pierc'd the woods, his devious way he found,

And on the banks of Kettle Creek sat down.

Then bow'd the forest to his frequent stroke;

There from his hearth ascended hallowed smoke;

120

Angels look'd down, propitious from above,

And o'er his labors breath'd celestial love:­

"Go on and prosper, for throe eyes shall see

The steps of thousands, soon to follow thee;

Go on and prosper, for the fostering hand

125
Of heaven, shall plant this highly favor'd land."

Now fame's loud, brazen trump began to sound,

The tidings flew thro' all the countries round;

On Talbot Road her constant praises fell,

Nor fail'd a tongue the wondrous tale to tell;

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From far and near, all flock'd the truth to know,

But found their expectations quite below

What now their eyes beheld. "O blissful land,"

They cried, "sure nature has with lavish hand

"Scatter'd her sweets--how rich these values lie,

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"How soft the purling streams meander by!

"How lofty, towering, these deep forests rise,

"These pines, majestic, intercept the skies!

"What stately columns, that, aspiring run

"To heaven's blue arch, and hide the noon-day sun!

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"Sure, Liberty must call this favorite soil
"Her own, and o'er the whole benignly smile;

"How fitted to fair freedom's chosen race!

"How might the goddess here her sons embrace!­

"Then why should it neglected, waste remain?

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"No--here's an offer--we'll return again;

"We will return again, and fetch our sons,

"Our goods, our cattle, wives, and little ones.

"Here long and happy days are kept in store,

"And plenty teems--What can we look for more?"

150

As when a wand'ring bird, in some rich field

Espies the treasures' bounteous yield;

Well pleas'd he views the plenteous crop of grain,

And goes to tell his tribe, and come again;

He comes, and soon the feather'd squadron join

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Their straggling bands into a long drawn line;

Thick o'er the field, the assembled armies fall,

Invest the harvest, and consume it all.

So soon, the thronging bands of men appear'd

On Talbot Road, nor question'd what they heard;              

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All forward press'd the choicest seats to find,

And fix themselves unto their various mind.

Now thro' the woods their rugged roads they take

In Carts, and vehicles of various make,

O'er hills, and logs, and brooks (conveyance rough)

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By oxen drawn, to bear their household stuff;

While some, the winding way with cattle throng,

And urge the timid, bleating flocks along;

Or strike the nightly tent, with coarse design,

Beneath a spreading hemlock or a pine,

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Whose ample boughs, wide arching, well supply

The place of roof, and guard them from the sky;

And soon the quick-rais'd pile begins to blaze

In cheerful flame, and lights the midnight maze.

Around, the wearied family reclines

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In rude encampment, till the day-star shines,

And, soon as Phoebus o'er the forest smiles,

Decamp in haste, and reassume their toils.

On Erie's wave, likewise, they launch amain,

And eager hundreds plough the liquid plain; 180
Stem the rude winds that oft tempestuous sweep
The faithless bosom of the rolling deep:
To Talbot Road, the watchword of the day,
To Talbot Road they take their constant way.
As, to a smiling land of promis'd rest,          185
The expecting pilgrim hies with anxious breast;
He measures distance with a partial eye,
And counts on toils as if they were gone by:
So the lone emigrants their course maintain,
Nor tarry till the destin'd spot they gain. 190

Now Otter Creek, which thro' the country lay,

Clear'd of incumbrance, served a broad highway;
From the rough lake the battaux turn'd aside,
And rode in safety on its friendly tide.
This stream, descending from a distant source, 195
Unbroken winds thro' all its fertile course:
From Norwich, Middleton and Bayham take
And pour its bounteous current to the lake,
From which, at three leagues distance, Talbot Street
And Otter Creek, at proper angles meet. 200
This serves the settlers as a thoro'fare,
Who to the lands contiguous repair,
Or Talbot Road, whence they transport with ease,
Provisions, furniture, or what they please.

Now, ceaseless, crowd the emigrants along, 

205
And moving families the country throng;
The fertile banks of Otter Creek, some take;
Some Talbot Road, and some prefer the lake;
While others claim'd a midway space between,
And all produced an animating scene. 210

Meantime the woodman's ax, with ardor plied,

Tumbles the tow'ring pines from side to side;
Fells the huge elms, and, with tremendous crash,
Brings down the stedfast oak, and lofty ash;
Which; pil'd, and interpil'd, present around, 215

A heap of chaos on th' encumber'd ground.

Not more, should Boreas from his windy hall,

Arm'd with fell ire, his blustring forces call,

And send them, howling, o'er the sylvan plain,

While headlong fly the rifted trees amain.   

220

In heaps on heaps the shivered timbers lie,

A scene of terror to the astonish'd eye.

So crackling, crashing, thund'ring, plunging down,

The stateliest forest trees o'erspread the ground;

So roar'd, from day to day, their constant stroke,    

225
So evening clos'd, and so the morning broke.

Then rose the cabin rude, of humblest form,

To shield from rain, and guard against the storm;

Logs pil'd on logs, 'till closing overhead­

With ample sheets of bark of elms o'erspread,

230

And rough-hewn planks, to make a homely floor,

A paper window, and a blanket door.

Such dwellings, first, the hardy settlers made­

What could they more?--necessity forbade.

'Twas well--each one a full conviction felt    

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That fairer prospects waited where he dwelt;

That plenty soon would crown his honest toil,

And providence upon his labors smile,

And freedom keep her mild, protecting hand

Extended kindly, o'er so fair a land,    

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From her etherial watchtower in the sky,

And guard his dearest rights with jealous eye.

How dear a thought is this to all who feel

The blood of Britons in their bosoms swell,

That whereso'er they be, fair freedom warms    

245

Their glowing veins, and strings their manly arms;

Asserts their rights, their dignity maintains                     

Inviolate from tyrants and their chains;

That laws, no offspring of a despot's will,

Laws equal, just, into their minds instil

250

A conscious rectitude, ne'er to be found

Where grim oppression walks his jealous round;

With Circean hand extends his dark control,

And chills each noble feeling of the soul.

O power supreme! grant that we long may feel

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The priceless good, and watch, with stedfast zeal,

The vestal flame committed to our trust,

And leave posterity the rich bequest.

Now, Autumn's glowing suns with scorching ray,

Dried the fall'n timber, as exposed it lay, 260

Fit for the office of consuming fire,

Which soon shall execute the sentence dire.

The Woodman issues with a flaming brand,

Pluck'd from the hearth, brisk blazing in his hand;

Amongst the leafy brushwood fast he plies,

265

When lo! a hundred brilliant spires arise,

Columns of flame, and denser smoke that shrouds

The mid-day sun, and mingles with the clouds,

Wide wasting conflagration spreads around,

And quickly bares the bosom of the ground.

270

Herculean labors next demand the arm

Well nerv'd (such labors must begin the farm)

To pile the pond'rous logs, and clean the soil,

Which is perform'd not but with hardest toil.

O toil!--But what are toil and labor, say?--

275

They are but names that promise steals away­

Hope of reward will all their train disarm,

And e'en impart to danger's self, a charm.

Now, through the shades of the autumnal night,

The flaming log-heaps cast a glaring light; 280

In contrast deep--the clouds, of sable hue,

Spread their dense mantle o'er the ethereal blue;

Above is pitchy blackness--all below

Wide flashing fires--Around, far other show­

Majestic trees, whose yet unfaded bloom,

285

In pale reflection, gives a sylvan gloom--

A dubious maze, which leads th' uncertain sight

To the drear confines of eternal night,

As it might seem:--While midst the raging fires,

That upward shoot a thousand fork spires,           

290

Th'assiduous labourer plies his ready hands

To trim the heaps, and fire th'extinguish'd brands.

This task completed, homeward then he goes,

'Tis supper hour, and time to take repose;

But e'er he sleeps, when the repast is o'er,        

295

Behold him seated by the cabin door

To take the long accustom'd evening smoke,

With wife and sons, and at the fire heaps look;

And talk of days gone by, and times to come,

And scenes of pleasure at the new-found home. 

300

New schemes for future happiness he tells,

And with complacence on each prospect dwells;

And portions out, for the ensuing year,

A barn to build, or some new land to clear;

Or plants an orchard on the sunny hills,                   

305

And with judicious hand a garden fills;

Rich waving harvests reaps from off the fields,

And all the golden treasures Ceres yields;

And promises, when some few years are run,

To buy a farm for each deserving son,        

310

And see him settled, e'er he lays his head

To rest forever, in death's silent bed.

The listening sons stand with attentive ear,

And strictly mark the promises they hear,

Resolve to merit, by attention true,

315
The good reward presented to their view.  

O Hope! thou blest companion of mankind,  

Thou pleasing partner of the anxious mind!

Without thee, life would be a darksome void,

Barren and joyless, by itself destroy'd;          

320

But by thy latent spark's inspiring ray,

We find a leading star to point our way;  

A beam celestial to conduct the soul­

A kind attendant to life's destin'd goal.

Tho' from our grasp receding, still it flies,  

325

And still eludes us, yet it never dies;

Tho' lost betimes, it only changes place,

And still attracted, we renew the chase,

Eager and fresh, as when, first in life's course,

We felt its impulse, and obey'd its force.  

330

Anticipation, near to thee alli'd,

Thy constant handmaid, travels by our side,

And strews our path with many a sweet wild flower,

Cull'd from the choicest shrubs of fancy's bower­

A daily stipend to the sons of hope,   

335

To cheer their hearts, and bear their spirits up.

Hope, is a treasure which at usury lies­

The interest all our daily wants supplies;

And should we take the principal away,

Despair would follow, and demand his prey; 

340

But heaven, in mercy, wisely has decreed

To give its bounty only as we need,

Lest we, too prodigal of favors given,

Should prove but bankrupts to the gifts of heaven.

Now scarce had the terrestrial planet run,   

345

Its annual circuit twice around the sun,   ,

Since Talbot Road began, when lo! the sound

Of war's dread trump assail'd our ears profound,

And fell invasion, in dark terrors drest,

His daggers aim'd at the defenceless breast.   

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Caught by surprise, our infant country lay

In hopeless plight, a seeming certain prey,

Full at the will of an o'erwhelming force,

Which might destruction carry in its course.

Then consternation ran thro' every breast, 

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And sad dismay each anxious face confest;

No force, no arms, to ward the threaten'd blow,

Or stop the progress of th' invading foe;

Succour far off, and, e'er it could give aid,

A quick and easy conquest might be made.

360

Then Talbot Road, to its improvements found

A deadly blow, a desolating wound;

Its emigration ceas'd at once, and all

Its high-built hopes of greatness seem'd to fall;

Industry's nervous arm was quite unstrung, 

365

And fail'd its constant task the woods among;

Harvest was nigh, but not the harvest song,

Nor sounds of gladness woke the joyless tongue;

Sad tales of war instead, and all the train

That deal destruction, stalking round amain-- 

370

The midnight prowler, or the ruffian band,

Loos'd to run lawless o'er a conquer'd land.

But, straight recovering from the first surprise,

We saw, with joy, a dauntless spirit rise,¥

That could the doubtful, wavering breast inspire, 

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And light the lukewarm heart with martial fire.

Then, soon foregoing fear, and false alarms,

Our woodland heroes seiz'd defensive arms,

And stood at call, when duty should command,

A numerous, brave, and patriotic band.

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Far other sight was this, than, when, of late,

We saw them gather'd on th' affairs of state,

To choose a man, who, by free suffrage sent,

Should their collective body represent

In Legislative duty. Now 'tis war 

385

Demands their presence, rolling from afar,

Which must, e'er long, its wrathful vials shed,

And unprovok'd on the devoted head.

Unfinish'd the late settlers' labors lie,

Their implements of husbandry thrown by; 

390

The ax no longer thro' the forest sounds,

Nor echo to the falling trees resounds;

The half-clear'd field, where long its master toil'd,

And quit reluctant, lies a common wild.

The woodman, the new soldier's badge puts on, 

395

The knapsack, blanket, cartridge-box, and gun,

And joins his fellows, in the "tented field,"

To guard their rights, and prompt assistance yield

Their country's cause. Thus is the patriot known,

He fights his country's battles in his own.

400

Hail patriot brave! the meed of praise is due­

The laurel wreathe is merited by you­

Your country's gratitude--'tis all you crave,

For that will compensate the generous brave.

Tho' war assail'd us with appalling roar, 

405

And rais'd his hands, distilling human gore,

At once to crush, you to the danger prest,

And form'd a rampart of your daring breast,

Expos'd it freely at your country's call,

And bade the shock upon your bosom fall.

410

 

But Talbot Road (thus comes the cup of woe!)

Was doom'd to feel a desolating blow

From the irruptions of a hostile band,

That stript the people, with unsparing hand,

Of food and clothing, while the men away,  

415

On active duty, at the frontiers lay,

And e'er a force could their maraudings meet,

The mounted plund'rers made a safe retreat.

 

At last the silver-throated trump of Peace,

In friendly accents, bade the nations cease

420

Their sanguine deeds, when lo! the joyful sound,

On Eagle pinions spread the regions round;

Electric influence with its motions ran,   ,

And heartfelt transports beam'd from man to man.

In martial order now no more they burn,   

425

But to their peaceful avocations turn,

And ply their hands, industrious, to repair
The waste and ravage of destructive war.
 

The hopes of Talbot Road now rose again,

Its damped spirits took their former train;         430

Swift thro' its palsied energies life ran,

Such as was felt when first the work began;

All join'd its fallen prosperity to rear,

And quick it triumph'd o'er the spoils of war.

Again the emigrants, in eager bands,           

435

Sought out, and took, the unlocated lands,

So that they soon demanded a survey

Of those that farther to the westward lay;

And, as originally 'twas design'd,

This Road to that from Amherstburg was join'd;            

440

And, e'er the seasons twice had roll'd around,

The swarming settlers left no vacant ground.

 

At Pointe aux Pins the shore a harbor forms,

To shelter shipping from the western storms
That often vex the bosom of the lake,  445

And round the Point in raging tumult break.

Near this runs Talbot Road--some miles behind,

Say twelve, the Thames' easy current winds,

Where Chatham lies: a settlement between,

Forming a cross-way, shortly will be seen,       

450

Which will connect the River with the Bay,

Where nature has ordain'd a Town to lay.

Now to the North Branch of the Talbot Road,

A copious tide of Emigration How'd;

And by a compact settlement, we find

445

Westminster quickly to Port Talbot join'd.

Southwold fills up the intervening space,

With many a finely situated place,

As rich in soil as mortal e'er could crave,

And, own'd by men laborious and brave.          

460

A branch of Kettle Creek, meandering thro',

Some beauteous vales exhibits to the view,

And fertile banks, won from the wilds complete,

Where sport the winds in virgin crops of wheat.

Thro' Westminster, the North Branch Road extends,

465

'Midst new-wrought farms, till at the Thames it ends,

Where wide stretch'd plains, and prairies meet the eye,

And tufted banks, and riv'lets babbling by,

Fed from cool springs, o'erhung by shady trees,

That wave majestic to the summer breeze.   

470
 

Thro' nature's wilds the muse our steps hath led,

Where we've beheld her pristine form display'd,

And seen the changeful hand of time prepare,

A robe, more pleasing, for herself to wear;

We've seen the great, the philanthropic plan,  

475

Of Talbot Road, start from the master's hand;

Seen how the lonely Emigrant first came,

And gave the forest to devouring flame;

Seen hundreds follow, till the swarming bands

Extended widely o'er these fertile lands; 

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Seen war's dread tempests ravage and destroy,

And, Peace returning, fill each breast with joy;

And lastly, seen a prostrate country rise,

At once a wonder to the stranger's eyes;

Now let us see, as on a single sheet, 

485

The Talbot Road unbroken and complete.

 

In Norfolk county, first the Talbot Street

East, marks its course thro' Middleton complete;

Thence, into Middlesex, thro' Houghton Gore,

And thence, thro' Bayham, (where was mark'd before   

490

A bridle path)--thence Otter Creek comes down

From Norwich, lengthwise, nearly thro' the Town,

On which, e'en now, the Oar fair Commerce plies,

And the first efforts of her Empire tries--

Earnest of future wealth. Next along side,  495

Is the fine thriving town of Mallahide,

In which, fam'd Catfish has its easter source,

And spreads the richest bottoms in its course.

Wellington mills, late built, on Catfish stand,

To answer agriculture's loud demand;         

500

A work substantial, such as should be found

Where a fine growing country spreads around.

In order, next upon the list appears

Yarmouth, whose fame has fill'd ten thousand ears,

For beauteous plains, rich soil, translucent rills,      

505

Its rolling surface, and its verdant hills;

Its waving Cornfields, and its meadows gay,

Where bleating flocks already bound and play.

A Town, St. Thomas', is in Yarmouth laid,

On a bold bank by Kettle River, made,

510

O'erlooking the broad vale which 'neath it lies­

A striking picture in the trav'ler's eyes.

Southwold succeeds, in which the North Branch Road

Turns off to Westminster, as has been show'd:

Next Dunwich, ending Talbot Road the East,        

515

From whence it is denominated West:

Next Aldbro'‑now the reader must be sent

From Middlesex into the County Kent:

Then follows Orford; Orford, Howard join,

Harwich and Raleigh range along the line;        

520

Tilb'ry, and Romney East and West, which past,

Mersea remains, on Talbot Road the last.

Mersea's in Essex County. Now to treat

Of all their merits would be to repeat,

The praise of towns first named:--'Tis understood   

525

They all are beautiful, they all are good;

They all excite our wonder, and our tongue

Should not be silent 'till their worth be sung.

But justice faulters on my humble lays,

And my weak efforts scarcely rise to praise.       

530

Had I an angel's wing, a seraph's fire,

How would my muse to daring flights aspire!

But No!--the rigid bonds of fate can tame

The ardent breathings of a soul of flame,

Or blast the bud of genius e'er the hand  

535

Of fostering care shall teach it to expand,

And bind it down, forever to remain

Beneath his awful, adamantine chain!

Then, since my tale does nought but truth unfold,

And is a simple story plainly told,  

540

For truth's sake take it, reader, and excuse

The honest labors of my humble muse.

But e'er to Talbot Road I bid adieu,

Or take, indulgent reader, leave of you,

I would anticipate times rapid flight,  

545

And summon dark futurity to light.

All hail blest country! for the day appears,

The dawn of greatness for succeeding years,

Unfolding widely to th' enraptur'd sight,

That views its coming with supreme delight.

550

Blest is a friendly clime, and fruitful soil,

O'er which, kind providence has deign'd to smile;

Blest in a Government the people's choice,

Where reason speaks, and order lifts her voice;

And in its people blest, who, virtuous, brave,   

555
Well known to prise and guard the good they have.

Philanthropy this noble work begun,

And perseverance with its progress run;

Industry's hand shall unrelax'd, pursue

The glorious object wisdom plac'd in view;   

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Prosperity, to crown the whole design,

Shall deck the wreaths industry's fingers twine.

Commerce, the first of friends to human kind,

That opens a new creation in the mind;

That tames the hardy savage, rough and rude,   

565
And forms society for mutual good,

Shall here unfurl the broad and ample sail,

To court the favors of the rising gale;

The barque, deep laden, press the foaming tide,

And safely on vast Erie's bosom ride.    

570

Freighted with wealth from India's distant shores,

Whose burning climes the dauntless tar explores.

Beneath the blessings of their native skies,

The Town, the Village shall be seen to rise;

The stately mansion, and the costly hall,                     

575

The labell'd office, neat, convenient, small,

The ample warehouse, and the clean fireside,

Where friendship, love, and harmony reside.

The bustling town, the morn shall usher in,

And close the evening with a constant din,        

580

The din of business--Wealth already stands,

And drops profusion from his open hands.

Behold, assembled on the village green,

The youths and maidens--What a charming scene!

In summer evening, for a social walk,         

585

And the gay pleasures of familiar talk.

Love sparkles in each ruddy damsel's eyes,

And, with their glance his winged weapon flies;

Secret, yet certain, for it strikes the heart,

And bids the bounding chords of passion start.          

590

The tender tale that love delights to tell,

In accents sweet as e'er from Petrarch fell,

Flows from the tongue of the adoring swain,

Who breathes persuasion in each glowing strain.

The choral song, the repartee, the joke,                    

595

The quip, the sally, the satiric stroke,

Dealt from the "too envenom'd shafts of wit"

That wound the feelings if they aim to hit,

Full oft go round. Now see the setting sun,

Follow'd by evening vapors, dense, and dun,        

600

Impart his last rays to the village spire,

And paint the windows with the hues of fire.

Now Talbot Road itself, enraptur'd, see,

Rising transcendent in prosperity.

Far as the sight of mortal eye extends,   

605

Where Phoebus rises, or where Sol descends,

A constant chain of cultivated farms,

Possessing each a thousand rural charms,

Succeed in view--broad, waving fields of corn,

And meadows, breathing all the sweets of morn,   

610

And orchards, bowing graceful to the breeze

That rustles thro' the foliage of the trees;

The well stor'd gardens, that, with care, produce,

Enough for fancy and enough for use.

On every farm a stately mansion stands,   

615

That the surrounding fields at once commands,

Where, oft, the farmer contemplates alone,

The little Eden that he calls his own.

Blest spot! sacred to pure, domestic joy,

Where love and duty find their sweet employ. 

620

On either side the road a stately row

Of shady trees present a sylvan show,

Whose tops, wide arching, o'er the center meet,

And guard the passenger from noon-day heat.

Beneath them, nature's rich, green velvet spread   

625

In grassy carpets, or the tufted bed,

To the tir'd foot, a softer walk invites­

Or evening ramblers, innocent delights.

There children, sporting in the willowy shade,

Shall watch the changing forms by moonlight made  

630

Thro' waving branches, and, in tricks assay

To catch the phantoms e'er they flit away.

The trusty watch-dog, tarries by the gate,

As if entrusted with his master's fate,

Hails every foot-step that is passing by,  

635
And warns the master with his faithful cry.

See science beaming with resplendent light

A guiding beacon to man's erring sight,

To set fair truth before the devious will,

That it may choose the good, and shun the ill,                    

640

While meek Religion in sweet accents calls

The pilgrim home to heavenly Zion's halls.

And say, shall not some favor'd poet's song,

To nature tun'd, melodious flow along,

In sweetest cadence, by the murm'ring rill,                              

645

The mossy bank, or violet-cover'd hill,

The arching arbor, or the willow grove,

Sacred to hopeless, melancholy love?

Or in deep numbers, strike the martial lyre,

And rouse the listener's soul with glowing fire,                  

650

Which, like a flame, upon his spirit falls,

If patriot virtue or his country calls.

Thus saith the Bard, and Oh! ye powers above,

Grant that his words, may sure and certain prove.
 

ERIEUS.

 

Talbot Road, Southwold, }
28th May, 1818.

 


Until the survey of Talbot Road. [back]  
¥ Alluding to Major General Sir Isaac Brock. [back]