Rev. Glocester Ridley

John Whaley, in "Journey to Houghton" 1735 ca.; Nichols, Select Collection of Poems (1780-82) 6:189 &n.

Recall we then, for still 'twill please, to mind
The morn we left dull Norwich smoke behind,
When, as the lofty spire just sunk from view,
To a fair verdant water'd vale we drew;
Where 'midst fair Liberty's all-joyous plains
Popery still seems to hug her galling chains.
The dragon in Hesperian gardens old
Thus slumbering lay, and tasted not the gold;
Thus, 'midst th' eternal spring Judea keeps,
The lazy poison of Asphaltus sleeps.

Bend then, my Muse, thy flight to Weston's plains
(No verse can flow where papal Slavery reigns),
Weston! whose groves not envy Pindus' shade,
Nor, blest with Ridley*, want Apollo's aid.
Here Virtue reigns, and o'er the fruitful land
Religion walks, with Freedom hand in hand;
His little flock the pious priest informs,
And every breast with heaven-born doctrine warms;
Soft flows his stream of eloquence along,
And truths divine come mended from his tongue.
Here the known bounty of the place we blest,
And to our number join'd the chearful priest.

* Mr. Whaley's acquaintance with this ingenious Divine originated from his being one summer in a state of rustication from college (for some youthful frolicks) at Poplar, as Dr. Ridley has told me. D. [John Duncombe]