1786 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Hannah Cowley

Manucuniensis, "To Mrs. Cowley, upon her late Poem of Pitcairne Green" Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser (17 August 1786).



Devon, may rich and various landscapes boast,
Of hawthorn fragrance, and her myrtle bowers:
Her streams serpentine, wand'ring through her coast,
Her sweet-briar hedges, and her thousand flowers.

Delightful country! — Yet the season bear
An influence o'er her variegated charms:
In spring — the sweetest season of the year,
Her op'ning beauties ev'ry bosom warms:

But winter comes, with desolation drear—
With ling'ring hardships — and chill pen'ry pent;
Ah! who can tell; — how many see! — the tear—
The freezes e'er, sad sorrow finds — a vent!

But your bright Muse, in ev'ry season shines;
Shines, like the lustre of perpetual day;
Like polish'd diamonds from the richest mines—
Your varied thoughts their wond'rous powers display:

Such as are bounded by no pedant ties,
But form'd by nature, and by learned ease;
A mind that can, whate'er it would, supply
That never fails t' astonish and to please.

Whilst Pitcairne Green — (rich industry's new friend)
In Arts — in Sciences — in learning grows;
Time must for ages on her trade attend,
E'er that, as perfect as your Poem flows.

Nor do I wish (forgive the honest thought)
That SCOTTISH Looms should MANCHESTER'S outvie,
Whose numerous branches to improvement brought,
By fine-spun textures, many colour'd — dye:

Let her be parent of the trade she rear'd
That bring such riches to our native soil;
Nor shall your Pitcairne Green be less endear'd,
But grow in greatness, from her future toil.

Say, did not Manchester, with due regard
To Britain's wrongs; — first arm her sons for war!
A lofty race; — intrepid, — active, — hard:
CALPE'S fam'd mount, can speak them, what they were!

Commerce and arms — by Int'rest's bending chain
Are ever join'd; — she spreads her produce wide;
Whilst arms, with gen'rous pride, our rights maintain—
She dares all climes, to have your wants supplied.

Would but the Bard Mancumium's trade review,
Again your mind would form some sweet design:
The skillful artists would receive their due;
And a new Poem — like your PITCAIRNE, shine.