Aris’s Birmingham Gazette – SONG, on obtaining the BIRMINGHAM and WORCESTER CANAL BILL

1 August 1791


Come, now begin delving, the Bill is obtain’d,
The contest was hard, but a conquest is gain’d;
Let no time be lost, and to get business done,
Set thousands to work, that will work down the sun.

With speed the desirable work to compleat,
The hope how alluring – the spirit how great!
By Severn we soon, I’ve no doubt on my mind,
With old father Thames shall an intercourse find.

By int’rested motives tho’ people are led,
With many the ground who from fancy may tread;
‘Twill prejudice stifle, and malice strike dumb,
When the seat of the Arts shall a sea-port become.

Redditch, where the sons of the Needle reside,
Who commerce revere, and make friendship their pride,
The prospect enraptures – and Bromsgrove no less,
Has cause at the victory joy to express.

In Europe’s grand Toy-Shop how pleasing it will be,
Well freighted the trows, and the barges to see;
The country ‘twill charm, and new life give to trade,
When the seat of the Arts shall a sea-port by made.

With pearmains and pippins ‘twill gladden the throng,
Full loaded the boats to see floating along;
And fruit that is fine, and good hops for our ale,
Like Wednesbury pit-coal will always find sale.

So much does the rage for Canals seem to grow,
That vessels accustom’d to Bristol to go;
Will soon be deserting Sabrina’s fair tide,
For shallows and shoals sailors wish to avoid.

As freedom I prize, and my Country respect,
I trust not a soul to my toast will object;
“Success to the PLOUGH, not forgetting the SPADE,
“Health, plenty, and peace, Navigation and Trade.”

The Seat of the Arts, July 5, 1791.

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Image courtesy of: Birmingham Central Library
Donor ref: Aris-1791-08-01-0001