Come Now Begin Delving
"Come new 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 work down the sun.
With speed the desirable - work to compleat,
The hope now alluring - the spirit how great?
By Severn we soon, I've no doubt in 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 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 'twill be,
Well freighted the trows, and barges to see,
The country 'twill charm, and new life give to trade,
When the seat of the Arts shall a seaport be made.
With pearmains and pippins 'twill gladden the throng,
Full loaded the boats to see floating along;
And fruit that is fine, and gocd hope for our ale,
Like Wednesbury pit-coal, will always find sale.
So does the age 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."
From Aris's 'Birmingham Gazette' (1 Aug 1791) as printed in 'Canal Songs' by Jon Raven.
Recorded on :
As recorded by Jon Raven & Sue Harris