Inland Navigation

by John Freeth (1790)



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From pinching cold when friends retire,
The pleasant pit-coal parlour fire,
For sprightly mirth creates desire,
And brightens conversation
The earth affords of fuel store,
Our slucies run from shore to shore,
And what for Commerce has done more,
Than Inland Navigation?

Support each laudable design,
Fresh levels take - extend the line,
And hardest rocks to undermine
If need make preparation.
From Severn to the Isis go,
Delve on, my boys, it must be so.
The life and soul of commerce now
Is Inland Navigation.

To smooth the way from place to place,
And fair Sabrina's tide embrace
The land would soon a million raise.
If wanted for the occasion;
Their zeal so great, their minds so free,
Old Neptune would have smiled to see,
The Sons of Trade so chearfully,
Promoting Navigation

Advent'rous hearts who plough the main,
From unknown lands to wealth obtain,
The name of Cook (untimely slain)
Must hold in veneration;
To distant climes by choice went he,
To nobly serve, posterity,
And loft his life in gloriously
Extending Navigation

Strike out ye vessels, brave each stream,
And boldly at fresh markets aim,
For shy of late our neighbours seem,
And crampt is exportation;
Let France in air her feats display,
On land the Emperor boast his sway,
Britannia's empire is the sea,
Her pride - free Navigation

To render commerce more complete,
Where long the Arts have fix't their feat
May plans for greatest service meet
The warmest approbation;
With fervent zeal the cause to bless,
Around the board fill every glass,
And in a brimmer drink success.
To Inland Navigation

From 'The Political Songster by John Freeth (1790).
Tune : Nancy Dawson