Poem to Ryland

In a book compiled by grandson Samuel Beddome and found in the Angus Library there is a printed poem preserved with the heading we have reproduced here. It must be from the early 1740s.


From the late REV. BEN. B - ME, to the late REV. JOHN RYLAND; written from Tewksbury, the Day after he had left Bristol, his friend Ryland having accompanied him about ten Miles from Town.

DEAR BROTHER, WHEN of your company bereft,

I turn'd a little to the left;
I spurr'd my mare, and made her go
Thro' thick and thin, thro' hail and snow:
But she (alas!) is aged grown,
As by her pace may well be known.
To Tethrington I came at last,
At nine o'clock, or somewhat past;
Down by the fire I straightway sat,
Hoping the snow wou'd soon abate.
From head to foot (alas) wet thro',
I dry'd my coat, and stockings too.
I ate-and drank, and fed my, Horse:
(The charge was small, the diet coarse:)
But now an hour full expir'd,
And I with waiting almost tir'd;
I call'd to know what was to pay,
Then took my horse and rode away.
Large flakes of snow came down apace,
And still the wind was in my face:
With feet benumb'd and spirits down,
At length I came to Newport town
Then on I passed to Cambridge Inn
And there arrived wet to the skin
Again I drank, again I ate,
And gave my horse a little meat
Again I dry'd, then on I went,
Nor e'er repin'd at what I spent.
Still heavy clouds obscur'd the sky,
Now rains descended from on high.
I travell'd on, and thought of you,
And Bristol friends, and you know who;
Perhaps (said I) some of them see
The beating storm, and think of me.
Sometimes I wish'd that heav'nly grace
Might thus bedew our fallen race.
'The Lord' (said I) 'with gentle show'rs
Visit these barren souls of ours,
Till ev'ry plant of grace within
Be like the earth more fresh and green!'
At Gloster now did I arrive,
A quarter wanting just of five;
At Mrs Smith's I made some stay,
Tir'd with the labours of the day.
Such acts of kindness there I met,
'Twou'd be ungrateful to forget.
A welcome glass, some cheering tea,
I wish'd my RYLAND there with me;
If ever you to Gloster come,
I'd have you make that house your home.
But still to Tewkesbury I must go;
There's nought enduring here below;
And now the heav'ns more fair and bright
(At even tide there oft is light)
I took the hint and mounted straight
And got to Tewkesbury just at eight.
O thou e'er-availing Power above
Accept the tribute of my love.
O thine upholder of my ways
Now move my lips to grateful praise!
This night I've had a little sleep
And onwards am engag'd to keep.
The Lord be with you, my dear friend,
And me to those I know commend,
To parents dear be love expressed,
And then to Mrs Evans next
First read, then burn these doggerel lines.
But I must haste - day brightly shines.
Then think of me as I of you,
My dearest friend once more adieu.

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