A Prophetic Picture

“ Blest and thrice blest the Roman

Who sees Rome’s brightest day. ”

Macaulay’s Lays of Ancient Rome.

The following poem will have only a local interest. It was suggested by a prophecy, uttered by an old Craven person. He expressed his conviction that at some future time the valley of the Ribble, near Stainforth, would abound with the chimneys of factories, and Winskill be studded with villas. He also depicted an ideal road from Langcliffe to Winskill, up which carriages could be driven at full gallop.


Blest and thrice blest the mortal,

Who sees that glorious day,

When carriages up to Winskill

Come galloping all the way –

Who sees the lordly mansion

And stately villa rise,

Where now the shaggy limestone-cliffs

Tower upward to the skies ;

Who sees in the green meadow,

Where skylarks soar and sing,

The warehouse and the dwelling-house,

Like mushrooms, upwards spring –

Who sees the sparkling Ribble,

Where cattle come to drink,

With poisonous dyes from many mills,

Run downward, black as ink.

When they have done this railway,

Which reaches many a mile,

And opens out the country

From Settle to Carlisle –

When the name and fame of Craven

Are spread throughout the land,

Its limestone crags, its broad, blue flags,

Its hills and mountains grand –

Then moneyed speculators

Will hither come with speed,

And raise up mills and furnaces

Where now wild rabbits breed.

Where now you view a landscape

From Winskill’s stately rocks ;

Where on the grand, rich grazing land

The farmers feed their flocks –

Where in the spring, the blackbirds sing

Within the hazel shade,

Shall future generations see

The busy haunts of trade.