The Shepherd’s Song.

This day we celebrate with joy,
Proclaiming Crompton's fame,
And raise (with loud exultant cry,
From voices deep that rend the sky,)
A tribute to his name.
Though pass’d away from earthly scenes,
His memory long shall dwell
Upon the earth, while sunny beams
Dispel dark clouds with brightest gleams
And all his greatness tell.
His glorious genius sped on trade,
Gave countless thousands bread,
While friendship with late foes was made,
And hatred in oblivion laid,
Through the illustrious dead.
Then let the Mule displace the sword,
The Loom the guns of war,
The Mill become the council board,
When shall go forth the battle word
To nations near and far.
Let mighty commerce raise its arm.
And say “Let there be peace;”
Then shall the sound of war's alarm
Be heard no more, - all men disarm
And from dissension cease.
“Peace and goodwill” the angels sung
To Shepherds on the plain,
Around the heavenly music rung,
And praise to God was on each tongue,
Such blessings thus to gain.
Our Ancient Order sings the strain
The Shepherds sang of yore,
While in our song we blend the name
Of Samuel Crompton, man of fame,
Whose triumphs high shall soar.

Title:The Shepherd’s Song.


Publication:Bolton Guardian

Published in:

Date:September 27th 1862

Keywords:industry, religion, war


This poem celebrates the achievements of Bolton-born Samuel Crompton (1753-1827), the inventor of the spinning mule, which revolutionised textile production, including both wool and cotton. The fourth and fifth stanzas appear to attribute the ability to bring peace to nations to the invention, probably referring to hopes that the pressure to resume cotton manufacture to the benefit of all might help bring about a cessation of hostilities in the American Civil War. It was not uncommon for celebrants of free trade and industry to claim that they provided a vital geopolitical equilibrium, even though cotton had clearly been used as an economic weapon by both the Southern states and the Union. – SR