The Causes of Scotland's Miseries

THE CAUSES OF Scotland's Miseries. A POEM IN Imitation of the VI. Ode of the Third Book OF HORACE.

Coelum ipsum petimus stultitia: ne{que}
Per nostrum patimur scelus
Iracunda Jovem ponere fulmina.
Horat. Lib. 1. Ode 3.
EDINBURGH. Printed by James Watson in Craig's Closs, 1700.
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1. THE CAUSES OF Scotland's Miseries. A POEM IN Imitation of the VI. Ode of Horace's THIRD BOOK,

DElicta majorum immeritus lues,
Romane, donec Templa refeceris
Aedeis{que} labenteis Deorum, &
Foeda nigro Simulacra fumo.
IN vain, Heroick SCOTS, in vain ye try
True solid Ease, and calm Prosperity,
By all your Tow'ring Projects to attain,
While Guilt and Sacrilege your Land do stain;
While in the Dust your Church's Glories ly;
Your Church which once so Fam'd for Purity,
Her awful Head did raise above the Sky,
Darting such dazling Lustre all around,
As did with Panick Fears her Foes Confound.
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But now, alas! with Rubbish cover'd or'e,
She's Hiss'd at, that was Terrible before.
But till such time as ye with Pains repair
Her Ruins, and her stately Turrets rear
Out of the Dust, to their first Dignity,
Ne're think t' enjoy your Ancient Liberty:
No, tho in naked Innocence your Souls
Were bath'd, which yet your human State controuls,
Your Sires black Perjuries hang o're your Head,
And all the Guiltless Blood that they have shed,
Which Heaven's avenging Justice at your Hand,
Beyond all Controversy, will demand.
Dis te minorem quod geris imperas:
Hinc omne principium, huc referexitum.
Dii multa neglecti dederunt
Hesperiae mala luctuosae.
'Tis from the Bounty of th' Almighty God,
Whose Providential Care and Divine Nod
Rule the wide Universe, as He doth please:
Or that ye are, or are in Peace and Ease.
As solely pure Devotion did you raise,
To wear Triumphant and Victorious Bays;
So Pure Devotion must you still Defend
From dreadful Judgements, and a dreadful End.
God knows! since we His Precepts have forsook,
And shaken from our Necks His easy Yoak,
How like the foaming Billows in their Pride,
One Scourge upon another's Back does ride,
In such a sort, that Ruin seems to be
The fatal Upshot of our Miserie.
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Jam bis Monaeses & Pacori manus,
Non auspicatos contudit impetus
Nostros: Poene
occupatam Seditionibus
Delevit urbem Dacus, &c.
No real Service we to Heav'n now pay
In meer Hypocrisy we Fast and Pray,
Ordroop but like Bulrushes for a Day.
Th' Almighty vext, in fiery Wrath look'd down,
Our guilty Nation trembled at His Frown;
And in His Anger past this just Decree:
Since they a Formal Service pay to Me,
A mighty Phantom their Reward shall be;
Their Hopes I'll raise above their Hearts content,
And tantalize their wish'd Enjoyment,
Till they, in Sorrow, for their Sins Repent.
He spoke, and we the sad Effects have found,
He dash'd our infant Hopes against the Ground,
And all our swelling Expectations drown'd:
Civil Discords did rend our Bowels a while,
And Forreign Swords hang o're our lab'ring Isle:
Death and his frightful Syth has stalk'd abroad,
And mow'd down Men, like Grass upon his Road:
Diseases all in swarmy Crowds do wait
On the great Executioner of Fate:
Dearth, near to Famine, has harass'd the Land
For sev'ral Years, by the Divine Command,
By which the num rous Poor, for Hunger starv'd,
Have suffer'd that which others best deserv'd:
Devouring Flames, like wing'd Destroyers flew,
Commission'd Winds to their Assistance blew,
(Oh! 'twas a Dreadful and a Dismal Show)
And in a trice their boundless Rage burnt down
The greatest Glories of the Imperial Town;
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The horrid Devastations made of late,
Look like a Curse more, than a common Fate.
Faecunda culpae saecula, nuptias
Primum inquinavere & genus & domos,
Hoc fonte derivata clades
In Patriam, Populum{que} fluxit.
Motus doceri gaudet Ionicus
Matura Virgo: &c.
This fruitful Age of Vice did first begin
With Breach of Solemn Vows, their Trade of Sin;
From which vile Source such corrupt Streams did rise,
As drown'd the Land in a Deluge of Vice:
All Ties to Sacred Duties shaken off,
Men then at Piety began to scoff,
And by Degrees, unto that hight it grew,
Each did barefac'd Prophanity avow.
While Vice does in her gaudy Pomp appear;
The Court debauch'd with ev'ry leud Excess,
Th' obsequous Vulgar did commit no less;
In ev'ry Place you could not fail to hear
Men brag how they did Swagger, Drink and Swear,
And boast of open Whoredoms without Fear.
The Women too, whose Crown should only be
A Modest, Prudent, Decent Gravity,
Exchanged all for Impudence and Pride,
And act'd their Part in ev'ry Sin beside.
They who their Solemn Ties entire conserv'd,
And from the Time's Contagion were preferv'd,
By wicked Edicts various ways opprest,
No Peace at Home, Abroad could find no Rest
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By savage Ruffians pillag'd of their Wealth,
They could not enjoy. Water but by stealth.
Nay, which is more, deny'd the common Air,
And forc'd by cruel Foes to sad Despair,
They fly like Birds before the Fowler's Snare;
Murd'red in Fields, on Scaffolds, drown'd in Waves,
Some strangely Tortur'd, others Sold for Slaves,
They could find no Repose but in their Graves:
Laity and Clergy all distain'd in Gore,
Made more impartial Foes their Practices abhor.
Such as the Reins of Government did hold,
By Native Pride and wicked Counsel bold,
Took all the Means they could to push their way
T'erect Tyrannick Arbitrary Sway.
These were our Fathers Sins, and ours are worse,
The surest Marks of an impending Curse.
Great are our Sins, and just is our Distress,
We Nothing Practise, and we All Profess.
Survey Time's musty Registers; look round
The far extended habitable Ground,
If you a Vip'rish Race like this can find,
A Race that's bent on Ills of every kind,
That bafled Nature's Dictats do defy,
And Mock the Precepts of Divinity,
When God (in Words) they seem to Glorify.
The Rich Man's Buss'ness is t' Oppress the Poor,
He will not, Aid the Starving at his Door,
Yet he'll bestow Ten Guineas on a Whore.
Nor God nor Man the Rich Oppressor fears;
Man does Neglect, God for a time forbears,
But sure our Cries are echo'd in his Ears;
His kindled Indignation will take vent,
And Blast them with some Dreadful Punishment.
A Publick Spirit's vanish'd quite away,
And Private Int'rests all our Actions sway,
For this the Father will the Son betray:
What Scots Man now dares, for his Country's Good,
Venture a Drop of his degen'rat Blood.
O Heavens! of what Crimes have we been free?
A Land polluted to a Prodigie.
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Non his Juventus orta Parentibus
Infecit aequor Sanguine Punico:
Pyrrum{que} & ingentem cecidit
Antiochum, Annibalem{que} dirum.
They were not such mean Sp'rited Sots I guess,
Our Sires, whose Progeny made Rome confess,
Maugre her spreading Lawrels, and in spight
Of all her Martial Troops, innur'd to Fight,
That Scotland bred a Feirce and Warlick Crue,
Whose stubborn Tempers they could ne're subdue:
Nor could a Stock, Vitious like this, produce
Such Hero's as great WALLACE and the BRUCE,
Who by sly Stratagems and brisk Allarms,
Did put a Stop t' Edward's encroaching Arms.
Did our Ancestors, in Queen Mary's Reign,
Their Native Rights to Tyranny resign?
If so, we yet had groan'd beneath the Yoak
Of Popish Slav'ry, which they bravely broak.
Damnosa quid non imminuit dies?
Aetas Parentum pejor avis, tulit
Nos nequiores, mox daturos
Progeniem vitiosiorem.
What need I thus our Age of Crimes accuse?
What does not all-corrupting
Time abuse?
Our Grandsires happier Age in Word and Deed,
For Virtue did our Fathers Age exceed;
Just as our Fathers Age did far outdo
All virtous Acts we can pretend unto:
And, Ah! avert it Heaven, methinks I see
That we'll transmit unto Futuritie
An Offspring,
yet more profligat than we.


This is a selection from the original text


bowels, god, justice, misery, oppression, perjury, vice

Source text

Title: The Causes of Scotland's Miseries

Author: Anon

Publisher: James Watson

Publication date: 1700

Edition: 1st Edition

Place of publication: Edinburgh

Provenance/location: This text was transcribed from images available at Eighteenth Century Collections Online:

Digital edition

Original author(s): Anon

Language: English

Selection used:

  • 1 ) pages 3 to 8


Texts collected by: Ayesha Mukherjee, Amlan Das Gupta, Azarmi Dukht Safavi

Texts transcribed by: Muhammad Irshad Alam, Bonisha Bhattacharya, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Muhammad Ehteshamuddin, Kahkashan Khalil, Sarbajit Mitra

Texts encoded by: Bonisha Bhattacharya, Shreya Bose, Lucy Corley, Kinshuk Das, Bedbyas Datta, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Sarbajit Mitra, Josh Monk, Reesoom Pal

Encoding checking by: Hannah Petrie, Gary Stringer, Charlotte Tupman

Genre: Britain > poetry

For more information about the project, contact Dr Ayesha Mukherjee at the University of Exeter.