ARCHERIE REVIV'D: A Poëtical Essay, Penn'd upon occasion of the intended Muster of the Company of Archers in Scotland, June 11. 1677.

—Hae Nugae seria ducent.
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EDINBURGH, Printed by the Heir of Andrew Anderson, Printer to His most Sacred Majesty. 1677.

To the Most NOBLE and POTENT, JOHN MARQUESS of ATHOL, EARLE OF ATHOL and TƲLLIBARDIN, LORD MƲRRAY and GASK, &c. LORD KEEPER Of His Majesties Privy Seal in the Kingdom of Scotland, and one of the most Honourable Members of His Majesties Privy Council; one of the Commissioners of His Ma­jesties Thesaury and Exchequer; Captain of His Majesties Life-Guard of Horse: And Captain of the Noble and Generous Company of Archers in that Kingdom.

My Lord,

THE great Blessing of Peace being the Improve­ment of Arts, and that of War, so long as this Mass of Earth continues in its Fabrick of Creation, beyond all Dispute most useful; To cultivate this Art in time of Peace, is no less the Interest of Mankind, than it is in Summer to pro­vide Food and Raiment for the Winter; Peace and War suc­ceeding [Page] each other by short Intervalls, so naturally, and al­most with the Motion of the Sun in the Zodiack.

The Practice then of this Art, since first Man begun to loose the Reins of his Choller, (continued through a long Tract of Ages to this hour) having rendered it no less honourable than its first Institution was necessar, it cannot but be agree­able to the Genius of Mankind, to prosecute an Art Neces­sary, Ʋseful, and Honourable.

Nor is the use of Arms (even the length of an Imagi­nary War) to be intermitted in the highest Crisis of the most serene Peace, unless the one half of the World resolve to become slaves to the other; Liberty being scituate like the Brain, which though it rest secure in the immediate embra­ces of a P [...]a Mater, yet if not guarded by the triple Contra­vallation of a dura Mater, Scull and Pericranium, the first being a very tender Membrane, were not able of it self to protect it from Injury: So Peace, if not fortified by a continual Guard and a constant Exercise of Arms, is not able of it self to preserve it self, nor maintain the Liberty of the great Monarchies or smallest Estates and Republicks; as the jealous Practice of Luca, Geneve, Ragouse, and ma­ny other States do fully evidence; nor do I think that Nation worthy of Peace, who neglects the use of Arms, when they have attain'd it.

Besides, my Lord, if I were Ʋmpyre in the Quarrel be­twixt those two famous Rivals of the World, Peace and War; I could almost declare the First more injurious to the Latter, than the Latter to it; War both procuring and preserving Peace: But Peace (somewhat ungrate) in a few years oft­times destroying its Rival, rendering the Spirits of Men by soft ease, and its consequences, so unapt for War, as by this subtile insinuation of Peace, like that of the Serpent in Para­dise, Nations have on a sudden forfeit their Liberty, Ho­nour and Peace it self. This Consideration made the Poet justly exclaim of the state of the Roman Empire in his time,

Nunc patimur longae Pacis mala, saevior armis
Luxuria incubuit, victumque ulciscitur Orbem.

The repose of a few moneths in Capua made soon an Ar­my that had jumpt over the Pyrences and Alps, as though they had been Mole hills, sweep'd with their very breath their way to Cannae, and from thence cut out a passage to Rome; and became so terrible, as Fame it self could hardly represent the Valour of it in her magnifying Glass: This same formidable and well disciplin'd Army, a few moneths ease made no less contemptible and ridiculous than a Company of drunken Boors at a Low-Dutch Fair. Whereas the Practice and Ʋse of warlike Exercises in time of Peace, pre­serves and maintains it firmly; no Nation being more se­cure, than that which is perfect in the Art of War.

The Conquest of the soft and peaceable Eastern Nations, was but the business of an ordinary Compagne or two, to the meanest of the Roman Generals; those effeminate Gallants hugging so their Delilah of Peace, as they permitted her to cutt their Hair, and deprive them of both Strength and Cou­rage: But, to disturb the peace of the Western or Northern Nations accustomed to War, was a Province only for a Cae­sar, a Germanicus, an Agricola, or the like, Nec facile vincuntur vincere, (non vinci) assueti.

Pray, what did all the Romans huffings upon the Rhine for some hundred years produce? when they thought forsooth they had secured that vast Continent betwixt the Alps and the German-Ocean, what says their Noble and Ingenuous Historian? why after he has reckoned up a great many Con­suls, Generals, Emperors, affronted, disgraced, and defeat in subduing those stubborn Warriours, many Legions cut off, much Time and Treasure spent, Germani (sayes he) magis triumphati quam victi sunt; they were forc'd for honours cause, to rest contented with an imaginary Conquest of that warlike Nation; a virtue so transmitted to their posterity, that how dear the Germans yet esteem their Liberty, may appear by our weekly Gazetts. Nay this very day we know, [Page] that the Turk having found the Business with the Sterne and Martial Pole too hot, has now tack'd about, and is forced to turn his conquering Arms against the more peaceable and soft Russian, whom if not assisted by the other Europaeans, he may bring in some Distress.

To relate how much our Nation, (however traduced by our un­kind scribling Neighbours) has maintain'd its Liberty against a [...] Assailants, and though sometimes over-run by powerful Armies, yet never losing Courage, or embracing the title of Conquered (as those who brag more of their valour have done) but still rallying and recovering their ground, not to be conquered by Arms, but a glorious Succession only; were, my Lord, to make an Historie of an intended Epistle Dedi­catory, and therefore rather to be pointed at, than tyranni­callie to impose the Patience upon your Lordship of an ample Rehearsal: which should I in this place attempt, the same might be said of this Piece, as the Stoick said of the city Mindas, the Ports were so big, and the Town so little, he was afraid it might escape out at the Ports.

Ʋpon these grounds then, my Lord, having endeavoured to prove that the exercise of War is the only Bullwark of Peace; I do now subsume, at least presume, that amongst all the methods of War known in Historie, that of Archery, being since the memory of Man universally practised (though now by the use of fire-arms almost only reserv'd for sport) is the most noble and useful, and by consequence the most necessarie to be cultivate, whilst now we are blessed with Peace, that we may be in readiness for War; the Bow having been, before the invention of Guns, the only recei­ved weapon, and if well used, I am confident of equal force in Battel, though not of so much noise, as the Musquet, now only in use amongst those, whose Predecessors excelled in Archery, and the use of Bow.

Since then, my Lord, your Lordship has thought it worth your paines to revive in this Nation, the almost extinguished Art of Archery, and by your own Example (worthie of one de­scended of so Noble and Ancient a Line of Ancestors, Fa­mous [Page] both in Peace and War) to encourage all the Nobility, Gen­try, and Commons of this Kingdom, to resume the Exercise of an Art so much hitherto neglected. As the whole Nation with one voice do owne the Obligation to your Lordships ge­nerous Endeavours, hoping that from your Lordships Original, many thousand Copies may be quickly dispersed, and trans­mitted to Posterity. So I having the honour to be of that worthy Society, of which your Lordship is pleased to recieve the Title of Captain; and not in good capacity to attend your Lordship in the Complement of Parade (being yet but a bad Proficient in the Art) am ambitious by another Art (in which I pretend to some smattering Knowledge) to demonstrate in the ensuing Poëtical Essay, how much in the general Concurrence of the Nation, a particular Person may express himself,

My Lord,
Your Lordships most Humble and most Devoted. W. C.

Archery Reviv'd.

TO rake the Bowels of Antiquity,
In se [...]ting out the Praise of Archery;
Or rouze our valiant Predecessours Ghosts,
Of whose bold Actings grave tradition boasts,
Only to show us how in every Age
Our Archer did excell, in Martial Rage;
Or state the Question 'twixt the Bow and Gun,
Which of those Champions have most Honour won?
Or which o'th two in Field most useful are,
To carry on the Motions of a War?
Were a brave Subject, such as might infuse
Thoughts, worth the Labour of a Nobler Muse
To mould in Verse, than any I pretend
To be of my acquaintance; And if penn'd
By one whose envy'd Leasure doth licence,
With what in others we can scarce dispense,
Though done in fashion of a scantling Proëme,
Would bear the Name of an Heroick Poëme.
But I who am allow'd by sullen Fate
To live in silence, 'cause our wits do hate
All Native Product; and with pain do read
Ought that derives its Birth from this side Tweed,
I cannot safely trade in such a Theme,
Unless I enter'd in a strangers name,
And so perhaps it may procure Esteem:
For where our own will strictly survey'd be,
A strangers would at least pass Censure-free.
Yet maugre all those counter-checks of Fate,
I'le venture on it, and expatiate
A little on the Subject: 'specially
In honour of a brave fraternity:
Whose joynt endeavors might with ease contrive
A better Art then this, far more revive
An Art scarce yet extinct, an Art which all
Once practis'd; an Art Epidemicall.
Yet will I not extoll this Art so high,
As with it's rivalls may beget envy:
Decrying Wars inventions of late;
No, I'le not bend my Bow at such a rate:
Lest while in praise of Archery I sing,
The Bow too much bent may un-nock the string.
Nor will I give directions for the Bow,
That were to teach an Art, I do not know:
But modestly i'le comment on the Game,
In praise of all who bear an Archers name.
"For many one do talk, (as all men know)
"Of Robin-Hood, who ne're shot in his Bow.
If Arts perfection do consist in that,
We thereby nature strive to imitate:
And every Art derives it's excellence
From it's proximity to nature; thence
Archery may be tearm'd the noblest Art,
Which humane genius ever did impart.
It so approaches nature 'tis the same,
And differs from't in nothing but the name.
The Bull wi [...]h horn, the Lyon with his paw
Defends himself, and fights by natures law,
And man by the same rule his Bow doth draw.
The Bow so ancient in it's prim [...]tive use,
As it appears, Dame nature did infuse
The knowledge of it, to be learn'd by nought
But proper instinct: and so cheaply bought,
As those, who ne're were blest with knowing Art;
Yet, in this knowledge, have been f [...]und expert.
Witness those Heroes, who practis'd the Game,
Before invention did receive a name.
Before the race of man yet understood,
What 'twas to bath their shafts in humane blood:
Before their choller did advance so far,
As to engage them in a civill war.
These only us'd their Bows to purchase food,
So much as frugal nature then allow'd;
Fierce in the sport, and eager in the chace,
Of all alive, save their own species.
Yea, wh [...]n the race increas'd, and private jarrs
At first d d squander into open wars;
The Bow did chiefly serve them, to annoy
Each other, which before they did employ
In sports more innocent: and with such force
They'd use their Bows, as neither Foot, nor Horse
Could then sustain their fury: nothing more
Destructive of mankind: and where before
Through Herds of beasts their Arrows would make way,
They now were forc'd to fight themselves at bay
Agai [...]st each other: whil'st the Birds and Beasts,
(Who look'd upon mens battels as their Feasts,)
Would stand aloofe, untill the angry Bow
Had done it's office; and revenged so
Their quarrel, then they would advance apace,
And feed upon the bleeding carcasses,
Tearing the bowels of the yet half-dead
Of such as on their Ancestors did feed:
These were the only Victors, of the prey
These Masters were, who ever had the day.
Plump with such food, they'd to the Woods resort,
VVhere man pursuing of his native sport,
VVould kill those Conq'rors; and so feed upon
His own flesh in a piece of Venison.
Thus did the active Bow make sport and war,
Assisting man, in what he e're would dare
So fortunately, as it soon became
The proper instrument of a VVarriors fame.
VVhen bold Columbus plough'd the western Seas,
And with rude keele disturbed natures ease;
Approaching gently to that happy shore,
VVhich never had seen Masts, or Sails before;
Some thousand Indians, with their Bows in hand
Appear'd to dispute his descent on Land;
Those naked varlets, who no art did know,
Pray who did teach those Lads the use of Bow?
From th'other World by Seas so separate,
As amongst some it has begot debate,
How these came thither from mount Ararat:
From Affrick then, Europe, or Asia
Had they this Art? no, sure, by natures law
They learn'd this Art at first, for self-defence,
From which the art of War did soon commence.
Nor can we think that from those savages
This noble Art to our World cross'd the Seas;
Since ages, before that discovery
Each part o'th' World practised Archery.
All this kind nature taught then, t'evidence
Her care for mans food, and his self-defence:
She generously taught her Sons to know
No other weapon, but the nervous Bow;
Of which the constant, and delightful use
Did soon the art of Archery produce;
An Art so grac [...]full, as doth plainly show
What pleasure nature taketh in the Bow
Strong nerves, streight joynts, a daring, constant eye,
Are requisite for compleat Archery,
All which a compleat nature do imply.
The Bow doth courage, health, and strength improve,
Refresheth nature, gently doth remove
Noysome distempers, purifies the blood,
Encreaseth natures heat, digests the good
And wholsome nutriment: expells the bad,
Cherisheth jovial minds, revives the sad
Dejected spirits, who at any price
Should much frequent this generous exercise.
In fine, this Art with nature so complies,
It hath the same friends, the same enemies:
Who e're loves health, and strength, will love this Art,
Practise it often, hugg it in his heart;
And who loves neither, but desires to dye,
Is both this Art, and natures enemie.
This Art our Ancestors so well did know,
How both in war, and sport to use the Bow;
That when their rage did coole, and softer peace
Allow'd their weary'd spirits some small surcease
From wars consuming toyl; least idleness
Might damp their courage, and perhaps oppress
Th [...]ir active Vitals: they would still foment
Their generous sports with the same instrument.
Each Youth with Bow, and Quiver furnished
With store of pointed Arrows, mustered
In time, and places ord'red by the Law,
In select Bands, This fair Militia
VVould with such art, and vigour use the Bow,
And of their action make so goodly show:
Such flights of Arrows at one lusty draught
Of brauny arms, whom exercise had taught,
VVould pierce the trembling azure altogether,
VVith such a force, as one should scarce know whether
Those sprightly Archers lov'd best peace, of war,
Making those sports only preliminar
To bloody conflicts. For when th'exercise
O'th' Bow, had made them gallantly despise
All battel-hazards, then with such delight,
VVith Bow in hand they'd march up to the fight,
As if they were in Butts to snoot at white.
VVho then had view'd our armies, would have said
He see the pride of nature there displaid;
To see whole Squadrons of tall Archers stretch
Their joynts at once, as if they meant to reach
Their enemies with fists: and then advance,
With gracefull pace as if they were to dance;
Full stretched nerv's, and bodies full erected,
With cheerfull aspect, which they much affected:
Then letting flye their Arrows all at once,
They'd make the welkin whistle for the nonce.
Rebounding strings such musick would affoord,
As did Arion, when thrown over boord.
VVhich had Pythagoras heard, he had declar'd
That of his Planets nought with this compar'd.
These gallant VVarriors fought with such a grace,
Their bodies falling covered the place,
VVhere e'rst they stood, and now depryv'd of breath,
They yet appear'd even gracefull in their death.
A feather'd Arrow in each bleeding breast
The valour of our Archers would attest.
The winged shaft did seldome misse its aime,
Such was the cunning of the noble Game.
VVhat brave exploits have been perform'd by Bows,
Who has but tasted hist'ry, fully knows,
They're famous in the mouths of every Boy
VVho has at Schools rehears'd the siege of Troy.
The Amazonian valour to this day
Famous in hist'ry plainly doth display
How much this active Art was in esteeme,
By which a few Girls did procure the name
Of brave redoubted VVarriors; and 'tis known
How terrible the name of Amazon
Was to the Eastern Nations; and how far
These Lasses did extend their fame by war,
Against the greatest Monarchs then in power,
Whose guards one would ha'thought, might soon devour
Such troops of naked Sluts: yet by this Art,
(In which 'bove others they were then expert)
They have brought strong and numerous Armies low,
And made the Sword and Lance stoop to the Bow.
The Parthian Archer in his cunning Flight,
Would with his arrows so renew the Fight,
As those, who did pursue their Victory,
VVere conquer'd by this subtile Archery.
The Scythian now by name of Tartar known,
Has won great Honour by this art alone;
Fighting on Horse back with his Iron-bow
Great Armies he does quickly overthrow,
And to this day the archer Scythian
Is terrible to th' Pole and Russian.
The English Monarchs in their warrs of France,
Did by the Bow their Honour much advance,
In three great Battels famous to this hour,
Of Cressie, Pottiers, and of Agineour:
VVhose grave Historians do confess they owe
These Successes entirely to the Bow.
Nor has our Nation less practis'd the Game,
And by the Bow deserve their share of Fame;
VVitness our warrs with Romans, Picts and Danes.
VVhose Memory in Marble yet remains:
Where the brave Archer oft did overthrow
Well order'd Legions, with his faithful Bow:
By this our Kings their Crown and Scepter held,
By this the English Force we oft repell'd,
Maintaining stoutly those in [...]umane Jarrs,
Scarce by the Union yet made Civil Warrs.
Since first the Balliols unhappy Case,
Umpyr'd by Edward Longshanks broke the Peace;
The two brave Nations, living formerly
In strictest Bonds of love, and amity,
Begun to bristle, and have ever since,
('Till become Subjects of one Glorious Prince)
Dispute the Case so warmly, as (God knows)
What slaughter on each side, by stubborn Bows
Have been perform'd: what Romans, Saxons, Danes,
And Normans spar'd, that Blood, on British plains,
By British hands, so prodigally spent,
Shows that our Bows in vain were never bent,
From Trent to Tine, from thence to th'Banks of Tweed,
Forth, Tay, and Clyde, who cannot plainly read
The History of our Islands warrs, and thence
May understand both Nations Excellence,
In knowledge of the Use of warlike Bow,
Better than from Speed, Hollingshed, or Stow;
Who by their bold writing Prerogative,
Do alwayes place us on the Defensive.
Though some of their own VVriters do averr,
The one as oft as th'other Vanquisher.
But as our Difference one Succession wrought,
So has another to this Island brought,
A fair Attonement, making Quarrels cease,
And (save in words) has bound us to the Peace.
All these were Feather'd VVarrs, and justly claime
No small proportion in the VVings of Fame:
Our Nation in the Bow did much delight,
Whether they were for Sport, or meant to fight.
Though now with use of Fire-arms so indu'd,
The Bow has almost gone in Desuetude:
If so the ancient Scots, who still remain
In their first Love, did not yet entertain
This Princely Art, which else would sure expire,
If like the Embers of an evening Fire,
The Northern Climate had not all this while,
Cherish'd this Art, and keep'd it on the File;
Glenlivet Battel, where Historians say,
The Arrows did obscure the light of day
For some good space, doth openly declare,
How much in this art the bold Highlander
Excells; to those, to those alone we owe,
The Reliques of th'almost extinguisht Bow.
Hence a most Noble Hero much inclin'd,
Yet to revive this Art, has now design'd
T'erect again the Arms of Archery,
And counterballance bold antiquity,
In a most flourishing Society.
To whose Endeavours, since the Nation owes
The now received Exercise of Bows:
Were I as knowing in Thalîas art,
As these are in the use of Bows expert,
I'de sing the boistrous thundring Cannon dumb,
In the Clarind of their Encomium.
Yet I am hopeful by this rude Essay,
I may to quainter Muses show the way,
And usher in, of some more happy Brain,
The richer Fancy, and excite their Pen.
And now, though I did promise formerly,
I 'de not warrs late inventions decry;
Yet warm i'th Subject, I cannot refraine,
But must a little on our Times complain,
Who have caress'd these late Inventions so,
As they've too much neglected th'use of Bow.
Pity then, such an Art should be out-done,
By th'airy Fanfara's of Monsieur Gun,
That roaring Gallant, who the world doth choak
By his continual Storms of Fire and Smoak.
That flaming Hector, whose asiduous Use,
Has made the world a meere Vesuvious.
Proud of his Conquests, o're the generous Bow
In Brazil, Peru, and in Mexico;
Where with his (there unheard-of) Smoak and Thunder,
He broke the Archer-squadrons all assunder.
On him do all now doat, and plainly show
A general Contempt o'th Noble Bow.
Our Gallants now in Gun do so delight,
As they their worthy ancestors do slight,
Upbraiding them for their so mean a choise,
As that o'th Bow, an Exercise for Boyes,
Compar'd with their Monks-Brat, that Spurious Rogue
By heavens anger only now in vogue:
Who doth derive his Genealogie,
From an officious Piece of Chymistry,
Conceiv'd without Nature or Arts Consent,
And thrust into the world by Accident.
Yet has this Monster gain'd so great applause,
As both to VVar and Peace he now gives Laws;
Yea at this time, our Gunners possibly
Do look upon this Show of Archery,
As a meer formal piece of Pageantry.
Well, Gentlemen, who knows but in the Nation,
Th'old-fashion'd Bow may yet become in Fashion;
This is but its first Tryal, and we hope
Our Archers shortly may the Gunning-fop
Out-ballance; nay perhaps ere all be done,
He'l quash the roaring Language of the Gun.
"Mean time speak good of Archers, and be low,
"For all your Fathers shot once in a Bow.

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