John Scott of Armwell

John Scott of Amwell, the first notable Quaker poet, was born in London where his father worked as a draper. The family removed to Amwell when the boy was ten, and there Scott briefly attended school. Through his Quaker connections he met the poet John Hoole, who introduced him to Samuel Johnson. Scott contributed to The Gentleman's Magazine (1753-58, 1777-78) and reviewed for the Monthly Review (1779-82). He lived a retired life at Amwell, cultivating his garden and performing good works.

 

The Drum

I hate that drum’s discordant sound,
Parading round, and round, and round:
To thoughtless youth it pleasure yields,
And lures from cities and from fields,
To sell their liberty for charms
Of tawdry lace, and glittering arms;
And when Ambition’s voice commands,
To march, and fight, and fall, in foreign lands.

I hate that drum’s discordant sound,
Parading round, and round, and round:
To me it talks of ravag’d plains,
And burning towns, and ruin’d swains,
And mangled limbs, and dying groans,
And widow’s tears, and orphans moans;
And all that misery’s hand bestows,
To fill the catalogue of human woes.