James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

November 7

The Man of Ross

By Alexander Pope (1688–1744)

  • The Man of Ross, who has been immortalized by Pope in these lines, was named John Kyrle, and died on Nov. 7, 1724.

  • RISE, honest Muse! and sing the Man of Ross:

    Pleased Vaga echoes through her winding bounds,

    And rapid Severn hoarse applause resounds.

    Who hung with woods yon mountain’s sultry brow?

    From the dry rock who bade the waters flow?

    Not to the skies in useless columns tost,

    Or in proud falls magnificently lost,

    But clear and artless, pouring thro’ the plain

    Health to the sick, and solace to the swain.

    Whose causeway parts the vale with shady rows?

    Whose seats the weary traveller repose?

    Who taught that heaven-directed spire to rise?

    “The Man of Ross,” each lisping babe replies.

    Behold the market-place with poor o’erspread!

    The Man of Ross divides the weekly bread:

    He feeds yon alms-house, neat, but void of state,

    Where Age and Want sit smiling at the gate;

    Him portioned maids, apprenticed orphans blest,

    The young who labour, and the old who rest.

    Is any sick? the Man of Ross relieves,

    Prescribes, attends, the med’cine makes, and gives.

    Is there a variance? enter but his door,

    Balked are the Courts, and contest is no more.

    Despairing Quacks with curses fled the place,

    And vile Attorneys, now an useless race.