Michael Drayton.

The complete works of Michael Drayton, now first collected (Volume 2) online

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When, in this Line direct, the Conqnerofs issue fail'd,
Twbct Henry's daughter Mauld, the Almayne Emperour's
Bride 135

(Which after to the Earl of Anjou was affi'd)
And Stephen Earl of Bloys, the Conqueror's Sister's son,
A fierce and cruel war immediately begun ;

* See the last note to tho Fourth Song.



220 POLY-OLBION,

Who with their several powers, arrived here from France,
By force of hostile arms, their titles to advance. i4o

But, Stephen, what by coin, and what by foreign strength,
Through worlds of danger gain'd the glorious goal at length.

But, left without an heir, the Empress' issue next,
No title else on foot ; upon so fair pretext,
The Second Henry soon upon the throne was set, 145

(Which Mauld to Jeffrey bare) the first Plantagenet.
Who held strong wars with Wales, that his subjection spurn'd :
"WHiich oftentimes he beat ; and, beaten oft, return'd :
With his stern children vex'd : who (whilst he strove t' advance
His right within this Isle) rais'd war on him in France. 150
With his high fame in fight, what cold breast was not fir'd?
Through all the Western world, for wisdom most admir'd.

Then Richard got the Eule, his most renowned son ;
Whose courage, him the name of Cure De Lion won. [born.
With those first earthly Gods, had this brave Prince been
His daring hand had from Alcicles' shoulders torn 150

The Nemean Lion's hide : who in the Holy-land
So dreadful was, as thougli from Jove and Neptune's hand,
The thund'ring three-fork'd fire, and trident he had reft,
And him to rule their charge they only then had left. leo
Him John again succeeds ; who, having put-away
Young Arthur (liichard's son) the Sceptre took to sway.
Who, of the common-wealth first havoc having made,
§ His sacrilegious hands upon the Churches laid,
In cruelty and rape continuing out his reign ; les

That his outrageous lust and courses to restrain,
§ The Baronage were forc'd defensive arms to raise.
Their daughters to redeem, that he by force would seize.
Which the first Civil War in England here begun.
And for his sake such hate his son young Henry won, i7o
That to d<'pose their Prince, th' revengeful people thought ;
And from the Line of France young Lewis to have brought.



THE SEVENTEEXTII SONG. 221

To take on him our Eule : but, Henry got the throne,
By his more forceful friends : who, wise and puissant grown,
§ The general Charter seiz'd ; that into slavrey drew \-ji
The freest-born English blood. Of which such discord grew,
And in the Barous' breasts so rough combustions rais'd.
With much expense of blood as long was not appeas'd.
By strong and tedious gusts held up on either side,
Betwixt the Prince and Peers, with equal power and
pride. ISO

He knew the worst of war, match'd with the Barons strong ;
Yet victor liv'd, and reign'd both happily and long.

This long-liv'd Prince expir'd : the next succeeded ; he.
Of us, that for a God might well related be.
Our Long-shanks, Scotland's scourge: who to the Orcadsraught
His Sceptre, and with him from wild Albania brought ise
The reliques of her crown (by him first placed here)
§ The seat on which her Kings inaugurated were.
He tam'd the desperate Welsh, that out so long had stood,
And made them take* a Prince, sprung of the English blood.
This Isle, from sea to sea, he generally controll'd, loo

And made the other parts of England both to hold.

This Edivard, First of ours, a Second then ensues ;
Who both his name and birth, by looseness, did abuse :
Fair Ganymeds and fools who rais'd to princely places ; 193
And chose not men for wit, but only for their faces.
In parasites and knaves, as he repos'd his trust,
Who sooth'd him in his ways apparantly unjust;
For that preposterous sin wherein he did offend.
In his posterior parts had his preposterous end. 200

A Third then, of that name, amends for this did make :
Who from his idle sire seem'd nought at all to take.
But as his grand-sire did his Empire's verge advance :
So led he forth his powers, into the heart of France.
* Sec before to the Ninth Song.



222 rOLY-OLBIOK,

And fast'ning on that right, he by his mother had, ao5

Against the Salique law, which utterlj^ forbad
§ Their women to inherit ; to propagate his cause,
At Cressey with his sword first cancelled those laws :
Then like a furious storm, through troubled France he ran ;
And by the hopeful hand of brave Black Edward wan 2in
Proud Poijtiers, where King John he valiantly subdu'd,
The miserable French and there in mammocks hew'd ;
Then Avitli bis battering rams made earth-quakes in their
Till trampled in the dust herself she yielded ours, [towers,
As migbty Edward's heir, to a Second Richard then 215
(Son to that famous Prince Black Edward, Man of Men,
Untimely that before his conquering father died)
Too soon the Kingdom fell : who his vain youth applied
To wantonness and spoil, and did to favour draw
Unworthy ignorant sots, with whose dull eyes he saw : 220
AVho plac'd their like in Court, and made them great in State,
(Which wise and virtuous men, beyond all plagues, might
To whom he blindly gave: who blmdly spent again, [hate.)
And oft oppress'd his Land, their riot to maintain.
He hated his allies, and the deserving sterv'd ; 226

]Iis minions and his will, the Gods he only serv'd :
And, finally, depos'd, as he was ever friend
To ribalds, so again by villains had his end.

Henry the Son of Gaunt, supplanting liichard, then
Ascended to the Throne : when discontented men, 230

Desirous first of change, which to that height him brought,
Deceived of their ends, into his actions sought ;
And, as they set him up, assay'd to pluck him down :
From whom he hardly held his ill-achieved Crown ;
That, treasons to suppress which oft he did disclose, 23.

Ami raising public arms, against his powerful foes,
His usurpation still Ijcing troubled to maintain.
His short disquiet days scarce raught a peaceful reign.



THE SEVEj^TEENTH SONG. 223

' A Fifth succeeds the Fourth : but how his father got
The Crown, by right or wrong, the son respecteth not. 240
Nor further hopes for that e'er leaveth to pursue ;
But doth his claim to France courageously renew ;
Upon her wealthy shores un-lades his warlike fraught ;
And, showing us the fields where our brave fathers fought,
First drew his sun-bright sword, reflecting such a light, 245
As put sad guilty France into so great a fright.
That her pale Genius sank; which trembling seem'd to stand,
When first he set his foot on her rebellious land.
That all his grand-sire's deeds did over, and thereto
Those high achievements add the former could not do : 250
At Agincourfs proud fight, that quite put Poijtlers down ;
Of all, that time who liv'd, the King of most renown.
Whose too untimely end, the Fates too soon did haste :
Whose nine years noble acts, nine worlds deserve to last.

A Sixth in name succeeds, born great, the mighty son 255
Of him, in England's right that spacious France had won.
Who coming young to reign, protected by the Peers
Until his non-age out : and grown to riper years,
Prov'd upright, soft, and meek, in no wise loving war ;
But fitter for a cowl, than for a crown by far. 26O

Whose mildness over-much, did his destruction bring :
A wondrous godly man, but not so good a King.
Like whom yet never man tried fortune's change so oft ;
So many times thrown-down, so many times aloft 26-t

(When with the utmost power, their friends could them afford,
The Yorkists, put their right upon the dint of sword)
As still he lost and won, in that long bloody war,
§ From those two Factions styl'd, of York and Lancaster.
But by his foes inforc'd to yield him to their power,
His wretched reign and life, both ended in the Tower. 2V0
Of th' Edwards' name the Fourth put on the Kogal Wreath :
Whom furious bloody war (that seem'd awhile to breath)



224 POLY-OLBION,

Not utterly forsook. For, Henry's Queen and heir

(Their once possessed reign still seeking to repair)

Put forward with their friends, their title to maintain. 275

Whose blood did BarneVs streets and Tenhhirys distain,

Till no man left to stir. The Title then at rest,

The old Lancastrian Line being utterly supprest,

Himself the wanton King to amorous pleasures gave ;

§ Yet jealous of his right descended to his grave. 280

His son an infant left : who had he liv'd to reign,
Edward the Fifth had been. But justly see again.
As he a King and Prince before had caus'd to die
(The father in the Tower, the son at Teulcsbury)
So were his children young, being left to be protected 285
By Bichard ; who nor God, nor human laws respected.
This Viper, this most vile devourcr of his kind
(Whom his ambitious ends had strook so grossly blind)
From their dear mother's lap, them seizing for a prey
(Himself in right the next, could they be made away) 200
Most wrongfully usurp'd, and them in prison kept ;
Whom cruelly at last lie smothered as they slept.
As his unnatural liands, were in their blood imbru'd :
So (guilty in himself) with murther he pursu'd
Such, on his heinous acts as look'd not fair and right ; 295
Yea, such as were not his expressly, and had might
T' oppose him in his course ; till (as a monster loth'd.
The man, to hell and death himself that had betroth'd)
They brought another in, to thrust that tyrant down ;
In battle who at last resign'd both life and crown. 300

A Seventh Henry, then, th' imperial seat attain'd,
Tn banishment who long in Britanne had remain'd.
What time the Yorkists sought his life to have bereft,
(jf the Liincaslrian House then only being left
(iJeriv'd from Jahn of Gaunt) whom Ulchmund did beget, no5
§ Upon a (langliter born to John of Somerset.



TBE SEVENTEENTH SONG. 225

Elizabeth of York this noble Prince afl&'d,
To make his Title strong thereby on either side.
And grafting of the JFhUc and Bed Eose firm together,
Was first that to the Throne advanc'd the name of Tether.
In Bosicortk's fatal Field, who having Richard slain, 311

Then in that prosperous peace of his successful reign,
Of all that ever rul'd, was most precise in State,
And in his life and death a King most fortunate,

This Seventh, that was of ours, the Eighth succeeds in
name :
Who by Prince Arthur's death (his elder brother) came 316
Unto a Land with wealth aboundantly that flow'd :
Aboundantly again, so he the same bestow'd,
In Banquets, Masks, and Tilts, all pleasures prone to try.
Besides his secret scapes who lov'd jiolygamy, 320

The Abbeys he supprest ; a thousand ling'ring year,
Which with revenues large the world had sought to rear.
And through his a,vvful might, for temporal ends did save,
To other uses erst what frank devotion gave ;
And here the Papal power, first utterly deny'd, 325

§ Defender of the Faith, that was instyl'd and dy'd.

His son the Empire had, our Edward Sixth that made ;
Untimely as he sprang, untimely who did fade.
A Protestant being bred ; and in his infant reign,
Th' religion then receiv'd, here stoutly did maintain : 330
But ere he raught to man, from his sad people reft,
His Sceptre he again unto his Sisters left.

Of which the eldest of two. Queen illar/i, r.iounts the Chair :
The ruin'd rawvm State who striving to repair.
With persecuting hands the Protestants pursu'd, 335

Whose martyred ashes oft the wond'ring streets bestrew'd.
She match'd herself with S^Kiin, and brought King Philip

hither,
Which with an equal baud, the Sceptre sway'd togither.

VOL. II. 15



226 POLY-OLBION,

But issueless she dyM ; and under six years' reign,

To her wise Sister gave the Kingdom up again. 340

Elizabeth, the next, this falling Sceptre hent ;
Digressing from her sex, with man-like government
This Island kept in awe, and did her power extend
Afflicted France to aid, her own as to defend ;
Against th' Iberian rule, the Flemings' sure defence : 3i5

liude Ireland's deadly scourge ; who sent her navies hence
Unto the nether hide, and to that shore so green,
Virginia wliich "we call, of her a Virgin Queen :
In Portugal 'gainst Spain, her English ensigns spread ;
Took Cales, when from her aid the brav'd Iberia fled. 350
Must flourishing in State : that, all our Kings among.
Scarce any rul'd so well : but two,* that reign'd so long.

Here suddenly he stay'd : and with his kingly Song,
AVhilst yet on every side the City loudly rong.
He with the eddy turn'd, a space to look about : 355

The tide, retiring soon, did strongly thrust him out.
And soon the pliant ]\Iuse, doth her brave wing advance,
Tow'rds those sea-bord'ring shores of ours, that point at

France ;
The harder Sirrrian Heath, and the Sussexian Down.
Which with so great increase though Nature do not crown,
As many other Shires, of this inviron'd Isle : sei

Yet on the ^Yether's head,t when as the sun doth smile,
Xurs'd by the Southern winds, that soft and gently blow.
Here doth the lusty !i;ip as soon begin to flow ;
Tlie Earth as soon puts on her gaudy summer's suit ; ses
The woods as soon in green, and orchards great with fruit.

To sea-ward, from the seat where first our Song begun.
Exhaled to the South by the ascending sun,
Eour stately Wood-Nymphs stand on the Sussexian ground,

• Hfnry 111. uud Edward III. ; the one reigned fifty-six, the
other, tifty. t The Siui iu Aran.



THE SEVENTEENTH SONG. 227

§ Great AndredswelcT s* sometime : ■who, when she did abound.
In circuit and in growth, all other quite suppress'd : :iti

But in her wane of pride, as she in strength decreas'd,
Her Nymphs assum'd them names, each one to her delight.
As, JFafer-doicne, so call'd of her depressed site :
And Ash-Downe, of those trees that most in her do grow, ars
Set higher to the Downs, as th' other standeth low.
Saint Leonard's, of the seat by which she next is plac'd,
And Whord that with the like delighteth to be grac'd.
These Forests as I say, the daughters of the Weald
(That in their heavy breasts, had long their griefs conceal'd)
Foreseeing their decay each hour so fast came on, 38i

Under the axe's stroke, fetch'd many a grievous groan,
^Vlien as the anvil's weight, and hammer's dreadful sound,
Even rent the hollow woods, and shook the C[ueachy ground.
So that the trembling Nymphs, oppressed through ghastly fear,
Ran madding to the Downs, with loose dishevell'd hair, -ss
The Sylvans that about the neighbouring woods did dwell,
Both in the tufty frith and in the mossy fell,
Forsook their gloomy bow'rs, and wand'red far abroad,
Expell'd their quiet seats, and place of their abode, 390

When labouring carts they saw to hold their daily trade,
Where they in summer wont to sport them in the shade.
Could we, say they, suppose, that any would us cherish,
Which suffer (every day) the holiest things to perish ?
^r to our daily want to minister supply 1 395

^hese iron times breed none, that mind posterity.
ris but in vain to tell, what we before have been,
3r changes of tlie world, that we in time have seen :
When, not devising how to spend our wealth with waste,
We to the savage swine let fall our larding mast. 400

But now, alas, ourselves we have not to sustain,
Nor can our tops suffice to shield our roots from rain.

* A Forest, contaiuing most part of Kent, Sussex, and San-'y.

15—2



228 POLY-OLBION,

Jove's Oak, the warlike Ash, vein'd Elm, the softer Beech,
Short Hazel, Maple plain, light Aspe, the bending Wych,
Tough Holly, and smooth Birch, must altogether burn : 405
What should the builder serve, supplies the forger's turn ;
When under public good, base private gain takes hold.
And we poor woeful Woods, to ruin lastly sold. [spoke,
This utter'd they with grief : and more they would have
But that the envious Downs, int' open laughter broke ; 410
As joying in those wants, which jSTature them had given,
Sith to as great distress the Forests should be driven.
Like him that long time hath another's state envy'd,
And sees a following ebb, unto his former tide ;
The more he is depress'd, and bniis'd with fortune's might,
The larger rein his foe doth give to his despight : 41g

So did the envious Downs ; but that again the Floods
(Their fountains that derive from those unpitied Woods,
And so much grace thy Downs, as through their dales they

creep,
Their glories to convey unto the CclHcJc deep) 420

It very liardly took, much murmuring at their pride.
Clear Lavunt, tliat doth keep the Southamptoiiian side
(Dividing it well-near from the Susse.dan lands
That Selseij doth survey, and Solent's troubled sands)
To Chichester their wrongs impatiently doth tell : 426

§ And Arun (which doth name the beauteous ArundeU)
As on her course she came, it to her Forest told.
Which, nettled with the news, had not the power to hold :
But breaking into rage, wish'd tempests them might rive ;
And on their barren scalps, still ^int and chalk miglit thrive,
The brave and nobler Woods which basely thus upbraid. 431
§ And Adur coming on, to Shoreham softly said,
The Downs did very ill, poor Woods so to debase.
But now, the Oiise, a Nymph of very scornful grace,
So touchy wax'd therewith, and was so squeamish grown, 435



THE SEVENTEENTH SONG. 229

That her old name she scorn'd should publicly be known.

Whose haven* out of mind when as it almost grew,

The lately passed times denominate, the New.

So Ciicmer Avith the rest put to her utmost might :

As Ashburne undertakes to do the Forests right 440

(At Pemsey, where she pours her soft and gentler flood)

And Asten once distain'd with native English blood :

(Whose soil, when yet but wet with any little rain,

§ Doth blush ; as put in mind of those there sadly slain,

When Hastings harbour gave unto the Norman powers, 445

Whose name and honours now are denizen'd for ours)

That boding ominous Brook, it through the Forests rung :

Which echoing it again the mighty Weald along.

Great stir was like to grow ; but that the Muse did charm

Their furies, and herself for nobler things did arm. «o

* New-haven,





lE^]^




ILLUSTEATIONS.




FTER your travels {thus led by the Muse) through

the Inlands, out of the Welsh coast maritime, here

are you carried into Surrey and Sussex; the

Southern shires from London to the Ocean : and

Thames, as King of all our Rivers, summarily sings the

Kings of England, from Norman William to yesterday's age.

50. Mole digs herself a path, hy worling day and night.

This Mole runs into the earth, about a mile from Barking
in Surrey, and after some two miles sees the light again,
which to be certain hath been affirmed by inhabitants there-
about reporting trial made of it. Of the Eiver Deverill near
irarmlsier in JFllishire is said as much ; and more of
Alpheus running out of Elis (a part of the now Morca,
anciently Peloponnesus in Greece) through the vast Ocean to
Arethusa in a little isle (close by Syracuse of Sicily) called
Ortygia, and tliither thus coming unmixed with the sea,
which hath been lioth tried by a cup,^ lost in EHs, and other
stuff of the Olyinpian sacrifices there cast up, and is justified
also by express assertion of an old Oracle- to Archias, a
Corinthian, advising him he should hither deduce a Colony.



Strab. Gcograph. 6.



* Pausan. Eliac.



THE SEVENTEENTE SONG. 231

Like this, Faiisanias reckons more ; Erashi^ in Greece, Lycus^
that runs into Meander, Tiger, ^ and divers others, some re-
member for such quality. And Gaudiana (the ancient limit
of Foiiuf/al and the Beetiqiie Spain) is specially famous for
this form of subterranean course: which al thou 2;h hath been
thought fabulous, yet by some'' learned and judicious of that
country, is put for an unfeigned truth.

1-2. He ever since doth flow beyond delightful Sheene.

Mole's fall into Thames is near the utmost of the Flood,
which from the German Ocean, is about sixty miles, scarce
equalled (I think) by any other river in Europe ; whereto
you may attribute its continuing so long a course, unless to'
the diurnal motion of the heavens, or moon, from Ea.st to
West (which hardly in any other river of note falling into
so great a sea, will be found so agreeable, as to this, flowing
the same way) and to the easiness of the channel being not
over creeky, I cannot guess. I incline to this of the hea-
vens, because such testimony^ is of the ocean's perpetual
motion in that kind ; and whether it be for frequency of a
winding, and thereby more resisting, shore, or for any other
reason judicially not yet discovered, it is certain, that our
coasts are most famous for the greatest differences by ebbs
and floods, before all other whatsoever.

116. Left ivith his ill-got Crown unnatural debate.

See what the matter of Descent to the Fourth Song tells
you of his title ; yet even out of his own mouth as part of

* There AlpJiem springeth again, embracing fair Arrthusa.
' Herodot. Hist. <?. - Jdom. Z,. PolyhjTii.

8 Justin. Hist. 42. * Ludovic. Nonius in V\\\\. Hispan.

' Scalig. de subtilit. Exercitat. 52.



232 POLT-OLBION,

his last will and testament, these words are reported : 1
constltide no heir of the Crown of England: hut to the Universal
Creator, Whose I am, and in Whose Hand are all things, I coin-
mend it. For I had it not hy inheritance, hut with direful con-
flict, and much effusion of blood ; I fooJc it from that perjured
Harold, and hij death of his favourites, have I subdued it to my
Empire} And somewhat after: Therefore I dare not bequeath-
the sceptre of this kingdom to any but to God (done, lest after my
death u:wse troubles happen in it, hy my occasion. For my son
William (alivays, as it became him, obedient to me) I udsh that
God may give him His graces, and that, if so it please the Al-
mighty, lie may reign after me.* This William the II. (called
Fiufus) Avas his second son, L'obert his eldest having upon
discontent (taken because the Dukedom of Normandy, then
as it were by birthright, nearly like the Principality of
Wales anciently, or Duchy of Cornwall at this day, belong-
ing to our Kings' Heirs-apparant, was denied him) revolted
unnaturally, and moved war against him, aided hy Philip I.
of France, which caused his merited disinheritance. Twixt
this William and Foberf, as also twixt him and Henry I. all
brothers (and sons to the Conqueror) were divers oppositions
for the Kingdom and Dukedom, which here the Author
alludes to. Our stories in every hand inform you : and
will discover also the Conqueror's adoption by the Confessor,
Harold's oath to him, and such institutions of his lawful
title enforced by a case''^ reported of one .English, who, de-
riving his right from seisin before the Conquest, recovered
by judgment of King William I. the Manor of Sharboni in
Norfolk against one Warren a Norman, to whom the King
had before granted it : which had been unjust, if he had
by right of war only gotten the kingdom ; for then had all

' Gul. Pictavens. in Hist. Cadomens.

* This is the 1)e(|ueKt understood l)y them which say he devised
hib kiaigdoia to lyiUlain 11. * Auticj. suhod. iu Iceu. Camd.



THE SEVENTEENTH SONG. 233

titles^ of subjects before been utterly extinct. But (admit
this case as you please, or any cause of right beside his
sword) it is plain that his will and imperious affection
(moved by their rebellions which had stood for the sworn
Harold) disposed all things as a Conqueror : Upon observa-
tion of his subjection of all lauds to tenures, his change of
laws, disinheriting the English, and such other reported
(which could be but where the profitable Dominion, as
Civilians call it, was universally acquired into the Prince's
hand) and in reading the disgraceful account then made of
the English name, it will be manifest.

120. TFJio hi/ a fatal dart in vast New Forest slain.

His death by an infortunate loosing at a deer out of one
JFalter TirreVs hand in New Forest,'^ his brother Pdchard
being blasted there with infection, and liichard, Duke
Robert's son, having his neck broken there in a bough's
twist catching him from his horse, have been thought as
Divine revenges on William the First, who destroyed in
Huiitshire thirty-six parish churches to make dens for wild
beasts; although it is probable enough, that it was for
security of landing new forces there, if the wheel of fortune,
or change of Mars, should have dispossessed him of the Eng-
lish Crown. Our Stories will of these things better instruct
you : but, if you seek Matthew Paris for it, amend the ab-
surdity of both the London and Tigurin prints in An. 108G,
and for Bex magnificus, et bonce imldis adolescons, read, Eich.
magnificus, &c.,* for Eicluird brother to this Bed William.

128. Was bg that cruel King deprived of his sight.

Thus did the Conqueror's posterity unquietly possess

^ Atqui ad hanc rem eniicleatius dilucidandani, jure et Gentium


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