Michael Drayton.

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limit her with Severn and Trent. By reason of this her
greatness, joined with antiquity, he also made choice of-
this place for description of the Chase, the English Simples,
and Hermit, as you read in him.

259. And thither wiselg brought that goodly Virgin band.

Sufficient justification of making a poem, may be from
tradition, which the Author here uses ; but see to the
Eighth Song, where you have this incredible number of
Virgins, shipped at London; nor skills it much on which
you bestow your faith, or if on neither. Their request (as
the Genius' prayer) are the Author's own fictions, to come
to express the worth of his native soil's City.

269. By Leofrique Jier Lord yet in base bondage held.

The ensuing Story of this Leofrique and Godiva, was under
the Confessor.^ I find it reported in Matthew of JTest-

^ Hubert. Goltz. Thesaur. in Aris. * Diana of the wood.

* Jul. Jacobon. ap. I'aul. M:;rul. Cosmog. part. 2. lib. 3. cap. 11.
t To the separated souls, Q. Cmius, &c., Priest of Diana of Aiden,
or surnamed Anlen. ^ About 1050.


minster, that Nuda, eqmim ascendens, crines capitis et trims dis-
sokens, corpus suiim totum, prceter crura candidissima, hide vela-
vit* This Leoffupte (btiried at Coventry) was Earl of Leicester,
not Chester (as some ill took it by turning Legecestra, being
indeed sometimes for Chester, of old called Urbs Legiomim, as
to the Eleventh Song already) which is- without scruple
showed in a Charter/ of the Manor of Spcdding in Lincoln-
shire, made to JFuIgat Abbot of Crowland, beginning thus :
Ego Thoroldus De Buckrnhale coram NoMissimo Domino rneo
Leofrico Comite Leicestrise, et Nohilissimd Comitissd sua Do-
miuA Godiva sorore med, et cum consensu et bond voluntate
Domini et Cognati mei Comitis Algari, primogeniti et hmredis
eorum, donavi, &'c. This Algar succeeded him ; and, as a
special title, government, and honour, this Earldom was
therein among the Saxons so singular, that it was hereditary
with a very long pedigree, till the Conquest, from King
Ethelhald's time, above three hundred years. In Malmes-
hurji, he is styled Earl of Hereford ; and indeed, as it seems,
had large dominion over most part of Mereland, and was a
great Protector of good King Edward, from ambitious God-
iciu's faction. You may note in him, what power- the Earls
of those times had for granting, releasing, or imposing
liberties and exactions, which since only the Crown hath,
as unseparably annexed to it. Nay, since the Normans, I
find that William Fitz-Oshern,^ Earl of Herefoixl, made a law
in his County, ut nullus miles pro qualicmique commisso plus
septem solidis solvat,f whicii was observed without contro-
versy, in Mcdmesbury's tim€;. and I have seen original letters
of Protection (a perfect and uncomuiunicable power Eoyal)
by that great Prince Richard Earl of I'oiters and Cornwall,
brother to Hen. III. sent to the Sheriff of Ihdland, for and

* As she vras on horseback, her hair loose hung so long, that it
covered all her l)0(lj% to her thighs. ^ Inguliilius Hist. ful. 519.
" Power of Earls anciently. ^ de Gcst. Reg. 3.

t That no Kujjh* should be amerced above seven shillings,


in behalf of a Nunnery about Stanford: and it is well
known, that his successor Edmund left no small tokens of
such supremacy in constitutions, liberties, and imposed
subsidies in the Stannaries of Cornivall ; Avith more such
like extant in monuments. But whatsoever their power
heretofore was, I think it ceased with that custom^ of their
having the third part of the King's profit in the count}^,
which was also in the Saxon times usual, as appears in
that, ^In Ipswich Regina Edeva dims partes hahuit et Coraes
Guert teriiam; Norwich reddebat XX. lihras Bcgi, et Corniil
X. lihras: of the Borough of Leices, its profits erant II.
partes Regis, tertia Comitis^ : et Oxford reddebat Regi XX.
lihras, et sex scxtarios mcllis, Comiti verb Algaro X. lihras.'^
And under King John, Grfrey Eitz-Feter, Earl of Essex, and
William le Marshall Earl oiStriguil, *administrationem suoruni
Comitatuum habebaiit, saith Iloveden. But Time hath, with
other parts of Government, altered all this to what v^e now

414, A witness of that day we won upon the Danes.

He means Rollritch Stones in the confines of Warwick and
Oxfordshire ; of which the vulgar there have a fabulous tra-
dition, that they are an army of men, and I know not what
great general amongst them, converted into stones : a tale
not having his superior in the rank of untruths. But (upon
the conceit of a most learned man) the Muse refers it to
some battle of the Banes, about time of Rollo's piracy and
incursion, and for her Country takes the better side (as
justifiable as the contrary) in afiirming the day to the Engr

^ Lib. vetust. Monast. de Bello ap. Camd.
* Lil). BomcsBai) in Scaccario.
^ Third part of the Counties' profits to the Earl.
■* See to the Eleventh Song.

« Had rule of their Counties. Et v. Jo. Carnotens. Epist. 26i
Nicol. Vico-comiti EaseMas.



lish. But, to suppose this a Monument of that battle,
fought at Hochnorton, seems to me in matter of certainty
not very probable: I mean, being drawn from Bollds name :
of whose stor}% both for a passage in the last Song, and
here, permit a short examination.^ The Norman' tradition
is, that he, with divers other Danes transplanting them-
selves, as well for dissension twixt him and his King, as
for new seat of habitation, arrived here, had some skir-
mishes with the Englkh defending their territories ; and
soon afterward being admonished in a dream, aided and
advised by King Athdstan, entered Seine in France ; wasted
and won part of it about Paris, Baieux, elsewhere : returned
upon request by embassage to assist the English King
against rebels; and afterward in the year 911 or 912 re-
ceived his Dukedom of Normandy, and Christianity, his
name of Boberf, Avith jEgidia or Gilla (for wife) daughter to
Charles, surnamed the Simple ; as to the Fourth Song I
have, according to the credit of the story, touched it. But
how came such habitude twixt Athelstan and him, before
this 912, when, as it is plain, tliat Athelstan was not King
till 924, or near that i)oint? Neither is any concordance
twixt ylthelstan and this Charles, whose Kingdom was taken
from him by Bodvlph Duke of Burgnndy, two years before
our King Bthvard I. (of the Sa.rons) died. In the ninth
year of whose reign, falling under 906, was that battle of
Hochnoiion ; so that, unless the name of Athelstan be mis-
took for this Edivard, or, be wanting to the Dominical year
of tliose twenty-two of the Dionysian calculation (whereof to
the Fourth Song) I sec no means to make their story stand
with itself, nor our Monks; in whom (most of them writing

' Inquisition in the Norman Story, partly touched to the Fourth

" fJuil. Gcmeticens. de Ducib. Norm. 2. cap. 4. ct seqq. Thorn, de
WaWmnhmii in Hypotlig. Keust. .secundum quos, in (juantum ad
chronologicam rationem spectat, idcriquc alii.


about the Norman times) more mention would have been
of RoUo, ancestor to the Conqueror, and his acts here, had
they known any certainty of his name or wars : which I
rather guess to have been in our maritime parts, than in-
lands, unless when (if that were at all) he assisted King
Athehtan. Read Frodoard, and the old Annals of France,
written nearer the supposed times, and you will scarce find
him to have been, or else there under^ some other name ;
as Godfrey, which some have conjectured, to be the same
with liollo. You may see in ^inUius what uncertainties, if
not contrarieties, were, in Norman traditions of this matter ;
and, I make no question, but of that unknown Nation so
much mistaking hath been of names and times, that scarce
any undoubted truth therein now can justify itself. For,
observe but what is here delivered, and compare it with
them- which say in 998 BoHo was overthrown at Charires by
Eichard Duke of Burgundy, and Ebal Earl of Bolters, assist-
ing JValzelm Bishop of that city ; and, my cjuestion is,
Where have you hope of reconciliation'? Except only in
equivocation of name ; for plainly Hadings, Godfrey, Hroruc
and others (if none of these were the same) all Danes, had
to do, and that with dominion in France about this age ;
wherein it is further reported, that Robert Earl of Faris,^
and in some sort a King twixt Charles and Rodidph, gave to
certain Normans that had entered the land at Loire (they
first entered there in SSS"*) all Little Bretagne and Nants,
and this in 922, wiiich agrees with that gift of the same
tract to Rollo by Charles, little better than harshest discords.
And so doth that of Rollo s being aided by the English
King, and in league with him against the French, with
another received truth : which is, that Charles was (by mai-

1 Ita quiJara apuil P. Emilium Hist. Franc. 3. (juem. ile hac re
vide, et Polydor. cjusdoiu se(iuacein Hist. 5.

" Floren. Wigorn. pag. 885. et Roger Hoveden. part. 1. fi>l. 241.
^ Frodoard. Presbyt. iimial. Frauc. * Ileicherspergens.



riage with Edgith* of the English King's loins) son-in-law to
Edv)ard, and brother-in-law to Athclstan, in whose^ protec-
tion here Lewes (afterwards the Fourth) was, while Rodulph
of Burgundy held the Crown, For that unmannerly homage
also, spoken of to the Fourth Song, by one of RoUo's knights,
it is reported by Malmcshuri/ and others, to be done hy Hollo
himself; and, touching that Egidia wife to Hollo, the judi-
cious French historiographer P. Emilius (from whom the
Italian Polydore had many odd pieces of his best contexts)
tells clearly, that she was daughter to Lothar King of Po-
mans, and given by his cousin Charles the Gross, to Godfrey
King of Normans, with Sjilltgtrtcii (that is Neustria) about
886, and imagines that the Norman historians were deceived
by equivocation of name, mistaking Charles the Simple for
Charles the Gross, living near one time ; as also that they
finding Egidia a King's daughter (being indeed Lothar' s)
supposed her Charles the Simples. This makes me think
also that of Godfrey and Polio, hath been like confusion of
name. But both times, reigns, and persons are so dis-
turbed in the stories, that being insufficient to rectify the
contrarieties, I leave you to the liberty of common report.

* Ovinia dicta P. ^milio.

^ Membran. vetust. Ccenob. Floriacens. edit, a P. Pithjeo,



The Argument.

Her sundry strains the Muse to prove.
Now sings of homely country love;
What moan th' old herdsman Clent doth make,
For his coy Wood-Nymph Feck'nham's sake ;
And, how the Nymphs each other greet.
When Avon and brave Severn meet.
The Vale of Eushain then doth tell,
How far the Vales do Hills excell.
Ascending, next, fair Cots wold's Plains,
She revels with the shepherds swains ;
And sends the dainty Nymphs atvay,
'Gainst Tame and Isis' Wedding-day.

\T length, attain'd those lands that South of Severn
As to the varying earth the Muse doth her apply,
Poor sheep-hook and plain goad, she many times
doth sound :
Then in a buskin'd strain she instantly doth bound.
Smooth as the lowly stream, she softly now doth glide : 5
And with the Mountains straight contendeth in her pride.

Now back again I turn, the land with me to take,
From the Staffordlan heaths as Stour* her course doth make.

* Running by Sturbridge in Worstershire, towards Severn.


Which Clent, from his proud top, contentedly doth view :
But yet the aged Hill, immoderately doth rue lo

His loved Fed'nham's fall, and doth her state bemoan ;
To please his amorous eye, whose Hke the world had none.
For, from her very youth, he (then an aged Hill)
Had to that Forest-Nymph a special liking still :
The least regard of him who never seems to take, 15

But suff'reth in herself for Salwarp's only sake ;
And on that Eiver dotes, as much as Chnt on her.

Xow, when the Hill perceiv'd, the Flood she would prefer.
All pleasure he forsakes ; that at the full-bagg'd cow,
Or at the curl-fac'd bull, when venting he doth low, 20

Or at th' unhappy wags, which let their cattle stray,
At Nine-holes on the heath whilst they together play.
He never seems to smile ; nor ever taketh keep
To hear the harmless swain pipe to his grazing sheep :
Nor to the carter's tune, in whistling to his team ; 25

Nor lends his list'ning ear (once) to the ambling stream,
That in the evening calm against the stones doth rush
With such a murmuring noise, as it would seem to hush
The silent meads asleep ; but, void of all delight,
Remedilessly drown'd in sorrow day and night, 30

Nor Lkhj his ally and neighbour doth respect :
And there\vith being charg'd, thus answereth in effect ; '
That Llrh')/ to his height seem'd slowly but to rise,
And that in length and breadth he all extended lies,
Nor doth like other hills to sudden sharpness mount, 35
That of their kingly kind they scarce can him account ;
Though by his swelling soil set in so high a place,
That Ma.lvaiis mighty self he seemeth to out-face.

Whilst Clent and Llcbj thus, do both express their pride.
As Salvxirpe slips along by Fcck'nham's shady side, 40

^ The Lickey, supposed to be the highest ground of this lale not
being a Mountain.


That Forest him afiects in wand'ring to the JVijch :^
But he, himself by salts there seeking to enrich,
His Feck'nham quite forgets ; from all affection free.

But she, that to the Flood most constant means to be,
More prodigally gives her woods to those strong fires 45
Which boil the source to salts. Which Clent so much admires,
That love, and her disdain, to madness him provoke :
When to the Wood-Xymph thus the jealous Mountain spoke ;

Fond Kymph, thy twisted curls, on which were all my
Thou lett'st the furnace waste ; that miserably bare so

I hope to see thee left, which so dost me despise ;
AVhose beauties many a morn have blest my longing eyes
And, till the weary sun sunk down unto the West,-
Thou still my object wast, thou once ray only best.
The time shall quickly come, thj' groves and pleasant springs,
Where to the mirthful merle the warbling mavis sings, 50
The painful labourer's hand shall stock the roots, to burn ;
The branch and body spent, yet could not serve his turn.
Which when, most wilful Nymph, thy chance shall be to see.
Too late thou shalt repent thy small regard of me. eo

But Salwarpe down {vomlFyche his nimbler feet doth ply.
Great Severn to attend, along to Tewkshury,
With others to partake the joy that there is seen,
When beauteous Avon comes unto her sovereign Queen.^
Here down from Eushaiit's Vale, their greatness to attend, cs
Comes Swdllat sweeping in, which Cofsicohl down doth send:
And Garran there arrives, the great recourse to see.
Where thus together met, with most delightful glee.
The cheerful Nymphs that haunt the Valley rank and low
(Where full Poinoiui seems most plenteously to flow, ro

And with her fruitery swells by Fershore, in her pride)
Amongst the batfull meads on Severn's either side,

^ The Salt Fountain of Worcestershire. ' Severn.


To these their confluent Floods, full bowls of perry brought :
Where, to each other's health pass'd many a deep-fetch'd

And many a sound carouse from friend to friend doth go 75
Thus whilst the mellowed earth with her own juice doth flow,
Inflamed with excess the lusty pamp'red Vale,
In praise of her great self, thus frames her glorious tale :

I doubt not but some Vale enough for us has said,
To answer them that most with baseness us upbraid ; so
Those high presumptuous Hills, which bend their utmost
Us only to deject, in their inveterate spite : [might,

But I would have them think," that I (which am the Queen
Of all the i>V/7(,s7i^Vales, and so have ever been
Since Ggmer's giant-brood inhabited this Isle, 85

And that of all the rest, myself may so enstyle)
Against the highest Hill dare put myself for place,
That ever threat'ned Heaven with the austerest face, [forth
And for our jiraise, then thus ; What Fountain send they
(That finds a Iviver's name, though of the smallest worth) 90
But it invales itself, and on it either side [pride

Doth make those fruitful meads, which with their painted
Imbroder his proud bank 1 whilst in lascivious gyres
He swiftly sallieth out, and suddenly retires
In sundry works and trails, now shallow, and then deep, sft
Searching the spacious shores, as though it meant to sweep
Their sweets with it away, with which they are replete.
And men, first building towns, themselves did wisely seat
Still in the bounteous Vale : whose burthencd jiasture bears
The most aboundant swathe, whose glebe such goodly ears.
As to the weighty sheaf with scythe or sickle cut, 101

When as his hard'ned hand the labourer comes to put,
Sinks him in his own sweat, which it but hardly wields :
And on the corn-strew'd lands, then in the stubble fields,
There feed the herds of ncat,^by them the flocks of sheep, io&


Seeldng tlie scatt'red corn upon the ridges steep :
And in the furrow by (where Ceres lies much spill'd)
Th' unwiekly larding swine his maw then having fill'd,
Lies wallowing in the mire, thence able scarce to rise.
When as those monstrous Hills so much that us despise no
(The Mountain, which forsooth the lowly Valley mocks)
Have nothing in the world upon their barren rocks,
But greedy clanib'ring goats, and conies, banish'd quite
From every fertile place ; as rascals, that delight
In base and barren plots, and at good earth repine. lis

And though in winter we to moisture much incline,
Yet those that be our own, and dwell upon our land,
When twixt their burly stacks, and fuU-stuff'd barns they
Into the softer clay as eas'ly they do sink, [stand,

Pluck up their heavy feet, with lighter spirits, to think 120
That autumn shall produce, to recompense their toil,
A rich and goodly crop from that unpleasant soil.
And from that envious foe which seeks us to deprave,
Though much against his will this good we clearly have,
AVe still are highly prais'd, and honour'd by his height. 125
For, who will us survey, their clear and judging sight
May see us thence at full : which else the searching'st eye,
By reason that so flat and levelled we lye,
Could never throughly view, ourselves nor could we show.
Yet more ; Avhat lofty Hills to humble Valleys owe, 130
And what high grace they have which near to us are plac'd,
In Breedon* may be seen, being amorously imbrac'd
In cincture of mine arms. Who though he do not vaunt
His head like those that look as they would Heaven sup-
plant :
Yet let them wisely note, in what excessive pride 135

He in my bosom sits ; while him on every side
With my delicious sweets and delicates I trim.

* A Hill iuvironed on every side with the Vale of Eiisham.


And when great Mdlrern looks most terrible and grim,
He with a pleased brow continually doth smile.

Here Breedon, having heard his praises all the while, uo
Grew insolently proud ; and doth upon him take
Such state, as he would seem but small account to make
Of Malvern, or of Mein. So that the Aviser Vale,
To his instruction turns the process of her tale.
T' avoid the greater's wrath, and shun the meauer's hate, 145
Quoth she, take my advice, abandon idle state ;
And by that way I go, do thou thy course contrive :
Give others leave to vaunt, and let us closely thrive.
Whilst idly but for place the lofty Mountains toil.
Let us have store of grain, and quantity of soil. iso

To wliat end serve their tops (that seem to threat the sky)
But to be rent "with storms ? whilst we in safety lie.
Their rocks but barren be, and they which rashly climb,
Stand most in Envy's sight, the fairest prey for Time.
And when the lowly Vales are clad in summer's green, 155
The grisled winter's snow upon their heads is seen.
Of all the Hills I know, let Mein thy pattern be :
Who though his site be such as seems to equal thee,
And destitute of nought that Ankn him can yield ;
Nor of th' especial grace of many a goodly field ; leo

Nor of dear Clifford's seat (the place of health and sport)
Which many a time hath been the ^luse's quiet port.
Yet brags not he of that, nor of himself esteems
The more for his fair site ; but richer than he seems,
Clad in a gown of grass, so soft and wondrous warm, 105
As him the summer's heat, nor winter's cold can harm.
Of whom I well may say, as I may speak of thee ;
From either of your tops, that who beholdeth me.
To Paradise may think a second he had found.
If any like the first were ever on the ground. 170

Her long and zealous speech thus Eui>hmii doth conclude :


AVhen straight the active Muse industriously pursu'd

This noble Country's praise, as matter still did rise.

For Gloster in times past herself did highly prize,

When in her pride of strength she nourish'd goodly vines, irs

§ And oft her cares repress'd with her delicious wines.

But, now th' all-cheering sun the colder soil deceives,

§ And us (here tow'rds the pole) still falling South-ward

leaves :
So that the sullen earth th' effect thereof doth prove ;
According to their books, who hold that he doth move iso
From his first zenith's point ; the cause we feel his want.
But of her vines depriv'd, now Gloster learns to plant
The pear-tree everywhere : whose fruit she strains for juice,
That her pur'st perry is, which first she did produce
From Worstcrshire, and there is common as the fields ; i85
"Which naturally that soil in most aboundance yields.

But the laborious Muse, which still new work assays,
Here sallieth through the slades, where beauteous Seven

Until that Eiver gets her Gioster's wished sight :
Where, she her stream divides, that with the more delight i90
She might behold the Town, of which she's Avondrous proud :
Then takes she in the Frome, then Cam, and next the Slrowd,
As thence upon her course she wantonly doth strain.
Supposing then herself a Sea-god by her train.
She N^ejJtune-like doth float upon the bracky marsh. 195

AVhere, lest she should become too combersome and harsh,
Fair Mklden-nod (a Nymph, long honour'd for a Chase,
Contending to have stood the high'st in Severn's grace.
Of any of the Dri/ads there bord'ring on her shore)
With her cool amorous shades, and all her sylvan store, 200
To please the goodly Flood imploys her utmost powers.
Supposing the proud Nymph might like her woody bowers.

But Severn (on her way) so large and headstrong gre\\',


That she the Wood-Nymph scorns, and Avon doth pursue ;

A River with no less than goodly Kings-wood crown'd, 205

A Forest and a Flood by either's f;ime renown'd ;

And each with other's pride and beauty much bewitch'd ;

Besides, with Bristowe's state both wondrously enrich'd.

Which soon to Severn sent th' report of that fair Road^

(So burthened still with barlcs, as it would overload 210

Great Neptune with the weight) whose fame so far doth ring.

When as that mighty Flood, most bravely flourishing,

Like Thetis' goodly self, majestically glides ;

Upon her spacious breast tossing the surgefull tides.

To have the River see the state to which she grows, 215

And how much to her Queen the beauteous Avon owes.

But, noble Muse, proceed immediately to tell
How Eushain's fertile Vale at first in liking fell [site

With Cotsivold, that great King of Shepherds : whose proud
When that fair Vale first saw, so nourish'd her delight, 220
That him she only lov'd : for wisely she beheld
The beauties clean throughout that on his surface dwell'd :
Of^ just and equal height two banks arising, which
Grew poor (as it should seem) to make some Valley rich :
Betwixt them thrusting out an elbow of such height, 225
As shrouds the lower soil; which, shadowed from the light,
Shoots forth a little grove, that in the summer's day
Invites the flocks, for shade that to the covert stray.
A Kill there holds his head, as though it told a tale,
Or stooped to look down, or whisper with a Vale; 230

Where little purling winds like Avantons seem to dally.
And skip from bank to bank, from valley trip to valley.
Such sundry shapes of soil where Nature doth devise,
That she may rather seem fantastical than wise.

T' whom Suriu/i's Plain gives place ; though famous for
her flocks, 235

' Kin'/a Jioad. * A nice description of Cutsuohl,


Yet liardly doth slie tithe our CotsWoMs wealthy locks.
Though Lemsier him exceed for fineness of her ore,

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