Michael Drayton.

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

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And happily reliev'd the hardly-gotten Roan :
Who at the very hint came with auspicious feet, 495

Whereas the trait'rous French he miserably beat.
And having over-spread all Pkarcly with war,
Proud Burgainc to the field he lastly sent to dare,
Which with his English friends so oft his faith had broke :
Whose countries he made mourn in clouds of smould'ring
smoke : 500

Then Gysors he again, then did Saint Denise, raze.

His parallel, with him, the valiant Scales we praise ;
Which oft put sword to sword, and foot to foot did set :
And that the first alone the garland might not get,
^Vith him hath hand in hand leap'd into danger's jaws ; 505 ■
And oft would forward ^mt, where Talbot stood to pause :
Equality in fame, which with an equal lot,
Both at Saint Denise siege, and batt'red Guysors got.
Before Pont-Orson's walls, who when great JFarwich lay
(And he with soldiers sent a foraging for prey) r)io

Six thousand French o'erthrew with half their numb'red

And absolutely made both Main and Anjou ours.

To JFilloughhy the next, the place by turn doth fall ;
Whose courage likely was to bear it from them all :
With admiration oft on whom they stood to look, eis

Saint Valerie's proud gates that off the hinges shook :
In Burgondy that forc'd the recreant French to fly,
And beat the rebels down disord'ring Normandy :
That Amiens near laid waste (whose strengths her could not

And the perfidious French out of the country drave. r.20

With these, another troop of noble spirits there sprong,
That with the foremost press'd into the warlike throng.

IS— 2


The first of whom we place that stout Sir Philip Hall,
S(j famous in the fight against the Count S. Paul,
That Crotoy us regain'd : and in the conflict twixt bi:>

The English and the French, that with the Scot were mixt^
On proud Cluirks Cleremont won that admirable day.

Strong Fastolph Avith this man compare we justly maj^,
By Salsbury who oft being seriously imploy'd
In many a brave attempt, the general foe annoy'd ; sso

With excellent success in Alain and Anjou fought :
And many a bulwark there into our keeping brought ;
And, chosen to go forth with Vadamont in war,
Most resolutely took proud Renate, Duke of Barre.

The valiant Dmytons then, Sir Fuchard and Sir John, 535
By any English spirits yet hardly over-gone ;
The fame they got in France, with costly wounds that bought :
In Gascony and Guym, who oft and stoutly fought.

Then, valiant Matthew Gough: for whom the English were
Much bound to noble Wales in all our battles there, 540
Or sieging or besieg'd that never fail'd our force,
Oft hazarding his blood in many a desperate course.
He beat the Bastard Balme with his selected band.
And at his castle-gate surpris'd him hand to hand.
And spite of all his power away him prisoner bare. 545

Our hardy Burdet then with him we will compare,
Besieg'd within Saint James de Beneon, issuing out,
Crying ' Salsbury, S. George,' with such a horrid shout,
That cleft the wand'ring clouds ; and with his valiant crew
Upon the envied Frenclo like hungry lions flew, 550

And Arthur Earl of Eurc and Bichmont took in fight :
Tlien following them (in heat) the army put to flight :
The Britan, French, and Scot, receiv'd a general sack,
As, flying, one fell still upon another's back ;
"\\'here our six hundred slew so many thousands more. 55.0
At our so good success that once a French-man swore


That God was wholly turn'd unto the English side,
And to assist the French, the Devil had deni'd.

Then here our Kerrill claims his room amongst tlie rest,
Who justly if compar'd might match our very best. ooo

He in our wars in France with our great Talbot oft,
With Willoughhj and Scales, now down, and then aloft,
Endur'd the sundry turns of often-varying Fate :
At Cleremonf seiz'd the Earl before his city gate,
Eight hundred faithless French who took or put to sword ;
And, by his valour, twice to Artoyse us restor'd. 566

In this our service then great Arondell doth ensue.
The Marshal Bousack who in Beuroys overthrew ;
And, in despite of France and all her power, did win *
The Castles Darle, Kellay, S. Lawrence, BomeUn ; sro

Took Silly, and Count Lore at Sellerin subdu'd.
Where with her owner's blood, her buildings he imbru'd:
Revolted Loveers sack'd, and manfully supprest
Those rebels, that so oft did Normandy molest.

As Poyrdnrjs, such high praise in Gelderland that got, srs
On the Savoyan side, that with our English shot [fear.

Strook warlike ^^5^"6, and Stratde, when Flanders shook with

As Howard, by whose hand we so renowned were :
Whose great success at sea, much fam'd our English Fleet :
That in a naval fight the Scottish Barton beat ; r,su

And setting foot in France, her horribly did fright :
(As if great Chandos' ghost, or fear6d Talbot's spright
Had com'n to be their scourge, their fame again to earn)
Who ha\ang stoutly sack'd both Narbin and Devernn,
The Castles of De Boyes, of Fringes, took us there, i^

Of Columburge, of Beioe, of Dorians, and Daveere ;
In ScoilcDid, and again the Marches East to West,
Did -ndth invasive war most terribly infest.

A nobler of that name, the Earl of Surry then,
That famous hero fit both for the spear and pen ^ .'.so


(From Flodderis doubtful fight, that forward Scottish King
In his victorious troop who home with him did bring)
liebellious Ireland scourg'd, in Britany and wan
Us Morles. Happy time, that bredst so brave a man !

To Cobham, next, the place deservedly doth fall : 595

In France who then imploy'd with our great Admirall,
In his successful road blew Sellois up in fire,
Took Bottingham and Bruce, with Samkerke and Mansier.

Our Peachy, nor our Carre, nor Thomas, shall be hid,
That at the Field of Spurs by Tirwyn stoutly did. eoo

Sands, Guyldford, Pcdmer, Lyle, Fiizicilliams, and with them,
Brave Dacres, Musgrave, Bray, Coe, Wharton, Jerningham,
Great Martialists, and men that were renowned far
At sea ; some in the French, some in the Scottish war.

Courageous Randolph then, that serv'd with great com-
mand, 605
Before Newhaven first, and then in Ireland.
The long-renown'd Lord Gray, whose spirit we oft did

A man that with drad ]\Iars stood in account most high.
Sir Thomas Morgan tlien, much fame to us that wan.
When in our Maiden reign the Belgique war began : oio

"\Mio with our friends the Dutch, for England stoutly stood.
When Netherland first learn'd to lavish gold and blood.
Sir Roger Williams next (of both which, Wales might vaunt)
His martial compeer then, and brave commilitant :
Whose conflicts, with the French and Spanish manly fought.
Much honour to their names, and to the Britans brought, eie "

Th' Lord Willoughby may well be reckon'd with the rest.
Inferior not a whit to any of our best ;
A man so made for war, as though from Pallas sprong.
Sir Richard Bingham then our valiant men among, 620

Himself in Bchjia well, and Ireland, who did bear;
Our only schools of war this later time that were.


As StanJy} whose brave act at Zatphm's service done,
Much glory to the day, and hiui his knighthood won.

Our noblest Norrice next, whose fame shall never die 025
Whilst Belgia shall be kno^vTi, or there's a Biitany :
In whose brave height of spirit, Time seem'd as to restore
Those, who to th' EiKjJhh name such honour gain'd of j'ore.

Great Essex, of our Peers the last that ere we knew ;
Th' old world's Heroes' lives who likeliest did renew ; eso
The soldiers' only hope, who stoutly serv'd in France ;
And on the Towers of Cedes as proudly did advance
Our English ensigns then, and made Iberia quake.
When as our warlike Fleet rode on the surging Lake,
T' receive that city's spoil, which set her batter'd gate 635
Wide ope, t' affrighted Spaijne to see her wretched state.

Next, Charles, Lord Mountjoy, sent to Ireland to suppress
The envious rebel there ; by whose most fair success,
The trowzt^d Irish led by their unjust Tyrone,
And the proud Spanish force, were justly overthrown. eto
That still Kiiisall shall keep and faithful record bear.
What by the English prowess was executed there.

Then liv'd those valiant Veres,^ both men of great command
In our imployments long : whose either martial hand
Ileach'd at the highest wreath, it from the top to get, 64a
Which on the proudest head. Fame yet had ever set.

Our Dokwray,^ Morgan^ next. Sir Samuel Bagnall, then
Stout Lambert,^ such as well deserve a living pen ;
True Martialists and Knights, of noble spirit and wit.

The valiant Cicill, last, for great iinployment fit, eso

Deservedly in war the lat'st of ours that rose :
Whose honour every hour, and fame still greater grows.

When now the Kentish Nymphs do interrupt her Song,
By letting Medway know she tarried had too long

^ Sir Edw. Stanley. ■ Sir Francis and Sir Horace.

3 Sir Henry. * Sir Edmomi. ' Sir Oliver.


Upon this warlike troop, and all upon them laid, C55

Yet for their nobler Kent she nought or little said.

When as the pliant Muse, straight turning her about,
And coming to the land as Medu-ai/ goeth out,
Saluting the dear soil, famous Kenf, quoth she,
What country hath this Isle that can compare with thee, 060
AVhich hast within thyself as much as thou canst wish ?
Thy conies, ven'son, fruit ; thy sorts of fowl and fish :
As what with strength comports, thy hay, thy corn, thy wootl :
Nor anything doth want, that anywhere is good.
Where Thames-wavd to the shore, which shoots upon the rise,
liich TcJtham undertakes thy closets to suffice coo

With cherries, which we say, the Summer in doth bring,
Wherewith Pomona crowns the plump and lustful Spring ;
From whose deep ruddy cheeks, sweet Zephyr kisses steals.
With their delicious touch his love-sick heart that heals, oro
"W'liose golden gardens seem th' Hcqjerides to mock :
Nor there the Dainzoii wants, nor dainty Ahricock,
Nor Pipinn, which we hold of kernel-fruits the king,
Tlie Apple-Orendge ; then the savoury Russetting :
The Peare-ma'me, which to France long ere to us was known,
Wiiich careful Fruit'rers now have denizen'd our own. ero
The lienat : which though first it from the Pippin came.
Grown through his pureness nice, assumes that curious name,
Upon that Pippin stock, the Pippin being set ;
As on the Gentle, when the Gentle doth beget oso

(Both by the sire and dame being anciently descended)
The issue born of them, his blood hath much amended.
The Swcetinij, for wliose sake tlie i)low-l)oys oft make war :
The Jnidini/, Costard, then the well-known Pomivater,
And sundry other fruits, of good, yet several taste, ess

That have their sundry names in sundry countries plac'd :
Unto whose dear increase the gardener spends his life,
"With percer, wimble, .saw, Ids mallet, and his knife;


Oft covereth, oft doth bare the dry and moist'ned root,

As faintly they mislike, or as they kindly suit ; «)o

And their selected plants doth workman-like bestow,

That in true order they conveniently may grow.

And kills the slimy snail, the worm, and labouring ant,

Which many times annoy the graft and tender plant :

Or else maintains the plot much starved by the Avet, oj5

Wherein his daintiest fruits in kernels he doth set :

Or scrapeth off the moss, the trees that oft annoy.

But, with these trifling things why idly do I toy,
Who any way the time intend not to prolong?
To those Thamidan Isles now nimbly turns my Song, too
Fair Shepoj and the Greane sufficiently suppli'd,
To beautify the place where Mnlway shows her pride. •
But Greane seems most of all the Medwaij to adore,
And Tenet, standing forth to the Bkutiipian} shore,
By mighty Albion plac'd till his return again rus

From Gaul ; where, after, he by Hercules was slain.
For, earth-born Albion then great Neptune's eldest son,
Ambitious of the fame by stern Alcides won.
Would over (needs) to Gaul, with him to hazard fight.
Twelve Labours which before accomplish'd by his might ; no
His daughters then but young (on whom was all his care)
Which Boris, Thetis Nympli, unto the Giant bare :
With whom those Isles he left ; and will'd her for his sake,
That in their grandsire's Court she much of them would

make :
But Temt, th' eld'st of three, when Albion was to go, ris
Which lov'd her fj\ther best, and loth to leave him so,
There at the Giant raught; which was porceiv'd by chance :
This loving Isle would else have follow'd him to France ;
To make the channel wide that then he forced was,
§ Whereas (some say) before he us'd ou foot to pass. r.-o

^ Near Sandivkh.


Thus Tend being stay'd, and surely settled there,
"Wlio nothing less than want and idleness could bear,
Doth only give herself to tillage of the ground.
With sundry sorts of grain whilst thus she doth abound,
She falls in love with Stour, which coming down by Wye, V25
And towards the goodly Isle, his feet doth nimbly ply.
To Canterhunj then as kindly he resorts,
His famous country thus he gloriously reports :

noble Kent, quoth he, this praise doth thee belong,
The hard'st to be controll'd, impatientest of wrong. 730

Who, when the Norman first with pride and horror sway'd,
Threw'st off the servile yoke upon the English laid ;
And with a high resolve, most bravely didst restore
That liberty so long enjoy'd by thee before.
§ Not suff'ring foreign Laws should thy free customs. bind,
Then only show'd'st thyself of th' ancient Saxon kind. "36
Of all the English Shires be thou surnam'd the Free,
§ Ami foremost ever plac'd, when they shall reck'ned be.
And let this Town, Avhich Chief of thy rich Country is,
Of all the Biilish Sees be still Metropolis. 740

Which having said, the Stour to Tend him doth hie,
Her in his loving arms imbracing by and by,
Into the mouth of Tames one arm that forth doth lay,
The other thrusting out into the Celtique Sea.
§ Grim Goodwin all this while seems grievously to low'r, 745
Xor cares he of a straw for Tennet, nor her Stour ;
Still bearing in his mind a mortal hate to France
Since mighty Albion's fall by war's incertain chance.
Who, since his wish'd revenge not all this while is had,
Twixt very grief and rage is fall'n extremely mad ; 7.^o

Tliat wJR'u the rolling tide doth stir him with her waves,
Straiglit foaming at the mouth, impatiently he raves.
And strives to swallow up the Sea-marks in his deep,
That warn the wand'ring ships out of his jaws to keep.


The Surgeons of the sea do all their skill apply, ';r,:>

If possibly, to cure his grievous malady :
As Amphitrite's Nymphs their very utmost prove,
By all the means they could, his madness to remove.
From Greenwich to these Sands, some scurvy-grass^ do bring,
That inwardly applied 's a wondrous sovereign thing. too
From Slicpey, sea-moss^ some, to cool his boiling blood ;
Some, his ill-season'd mouth that wisely understood,
Rob Dovc7-'s neighbouring cleeves of sampyre,^ to excite
His dull and sickly taste, and stir up appetite.

Now, Shepey, when she found she could no further wade
After her mighty Sire, betakes her to his trade, ree

"With sheephook in her hand, her goodly flocks to heed,
And cherisheth the kind of those choice Kentish breed.
Of villages she holds as husbandly a port.
As any British Isle that neighboureth Keptune's Court. 770
But Greane, as much as she her father that did love
(And, then the Inner Land, no further could remove)
In such continual grief for AUtion doth abide.
That almost under-flood she weepeth every tide.

^ Simples frequent in these places.


UT of Sussex, into its Eastern neighbour, Kent, this
Canto leads you. It begins with Bother, whose
running through the woods, in-isling Oxney, and
such like, poetically here described is plain enough
to any apprehending conceit ; and upon Mcdways Song of
our Martial and Heroic spirits, because a large volume
might be written to explain their glory in particular action,
and in less comprehension without wrong to many worthies
it's not performable, I have omitted all Illustration of that
kind, and lelt you to the Muse herself.

71. That Limen then was imm'd

So the Author conjectures ; that Bother's mouth was the
place called Liitirn, at which the Danes in time of King
Alfred made irruption ; which he must (I think) maintain
by adding likelihood that Bother then fell into the Ocean
about With ; where (as the relics of the name in Lime, and
the distance from Canterbury in Antoninus, making Portus
Lernanis,* which is misprinted in Surita's edition, Pontem
Lemanis, sixteen miles oft) it seems Limen was ; and if
Bother were Limen, then also, there was it discharged out of

• Lemannis in Natit. Utr. Provinc.


the land. But for the Author's words read this : Equestris
parjanorum exercitus cum suis equis COL. navibus Cuntiani
tnmsvedus in ostio Amnis Limen qui de sylva magna Andred
nominatd decurrit, applkuit, b, cujus ostio IV. milliariis in ean-
dem sijlvam naves suas stir sum traxit, ubi quandam arcem semi-
structam, quani pauci inhab'dabant villanl, diruerunt, aUamque
sibi firmiorem in loco qui dicltur Aipnltrea construxerunt,* which
are the syllables of Florence of Worcester ; and with him in
substance fully agrees Matf/mv of Westminster : nor can I
think but that they imagined Rye (where now Bother hath
its mouth) to be this Port of Limen, as the Muse here; if
you respect her direct terms. Henry of Huntingdon names
no River at all, but lands them ad Portum Limene cum 250
navibus, qui portus est in orientall p)arte Cent juxta magnum
nemvs Andredslaige.t How Eother's mouth can be properly,
said in the East (but rather in the South part) of Kent, I
conceive not, and am of the adverse part, thinking clearly
that Hifh must be Portus Lemanis, which is that coast, as
also learned Camden teaches, whose authority cited out of
Huntingdon, being near the same time with Florence might
be jjtrhaps thought but as of equal credit ; therefore I call
another witness^ (that lived not much past fifty years after
the arrival) in these words, In Limneo portu constituunt pup-
'pes, 5l{JoltJre (so I read, for the print is corrupted) loco con-
dieto orientali Cantiie parte, dcstruuntque ibi pirisco opere castrum
propter quod rustica manus exigua cpdppe intrinsecus erat, Illic-
que kiberna castra confirmant.X Out of which you note both
that no River, but a Port only, is spoken of, and that the

* The Danes with 250 sail, came into the mouth of tho River
Limen, which runs out of Andredmnald: from whence four miles into
the wood they got in their ships, and built them a fort at Aphdore.
893. t At Port Limen by Andredswald in the East of Kent.

^ Ethelwerd. lib. 4. cap. 4.

X They leave their ships in Port-Zmere, making their rendezvous
at A npledoure in the East of Kent, (for this may I)etter endure that
uaiiio; and there destroyed one Castle a)id built another.


ships were left in the shore at the haven, and thence the
Danes conveyed their companies to Apledowre. The Avords of
this Ethelicerd I respect much more than these later Stories,
and I would advise my reader to incline so with me.

442. JFJiat time I think in liell that instrument devised.

He means a Gnn ; wherewith that most noble and right
martial Thoinaa Montague Earl of Salislniri/ at the siege of
Orleans in time of Hen. VI. was slain. The first inventor of
them (I guess you dislike not the addition) was one Berthold
Swartz^ (others say Constantine AnUitzen a Dutch ]\Ionk and
Ch}Tnist, who having in a mortar sulphurous powder fur
medicine, covered with a stone, a spark of fire by chance
falling into it, fired it, and the flame removed the stone ;
which he observing, made use afterward of the like in little
pipes of iron, and showed the use to the Venetians in their
war with the Genowayes at Chioggia about 1380. Thus is
the common assertion : but I see as good authority,^ that it
was used above twenty years before in the Danish Seas. I
Avill not dispute the conveniency of it in the world, compare
it with Sah/ioneiis imitation of thunder, Archimedes his en-
gines, and such like ; nor tell you that the Chinois had it,
and Printing, so many ages before us, as Mendoza, Moffy,
and others deliver ; but not with persuading credit to all
their readers.

720. JFhereas some say before he us^d on foot to pass.

The allusion is to Britain's being heretofore joined to Gaul
in this Strait twixt Dover and Calais (some thirty miles
over) as some moderns have conjectured. That learned
antiquary ./. TLclne is very confident in it, and derives the
name from B3rith signifying (as he says) as much as ®uttl^,

' Vid. PolyJ. dc Invent, ror. 2. cap 2. ; ct STlnmth. ad G. Panciroll.
2. tit. IS. ' Achilles Gassar. ap. Muiist. C'osmog. 3.


i.e., a separation, in Welsh, whence the Isle of Wirfht^ was so
called ; Guith and Wicjht being soon made of each other. Of
this opinion is the late Ferstegan, as you may read in him ;
and for examination of it, our great light of antiquity Cam-
den hath proposed divers considerations, in which, experience
of particulars must direct. Howsoever this was in truth, it
is as likely, for ought I see, as that Cyprus was once joined
to Syria, Evhcea (now Xecjroponf) to Buotia, Atalantc to Eu-
hcea, Belbicum to Bithynia, Leucosia to Thrace, as is affirmed :-
and Sicily (whose like our Island is) was certainly broken off
from the Continent o{ Italy, as both Virgil expressly, Strabo,
and Pliny deliver ; and also the names of Iihegium, 'xaoa 70
\rr/yM(s^a.i^ and of the self Sicily ; which, rather than from
secare,* I derive from sicilire,^ which is of the same signifi-
cation and nearer in analogy : Clauclian calls the Isle

cliducta Britannia munch,*

and Virgil hath

toto clivisos orhe Britannos ;t

Where Servius is of opinion, that, for this purpose, the
learned Poet used that phrase. And it deserves inquisition,
how beasts of rapine, as foxes and such like, came first into'
this Island (for England and JTalcs, as now Scotland and Ire-
land, had store of wolves, until some three hundred years
since) if it were not joined to a firm land, that either by
like conjunction, or narrow passage of swimming might re-
ceive them from that Continent where the Ark rested,
Avhich is Armenia. That men desired to transport them, is

^ Sam. Beulan. ad. Nennium. ^ Plin. Hist. Nat. 2. cap. 88.

^ From hreaking uS. TiMi^us. Ilist. 4. et Strab. a.

* To cut oil'. ' Van-, do lie Itustic. 1. cap. 49.

* Britain jjiilled from tlie world.

t B) Itom divided from the whole world,


not likely : and a learned Jesuit^ hath conjectured, that the
fVest Indies are therefore, or have been, joined with firm
land, because they have lions, wolves, panthers, and such
like, which in the JBarmudez, Cuba, Hisj)aniola, S. Domingo,
and other remote Isles, are not found. But no place here
to dispute the question.

735. Not svff^ring foreign laws shoidd thy free customs hind.

To explain it, T thus English you a fragment of an old
Monk :- JVhen the Norman Conqueror had the day, he came
to Dover Castle, that he might with the same subdue Kent also;
where/are, Stigand Archbishop, a'/id Egelsin Abbot, as the chief
of that Shire, observing that now lohereas heretofore no Villeins
(the Latin is Nullus fuerat servus, and applying it to our Law-
phrase, I translate it) had been in Englaml, they should be noiv
all in bondage to the Normans, they assembled all the County,
and showed the imminent dangers, the insolence of the Normans,
and the hard condition of Villenage : They, resolving all rather
to die than lose their freedom, liurpose to encounier^icith the Duke
for their Country's liberties. Their Co.ptabis are the Archbishop
and tlie Abbot. Upon an appointed day they meet all at Swanes-
comb, and harbouring themselves in tJie woods, with boughs in
every man's hand, they encompass his way. The next day, the
Duke coming by Swanescomb, seemed to see with amazement,
as it were a ivood approaching towards him, the Kentish men at
tiie sound of a trumpet take themselves to arms, when presently
the Archhisliop awl Abbot were sent to the Duke and saluted him
with tliese words : JSehold, Sir Duke, the Kentish men come to
meet you, willing to receive you as their liege Lord, upon that con-
dition, that tliey may for ever enjoy their ancient Liberties and
Laws used among their ancestors ; othcncise, pirescnUy offering
war; being ready rather to die, than undergo a yoke of Jjondage,

' .ToHe])h. Acost. Dc Natur. Novi Orhia 1. cap. 20. et 21.
* Th. Spotus ap. Lamb, in Explic. N'erl).

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Online LibraryMichael DraytonThe complete works of Michael Drayton, now first collected (Volume 2) → online text (page 20 of 21)