Michael Drayton.

The complete works of Michael Drayton, now first collected (Volume 3) online

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Containing all the Tracts, Riucrs, Moitn-
taines, and Forrests :

Intermixed with the most remarkable Stories,
Antiquities, Wonders, Rarities, Pleasures, and Com-
modities of the East and Northerne parts of this Isle,
lying betwixt the two famous Rivers
of Thames, and Tweed.



Printed by Aii^t^ustifie Mal/iezucs for Tohn Jlfarrw^i

lohn Grisviatul, and Thomas Dewc.




HE First Part of this Poem (most Illustrious Prince) 1
dedicated to your deceased Broilier of most famoits
menwry, v:hosc princely bounty, and usage of me,
gojoc me much encouragement to go on icith this
Second Part, or Continuance thereof ; tchich now, as his Suc-
cessor, I owe to your Highness. If means ami time fail me
not, being now arrived ai Scotland, / trust you shall see me
crovm her v:ith no xcorse flowers than I liave do^ie Iter two Sisters,
England and Wales : ami uitlu/ut any partiality, as I dare be
bold, to make tlie Poets of that Kingdom my judges therein. If
I arrive ai the Orcades, wit/u/ut sinking in my flight, your High-
ness cannot but say, that I hul no ill perspective that gave me
things so clearly, wlien I stood so far off.

To your Highness

Most humbly devoted,


To any that will read it.

HEN I first undertook tins Poem, or, as some very
skilful in this kind have pleased to term it, this
Herculean labour, I was by some wtuous friends
persuaded, that I should receive much comfort
and encouragement therein ; and for these reasons : First,
that it was a new, clear, way, never before gone by any ;
then, that it contained all the Delicacies, Delights, and
Rarities of this renowned Isle, interwoven with the His-
tories of the Britans, Saxons, Normans, and the later
English : And further that there is scarcely any of the
Nobility or Gentry of this land, but that he is some way
or other by his Blood interested therein. But it hath
fallen out otherwise ; for instead of that comfort, which my
noble friends (from the freedom of their spirits) jjroposeJ
aa my due, I have met with barbarous ignorance, and base
detraction ; such a cloud hath the Devil drawn over the
world's judgment, whose opinion is in few years fjiUen so
far below all ballatry, that the letliargy is incurable : nay,
some of the Stationers, that had the selling of the First
Part of this Poem, because it went not so fast away in the
sale, as some of their beastly and abominable trash, (a
shame both to our language and nation) have citluT do-
spitefully left out, or at least carelessly neglected the


Epistles to the Readers, and so have cozened the buyers
with unperfected books ; which these that have undertaken
the Second Part, have been forced to amend in the First,
for the small number that are yet remaining in their hands.
And some of our outlandish, unnatural English, (I know
not how otherwise to express them) stick not to say that
there is nothing in this Island worthy studying for, and
take a great pride to be ignorant in any thing thereof; for
these, since they delight in their folly, I wish it may be
hereditary from them to their posterity, that their children
may be begg'd for fools to the fifth generation, until it may
be beyond the memory of man to know that there was ever
other of their families : neither can this deter me from
going on with Scotland, if means and time do not hinder
me, to perform as much as I have promised in my First
Song :

Till through the sleepy main, to Thuly / have gone.
And seen the Frozen Isles, the cold Deucalidon,
Amongst tvhose iron Bocks, grim Saturn yet rewaina
Bound in those gloomy caves with adamantine chains,

And as for those cattle whereof I spake before, Odi pro-
fanum vulgus, et arceo, of which I account them, be they
never so great, and so I leave them. To my friends, and
the lovers of my labours, I wish all happiness.


To my Honor d Friend,

NGLANUS brave Genius, raise thy head ; and see,
We have a Bhise in this mortality
Of virtue yet survives ; All met not death,
When we iutomb'd our dear Elizabeth.

Immortal Sydney, honour'd Colin Clout,

Presaging what we feel, went timely out.

Then why lives Drayton, when the Times refuse,

Both means to live, and matter for a Muse 1

Only without excuse to leave us quite.

And tell us, durst we act, he durst to write.
Now, as the people of a famish'd town,

Receiving no supply, seek up and down

For mouldy corn, and bones long cast aside,

Wherewith their hunger may be satisfied :

(Small store now left) we are inforc'd to pry

And search the dark leaves of Antiquity

For some good Name, to raise our Muse again,

In this her crisis, whose harmonious strain

Was of such compass, that no other Nation

Durst ever venture on a sole translation ;

Whilst our full language, musical, and high,

Speaks as themselves their best of I'oesy.



Drayton, amongst the worthi'st of all those,
The glorious Laurel or the Cyprian Rose
Have ever crownM, doth claim in every line,
An equ;iJ honour irom the sacred Nine :
For if old Time could, like the restless main,
Roll himself back into his spring again,
And on his wings bear this admired Muse,
For Ovid, Virgil, Ilumcr, to peruse ;
They would confess, that never happier pen,
Sung of his Lvves, his Country, and the Men.

William Browne.

To his Noble Friend^



upon his Topo-chrono-graphical


TIO'M CoRN^v all's Foreland to tlie Cliffs of Dover,
O'er hillij Cambria, and all ENGLA>fD wer,
Tlvj Muse hath bortie me ; and (in four days) shown
More goodly Prospects, than I could have known

In four years' Travels ; if I had not thus

lieen mounted, on thy winged Pegasus.

Tlie farno^is Rivers, the delightsome Fountains,

Tlic. fruitful Valleys, tlie steep r'lsing Mountains ;

Tlte new-f/uilt Tow'rs, tlie ancicnt-ruin'd "Walls ;

The wholesome Paths, the beds of Minoralls ;

Tli^. nigh-worn Monuments (f firrmcr Ages ;

Tlui IV'frhs of Peace, thf. Marks of Civil-rages ;

T/w, Woods, iJie Forests, and the open Plains,

Wi/h wJuitsoe'er this spacious Land contains,

Firr Profit, or for Pleasure : I o'erloo/c,

{As from one Station) when T read thy Rook.
N</r do mine eyes from thence hehdd ah me,

Surh Tilings, as frr the present there are done ;

{Or Places, as this day they do appear)

Hut Actions past, and Places as llwy were


A hundred ages since, as well as now :

Which he thntivearies out his feet to kmw,

Shall never find, nor yet so cheap attain

( IVith so much ease and ^nofit) half that gain.

Good-speed hfall thee ; who hast wag'd a Task,

2'hat better censures, and rewards doth ask,

T/ian these Turns liave to give. For those, tJuit should

The honor of true Poesy uphold,

Are {for the most part) such as do prefer

Tlie faicning lines of every Pamphleter,

Before the best-writ Poems. And their sight

Or cannot, or else dares not, eye the Flight

Of free-horn NuJUBERS ; lest bright Virtue's /ame,

Which flies in tliose, reflect on them, their shame.

'Tis well ; thy happ)y judgment could devise,
Which icay, a man this age might poetize.
And not write Satires : Or else, so to write
That 'scape tJw^i may'st, the clutches of Despite.
For, through such Woods, and Rivers, trips thy Muse,
As will or lose or drown him, that p)ursues.

Had my Invention (ivhich I know too weak)
Enabled been, so brave a flight to make ;
{Should my iinluckypien have overgone
So many a Province, and so many a Town)
TJwugh I to no man's wrong had gone astray,
I had been p&unded on the King's highway.

But thou hast better fortune, ard hast chose
So h-ave a Patron, that thou canst not lose
By this Adventure. For, in Him, survives
His brother Henry's virtues: and he lives
To be that comfort to thy MuSE, ivhich He
Had nobly {ere his death) begun to be.

Yet, overmuch presume not, tluit tliese times,


Will therefore value these Heroic Rhymes,

According to their merit. For, although

He, and some few, the loorth of tliem shall know :

This is their Fate. (Aiid some unborn toill say,

I spake tlie truth ; ivJutte'er men think to-day)

Ages to come, shall hug thy Poesy,

As we our dear friends' pictures, when they die.

Those that succeed us, Drayton's name shall love.

And, so much this laborious Piece approve ;

That such as write hereafter, shall to trim

Their new Inventions, p/wc^' it limb from limb.

And our great-gramlsons' children' s-children may,

( Yea sJudl) as in a glass, this Isle survey,

As we now see it : And as tlwse did too,

JVho lived many hundred years ago.
For, when tlie Seas sludl eat away the Shore,

G-reat Woods spring iip, ivhere Plains ivere Iieretofore ;

High Mountains levell'd ivith low Valleys ly&;

And Rivers run wJiere now the ground is di-y.

This Poem simll grow famous, and declare

Jinuit old-Things stood, wliere new-Things sludl appear.
And hereunto his ruime subscribcth He,
Wliu shall by this Pk/EDICTION live with Thee.

Geouge With Ell.


To my Worth ij Friend,

An Acrostic Sonnet upon liis Name.

M UST Albion thus he stellified by thee,

I n her full pom]), that her the icorld may praise,

C heerful. Brave Isle, yea shall I live to see

H im thus to deck, aud crown thy Front with bays,

A rul shall I not in zeal, and merit too

E xpress to thee my joy, my thanks to hirn ;

L ess (.■nire) than this I may not, will not do.

D rayton, sith still Parnassus thou dost climb,

R ighf like thyself, wJwse heavens-inspired Muse,

A s dpth the Phoenix still herself renewing,

Y e inJo otlcer the like life infuse ;

T hau his rich s~rihject, he thy fame pursuing.

O hadst thou lov'd him, as he thee hath done,

N Land such Honour, (to all times) had won.

John Reynolds.



The Argument.

The Muw, note over Thames makes forth,

U}ioii Iwr pro(jrf'Hn to the North,
From Cauney with a full career.
She up nijainM the Kircam doth hear ;

Where Waltliam Forest's jwhle vxpreat, *

She points directbj to the East,
And xhf/wx how all those Hirers strain

Throii'jh Essex, to the German Main ;

Wlien Stoure, with Orwell's aid prefers,

Our British Ware Sea-voi/aijirs ; ♦•

//«^ Sufl'olke in v.'ith them she takes,

Where of this Song an erul site viake^.

VjXU bravely up my Muse, the way thou went'st


AtkI cross the kingly Tluunes to tho Essenaii shore.

Stem up his tide-full stream, upon that side to rise,

"Where Cinmci/,* A/l/ion's child in-ish'd richly lies,

Which, though her lower site doth make her seem but mean,


An iHland lying in the Thames, on Essex aide.


Of liim as dearly lov'd as Shepeij is or Greane, 8

And him as dearly lov'd ; Mbr when he would depart,

With Hercules to fight, she took it so to heart.

That falling low and flat, her blubber'd face to hide,

By Thames she well-near is surrounded every tide : lo

And since of worldly State, she never taketh keep,

But only gives herself, to tend and milk her sheep.

But Muse, from her so low, divert thy high-set song
To London-waxdiB, and bring from Lea with thee along
The Forests, and the Floods, and most exactly show, is
How these in order. stand, how those directly flow :
For in that happy soil, doth pleasure ever wonne,
Through Forests, where clear Rills in wild meanders run ;
Wliere dainty summer-bowers, and arborets are made,
Cut out of bushy thicks, for coolness of the shade. w

Fools gaze at painted Courts, to th' country let me go.
To climb the easy hill, then walk the valley low ;
No gold-embossed roofs, to me are like the woods ;
No bed like to the grass, nor liquor like the floods :
A City's but a sink, gay houses gawdy graves, 25

The Muses have free leave, to starve or live in caves :

But iraJtham Forest still in prosperous estate,
As standing to this day (so strangely fortunate)
Above her neighbour Nymphs, and holds her head aloft j-
A turf beyond them all, so sleek and wondrous soft, so

Upon her setting side, by goodly London grac'd,
Upon the North by Lea, her South by Thames embrac'd.
Upon her rising point, she chaunc^d to espy,
A dainty Forest-Nymph of her society.

^ Alh'wn feigned to be the son of Neptune, going over into France
to fight with Jlcrcules, by whom he was vanquished, is supposed to
leave his children, the Isles of Tlianet, Sheppey, Greane, and this
Cauwy, lying in the mouth of Thames, to the tuition of Neptune
their grandfather. See to the latter end of the Eighteenth Song.

* The brave situation of Waltham Forest.


Fair HafJieM,^ which in height all other did surmount, 35

And of the Dryads held in very high account ;

Yet in respect of her stood far out of the way,

Who doubting of herself, by others' late decay,

Her sister's glory view'd with an astonish'd eye,

Whom jraltham wisely thus reproveth bj' and by : 40

Dear Sister rest content, nor our declining rue,
AVhat thing is in this world (that we can say) is new 1
The ridge and furrow shows, that once the crooked plow
Turn'd up the grassy turf, where oaks are rooted now :
And at this hour we see, the share and coulter tear 45

The full corn-bearing glebe, where sometimes forests were ;
And those but caitiffs are, which most do seek our spoil,
Who having sold our woods, do lastly sell our soil ;
'Tis virtue to give place to these ungodly times.
When as the fost'red ill proceeds from others' crimes ; 50
'Gainst lunatics and fuols, what wise folk spend their force?
For folly headlong falls, when it hatli had the coui.se :
And when God gives men up, to ways abhorr'd ami vile,
Of understanding He deprives them quite, the while
They into error run, confounded in their sin, 68

As simi)]e fowls in lime, or in the fowler's gyn.
And i'or those pretty birds, that wont in us to sing.
They shall at last forbear to welcome in the Si)ring,
When wanting where to perch, they sit upon the ground,
And curse them in their notes, who first did woods confound.
Dear Sister llaljkld, then hold up thy dro()[)ing liead, 01
We feel no such decay, nor is all succour lied :
For Essex is our dower, which greatly doth abound,
With every simple good, that in the Isle is found :
And though we go to wrack in this so general waste, «.•>
This hope to us remains, we yet may be the last.

' Jfiilfrlil Forest lying lower towards the Eaafc between Stort/ord
and DuiDiiow,



Wlien IlatficU taking heart, where late she sadly stood,
Sends little Boding forth, her best-beloved Flood ;
"Which from her crystal fount, as to enlarge her fame.
To many a Village lends, her clear and noble narae,^ 7o

Which as she wand'retli on, through IFaltham holds lier way,
"With goodly oaken wreaths, which makes her wondrous gay ;
But making at the last into the wat'ry Marsh,
"Where though the blady grass unwholesome be and harsh,
Those wreaths away she casts, which bounteous IFaWMmgaye,
"With bulrush, flags, and reed, to make her wondrous brave, ro
And herself's strength divides, to sundry lesser streams,
So wantoning she ftills into her Sovereign Thames.

From whose vast beechy banks a rumour straight resounds,
"Which quickly ran itself through the Essexian grounds, sn
That Crouch amongst the rest, a River's name should seek,
As scorning any more the nickname of a Creek,
"Well-furnish'd with a stream, that from the fill to fall,
"Wants nothing that a Flood should be adorn'd withall.
On Benge's* batfuU side, and at her going out, 85

AVith JFalnot, Foulnesse fair, near wat'red round about.
Two Isles for greater state to stay her up that stand,
Thrust far into tlie sea, yet fixed to the land ;
As Nature in that sort them purposely had plac'd.
That she by sea and land, should every way be grac'd. so
Some Sea-Xymphs and besides, her part (there were) that took,
As angry that their Crouch should not be call'd a Brook ;
And bad her to complain to Neptune of her wrong.

But whilst these grievous stirs thus happ'ned tliem among.
Choice CJidiner comes along, a Nymph inost neatly clear, 05
Which well-near through the midst doth cut the wealthy

^ Many Towns that stand on this River, have her name as an ad-
dition : as Kijihorp llndhnj, Lradcn Jiod'ni'j, with many others.

* The fruitfuUest Hundred of Eauex, " Denija 1 believe it should
be."— [J/,b'. Nok.l


By Dnnmow gliding down to Chelmsford* holds her chase,
To which she gives the name, which as she doth imbrace
Clear Can comes tripping in, and doth with Ckehmr close :
With whose supply (though small as yet) she greater grows.
She for old Muldonf makes, where in her passing by, loi
She to remembrance calls that Roman Colony,
And all those ominous signs her fall that did forego,
As that which most express'd their fatal overthrow ;
Crown'd Victory revers'd, fell down whereas she stood, io5
And the vast greenish sea, discoloured like to blood.
Shrieks heard like people's cries, that see their deaths at hand ;
The portraitures of men imprinted in the sand.
\\1ien Chelmer scarce arrives in her most wished Bay,
But Blakwater comes in, through many a crooked way, no
Which Pant was call'd of yore ; but that, by Time exil'd,
She Froshwell after hight, then Blahoater instil'd.
But few, such titles have the Jjrilish Floods among.
When Noiiheij near at hand, and th' Isle of Oitscij rung
With shouts the Sea-Xymphs gave, for jo}^ of their arrive, U5
As either of those Isles in courtesy do strive,
To Tethis darlings, which should greatest honour do ;
And what the former did, the latter adds thereto.

But Coliu:, which frankly lends fair CohrheMer her name,
(On all the Es-^exian shore, the Town of greatest fame) ijo
Perceiving how they still in courtship clid contend,
Quoth she, wherefore the time thus idly do you spend ?
What is there nothing here, that you esteem of worth.
That our big-bellied sea, or our rich land brings forth ?
Think you our Oysters here, unwortliy of your praise; I ir.
Pure JFuljlcd,X wliich do still the daintiest palates please :

• ChelmMfonl (.aliriijitly Clifymford) as much to say, a» tlio I'onl
upon the Uivcr Cli'luur.

t Anciently called CinnohnlujinKi, wlicrc tlicso f)niinonH hi^tim fore-
ran that ureat overthrow giveu to tlie liumnn ( oloiiy hy the /iritam.
See the Eighth Song. t Waljle.et Oyatcra.


As excellent as those, which are esteemed most,
The Cidc^ shells, or those on the Lucrinimi^ coast ;
Or Cheese, Avhich our fat soil to every quarter sends,
AVhose tack the hungry clown, and plow-man so commends.
If you esteem not these, as things above the ground, i3i
Look under, where the Urns of ancient times are found :
The Iioman Emp'rour's coins, oft digg'd out of the dust,
And warlike weapons, now consum'd with cank'ring rust :
The huge and massy bones,- of mighty fearful men, 135

To tell the world's full strength, what creatures liv^d then ;
When in her height of youth, the lusty fruitful earth
Brought forth her big-limb'd brood, even Giants in their birth.
. Thus spoke she, when from sea they suddenly do hear
A strong and horrid noise, which struck the land with fear:
For with their crooked trumps, his Tritons Neptune sent, 141
To warn the wanton Nymphs, that they incontinent
Should straight repair to Stow; in Orwell's pleasant Road ;
For it had been divulg'd the Ocean all abroad,
That Onrell and this Stour, by meeting in one bay, 145

Two, that each other's good, intended every way,
Prepar'd to sing a Song, that should precisely show,
That Medicai/ for her life, their skill could not out-go :
For Stour, a dainty Flood, that duly doth divide
Fair Suffolhe from this Shire, upon her other side ; ij)»

By Clare first coming in, to Sudburi/ doth show,
The even course she keeps ; when far she doth not flow,
But Breton a bright Nymph, fresh succour to her brings :
Yet is she not so proud of her superfluous springs.
But Orxcell coming in from Ipswitch thinks that she, 155

^ Clzicum ia a city of Bithynia. Lucrinia is a city of Apulia upon
the Adriatic 8ea ; the Oysters of which places were reckoned for
great delicates with the Jiomam.

■•' The l)unes of giant-like peojjle found in those parts.

* Medivai/ in the Eighteenth Song, reciteth the Catalogue of the
Englisli Warriors.


Should stand for it with Stour, and lastly they agree,

That since the Britans hence their first discoveries made,

And that into the East they first were taught to trade.

Besides, of all the Roads, and Havens of the East,

This Harbour where they meet, is reckoned for the best, ico

Our Voyages by sea, and brave discoveries known,

Their argument they make, and thus they sing their own :

In Severn's late tun'd lay,^ that Empress of the West,
In which great Arthurs acts are to the life exprest :
His Conquests to the North, who Norway did invade, us
Who Grondand, heland next, then Lapland lastly made
His awful Empire's bounds, the Britans' acts among.
This God-like Hero's deeds exactly have been sung :
His valiant people then, who to those Countries brought,
Which many an age since that, our great'st discoveries
thought. 170

This worthiest then of ours, our Argonauts* shall lead.

Next MaUji), who again that Conqueror's steps to tread,
Succeeding him in reign, in conquests so no less,
Plow'd up the frozen sea, and with as fair success,
By that great Conqueror's claim, first Orkney over-ran ; ivs
Proud JJenmarke then subdu'd, and spacious Noncay wan,
Sciz'd hdand for his own, and Gotehaul to each shore,
Where Arthur's fuU-sail'd Fleet had ever touch'd before.

And when the Britam' reign came after to decline,
And to the Cambrian Hills their fate did them confine, iso
Tile Saxon swaying all, in Alfred's powerful reign,
Our Entjlish Oder put a fleet to sea again.
Of th' huge Xorwetj'uui Hills and news did hither bring,
Whose tops are hardly wrought in twelve days' travelling.
But leaving Norway then a-starboard, forward kept, ifj

And with our Eiujlish .sails that mighty Ocean swept.
Where those stern people wonne, whom hope of gain doth call,

* Seo the I-'ourth Song. • Sea- voyages.


In hulks with grappling hooks, to hunt the dreadful Whale;
And great Duina^ down from her first springing-place,
Doth roll her swelling waves in churlish Neptune's fixce. loo

Then WooJstan after him discovering Dansig found,
Where JllxeVs- mighty mouth is pour'd into the Sound,
And towing up his stream, first taught the Emjlish oars,
The useful way of Trade to those most gainful shores.

And when the Norman Stem here strong and potent grew,
And their successful sons, did glorious acts pursue, i!>c

One Nicholas nam'd of Li/n, where first he breath'd the air,
Though Oxford taught him Art, and well may hold him dear,
1' th' Mathematicks learn'd (although a Friar profess'd).
To see those Northern Climes, with great desire possess'd, 200
Himself he thither shipp'd, and skilful in the globe,
Took every several height with his true astrolobe ;
The Whirlpools* of the seas, and came to understand,
From the four card'nal winds, four indraughts that command ;
lut' any of whose falls, if th' wand'ring barque doth light, 205
It hurried is away with such tempestuous flight.
Into that swallowing gidf, which seems as it would draw
The very earth itself into th' infernal maw.
Four such immeasur'd Pools, philosophers agree,
I' th' four parts of the Avorld undoubtedly to be ; 210

From which they have suppos'd, Nature the winds doth raise,
And from them to proceed the flowing of the seas.

And when our Civil Wars began at last to cease,
And these late calmer times of olive-bearing peace.
Gave leisure to great minds, far regions to descry ; 215

That brave advent'rous Knight, our Sir Ilvgh JVilloiujhhy,
Shipp'd for the Northern Seas, 'mongst those congealed piles,
Fashioned by lasting frosts, like mountains, and like isles,

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