❧ The seaventh Song.
✼ THE ARGUMENT.
The Muse from Cambria comes againe,
igh matters call our Muse, inviting her to see
As well the lower Lands, as those where latelie shee
The Cambrian Mountaines clome, & (looking from aloft)
Survaid coy Severns course: but now to shores more soft
Shee shapes her prosperous saile; and in this loftie Song,
The Herefordian floods invites with her along,
§. That fraught from plentious Powse, with their superfluous waste,
Manure the batfull March, untill they be imbrac’t
In Sabrins Soveraigne armes: with whose tumultuous waves
§. Shut up in narrower bounds, the Higre wildly raves;
And frights the stragling flocks, the neighbouring shores to flie,
A farre as from the Maine it comes with hideous cry,
And on the angry front the curled foame doth bring,
The billowes gainst the banks when fiercely it doth fling;
Hurles up the slimie ooze, and makes the scalie brood
Leape madding to the Land affrighted from the flood;
Oreturnes the toyling Barge, whose steresman doth not lanch,
And thrusts the furrowing beake into her irefull panch:
As when we haplie see a sicklie woman fall
Into a fit of that which wee the Mother call,
When from the grieved wombe shee feeles the paine arise,
Breakes into grievous sighes, with intermixed cries,
Bereaved of her sense; and strugling still with those
That gainst her rising paine their utmost strength oppose,
Starts, tosses, tumbles, strikes, turnes, touses, spurnes and spraules,
Casting with furious lims her holders to the walles;
But that the horrid pangs torments the grieved so,
One well might muse from whence this suddaine strength should grow.
Here (Queene of Forrests all, that West of Severne lie)
Her broad and bushie top Deane holdeth up so hie,
The lesser are not seene, shee is so tall and large.
And standing in such state upon the winding marge,
§. Within her hollow woods the Satyres that did wonne
In gloomie secret shades, not pierc’t with Sommers sunne,
Under a false pretence the Nymphs to entertaine,
Oft ravished the choice of Sabrins watry traine;
And from their Mistris banks them taking as a prey,
Unto their wooddie Caves have carried them away:
Then from her inner Groves for succour when they cri’d,
Shee retchlesse of their wrongs (her Satyres scapes to hide)
Unto their just complaint not once her eare enclines:
So fruitfull in her Woods, and wealthy in her Mines,
That Leden which her way doth through the Desert make,
Though neere to Deane ally’d, determin’d to forsake
Her course, and her cleere lims amongst the bushes hide,
Least by the Sylvans (should she chance to be espide)
Shee might unmaidned goe unto her Soveraigne Flood:
So manie were the rapes done on the watry brood,
That Sabrine to her Sire (great Neptune) forc’t to sue,
The ryots to represse of this outrageous crue,
His armed Orks hee sent her milder streame to keepe,
To drive them back to Deane that troubled all the Deepe.
§. Whilst Malverne (king of Hills) faire Severne over-lookes
(Attended on in state with tributarie Brookes)
And how the fertill fields of Hereford doe lie.
And from his many heads, with many an amorous eye
Beholds his goodlie site, how towards the pleasant rise,
Abounding in excesse, the Vale of Evsham lies,
The Mountaines every way about him that doe stand,
Of whom hee’s daily seene, and seeing doth command;
On tiptoes set aloft, this proudlie uttereth hee:
Olympus, fayr’st of Hills, that Heaven art said to bee,
I not envie thy state, nor lesse my selfe doe make;
Nor to possesse thy name, mine owne would I forsake:
A Simile expressing the
Boare or Higre.
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Nor would I, as thou doost, ambitiouslie aspire
To thrust my forked top into th’ethereall fire.
For, didst thou taste the sweets that on my face doe breathe,
Above thou wouldst not seeke what I enjoy beneath:
Besides, the sundry soyles I every where survay,
Make me, if better not, thy equall everie way.
And more, in our defence, to answere those, with spight
That tearme us barren, rude, and voide of all delight;
Wee Mountaines, to the Land, like Warts or Wens to bee,
By which, fair’st living things disfigur’d oft they see;
This stronglie to performe, a well stuft braine would need.
And manie Hills there be, if they this Cause would heed,
Having their rising tops familiar with the skie
(From whence all wit proceeds) that fitter were then I
The taske to under-take. As not a man that sees
Mounchdenny, Blorench hill, with Breedon, and the Clees,
And many more as great, and neerer me then they,
But thinks, in our defence they far much more could say.
Yet, falling to my lot, This stoutlie I maintaine
Gainst Forrests, Valleys, Fields, Groves, Rivers, Pasture, Plaine,
And all their flatter kind (so much that doe relie
Upon their feedings, flocks, and their fertilitie)
The Mountaine is the King: and he it is alone
Above the other soyles that Nature doth in-throne.
For Mountaines be like Men of brave heroïque mind,
With eyes erect to heaven, of whence themselves they find;
Whereas the lowlie Vale, as earthlie, like it selfe,
Doth never further looke then how to purchase pelfe.
And of their batfull sites, the Vales that boast them thus,
Nere had been what they are, had it not been for us:
For, from the rising banks that stronglie mound them in,
The Valley (as betwixt) her name did first begin:
And almost not a Brooke, if shee her banks doe fill,
But hath her plentious Spring from Mountaine or from Hill.
If Mead, or lower Slade, grieve at the roome we take,
Knowe that the snowe or raine, descending oft, doth make
The fruitfull Valley fat, with what from us doth glide,
Who with our Winters waste maintaine their Sommers pride.
And to you lower Lands if terrible wee seeme,
And cover’d oft with clowds; it is your foggy steame
The powerfull Sunne exhales, that in the cooler day
Unto this Region comne, about our tops doth stay.
And, what’s the Grove, so much that thinks her to be grac’t,
If not above the rest upon the Mountaine plac’t,
Where shee her curled head unto the eye may showe?
For, in the easie Vale if shee be set belowe,
What is shee but obscure? and her more dampie shade
And covert, but a Den for beasts of ravin made?
Besides, wee are the Marks, which looking from an hie,
The travailer beholds; and with a cheerfull eye
Doth thereby shape his course, and freshlie doth pursue
The way which long before lay tedious in his view.
What Forrest, Flood, or Field, that standeth not in awe
Of Sina, or shall see the sight that Mountaine saw?
To none but to a Hill such grace was ever given:
As on his back tis said, great Atlas beares up heaven.
So Latmus by the wise Endymion is renown’d;
That Hill, on whose high top he was the first that found
Pale Phœbes wandring course; so skilfull in her Sphere,
As some stick not to say that he enjoy’d her there.
And those chaste maids, begot on Memorie by Jove,
Not Tempe onelie love delighting in their Grove;
Nor Helicon their Brooke, in whose delicious brims,
They oft are us’d to bathe their cleere and crystall lims;
But high Parnassus have, their Mountaine, whereon they
Upon their golden Lutes continuallie doe play.
Of these I more could tell, to prove the place our owne,
Then by his spatious Maps are by Ortellius showne.
For Mountaines this suffice. Which scarcelie had he told;
Along the fertill fields, when Malverne might behold
The Herefordian Floods, farre distant though they bee:
For great men, as we find, a great way off can see.
First, Frome with forhead cleare, by Bromyard that doth glide;
And taking Loden in, their mixed streames doe guide,
To meet their Soveraigne Lug, from the Radnorian Plaine
At Prestayn comming in; where hee doth entertaine
The Wadell, as along he under Derfold goes:
Her full and lustie side to whom the Forrest showes,
As to allure faire Lug, aboad with her to make.
Lug little Oney first, then Arro in doth take,
At Lemster, for her Wooll whose Staple doth excell,
And seemes to over-match the golden Phrygian Fell.
Had this our Colchos been unto the Ancients knowne,
When Honor was her selfe, and in her glorie showne,
He then that did commaund the Infantry of Greece,
Had onely to our Ile adventur’d for this Fleece.
Endymion found out the
course of the Moone.
|Where lives the man so dull, on Britains furthest shore,
To whom did never sound the name of Lemster Ore?
That with the Silke-wormes web for smalness doth compare:
Wherein, the Winder showes his workmanship so rare
As doth the Fleece excell, and mocks her looser clew;
As neatlie bottom’d up as Nature forth it drew;
The excellencie of
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Of each in high’st accompt, and reckoned here as fine,
§. As there th’Appulian fleece, or dainty Tarentyne.
From thence his lovely selfe for Wye he doth dispose,
To view the goodly flockes on each hand as he goes;
And makes his journey short, with strange and sundry tales,
Of all their wondrous things; and, not the least, of Wales;
Of that prodigious Spring (him neighbouring as he past)
That little Fishes bones continually doth cast.
Whose reason whil’st he seekes industriously to knowe,
A great way he hath gon, and Hereford doth showe
Her rising Spires aloft, when as the Princely Wye;
Him from his Muse to wake, arrests him by and by.
Whose meeting to behold, with how well ordered grace
Each other entertaines, how kindlie they embrace;
For joy, so great a shout the bordering Citie sent,
That with the sound thereof, which thorough Haywood went,
The Wood-Nymphs did awake that in the Forest won;
To know the sudden cause, and presently they ron
With lockes uncomb’d, for haste the lovelie Wye to see
(The floud that grac’t her most) this daie should married be
To that more lovelie Lug; a River of much fame,
That in her wandering bankes should lose his glorious name.
For Hereford, although her Wye she hold so deere,
Yet Lug (whose longer course doth grace the goodlie Sheere,
And with his plentious Streame so manie Brookes doth bring)
Of all hers that be North is absolutelie King.
But Marcely, griev’d that he (the neerest of the rest,
And of the mountaine kind) not bidden was a guest
Unto this nuptiall Feast, so hardly it doth take,
As (meaning for the same his station to forsake)
§. Inrag’d and mad with griefe, himselfe in two did rive;
The Trees and Hedges neere, before him up doth drive,
And dropping headlong downe three daies together fall:
Which, bellowing as he went, the Rockes did so appall,
That they him passage made, who Coats and Chappels crusht:
So violentlie he into his Valley rusht.
But Wye (from her deare Lug whom nothing can restraine,
In many a pleasant shade, her joy to entertaine)
To Rosse her course directs; and right her * name to showe,
Oft windeth in her waie, as backe she meant to go.
Meander, who is said so intricate to bee,
Hath not so many turnes, nor crankling nookes as shee.
The Herefordian fields when welneare having past,
As she is going forth, two sister Brookes at last
That Soile her kindly sends, to guide her on her waie;
Neat Gamar, that gets in swift Garran: which do lay
* Wye or Gwy, so called
(in the British) of her
sinuosity, or turning.
Their waters in one Banke, augmenting of her traine,
To grace the goodlie Wye, as she doth passe by Deane.
Beyond whose equall Spring unto the West doth lie
The goodly Golden Vale, whose lushious sents do flie
More free then Hyblas sweets; and twixt her bordering hils,
The aire with such delights and delicacie fils,
As makes it loth to stirre, or thence those smels to beare.
Th’Hesperides scarce had such pleasures as be there:
Which sometime to attaine, that mighty sonne of Jove
One of his Labors made, and with the Dragon strove,
That never clos’d his eies, the golden fruit to guard;
As if t’enrich this place, from others, Nature spar’d:
Banks crown’d with curled Groves, from cold to keepe the Plaine,
Fields batfull, flowrie Meades, in state them to maintaine;
Floods, to make fat those Meades, from Marble veines that spout,
To shew, the wealth within doth answer that without.
So brave a Nymph she is, in every thing so rare,
As to sit down by her, she thinkes there’s none should dare.
And forth she sends the Doire, upon the Wye to wait.
Whom Munno by the way more kindly doth intreat
(For Eskle, her most lov’d, and Olcons onely sake)
With her to go along, till Wye she overtake.
To whom she condiscends, from danger her to shield,
That th’Monumethian parts from th’Herefordian field.
Which manly Malvern sees from furthest of the Sheere,
On the Wigornian waste when Northward looking neere,
On Corswood casts his eie, and on his a home-born Chase,
Then constantly beholds, with an unusuall pase
|a Malvern Chase.|
Team with her tribute come unto the b Cambrian Queene,
Neere whom in all this place a River’s scarcely seene,
That dare avouch her name; Teame scorning any Spring
But what with her along from Shropshire she doth bring,
Except one namelesse Streame that Malvern sends her in,
And Laughern though but small: when they such grace that win,
There thrust in with the Brookes inclosed in her Banke.
Teame lastly thither com’n with water is so ranke,
As though she would contend with Sabryne, and doth crave
Of place (by her desert) precedencie to have:
Till chancing to behold the others godlike grace,
So strongly is surpris’d with beauties in her face
By no meanes she could hold, but needsly she must showe
Her liking; and her selfe doth into Sabrine throwe.
Not farre from him againe when Malvern doth perceave
Two hils, which though their heads so high they doe not heave,
Yet duly do observe great Malvern, and affoord
Him reverence: who againe, as fits a gratious Lord,
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Upon his Subjects looks, and equall praise doth give
That Woodberry so nigh and neighbourlie doth live
With Abberley his friend, deserving well such fame
That Saxton in his Maps forgot them not to name:
Which, though in their meane types small matter doth appeare,
Yet both of good account are reckned in the Shiere,
And highly grac’t of Teame in his proud passing by.
When soone the goodlie Wyre, that wonted was so hie
Her statelie top to reare, ashamed to behold
Her straight and goodlie Woods unto the Fornace sold
(And looking on her selfe, by her decay doth see
The miserie wherein her sister Forrests bee)
Of Erisicthons end begins her to bethinke,
And of his cruell plagues doth wish they all might drinke
That thus have them dispoil’d: then of her owne despight;
That shee, in whom her Towne faire Beudley tooke delight,
And from her goodlie seat conceiv’d so great a pride,
In Severne on her East, Wyre on the setting side,
So naked left of woods, of pleasure, and forlorne,
As she that lov’d her most, her now the most doth scorne;
With endlesse griefe perplext, her stubborne breast shee strake,
And to the deafened ayre thus passionately spake;
You Driades, that are said with Oakes to live and die,
Wherefore in our distresse doe you our dwellings flie;
Upon this monstrous Age and not revenge our wrong?
For cutting downe an Oake that justlie did belong
To one of Ceres Nymphes, in Thessaly that grew
In the Dodonean Grove (O Nymphes!) you could pursue
The sonne of Perops then, and did the Goddesse stirre
That villanie to wreake the Tyrant did to her:
Who, with a dreadfull frowne did blast the growing Graine:
And having from him reft what should his life maintaine,
Shee unto Scythia sent, for Hunger, him to gnawe,
And thrust her downe his throat, into his stanchlesse mawe:
Who, when nor Sea nor Land for him sufficient were,
With his devouring teeth his wretched flesh did teare.
This did you for one Tree: but of whole Forrests they
That in these impious times have been the vile decay
(Whom I may justlie call their Countries deadly foes)
Gainst them you move no Power, their spoyle unpunisht goes.
How manie grieved soules in future time shall starve,
For that which they have rapt their beastlie lust to serve!
Wee, sometime that the state of famous Britaine were,
For whom she was renown’d in Kingdoms farre and neere,
Are ransackt; and our Trees so hackt above the ground,
That where their loftie tops their neighboring Countries crown’d,
A Fable in Ovids
Their Trunkes (like aged folkes) now bare and naked stand,
As for revenge to heaven each held a withered hand:
And where the goodly Heards of high-palm’d Harts did gaze
Upon the passer by, there now doth onely graze
The gall’d-backe carrion Jade, and hurtfull Swine do spoile
Once to the Sylvan Powers our consecrated soile.
This uttered she with griefe: and more she would have spoke:
When the Salopian floods her of her purpose broke,
And silence did enjoyne; a listning eare to lend
To Severne, which was thought did mighty things intend.