❧ The ninth Song.
✼ THE ARGUMENT.
The Muse heere Merioneth vaunts,
|f all the Cambrian Shires their heads that beare so hie,
And farth’st survay their soyles with an ambitious eye,
Mervinia a for her Hills, as for their matchlesse crowds,
The neerest that are said to kisse the wandring clowds,
Especiall Audience craves, offended with the throng,
That shee of all the rest neglected was so long:
Alleaging for her selfe; When through the Saxons pride,
The God-like race of Brute to Severns setting side
Were cruelly inforc’t, her Mountaines did relieve
Those, whom devouring warre else every-where did grieve.
And when all Wales beside (by Fortune or by might)
Unto her ancient foe resign’d her ancient right,
A constant Mayden still shee onely did remaine,
§. The last her genuine lawes which stoutly did retaine.
And as each one is prays’d for her peculiar things;
So onely shee is rich, in Mountaines, Meres, and Springs,
And holds her selfe as great in her superfluous wast,
As others by their Townes, and fruitfull tillage grac’t.
And therefore, to recount her Rivers, from their * Lins,
Abbridging all delayes, Mervinia thus begins;
Though Dovy, which doth far her neighboring Floods surmount
(Whose course, for hers alone Mountgomery doth account)
* Meeres or Pooles, from
whence Rivers spring.
Hath Angell for her owne, and Keriog she doth cleere,
With Towin, Gwedall then, and Dulas, all as deere,
Those tributary streames she is maintain’d withall:
Yet, boldly may I say, her rising and her fall
My Country calleth hers, with many another Brooke,
That with their crystall eyes on the Vergivian looke.
To Dovy next, of which Desunny sea-ward drives,
Lingorrill goes alone: but plentious Avon strives
The first to be at Sea; and faster her to hie,
Cleere Kessilgum comes in, with Hergum by and by.
So Derry, Moothy drawes, and Moothy calleth Caine,
Which in one channell meet, in going to the Maine,
As to their utmost power to lend her all their aydes:
So Atro by the arme Lanbeder kindly leads.
And Velenrid the like, observing th’others lawe,
Calls Cunnell; shee againe, faire Drurid forth doth draw,
That from their mother Earth, the rough Mervinia, pay
Their mixed plentious Springs, unto the lesser Bay
§. Of those two noble armes into the Land that beare,
The Rivers as in order
they fall into the Irish Sea.
Which through a Gwinethia be so famous every where,
On my Carnarvan side by nature made my Mound,
As Dovy doth divide the Cardiganian ground.
The pearly Conwayes head, as that of holy Dee,
Renowned Rivers both, their rising have in mee:
So, Lavern and the Lue, themselves that head-long throwe
§. Into the spacious Lake, where Dee unmixt doth flowe.
Trowerrin takes his streame, here from a native Lin;
Which, out of Pimblemere when Dee him selfe doth win,
Along with him his Lord full curteously doth glide:
So Rudock riseth heere, and Cletor that doe guide
Him in his rugged path, and make his greatnes way,
Their Dee into the bounds of Denbigh to convay.
The loftie Hills, this while attentively that stood,
As to survey the course of every severall Flood,
Sent forth such ecchoing shoutes (which every way so shrill,
With the reverberate sound the spacious ayre did fill)
That they were easely heard through the Vergivian Maine
To Neptunes inward Court; and beating there, constraine
That mightie God of Sea t’awake: who full of dread,
Thrice threw his three-forkt Mace about his griesly head,
And thrice above the Rocks his fore-head rays’d to see
Amongst the high-topt Hills what tumult it should bee.
|the ninth Song.||135|
So that with very sweat Cadoridric did drop,
And mighty Raran shooke his proud sky-kissing top,
Amongst the furious rout whom madnes did enrage;
Untill the Mountaine Nymphs, the tumult to asswage,
Upon a modest signe of silence to the throng,
Consorting thus, in prayse of their Mervinia, song;
Thrice famous Saxon King, on whom Time nere shall pray,
O Edgar! who compeldst our Ludwall hence to pay
Three hundred Wolves a yeere for trybute unto thee:
And for that tribute payd, as famous may’st thou bee,
O conquer’d British King, by whom was first destroy’d
§. The multitude of Wolves, that long this Land annoy’d;
Regardlesse of their rape, that now our harmlesse Flocks,
Securely heere may sit upon the aged Rocks;
Or wandring from their walks, and straggling here and there
Amongst the scattred Cleeves, the Lambe needs never feare;
But from the threatning storme to save it selfe may creepe
Into that darksome Cave where once his foe did keepe:
That now the clambring Goat all day which having fed,
And clyming up to see the sunne goe downe to bed,
Is not at all in doubt her little Kid to lose,
Which grazing in the Vale, secure and safe she knowes.
Where, from these lofty hills which spacious heaven doe threat,
Yet of as equall height, as thick by nature set,
We talke how wee are stor’d, or what wee greatly need,
Or how our flocks doe fare, and how our heards doe feed,
When else the hanging Rocks, and Vallyes dark and deepe,
The Sommers longest day would us from meeting keepe.
Yee Cambrian Shepheards then, whom these our Mountaines please,
The wondrous Mountaines
And yee our fellow Nymphs, yee light * Oreades,
§. Saint Hellens wondrous way, and Herberts let us goe,
And our divided Rocks with admiration showe.
Not meaning there to end, but speaking as they were,
A suddaine fearefull noyse surprised every eare.
The water-Nymphs (not farre) Lin-Teged that frequent,
With browes besmear’d with ooze, their locks with dewe besprent,
Inhabiting the Lake, in sedgy bowres belowe,
Their inward grounded griefe that onely sought to showe
Against the Mountaine kind, which much on them did take
Above their watry brood, thus proudly them bespake;
Tell us, ye haughtie Hills, why vainly thus you threat,
Esteeming us so meane, compar’d to you so great.
To make you know your selves, you this must understand,
That our great Maker layd the surface of the Land,
As levell as the Lake untill the generall Flood,
When over all so long the troubled waters stood:
|* Nymphs of the Mountains.|
Which, hurried with the blasts from angry heaven that blew,
Upon huge massy heapes the loosened gravell threw:
From hence we would yee knew, your first beginning came.
Which, since, in tract of time, your selves did Mountaines name.
So that the earth, by you (to check her mirthfull cheere)
May alwaies see (from heaven) those plagues that poured were
Upon the former world; as t’were by scarres to showe
That still shee must remaine disfigur’d with the blowe:
And by th’infectious slime that doomefull Deluge left,
Nature herselfe hath since of puritie beene reft;
And by the seeds corrupt, the life of mortall man
Was shortned. With these plagues yee Mountaines first began.
But, ceasing you to shame; What Mountaine is there found
In all your monstrous kind (seeke yee the Iland round)
That truly of him selfe such wonders can report
As can this spacious Lin, the place of our resort?
That when Dee in his course faine in her lap would lie,
Commixtion with her store, his streame shee doth deny,
By his complexion prov’d, as he through her doth glide.
Her wealth againe from his, she likewise doth divide:
Those White-fish that in her doe wondrously abound,
Are never seene in him; nor are his Salmons found
At any time in her: but as shee him disdaines;
So hee againe, from her, as wilfully abstaines.
Downe from the neighboring Hills, those plentious Springs that fall,
Nor Land-floods after raine, her never move at all.
And as in Sommers heat, so alwaies is she one,
Resembling that great Lake which seemes to care for none:
§. And with sterne Eolus blasts, like Thetis waxing ranke,
Shee onely over-swells the surface of her bank.
But, whilst the Nymphs report these wonders of their Lake,
|The wonders of Lin-teged, or Pemble-mere.|
Their further cause of speech the mightie a Snowdon brake;
Least, if their watry kind should suffred be too long,
The licence that they tooke, might doe the Mountaines wrong.
For quickly he had found that straitned poynt of Land,
Into the Irish Sea which puts his powrefull hand,
Puft with their watry praise, grew insolently proud,
And needs would have his Rills for Rivers be allow’d:
Short Darent, neer’st unto the utmost poynt of all
That th’Ile of Gelin greets, and Bardsey in her fall;
And next to her, the Sawe, the Gir, the Er, the May,
Must Rivers be at least, should all the world gaine-say:
And those, whereas the Land lyes East-ward, amply wide,
That goodly Conway grace upon the other side,
Borne neere upon her banks, each from her proper Lin,
Soone from their Mothers out, soone with their Mistris in.
a The most famous
Mountaine of all Wales, in Carnarvanshire.
|the ninth Song.||137|
As Ledder, her Allie, and neighbour Legwy; then
Goes Purloyd, Castell next, with Giffin, that agen
Observe faire Conway’s course: and though their race be short,
Yet they their Soveraigne Flood inrich with their resort.
And Snowdon, more then this, his proper Mere did note
(§. Still Delos like, wherein a wandring Ile doth floate)
Was peremptory growne upon his higher ground;
That Poole, in which (besides) the one-eyed fish are found,
As of her wonder proud, did with the Floods partake.
So, when great Snowdon saw, a Faction they would make
Against his generall kind; both parties to appease,
Hee purposeth to sing their native Princes praise.
The wonders upon the
For Snowdony, a Hill, imperiall in his seat,
Is from his mighty foote, unto his head so great,
That were his Wales distrest, or of his helpe had need,
Hee all her Flocks and Heards for many months could feed.
Therefore to doe some-thing were worthy of his name,
Both tending to his strength, and to the Britans fame,
His Country to content, a signall having made,
By this Oration thinks both Parties to perswade:
Whilst heere this generall Ile, the ancient Britans ow’d,
Their valiant deeds before by Severn have been show’d:
But, since our furious Foe, these powrefull Saxon swarmes
(As mercilesse in spoyle, as well approv’d in Armes)
Heere called to our ayde, Loëgria us bereft,
Those poore and scatter’d few of Brutes high linage left,
For succour hither came; where that unmixed race
Remaines unto this day, yet owners of this place:
Of whom no Flood nor Hill peculiarly hath song.
These, then, shall be my Theame: least Time too much should wrong
Such Princes as were ours, since sever’d we have been;
And as themselves, their fame be limited between
The Severne and our Sea, long pent within this place,
§. Till with the tearme of Welsh, the English now embase
The nobler Britains name, that welneere was destroy’d
With Pestilence and Warre, which this great Ile annoy’d;
Cadwallader that drave to the Armorick shore:
To which, drad Conan, Lord of Denbigh, long before,
His Countrymen from hence auspiciously convay’d:
Whose noble feates in warre, and never-fayling ay’d,
Got Maximus (at length) the victorie in Gaul,
Upon the Roman powers. Where, after Gratians fall,
Armorica to them the valiant Victor gave:
Where Conan, their great Lord, as full of courage, drave
The Celts out of their seats, and did their roome supply
§. With people still from hence; which of our Colony
The glory of Snowdon-
Was little Britaine call’d. Where that distressed King,
Cadwallader, himselfe awhile recomforting
With hope of Alans ayde (which there did him detaine)
§. Forewarned was in Dreames, that of the Britans raigne
A sempiternall end the angry Powers decreed,
A Recluse life in Rome injoyning him to lead.
The King resigning all, his sonne young Edwall left
With Alan: who, much griev’d the Prince should be bereft
Of Britains ancient right, rigg’d his unconquer’d Fleet;
And as the Generalls then, for such an Army meet,
His Nephew Ivor chose, and Hiner for his pheere;
Two most undaunted spirits. These valiant Britans were
The first who a West-Sex wonne. But by the ling’ring warre,
When they those Saxons found t’have succour still from farre,
They tooke them to their friends on Severns setting shore:
Where finding Edwall dead, they purpos’d to restore
His sonne young Rodorick, whom the Saxon powers pursu’d:
But hee, who at his home heere scorn’d to be subdu’d,
With Aldred (that on Wales his strong invasion brought)
Garthmalack, and Pencoyd (those famous battailes) fought,
That North and South-wales sing, on the West-Sexians wonne.
Scarce this victorious taske his bloodied sword had done,
a The West-Saxons
Wiltshire, and their
But at Mount b Carno met the Mercians, and with wounds
Made Ethelbald to feele his trespasse on our bounds;
Prevail’d against the Pict, before our force that flew;
And in a valiant fight their King Dalargan slew.
Nor Conan’s courage lesse, nor lesse prevail’d in ought
Renowned Rodoricks heire, who with the English fought
The Herefordian Field; as Ruthlands red with gore:
Who, to transfer the warre from this his native shore,
Marcht through the Mercian Townes with his revengefull blade;
And on the English there such mighty havock made,
That Offa (when he saw his Countries goe to wrack)
From bick’ring with his folke, to keepe us Britains back,
|b A hill neere Aber-gevenny in Monmouth.|
Cast up that mighty Mound of eighty miles in length,
Athwart from Sea to Sea. Which of the Mercians strength
A witnesse though it stand, and Offa’s name doe beare,
Our courage was the cause why first he cut it there:
As that most dreadful day at Gavelford can tell,
Where under eithers sword so many thousands fell
With intermixed blood, that neither knew their owne;
Nor which went Victor thence, unto this day is knowne.
Nor Kettles conflict then, lesse martiall courage show’d,
Where valiant Mervin met the Mercians, and bestow’d
His nobler British blood on Burthreds recreant flight.
As Rodorick his great sonne, his father following right,
|the ninth Song.||139|
Bare not the Saxons scornes, his Britans to out-brave;
At Gwythen, but againe to Burthred battell gave;
Twice driving out the Dane when he invasion brought.
Whose no lesse valiant sonne, againe at Conway fought
With Danes and Mercians mixt, and on their hatefull head
Down-showr’d their dire revenge whom they had murthered.
And, wer’t not that of us the English would report
(Abusing of our Tongue in most malicious sort
As often-times they doe) that more then any, wee
(The Welsh, as they us tearme) love glorifi’d to bee,
Heere could I else recount the slaught’red Saxons gore
Our swords at Crosford spilt on Severns wandring shore;
And Griffith here produce, Lewellins valiant sonne
(May wee believe our Bards) who five pitcht Battels wonne;
And to revenge the wrongs the envious English wrought,
His well-train’d martiall troupes into the Marches brought
As farre as Wor’ster walls: nor thence did he retire,
Till Powse lay wel-neere spent in our revengefull fire;
As Hereford layd waste: and from their plentious soyles,
Brought back with him to Wales his prisoners and his spoyles.
Thus as we valiant were, when valour might us steed:
With those so much that dar’d, wee had them that decreed.
For, what Mulmutian lawes, or Martian, ever were
§. More excellent then those which our good Howell heere
Ordayn’d to governe Wales? which still with us remaine.
And when all-powerfull Fate had brought to passe againe,
That as the Saxons earst did from the Britains win;
Upon them so (at last) the Normans comming in,
Tooke from those Tyrants heere, what treacherously they got
(To the perfidious French, which th’angry heavens allot)
Nere could that Conquerors sword (which roughly did decide
His right in England heere, and prostrated her pride)
§. Us to subjection stoope, or make us Britains beare
Th’unwieldy Norman yoke: nor basely could we feare
His Conquest, entring Wales; but (with stout courage) ours
Defi’d him to his face, with all his English powers.
And when in his revenge, proud Rufus hither came
(With vowes) us to subvert; with slaughter and with shame,
O’re Severn him we sent, to gather stronger ayde.
So, when to Englands power, Albania hers had lay’d,
By Henry Beauclarke brought (for all his divelish wit,
By which he raught the Wreath) hee not prevail’d awhit:
And through our rugged straits when he so rudely prest,
Had not his proved Maile sate surely to his breast,
A skilfull British hand his life had him bereft,
As his sterne brothers hart, by Tirrills hand was cleft.
And let the English thus which vilifie our name,
If it their greatnes please, report unto our shame
The foyle our Gwyneth gave at Flints so deadly fight,
To Maud the Empresse sonne, that there he put to flight;
§. And from the English power th’imperiall Ensigne tooke:
About his plumed head which valiant Owen shooke.
As when that King againe, his fortune to advance
Above his former foyle, procur’d fresh powers from France,
A surely-leveld shaft if Sent-cleare had not seene,
And in the very loose, not thrust himselfe betweene
His Soveraigne and the shaft, he our revenge had tri’d:
Thus, to preserve the King, the noble subject dy’d.
As Madock his brave sonne, may come the rest among;
Who, like the God-like race from which his Grandsires sprong,
Whilst heere his Brothers ty’d in sad domestick strife,
On their unnaturall breasts bent eithers murtherous knife;
This brave adventurous Youth, in hote pursute of fame,
With such as his great spirit did with high deeds inflame,
Put forth his well-rigg’d Fleet to seeke him forraine ground,
And sayled West so long, untill that world he found
To Christians then unknowne (save this adventrous crue)
Long ere Columbus liv’d, or it Vesputius knew;
And put the now-nam’d Welsh on India’s parched face,
Unto the endlesse praise of Brutes renowned race,
Ere the Iberian Powers had toucht her long-sought Bay,
§. Or any eare had heard the sound of Florida.
§. And with that Croggens name let th’English us disgrace;
When there are to be seene, yet, in that ancient place
From whence that name they fetch, their conquer’d Grandsires Graves:
For which each ignorant sot, unjustly us depraves.
And when that Tyrant John had our subversion vow’d,
§. To his unbridled will our necks we never bow’d:
Nor to his mightie sonne; whose host wee did inforce
(His succours cutting off) to eate their war-like horse.
Untill all-ruling Heaven would have us to resigne:
When that brave Prince, the last of all the British Line,
Lewellin, Griffiths sonne, unluckily was slaine,
§. As Fate had spar’d our fall till Edward Longshanks raigne.
Yet to the stock of Brute so true wee ever were,
We would permit no Prince, unlesse a native here.
Which, that most prudent King perceiving, wisely thought
To satisfie our wills, and to Carnarvan brought
His Queene be’ing great with child, even ready downe to lie;
Then to his purpos’d end doth all his powers apply.
Through every part of Wales hee to the Nobles sent,
That they unto his Court should come incontinent,
|the ninth Song.||141|
Of things that much concern’d the Country to debate:
But now behold the power of unavoyded Fate.
When thus unto his will he fitly them had wonne,
At her expected houre the Queene brought forth a sonne.
And to this great designe, all hapning as he would,
He (his intended course that clearkly manage could)
Thus queintly traines us on: Since he perceiv’d us prone
Here onely to be rul’d by Princes of our owne,
Our naturalnes therein he greatly did approve;
And publiquely protests, that for the ancient love
He ever bare to Wales, they all should plainly see,
That he had found out one, their soveraigne Lord to bee;
Com’n of the race of Kings, and (in their Country borne)
Could not one English word: of which he durst be sworne.
Besides, his upright heart, and innocence was such,
As that (he was assur’d) blacke Envie could not tuch
His spotlesse life in ought. Poore we (that not espie
His subtilty herein) in plaine simplicity,
Soone bound our selves by oath, his choice not to refuse:
When as that craftie King, his little childe doth chuse,
Yong Edward, borne in Wales, and of Carnarvan call’d.
Thus by the English craft, we Britans were enthrall’d:
Yet in thine owne behalfe, deare Country dare to say,
Thou long as powerfull wert as England every way.
And if she overmuch should seeke thee to imbase,
Tell her thou art the Nurse of all the British race;
And he that was by heaven appointed to unite
(After that tedious warre) the red Rose and the white,
A Tudor was of thine, and native of thy Mon,
From whom descends that King now sitting on her Throane.
This speech, by Snowdon made, so luckie was to please
Both parties, and them both with such content t’appease;
That as before they strove for soveraignty and place,
They onely now contend, which most should other grace.
Into the Irish Sea, then all those Rilles that ronne,
In Snowdons praise to speake, immediatly begon;
Lewenny, Lynan next, then Gwelly gave it out,
And Kerriog her compeere, soone told it all about:
So did their sister Nymphs, that into Mena straine;
The flood that doth divide Mon from the Cambrian Maine.
It Gorway greatly prais’d, and Seint it lowdly song.
So, mighty Snowdons speech was through Carnarvan rong;
That scarcely such a noise to Mon from Mena came,
When with his puissant troupes for conquest of the same,
On Bridges made of Boates, the Roman powers her sought,
Or Edward to her sacke his English Armies brought:
A King both valiant and
That Mona strangely stird great Snowdons praise to heare,
Although the stock of Troy to her was ever deare;
Yet (from her proper worth) as shee before all other
§. Was call’d (in former times) her Country Cambria’s mother,
Perswaded was thereby her praises to pursue,
Or by neglect, to lose what to her selfe was due,
A signe to Neptune sent, his boystrous rage to slake;
Which suddainly becalm’d, thus of her selfe she spake;
What one of all the Iles to Cambria doth belong
(To Britaine, I might say, and yet not doe her wrong)
Doth equall me in soyle, so good for grasse and graine?
As should my Wales (where still Brutes ofspring doth remaine)
That mighty store of men, yet more of beasts doth breed,
By famine or by warre constrained be to need,
And Englands neighboring Shires their succour would denie;
My onely selfe her wants could plentiously supply.
What Iland is there found upon the Irish coast,
In which that Kingdome seemes to be delighted most
(And seeke you all along the rough Vergivian shore,
Where the incountring tydes outrageously doe rore)
That bowes not at my beck, as they to me did owe
The dutie subjects should unto their Soveraigne showe;
§. So that th’Eubonian Man, a kingdome long time knowne,
Which wisely hath been rul’d by Princes of her owne,
In my alliance joyes, as in th’Albanian Seas
The a Arrans, and by them the scatt’red a Eubides
Rejoyce even at my name; and put on mirthfull cheere,
When of my good estate, they by the Sea-Nymphs heare.
Sometimes within my shades, in many an ancient wood,
Whose often-twined tops, great Phœbus fires withstood,
§. The fearelesse British Priests, under an aged Oake,
Taking a milk-white Bull, unstrained with the yoke,
And with an Axe of gold, from that Jove-sacred tree
The Missleto cut downe; then with a bended knee
On th’unhew’d Altar layd, put to the hallowed fires:
And whilst in the sharpe flame the trembling flesh expires,
As their strong furie mov’d (when all the rest adore)
Pronouncing their desires the sacrifice before,
Up to th’eternall heaven their bloodied hands did reare:
And, whilst the murmuring woods even shuddred as with feare,
Preacht to the beardlesse youth, the soules immortall state;
To other bodies still how it should transmigrate,
That to contempt of death them strongly might excite.
To dwell in my blacke shades the Wood-gods did delight,
Untroden with resort that long so gloomy were,
As when the Roman came, it strooke him sad with feare
a Iles upon the West of
|the ninth Song.||143|
To looke upon my face, which then was call’d the Darke;
Untill in after time, the English for a marke
Gave me this hatefull name, which I must ever beare,
And Anglesey from them am called every where.
My Brooks (to whose sweet brimmes the Sylvans did resort,
In glyding through my shades, to mightie Neptunes Court,
Of their huge Oakes bereft) to heaven so open lie,
That now ther’s not a roote discern’d by any eye:
My Brent, a pretty Beck, attending Menas mouth,
With those her sister Rills, that beare upon the South,
Guint, forth along with her Lewenny that doth draw;
And next to them againe, the fat and moory Frawe,
§. Which with my Princes Court I some-time pleas’d to grace,
As those that to the West directly runne their race.
Smooth Allo in her fall, that Lynon in doth take;
Mathanon, that amaine doth tow’rds Moylroniad make,
The Sea-calfes to behold that bleach them on her shore,
Which Gweger to her gets, as to increase her store.
Then Dulas to the North that straineth, as to see
The Ile that breedeth Mice: whose store so lothsome bee,
That shee in Neptunes brack her blewish head doth hide.
When now the wearied Muse her burthen having ply’d,
Her selfe a while betakes to bathe her in the Sound;
And quitting in her course the goodly Monian ground,
Assayes the Penmenmaur, and her cleere eyes doth throwe
On Conway, tow’rds the East, to England back to goe:
Where finding Denbigh fayre, and Flint not out of sight,
Cryes yet afresh for Wales, and for Brutes ancient right.