Lament for Andredsweald (Song 17. Lines 367–408)
the ſeventeenth song.
Against th’Iberian rule, the Flemmings sure defence:
Rude Ireland’s deadly scourge; who sent her Navies hence
Unto the either Inde, and to that shore so greene,
Virginia which we call, of her a Virgin Queen:
In Portugall gainst Spaine, her English ensignes spred;
Took Cales, when from her ayde the brav’d Iberia fled.
Most flourishing in State: that, all our Kings among,
Scarse any rul’d so well: but *two, that raign’d so long.
Here suddainly he staid: and with his kingly Song,
Whil’st yet on every side the City loudly rong,
He with the eddy turn’d, a space to look about:
The Tide, retiring soon, did strongly thrust him out.
And soon the pliant Muse, doth her brave wing advance,
Tow’rds those Sea-bordring shores of ours, that point at France;
The harder Surrian Heath, and the Sussexian Downe.
Which with so great increase though Nature do not crowne,
As many other Shires, of this inviron’d Ile:
Yet on the *Weathers head, when as the sunne doth smile,
Nurst by the Southern Winds, that soft and gently blowe,
Here doth the lusty sap as soon begin to flowe;
The Earth as soon puts on her gaudy Summers sute;
The Woods as soon in green, and orchards great with fruit.
Henry III. and
the one raig-
ned 56. the o-
To Sea-ward, from the seat where first our Song begun,
Exhaled to the South by the ascending sunne,
Fower stately Wood Nymphs stand on the Sussexian ground,
Great Andredsweld’s sometime: who, when she did abound,
In circuit and in growth, all other quite supprest:
But in her wane of pride, as she in strength decreast,
Her Nymphs assum’d them names, each one to her delight.
As, Water-downe, so call’d of her depressed site:
And Ash-Downe, of those Trees that most in her do growe,
Set higher to the Downes, as th’other standeth lowe.
Saint Leonards, of the seat by which she next is plac’t,
And Whord that with the like delighteth to be grac’t.
These Forrests as I say, the daughters of the Weald
(That in their heavie breasts, had long their greefs conceal’d)
Foreseeing, there decay each howre so fast came on,
Under the axes stroak, fetcht many a grievous grone,
When as the anviles weight, and hammers dreadfull sound,
Even rent the hollow Woods, and shook the queachy ground.
So that the trembling Nymphs, opprest through gastly feare,
Ran madding to the Downes, with loose dishev’ld hayre.
The Sylvans that about the neighbouring woods did dwell,
Both in the tufty Frith and in the mossy Fell,
Forsook their gloomy Bowres, and wandred farre abroad,
Expeld their quiet seats, and place of their abode,
When labouring carts they saw to hold their dayly trade,
Where they in summer wont to sport them in the shade.
Could we, say they, suppose, that any would us cherish,
Which suffer (every day) the holiest things to perish?
Or to our daily want to minister supply?
These yron times breed none, that minde posteritie.
Tis but in vaine to tell, what we before have been,
Or changes of the world, that we in time have seen;
When, not devising how to spend our wealth with waste,
We to the savage swine, let fall our larding mast.
But now, alas, our selves we have not to sustaine,
Nor can our tops suffice to shield our Roots from raine.
Joves Oke, the warlike Ash, veyn’d Elme, the softer Beech,
Short Hazell, Maple plaine, light Aspe, the bending Wych,
Tough Holly, and smooth Birch, must altogether burne:
What should the Builder serve, supplies the Forgers turne;
When under publike good, base private gaine takes holde,
And we poore woefull Woods, to ruine lastly solde.
This uttered they with griefe: and more they would have spoke,
But that the envious Downes, int’open laughter broke;
As joying in those wants, which Nature them had given,
Sith to as great ,distresse the Forrests should be driven.
Like him that long time hath anothers state envy’d,
And sees a following Ebbe, unto his former Tide;
The more he is deprest, and bruiz’d with fortunes might,
The larger Reane his foe doth give to his ,despight:
So did the envious Downes; but that againe the Floods
(Their fountaines that derive, from those unpittied Woods,
And so much grace thy Downes, as through their Dales they creep,
Their glories to convay unto the Celtick deep)
It very hardly tooke, much murmuring at their pride.
Cleere Lavant, that doth keep the Southamptonian side
(Dividing it well-neere from the Sussexian lands
That Selsey doth survay, and Solents troubled sands)
To Chichester their wrongs impatiently doth tell:
§. And Arun (which doth name the beautious Arundell)
As on her course she came, it to her Forrest tolde.
Which, nettled with the newes, had not the power to hold:
But breaking into rage, wisht Tempests them might rive;
And on their barren scalps, still flint and chauke might thrive,
The brave and nobler Woods which basely thus upbraid.
§. And Adur comming on, to Shoreham softly said,
The Downes did very ill, poore Woods so to debase.
But now, the Ouse, a Nymph of very scornefull grace,
So touchy waxt therewith, and was so squeamish growne,
That her old name she scorn’d should publiquely be knowne.