Song 10


The tenth Song.


The serious Muse her selfe applyes
To Merlins ancient prophecies,
At Dinas Emris; where hee show’d
How Fate the Britaines rule bestow’d.
To Conway next she turnes her tale,
And sings her Cluyds renowned Vale;
Then of Saint Winifrid doth tell,
And all the wonders of her Well;
Makes Dee, Bruit’s historie pursue:
At which, shee bids her Wales Adieu.

while thus taking breath, our way yet faire in view,
The Muse her former course doth seriously pursue.
From Penmens craggy height to try her saily wings,
Her selfe long having bath’d in the delicious Springs
(That trembling from his top through long-worne crannies creepe,
To spend their liquid store on the insatiate Deepe)
Shee meets with Conway first, which lyeth next at hand:
Whose precious orient Pearle that breedeth in her sand,
Above the other floods of Britaine doth her grace:
Into the Irish Sea which making out her race,
Supply’d by many a Mere (through many severall Rills
Into her bosome pour’d) her plentiously shee fills.
O goodly River! neere unto thy sacred Spring
§. Prophetique Merlin sate, when to the British King
The changes long to come, auspiciously he told.
Most happy were thy Nymphs, that wondring did behold,
His graver wrinkled brow, amazed and did heare
The dreadfull words he spake, that so ambiguous were.
Thrice happy Brooks, I say, that (every way about)
Thy tributaries be: as is that Towne, where-out
Into the Sea thou fall’st, which Conway of thy name
Perpetually is call’d, to register thy fame.
For thou, cleere Conway, heard’st wise Merlin first relate
The Destinies Decree, of Britains future fate;
Pearle in the River
Which truly he fore-told proud Vortiger should lose:
As, when him from his seat the Saxons should depose:
The forces that should heere from c Armorick arrive,
Yet farre too weake from hence the enemie to drive:
And to that mightie King, which rashly under-tooke
A strong-wall’d Tower to reare, those earthly spirits that shooke
The great foundation still, in Dragons horrid shape,
That dreaming Wisard told; making the Mountaine gape
With his most powerfull charmes, to view those Caverns deepe;
c Little Britaine in France.
And from the top of * Brith, so high and wondrous steepe,
Where Dinas Emris stood, shew’d where the Serpents fought,
The White that tore the Red; from whence the Prophet wrought
The Britains sad decay then shortly to ensue.
O! happy yee that heard the man who all things knew
Untill the generall Doome, through all the world admyr’d:
By whose Prophetick Sawes yee all became inspyr’d;
As well the forked Neage, that neer’st her Fountaine springs,
With her beloved maid, Melandidar, that brings
Her flowe, where Conway forth into the Sea doth slide
(That to their Mistris make from the Denbighian side)
As those that from the hills of proud Carnarvan fall.
This scarce the Muse had said, but Cluyd doth quickly call
Her great recourse, to come and gard her while shee glide
Along the goodly Vale (which with her wealthy pride
Much beautifies her banks; so naturally her owne,
* Part of the Snowdon.
That Dyffren Cluyd by her both farre and neere is knowne)
With high embatteld hills that each way is enclos’d
But onely on the North: and to the North dispos’d,
Fierce Boreas finds accesse to court the dainty Vale:
Who, whisp’ring in her eare with many a wanton tale,
Allures her to his love (his Leman her to make)
As one that in himselfe much suffreth for her sake.
The situation of Dyffren
The d Orcades, and all those d Eubides imbrac’t
In Neptunes aged armes, to Neptune seeming chast,
Yet prostitute themselves to Boreas; who neglects
The Calidonian Downes, nor ought at all respects
The other in-land Dales, abroad that scattred lie,
Some on the English earth, and some in Albany;
But, courting Dyffren Cluyd, her beautie doth prefer.
Such dalliance as alone the North-wind hath with her,
d Iles upon the North-east
& West of Scotland.
Orithya not enjoy’d, from Thrace when hee her tooke,
And in his saylie plumes the trembling Virgin shooke:
But through the extreame love hee to this Vale doth beare,
Growes jealous at the length, and mightily doth feare
Great Neptune, whom he sees to smug his horrid face:
And, fearing least the God should so obtaine her grace,
In the vi. book of Ovids
the tenth Song. 159
From the Septentrion cold, in the breem freezing ayre,
Where the bleake North-wind keeps, still dominering there,
From Shetland stradling wide, his foote on Thuly sets:
Whence storming, all the vast Deucalidon hee threts,
And beares his boystrous waves into the narrower mouth
Of the Vergivian Sea: where meeting, from the South,
Great Neptunes surlier tides, with their robustious shocks,
Each other shoulder up against the griesly Rocks;
As strong men when they meet, contending for the path:
But, comming neere the Coast where Cluyd her dwelling hath,
The North-wind (calme become) forgets his Ire to wreake,
§. And the delicious Vale thus mildly doth bespeake;
Deere Cluyd, th’aboundant sweets, that from thy bosome flowe,
When with my active wings into the ayre I throwe,
Those Hills whose hoarie heads seeme in the clouds to dwell,
Of aged become young, enamor’d with the smell
Of th’odoriferous flowers in thy most precious lap:
Within whose velvit leaves, when I my selfe enwrap,
They suffocate with sents; that (from my native kind)
I seeme some slowe perfume, and not the swiftest wind.
With joy, my Dyffren Cluyd, I see thee bravely spred,
Survaying every part, from foote up to thy head;
Thy full and youthfull breasts, which in their meadowy pride,
Are brancht with rivery veines, Meander-like that glide.
I further note in thee, more excellent then these
(Were there a thing that more the amorous eye might please)
Thy plumpe and swelling wombe, whose mellowy gleabe doth beare
The yellow ripened sheafe, that bendeth with the eare.
Whilst in this sort his sute he amorously preferd,
Moylvennill neere at hand, the North-wind over-heard:
And, vexed at the hart, that he a Mountaine great,
Which long time in his breast had felt loves kindly heat,
As one whom crystall Cluyd had with her beauty caught,
Is for that Rivers sake neere of his wits distraught,
With inly rage to heare that Valley so extold;
And yet that Brooke whose course so batfull makes her mould,
And one that lends that Vale her most renowned name,
Should of her meaner farre, be over-gone in fame.
Wherefore, Moylevennill will’d his Cluyd her selfe to showe:
The Tydes out of the
North and South Seas,
meeting in S. Georges
Who, from her native Fount, as proudly shee doth flowe,
Her hand-maids Manian hath, and Hespin, her to bring
To Ruthin. Whose faire seate first kindly visiting,
To lead her thence in state, Lewenny lends her sourse:
That when Moylvennill sees his Rivers great recourse,
From his intrenched top is pleas’d with her supplies.
Claweddock commeth in, and Istrad likewise hies
Riverets running into
Cluyd out of Denbigh and Flintshire.
Unto the Queene-like Cluyd, as shee to Denbigh drawes:
And on the other side, from whence the Morning dawes,
Downe from the Flintian hills, comes Wheler, her to beare
To sacred Asaph’s See, his hallowed Temple; where
Faire Elwy having wonne her sister Aleds power,
They entertaine their Cluyd neere mighty Neptunes bower:
Who likewise is sustain’d by Senion, last that falls,
And from the Virgins Well doth wash old Ruthlands walls.
Moylvennill with her sight that never is suffic’d,
Now with excessive joy so strongly is surpriz’d,
That thus he proudly spake; On the Gwynethian ground
(And looke from East to West) what Country is there crown’d
As thou b Tegenia art? that, with a Vale so rich
(Cut thorough with the Cluyd, whose graces me bewitch)
The fruitfulst of all Wales, so long hast honor’d bin:
As also by thy Spring, such wonder who dost win,
§. That naturally remote, sixe British miles from Sea,
b Part of the Vale call’d
Teg-Engle. i. Faire
And rising on the Firme, yet in the naturall day
Twice falling, twice doth fill, in most admired wise.
When Cynthia from the East unto the South doth rise,
That mighty Neptune flowes, then strangly ebs thy Well:
And when againe he sinks, as strangely shee doth swell;
§. Yet to the sacred fount of Winifrid gives place;
Of all the Cambrian Springs of such especiall grace,
A Fountaine ebbing and
flowing, contrary to the
course of the Sea.
That oft the * Devian Nymphs, as also those that keepe
Amongst the Corall-Groves in the Vergivian Deepe,
Have left their watry bowers, their secret safe Retire,
To see her whom report so greatly should admire
(Whose waters to this day as perfect are and cleere,
As her delightfull eyes in their full beauties were,
A virgin while she liv’d) chaste Winifrid: who chose
Before her mayden-gem she forcibly would lose,
To have her harmlesse life by the leud Rapter spilt:
For which, still more and more to aggravate his guilt,
The livelesse teares shee shed, into a Fountaine turne.
And, that for her alone the water should not mourne,
The pure vermillion bloud, that issu’d from her vaines,
Unto this very day the pearly Gravell staines;
As erst the white and red were mixed in her cheeke.
And, that one part of her might be the other like,
Her haire was turn’d to mosse; whose sweetnesse doth declare,
In livelinesse of youth the naturall sweets she bare:
And of her holy life the innocence to show,
What-ever living thing into this Well you throwe,
Shee strongly beares it up, not suffring it to sinke.
Besides, the wholesome use in bathing, or in drinke
* Of Dee.
the tenth Song. 161
Doth the diseased cure, as thereto shee did leave
Her vertue with her name, that time should not bereave.
Scarce of this tedious tale Moylevennill made an end,
But that the higher a Yale, whose beeing doth ascend
Into the pleasant East, his loftier head advanc’t.
This Region, as a man that long had been intranc’t
(Whilst thus himselfe to please, the mightie Mountaine tells
a A place mountainous,
and some-what
Such * farlies of his Cluyd, and of his wondrous Wells)
Stood thinking what to doe: least faire Tegenia, plac’t
So admirably well, might hold her selfe disgrac’t
By his so barren site, be’ing Mountainous and cold,
To nothing more unlike then Dyffren’s batfull mould;
And in respect of her, to be accounted rude.
Yale, for he would not be confounded quite by Cluyd
(And for his common want, to coyne some poore excuse)
Unto his proper praise, discreetly doth produce
A Valley, for a Vale, of her peculiar kind;
In goodnesse, breadth, and length, though Dyffren farre behind:
On this yet dare he stand, that for the naturall frame,
§. That figure of the Crosse, of which it takes the name,
Is equall with the best, which else excell it farre:
And by the power of that most sacred Character,
Respect beyond the rest unto herselfe doth win.
When now the sterner Dee doth instantly begin
His ampler selfe to showe, that (downe the verdant Dale)
Straines, in his nobler course along the rougher Yale,
T’invite his favouring Brookes: where from that spacious Lin
* Strange things.
Through which he comes unmixt, first Alwin falleth in:
And going on along, still gathering up his force,
Gets Gerrow to his ayde, to hasten on his course.
With Christioneth next, comes Keriog in apace.
Out of the leaden Mines, then with her sullied face
Claweddock casts about where Gwenrow shee may greet,
Till like two loving friends they under Wrexam meet.
Then Alen makes approach (to Dee most inly deere)
Taking Tegiddog in; who, earnest to be there,
For haste, twice under earth her crystall head doth runne:
When instantly againe, Dee’s holinesse begun,
By his contracted front and sterner waves, to show
That he had things to speake, might profit them to know;
A Brooke, that was suppos’d much business to have seene,
The Rivers in the East of
Denbigh, falling into Dee
Which had b an ancient bound twixt Wales and England been,
And noted was by both to be an ominous Flood,
That changing of his Foards, the future ill, or good,
Of either Country told; of eithers warre, or peace,
The sicknes, or the health, the dearth, or the increase:
b See to the VIII. Song.
And that of all the Floods of Britaine, he might boast
His streame in former times to have been honor’d most,
When as at Chester once king Edgar held his Court,
§. To whom eight lesser Kings with homage did resort:
That mightie Mercian Lord, him in his Barge bestow’d,
And was by all those Kings about the River row’d.
For which, the hallowed Dee so much upon him tooke.
And now the time was come, that this imperious Brooke,
The long traduced Brute determin’d to awake,
And in the Britains right thus boldly to them spake;
O yee the ancient race of famous Brute that bee,
§. And thou the Queene of Iles, great Britaine; why doe yee
Your Grand-sires God-like name (with a neglectfull eare)
In so reproachfull tearmes and ignominy heare,
By every one of late contemptuouslie disgra’ct;
That he whom Time so long, and strongly hath imbrac’t,
Should be rejected quite? The reason urged why,
Is by the generall foe thus answer’d by and by:
That Brutus, as you say, by Sea who hither came,
From whom you would suppose this Ile first tooke the name,
Meerelie fictitious is; nor could the Romans heare
(Most studious of the truth, and neer’st those times that were)
Of any such as hee: nay, they who most doe strive,
From that great stock of Troy their linage to derive,
In all the large descent of Iülus, never found
That Brute, on whom wee might our first beginning ground.
To this Assertion, thus I faithfully reply;
And as a friend to Truth, doe constantlie denie
Antiquitie to them, as neerer to those times;
Their writings to precede our ancient British Rimes:
But that our noble Bards which so divinely sung
That remnant of old Troy, of which the Britaines sprung,
Before those Romans were, as proofe we can produce;
§. And learning, long with us, ere t’was with them in use.
And they but idly talke, upbrayding us with lies.
§. That Geffray Monmouth, first, our Brutus did devise,
Not heard of till his time our Adversary saies:
When pregnantlie wee prove, ere that Historians dayes,
A thousand ling’ring yeeres, our Prophets cleerely song
The Britaine-founding Brute, most frequent them among.
From Taliessen wise (approved so with us,
That what he spake, was held to be oraculous,
So true his writings were) and such immortall men
As this now-waning world shall hardly heare agen
In our owne genuine tongue, that natives were of Wales
Our Geffray had his Brute. Nor were these idle tales
the tenth Song. 163
(As he may find, the truth of our descents that seekes)
Nor fabulous, like those devised by the Greeks:
But from the first of Time, by Judges still were heard,
Discreetlie every a yeere correcting where they err’d.
And that whereon our Foe his greatest hold doth take,
Against the handled Cause and most doth seeme to make,
Is, that we shewe no Booke our Brutus to approve;
But that our idle Bards, as their fond rage did move,
Sang what their fancies pleas’d. Thus doe I answere these;
a At the Stethva: see to the
fourth Song.
That th’ancient British Priests, the fearlesse Druides,
That ministred the lawes, and were so trulie wise,
That they determin’d states, attending sacrifice,
§. To letters never would their mysteries commit,
For which the breasts of men they deem’d to be more fit.
Which questionlesse should seeme from judgement to proceed.
For, when of Ages past wee looke in bookes to read,
Wee retchlesly discharge our memory of those.
So when injurious Time, such Monuments doth lose
(As what so great a Work, by Time that is not wrackt?)
Wee utterly forgoe that memorable act:
But when we lay it up within the minds of men,
They leave it their next Age; that, leaves it hers agen:
So strongly which (me thinks) doth for Tradition make,
As if you from the world it altogether take,
You utterly subvert Antiquitie thereby.
For though Time well may prove that often shee doth lie,
Posteritie by her yet many things hath known,
That ere men learn’d to write, could no way have been shown:
For, if the spirit of God, did not our faith assure
The Scriptures be from heaven, like heaven, divinely pure,
Of Moses mightie works, I reverently may say
(I speake with godlie feare) Tradition put away,
In power of humane wit it easely doth not lie
To prove before the Flood the Genealogie.
Nor any thing there is that kindlier doth agree
With our descent from Troy (if things compar’d may be)
Then peopling of this place, neere to those Ages, when
Exiled by the Greeks, those poore world-wandring men
(Of all hope to returne into their Country reft)
Sought shores whereon to set that little them was left:
From some such God-like race we questionlesse did spring,
Who soone became so great heere once inhabiting.
So barbarous nor were wee as manie have us made,
And Cæsars envious pen would all the world perswade,
His owne ambitious ends in seeking to advance,
When with his Roman power arriving heere from France,
The Druides would not
commit their mysteries to
If hee the Britains found experienc’t so in warre,
That they with such great skill could weeld their armed Carre;
And, as he still came on, his skilfull march to let,
Cut downe their aged Oakes, and in the Rivers set
The sharpe steele-poynted stakes, as hee the Foards should pass;
I faine would understand how this that Nation was
So ignorant hee would make, and yet so knowing warre.
But, in things past so long (for all the world) we are
Like to a man embarqu’t, and travelling the Deepe:
Who sayling by some hill, or promontory steepe
Which juts into the Sea, with an amazed eye
Beholds the Cleeves thrust up into the lofty skie.
And th’more that hee doth looke, the more it drawes his sight;
Now at the craggy front, then at the wondrous weight:
But, from the passed shore still as the swelling saile
(Thrust forward by the wind) the floating Barque doth haile,
The mightie Giant-heape, so lesse and lesser still
Appeareth to the eye, untill the monstrous hill
At length shewes like a cloud; and further beeing cast,
Is out of kenning quite: So, of the Ages past;
Those things that in their Age much to be wondred were,
Still as wing-footed Time them farther off doth beare,
Doe lessen every howre. When now the mighty prease,
Impatient of his speech, intreat the Flood to cease,
And cry with one consent, the Saxon state to showe,
As angry with the Muse such labour to bestowe
On Wales, but England still neglected thus to be.
And having past the time, the honorable Dee
At Chester was arriv’d, and bad them all adieu:
When our intended course, with England we pursue.