❧ The thirteenth Song.
✼ THE ARGUMENT.
This Song our Shire of Warwick sounds;
|pon the Mid-lands now th’industrious Muse doth fall;
That Shire which wee the hart of England well may call,
As shee her selfe extends (the midst which is decreed)
Betwixt S. Michaels Mount, and Barwick-bord’ring Tweed,
Warwickshire the middle
Shire of England.
Brave Warwick; that abroad so long advanc’t her * Beare,
§. By her illustrious Earles renowned every where;
Above her neighboring Shires which alwaies bore her head.
My native Country then, which so brave spirits hast bred,
If there be vertue yet remaining in thy earth,
Or any good of thine thou breathd’st into my birth,
Accept it as thine owne whilst now I sing of thee;
Of all thy later Brood th’unworthiest though I bee.
Muse, first of Arden tell, whose foot-steps yet are found
* The ancient Coat of that
In her rough wood-lands more then any other ground
§. That mighty Arden held even in her height of pride;
Her one hand touching Trent, the other, Severns side.
The very sound of these, the Wood-Nymphs doth awake:
When thus of her owne selfe the ancient Forrest spake;
Divers Towns expressing
her name: as Henly in
Arden, Hampton in Arden. &c.
My many goodly sites when first I came to showe,
Here opened I the way to myne owne over-throwe:
For, when the world found out the fitnesse of my soyle,
The gripple wretch began immediatly to spoyle
My tall and goodly woods, and did my grounds inclose:
By which, in little time my bounds I came to lose.
When Britaine first her fields with Villages had fild,
Her people wexing still, and wanting where to build,
They oft dislodg’d the Hart, and set their houses, where
He in the Broome and Brakes had long time made his leyre.
Of all the Forrests heere within this mightie Ile,
If those old Britains then me Soveraigne did instile,
I needs must be the great’st; for greatnesse tis alone
That gives our kind the place: else were there many a one
For pleasantnes of shade that farre doth mee excell.
But, of our Forrests kind the quality to tell,
We equally partake with Wood-land as with Plaine,
Alike with Hill and Dale; and every day maintaine
The sundry kinds of beasts upon our copious wast’s,
That men for profit breed, as well as those of chase.
Here Arden of her selfe ceast any more to showe;
And with her Sylvan joyes the Muse along doth goe.
When Phœbus lifts his head out of the Winters wave,
No sooner doth the Earth her flowerie bosome brave,
At such time as the Yeere brings on the pleasant Spring,
But Hunts-up to the Morne the feath’red Sylvans sing:
And in the lower Grove, as in the rising Knole,
Upon the highest spray of every mounting pole,
Those Quirristers are pearcht with many a speckled breast.
Then from her burnisht gate the goodly glittring East
Guilds every lofty top, which late the humorous Night
Bespangled had with pearle, to please the Mornings sight:
On which the mirthfull Quires, with their cleere open throats,
Unto the joyfull Morne so straine their warbling notes,
That Hills and Valleys ring, and even the ecchoing Ayre
Seemes all compos’d of sounds, about them every where.
The Throstell, with shrill Sharps; as purposely he song
T’awake the lustlesse Sunne; or chyding, that so long
He was in comming forth, that should the thickets thrill:
The Woosell neere at hand, that hath a golden bill;
As Nature him had markt of purpose, t’let us see
That from all other Birds his tunes should different bee:
For, with their vocall sounds, they sing to pleasant May;
Upon his d dulcet pype the Merle doth onely play.
When in the lower Brake, the Nightingale hard-by,
In such lamenting straines the joyfull howres doth ply,
d Of all Birds, only the
|the thirteenth Song.
As though the other Birds shee to her tunes would draw.
And, but that Nature (by her all-constraining law)
Each Bird to her owne kind this season doth invite,
They else, alone to heare that Charmer of the Night
(The more to use their eares) their voyces sure would spare,
That moduleth her tunes so admirably rare,
As man to set in Parts, at first had learn’d of her.
To Philomell the next, the Linet we prefer;
And by that warbling bird, the Wood-Larke place we then,
The Red-sparrow, the Nope, the Red-breast, and the Wren,
The Yellow-pate: which though shee hurt the blooming tree,
Yet scarce hath any bird a finer pype then shee.
And of these chaunting Fowles, the Goldfinch not behind,
That hath so many sorts descending from her kind.
The Tydie for her notes as delicate as they,
The laughing Hecco, then the counterfetting Jay,
The Softer, with the (Shrill some hid among the leaves,
Some in the taller trees, some in the lower greaves)
Thus sing away the Morne, untill the mounting Sunne,
Through thick exhaled fogs, his golden head hath runne,
And through the twisted tops of our close Covert creeps
To kisse the gentle Shade, this while that sweetly sleeps.
And neere to these our Thicks, the wild and frightfull Heards,
Not hearing other noyse but this of chattering Birds,
Feed fairely on the Launds; both sorts of seasoned Deere:
Here walke, the stately Red, the freckled Fallowe there:
The Bucks and lusty Stags amongst the Rascalls strew’d,
As sometime gallant spirits amongst the multitude.
Of all the Beasts which we for our * veneriall name,
The Hart amongst the rest, the Hunters noblest game:
Of which most Princely Chase sith none did ere report,
Or by description touch, t’expresse that wondrous sport
(Yet might have well beseem’d th’ancients nobler Songs)
To our old Arden heere, most fitly it belongs:
Yet shall shee not invoke the Muses to her ayde;
But thee Diana bright, a Goddesse and a mayd:
In many a huge-growne Wood, and many a shady Grove,
Which oft hast borne thy Bowe (great Huntresse) us’d to rove
At many a cruell beast, and with thy darts to pierce
The Lyon, Panther, Ounce, the Beare, and Tiger fierce;
And following thy fleet Game, chaste mightie Forrests Queene,
With thy disheveld Nymphs attyr’d in youthfull greene,
About the Launds hast scowr’d, and Wastes both farre and neere,
Brave Huntresse: but no beast shall prove thy Quarries heere;
Save those the best of Chase, the tall and lusty Red,
The Stag for goodly shape, and statelinesse of head,
|* Of hunting, or Chase.
|Is fitt’st to hunt at force. For whom, when with his hounds
The laboring Hunter tufts the thicke unbarbed grounds
Where harbor’d is the Hart; there often from his feed
The dogs of him doe find; or thorough skilfull heed,
A description of hunting
The Huntsman by his * slot, or breaking earth, perceaves,
Or entring of the thicke by pressing of the greaves
Where he hath gone to lodge. Now when the Hart doth heare
The often-bellowing hounds to vent his secret leyre,
He rouzing rusheth out, and through the Brakes doth drive,
As though up by the roots the bushes he would rive.
And through the combrous thicks, as fearefully he makes,
Hee with his branched head, the tender Saplings shakes,
That sprinkling their moyst pearle doe seeme for him to weepe;
When after goes the Cry, with yellings lowd and deepe,
That all the Forrest rings, and every neighbouring place:
And there is not a hound but falleth to the Chase.
|* The tract of the foote.
f Rechating with his horne, which then the Hunter cheeres,
Whilst still the lustie Stag his high-palm’d head up-beares,
His body showing state, with unbent knees upright,
Expressing (from all beasts) his courage in his flight.
But when th’approaching foes still following he perceives,
That hee his speed must trust, his usuall walke he leaves;
And or’e the Champaine flies: which when th’assembly find,
Each followes, as his horse were footed with the wind.
But beeing then imbost, the noble stately Deere
When he hath gotten ground (the kennell cast arere)
Doth beat the Brooks and Ponds for sweet refreshing soyle:
That serving not, then proves if he his sent can foyle,
And makes amongst the Heards, and flocks of shag-wooll’d Sheepe,
Them frighting from the guard of those who had their keepe.
But when as all his shifts his safety still denies,
Put quite out of his walke, the wayes and fallowes tryes.
Whom when the Plow-man meets, his teame he letteth stand
T’assaile him with his goad: so with his hooke in hand,
The Shepheard him pursues, and to his dog doth halow:
When, with tempestuous speed, the hounds and Huntsmen follow;
Untill the noble Deere through toyle bereav’d of strength,
His long and sinewy legs then fayling him at length,
The Villages attempts, enrag’d, not giving way
To any thing hee meets now at his sad decay.
The cruell ravenous hounds and bloody Hunters neer,
This noblest beast of Chase, that vainly doth but feare,
Some banke or quick-set finds: to which his hanch oppos’d,
He turnes upon his foes, that soone have him inclos’d.
The churlish throated hounds then holding him at bay,
And as their cruell fangs on his harsh skin they lay,
f One of the Measures in
winding the horne.
|the thirteenth Song.
With his sharp-poynted head he dealeth deadly wounds.
The Hunter, comming in to helpe his wearied hounds,
He desperatly assailes; untill opprest by force,
He who the Mourner is to his owne dying Corse,
Upon the ruthlesse earth his precious teares lets fall.
To Forrests that belongs; but yet this is not all:
With solitude what sorts, that here’s not wondrous rife?
Whereas the Hermit leades a sweet retyred life,
From Villages repleate with ragg’d and sweating Clownes,
And from the lothsome ayres of smoky cittied Townes.
The Hart weepeth at his
dying: his teares are held
to be precious in
Suppose twixt noone and night, the Sunne his halfe-way wrought
(The shadowes to be large, by his descending brought)
Who with a fervent eye lookes through the twyring glades,
And his dispersed rayes commixeth with the shades,
Exhaling the milch dewe, which there had tarried long,
And on the ranker grasse till past the noone-sted hong;
When as the Hermet comes out of his homely Cell,
A description of the
Where from all rude resort he happily doth dwell:
Who in the strength of youth, a man at Armes hath been;
Or one who of this world the vilenesse having seene,
Retyres him from it quite; and with a constant mind
Mans beastliness so loathes, that flying humane kind,
The black and darksome nights, the bright and gladsome dayes
Indifferent are to him, his hope on God that staies.
Each little Village yeelds his short and homely fare:
To gather wind-falne sticks, his great’st and onely care;
Which every aged tree still yeeldeth to his fire.
This man, that is alone a King in his desire,
By no proud ignorant Lord is basely over-aw’d,
Nor his false prayse affects, who grosly beeing claw’d,
Stands like an itchy Moyle; nor of a pin he wayes
What fooles, abused Kings, and humorous Ladies raise.
His free and noble thought, nere envies at the grace
That often times is given unto a Baud most base,
Nor stirres it him to thinke on the Impostour vile,
Who seeming what hee’s not, doth sensually beguile
The sottish purblind world: but absolutely free,
His happy time he spends the works of God to see,
In those so sundry hearbs which there in plenty growe:
Whose sundry strange effects he onely seeks to knowe.
And in a little Maund, beeing made of Oziars small,
Which serveth him to doe full many a thing withall,
He very choicely sorts his Simples got abroad.
Heere finds he on an Oake Rheume-purging Polipode;
And in some open place that to the Sunne doth lye,
He Fumitorie gets, and Eye-bright for the eye:
|Hermits have oft had their aboads by waies that lie throgh Forests.
The Yarrow, where-with-all he stops the wound-made gore:
The healing Tutsan then, and Plantan for a sore.
And hard by them againe he holy Vervaine finds,
Which he about his head that hath the Megrim binds.
The wonder-working Dill hee gets not farre from these,
Which curious women use in many a nice disease.
For them that are with Newts, or Snakes, or Adders stong,
He seeketh out an hearbe that’s called Adders-tong;
As Nature it ordain’d, its owne like hurt to cure,
And sportive did her selfe to niceties inure.
Valerian then he crops, and purposely doth stampe,
T’apply unto the place that’s haled with the Crampe.
As Century, to close the wideness of a wound:
The belly hurt by birth, by Mugwort to make sound.
His Chickweed cures the heat that in the face doth rise.
For Physick, some againe he inwardly applyes.
For comforting the Spleene and Liver, gets for juce,
Pale Hore-hound, which he holds of most especiall use.
So Saxifrage is good, and Harts-tongue for the Stone,
With Agrimony, and that hearbe we call S. John.
To him that hath a flux, of Sheepheards purse he gives,
And Mous-eare unto him whom some sharpe rupture grieves.
And for the laboring wretch that’s troubled with a cough,
Or stopping of the breath, by fleagme that’s hard and tough,
Campana heere he crops, approoved wondrous good:
As Comfrey unto him that’s brused, spetting blood;
And from the Falling-ill, by Five-leafe doth restore,
And Melancholy cures by soveraigne Hellebore.
Of these most helpfull hearbs yet tell we but a few,
To those unnumbred sorts of Simples here that grew.
Which justly to set downe, even Dodon short doth fall;
Nor skilfull Gerard, yet, shall ever find them all.
But from our Hermit heere the Muse we must inforce,
And zealously proceed in our intended course:
How Arden of her Rills and Riverets doth dispose;
By Alcester how Alne to Arro easely flowes;
And mildly beeing mixt, to Avon hold their way:
And likewise tow’rd the North, how lively-tripping Rhea,
T’attend the lustier Tame, is from her Fountaine sent:
So little Cole and Blyth goe on with him to Trent.
His Tamworth at the last, he in his way doth win:
There playing him awhile, till Ancor should come in,
Which trifleth twixt her banks, observing state, so slowe,
As though into his armes she scorn’d her selfe to throwe:
The Authors of two
Yet Arden will’d her Tame to serve * her on his knee;
For by that Nymph alone, they both should honor’d be.
|the thirteenth Song.
The Forrest so much falne from what she was before,
That to her former height Fate could her not restore;
Though oft in her behalfe, the Genius of the Land
Importuned the Heavens with an auspicious hand.
Yet granted at the last (the aged Nymph to grace)
They by a Ladies birth would more renowne that place
Then if her Woods their heads above the Hills should seat;
And for that purpose, first made Coventry so great
(A poore thatcht Village then, or scarcely none at all,
That could not once have dream’d of her now stately wall)
§. And thither wisely brought that goodly Virgin-band,
Th’eleven thousand maids, chaste Ursula’s Commaund,
Whom then the Britaine Kings gave her full power to presse,
For matches to their friends in Britanny the lesse.
At whose departure thence, each by her just bequest
Some speciall vertue gave, ordayning it to rest
With one of their owne sex, that there her birth should have,
Till fulnesse of the time which Fate did choicely save;
Untill the Saxons raigne, when Coventry at length,
From her small, meane regard, recovered state and strength,
§. By Leofrick her Lord yet in base bondage held,
The people from her Marts by tollage who expeld:
Whose Dutchesse, which desir’d this tribute to release,
Their freedome often begg’d. The Duke, to make her cease,
Told her that if shee would his losse so farre inforce,
His will was, shee should ride starke nak’t upon a horse
By day light through the street: which certainly he thought,
In her heroïck breast so deeply would have wrought,
That in her former sute she would have left to deale.
But that most princely Dame, as one devour’d with zeale,
Went on, and by that meane the Cittie cleerly freed.
The first part of whose name, Godiva, doth forereed
Th’first syllable of hers, and Goodere halfe doth sound;
For by agreeing words, great matters have been found.
But further then this place the mysterie extends.
What Arden had begun, in Ancor lastly ends:
For in the British tongue, the Britaines could not find,
Wherefore to her that name of Ancor was assign’d:
Nor yet the Saxons since, nor times to come had known,
But that her beeing heere, was by this name fore-shown,
As prophecying her. For, as the first did tell
Her Sir-name, so againe doth Ancor lively spell
Her Christned title Anne. And as those Virgins there
Did sanctifie that Place: so holy Edith heere
A Recluse long time liv’d, in that faire Abbey plac’t
Which Alured enricht, and Powlesworth highly grac’t.
A Princesse being borne, and Abbesse, with those Maids,
All Noble like her selfe, in bidding of their Beads
Their holinesse bequeath’d, upon her to descend
Which there should after live: in whose deere selfe should end
Th’intent of Ancors name, her comming that decreed,
As hers (her place of birth) faire Coventry that freed.
But whilst about this tale smooth Ancor tryfling stayes,
Unto the lustier Tame as loth to come her waies,
The Flood intreats her thus; Deere Brooke, why doost thou wrong
Our mutuall love so much, and tediously prolong
Our mirthfull mariage-howre, for which I still prepare?
Haste to my broader banks, my joy and onely care.
For as of all my Floods thou art the first in fame;
When frankly thou shalt yeeld thine honor to my name,
I will protect thy state: then doe not wrong thy kind.
What pleasure hath the world that heere thou maist not find?
Hence, Muse, divert thy course to Dunsmore, by that f Crosse
Where those two mightie g waies, the Watling and the Fosse,
Our Center seeme to cut. (The first doth hold her way,
From Dover, to the farth’st of fruitfull Anglesey:
The second South and North, from Michaels utmost Mount,
To Cathnesse, which the furth’st of Scotland wee account.)
And then proceed to showe, how Avon from her Spring,
f The High-crosse.
supposed to be the midst
g See to the xvi. Song.
By Newnhams Fount is blest; and how she, blandishing,
By Dunsmore drives along. Whom Sow doth first assist,
Which taketh Shirburn in, with Cune, a great while mist;
Though h Coventry from thence her name at first did raise,
Now florishing with Fanes, and proud Piramides;
Her walls in good repaire, her Ports so bravely built,
Her halls in good estate, her Crosse so richly gilt,
As scorning all the Townes that stand within her view:
Yet must shee not be griev’d, that Cune should claime her due.
Tow’rds Warwick with this traine as Avon trips along,
To Guy-cliffe beeing come, her Nymphs thus bravely song;
To thee renowned Knight, continuall prayse wee owe,
And at thy hallowed Tombe thy yeerely Obiits showe;
Who, thy deere Phillis name and Country to advance,
Left’st Warwicks wealthy seate: and sayling into France,
At Tilt, from his proud Steed, Duke Otton threw’st to ground:
And with th’invalewed Prize of Blanch the beautious crown’d
(The Almaine Emperors heire) high acts didst there atchieve:
As Lovaine thou againe didst valiantly relieve.
Thou in the Soldans blood thy worthy sword imbru’dst;
And then in single fight, great Amerant subdu’dst.
T’was thy Herculian hand, which happily destroy’d
That Dragon, which so long Northumberland annoy’d;
h Otherwise, Cune-tre:
that is, the Towne upon
|the thirteenth Song.
And slew that cruell Bore, which waste our wood-lands layd,
Whose tusks turn’d up our Tilths, and Dens in Medowes made:
Whose shoulder-blade remaines at Coventry till now;
And, at our humble sute, did quell that monstrous Cow
The passengers that us’d from Dunsmore to affright.
Of all our English (yet) ô most renowned Knight,
That Colebrond overcam’st: at whose amazing fall
The Danes remov’d their Campe from Winchesters sieg’d wall.
Thy statue Guy-cliffe keepes, the gazers eye to please;
Warwick, thy mighty Armes (thou English Hercules)
Thy strong and massy sword, that never was controld:
Which, as her ancient right, her Castle still shall hold.
Scarce ended they their Song, but Avons winding streame,
By Warwick, entertaines the high-complection’d Leame:
And as she thence along to Stratford on doth straine,
Receiveth little Heile the next into her traine:
Then taketh in the Stour, the Brooke, of all the rest
Which that most goodly Vale of Red-horse loveth best;
A Vally that enjoyes a verie great estate,
Yet not so famous held as smaller, by her fate:
Now, for Report had been too partiall in her praise,
Her just conceived greefe, faire Red-horse thus bewraies;
Shall every Vale be heard to boast her wealth? and I,
The needie Countries neere that with my Corne supply
As bravely as the best, shall onely I endure
The dull and beastly world my glories to obscure;
Neere way-lesse Ardens side, sith my rety’rd aboad
Stood quite out of the way from every common road?
Great Evshams fertill Gleabe, what tongue hath not extold?
As though to her alone belongd the * Garbe of Gold.
Of Bevers batfull earth, men seeme as though to faine,
Reporting in what store shee multiplies her graine:
And folke such wondrous things of Alsburie will tell,
As though Aboundance strove her burthened wombe to swell.
Her roome amongst the rest, so White-horse is decreed:
Shee wants no setting forth: her brave Pegasian Steed
(The wonder of the West) exalted to the skies:
My Red-horse of you all contemned onely lies.
The fault is not in me, but in the wretched time:
On whom, upon good cause, I well may lay the crime:
Which as all noble things, so mee it doth neglect.
But when th’industrious Muse shall purchase me respect
Of Countries neere my site, and win me forraine fame
(The Eden of you all deservedly that am)
I shall as much be praysd for delicacie then,
As now in small account with vile and barbarous men.
|* The Sheafe.
For, from the loftie f Edge that on my side doth lye,
Upon my spacious earth who casts a curious eye,
As many goodly seates shall in my compasse see,
As many sweet delights and rarities in mee
As in the greatest Vale: from where my head I couch
At Cotswolds Countries foot, till with my heeles I touch
|f The Edge-hil.
The North-hamptonian fields, and fatning Pastures; where
I ravish every eye with my inticing cheere.
As still the Yeere growes on, that Ceres once doth load
The full Earth with her store; my plentious bosome strow’d
With all aboundant sweets: my frim and lustie flanke
Her bravery then displayes, with Meadowes hugely ranke.
The thick and well-growne fogge doth matt my smoother slades,
And on the lower Leas, as on the higher Hades
The daintie Clover growes (of grasse the onely silke)
That makes each Udder strout abundantly with milke.
The bands of the Vale of
As an unlettred man, at the desired sight
Of some rare beautie moov’d with infinite delight,
Not out of his owne spirit, but by that power divine,
Which through a sparkling eye perspicuously doth shine,
Feeles his hard temper yeeld, that hee in passion breakes,
And things beyond his height, transported strangely speaks:
So those that dwell in mee, and live by frugall toyle,
When they in my defence are reasoning of my soyle,
As rapted with my wealth and beauties, learned growe,
And in wel-fitting tearmes, and noble language, showe
The Lordships in my Lands, from Rolright (which remaines
§. A witnesse of that day we wonne upon the Danes)
To Tawcester wel-neere: twixt which, they use to tell
Of places which they say doe Rumneys selfe excell.
A Similie of the place and
Of Dasset they dare boast, and give Wormlighton prize,
As of that fertill Flat by Bishopton that lies.
For showing of my bounds, if men may rightly ghesse
By my continued forme which best doth me expresse,
On either of my sides and by the rising grounds,
Which in one fashion hold, as my most certaine Mounds,
In length neere thirtie miles I am discern’d to bee.
Thus Red-horse ends her tale; and I therewith agree
To finish heere my Song: the Muse some ease doth aske,
As wearied with the toyle in this her serious taske.
Wondrous fruitful places
in the Vale.