Song 15


The fifteenth Song.


The guests heere to the Bride-house hie.
The goodly Vale of Al’sbury
Sets her sonne (Tame) forth, brave as May,
Upon the joyfull Wedding day:
Who, deckt up, tow’rds his Bride is gone.
So lovely Isis comming on,
At Oxford all the Muses meet her,
And with a Prothalamion greet her.
The Nymphs are in the Bridall Bowres,
Some strowing sweets, some sorting flowres:
Where lustie Charwell himselfe raises,
And sings of Rivers, and their praises.
Then Tames his way tow’rd Windsore tends.
Thus, with the Song, the Mariage ends.

ow Fame had through this Ile divulg’d, in every eare,
The long-expected day of Mariage to be neere,
That Isis, Cotswolds heire, long woo’d was lastly wonne,
And instantly should wed with Tame, old Chiltern’s sonne. Tame, arising in the Vale
of Alsbury, at the foot of
the Chilterne.
And now that Wood-mans wife, the mother of the Flood,
The rich and goodly Vale of Alsbury, that stood
So much upon her Tame, was busied in her Bowres,
Preparing for her sonne, as many sutes of Flowres,
As Cotswold for the Bride, his Isis, lately made;
Who for the lovely Tame, her Bridegroome, onely staid.
Whilst every crystall Flood is to this business prest,
The cause of their great speed and many thus request;
O! whither goe yee Floods? what suddaine wind doth blowe,
Then other of your kind, that you so fast should flowe?
What busines is in hand, that spurres you thus away?
Faire Windrush let me heare, I pray thee Charwell say:
They suddainly reply, What lets you should not see
That for this Nuptiall feast wee all prepared bee?
Therefore this idle chat our eares doth but offend:
Our leysure serves not now these trifles to attend.
But whilst things are in hand, old Chiltern (for his life)
From prodigall expense can no way keepe his wife;
Who feedes her Tame with Marle, in Cordiall-wise prepar’d,
And thinks all idly spent, that now she onely spar’d
In setting forth her sonne: nor can shee thinke it well,
Unlesse her lavish charge doe Cotswold’s farre excell.
For, Alsbury’s a Vale that walloweth in her wealth,
And (by her wholesome ayre continually in health)
Is lustie, frim, and fat, and holds her youthfull strength.
Besides her fruitfull earth, her mightie breadth and length,
Doth Chiltern fitly match: which mountainously hie,
And beeing very long, so likewise shee doth lie;
From the Bedfordian fields, where first she doth begin,
To fashion like a Vale, to th’place where Tame doth win
His Isis wished Bed; her soyle throughout so sure,
For goodnesse of her Gleabe, and for her Pasture pure,
That as her Graine and Grasse, so shee her Sheepe doth breed,
For burthen and for boane all other that exceed:
And shee, which thus in wealth aboundantly doth flowe,
Now cares not on her Child what cost shee doe bestowe.
The richnesse of the Vale
of Alsbury.
Which when wise Chiltern saw (the world who long had try’d,
And now at last had layd all garish pompe aside;
Whose hoare and chalkie head discry’d him to be old,
His Beechen woods bereft that kept him from the cold)
Would faine perswade the Vale to hold a steddy rate;
And with his curious Wife, thus wisely doth debate:
Quoth hee, you might allow what needeth, to the most:
But where as lesse will serve, what meanes this idle cost?
Too much, a surfet breeds, and may our Child annoy:
These fat and lushious meats doe but our stomacks cloy.
The modest comly meane, in all things likes the wise,
Apparrell often shewes us womanish precise.
And what will Cotswold thinke when he shall heare of this?
Hee’ll rather blame your waste, then praise your cost iwiss.
But, women wilfull be, and shee her will must have,
Nor cares how Chiltern chides, so that her Tame be brave.
Alone which tow’rds his Love shee easely doth convay:
The Chiltern-Country
beginning also to want
For the Oxonian Ouze was lately sent away
From Buckingham, where first he finds his nimbler feet;
Tow’rds Whittlewood then takes: where, past the noblest * Street,
Hee to the Forrest gives his farewell, and doth keepe
His course directly downe into the German Deepe,
To publish that great day in mightie Neptunes Hall,
That all the Sea-gods there might keep it festivall.
As wee have told how Tame holds on his even course,
Returne we to report, how Isis from her sourse
That Ouze arising neer
Brackley, running into the German Sea.
* Watling.
the fifteenth Song. 239
Comes tripping with delight, downe from her daintier Springs;
And in her princely traine, t’attend her Marriage, brings
Cleere Churnet, Colne, and Leech, which first she did retaine,
With Windrush: and with her (all out-rage to restraine
Which well might offred be to Isis as shee went)
Came Yenload with a guard of Satyres, which were sent
From Whichwood, to await the bright and God-like Dame.
So, Bernwood did bequeath his Satyres to the Tame,
For Sticklers in those stirres that at the Feast should bee.
These preparations great when Charwell comes to see,
To Oxford got before, to entertaine the Flood,
Apollo’s ayde he begs, with all his sacred brood,
To that most learned place to welcome her repaire.
Who in her comming on, was wext so wondrous faire,
That meeting, strife arose betwixt them, whether they
Rivers arising in
Cotswold, spoke of in the
former Song.
Her beauty should extoll, or shee admire their p Bay.
On whom their severall gifts (to amplifie her dowre)
The Muses there bestowe; which ever have the power
Immortall her to make. And as shee past along,
p Laurell for Learning.
Those modest q Thespian Maids thus to their Isis song;
Yee Daughters of the Hills, come downe from every side,
And due attendance give upon the lovely Bride:
Goe strewe the paths with flowers by which shee is to passe.
For be yee thus assur’d, in Albion never was
A beautie (yet) like hers: where have yee ever seene
So absolute a Nymph in all things, for a Queene?
Give instantly in charge the day be wondrous faire,
That no disorderd blast attempt her braided haire.
Goe, see her State prepar’d, and every thing be fit,
The Bride-chamber adorn’d with all beseeming it.
And for the princely Groome, who ever yet could name
A Flood that is so fit for Isis as the Tame?
Yee both so lovely are, that knowledge scarce can tell,
For feature whether hee, or beautie shee excell:
That ravished with joy each other to behold,
When as your crystall wasts you closely doe enfold,
Betwixt your beautious selves you shall beget a Sonne,
That when your lives shall end, in him shall be begunne.
The pleasant Surryan shores shall in that Flood delight,
And Kent esteeme her selfe most happy in his sight.
q The Muses.
The Shire that London loves, shall onely him prefer,
And give full many a gift to hold him neer to her.
The r Skeld, the goodly Mose, the rich and Viny Rheine,
Shall come to meet the Thames in Neptunes watry Plaine.
And all the Belgian Streames and neighboring Floods of Gaul,
Of him shall stand in awe, his tributaries all.
r They al three, Rivers, of
greatest note in the Lower Germany, cast themselves
into the Ocean, in the
Coast opposite to the
mouth of Thames.
As of fayre Isis thus, the learned Virgins spake,
A shrill and suddaine brute this h Prothalamion brake;
That White-horse, for the love she bare to her Ally,
And honored sister Vale, the bountious Alsbury,
Sent Presents to the Tame by Ock her onely Flood,
Which for his Mother Vale, so much on greatnesse stood.
From Oxford, Isis hasts more speedily, to see
That River like his birth might entertained bee:
For, that ambitious Vale, still striving to commaund,
And using for her place continually to stand,
Proud White-horse to perswade, much busines there hath been
T’acknowledge that great Vale of Evsham for her Queen.
And but that Evsham is so opulent and great,
That thereby shee herselfe holds in the soveraigne seat,
h Mariage Song.
This i White-horse all the Vales of Britaine would or’ebeare,
And absolutely sit in the imperiall Chaire;
And boasts as goodly Heards, and numerous Flocks to feed;
To have as soft a Gleabe, as good increase of seed;
As pure and fresh an ayre upon her face to flowe,
As Evsham for her life: and from her Steed doth showe,
Her lustie rising Downes, as faire a prospect take
i White-horse striveth for
soveraignty with all the
Vales of Britaine.
As that imperious * Wold: which her great Queene doth make
So wondrously admyr’d, and her so farre extend.
But, to the Mariage, hence, industrious Muse descend.
The Naïads, and the Nymphs extreamly over-joy’d,
And on the winding banks all busily imploy’d,
Upon this joyfull day, some dainty Chaplets twine:
Some others chosen out, with fingers neat and fine,
* Cotswold.
Brave k Anadems doe make: some Bauldricks up do bind:
Some, Garlands: and to some, the Nosegaies were assign’d;
As best their skill did serve. But, for that Tame should be
Still man-like as him selfe, therefore they will that he
Should not be drest with Flowers, to Gardens that belong
k Crownes of Flowers.
(His Bride that better fitte) but onely such as sprong
From the replenisht Meads, and fruitfull Pastures neere.
To sort which Flowers, some sit; some making Garlands were;
The Primrose placing first, because that in the Spring
It is the first appeares, then onely florishing;
The azur’d Hare-bell next, with them, they neatly mixt:
T’allay whose lushious smell, they Woodbind plac’t betwixt.
Amongst those things of sent, there prick they in the Lilly:
And neere to that againe, her sister Daffadilly.
To sort these Flowers of showe, with th’other that were sweet,
The Cowslip then they couch, and th’Oxslip, for her meet:
The Columbine amongst they sparingly doe set,
The yellow King-cup, wrought in many a curious fret,
Flowers of the Medowes
and Pastures.
the fifteenth Song. 241
And now and then among, of Eglantine a spray,
By which againe a course of Lady-smocks they lay:
The Crow-flower, and there-by the Clover-flower they stick,
The Daysie, over all those sundry sweets so thick,
As Nature doth her selfe; to imitate her right:
Who seems in that her * pearle so greatly to delight,
That every Plaine therewith she powdreth to beholde:
The crimsin Darnell Flower, the Blew-bottle, and Gold:
Which though esteem’d but weeds; yet for their dainty hewes,
And for their sent not ill, they for this purpose chuse.
Thus having told you how the Bridegroome Tame was drest,
Ile shew you, how the Bride, faire Isis, they invest;
Sitting to be attyr’d under her Bower of State,
Which scornes a meaner sort, then fits a Princely rate.
In * Anadems for whom they curiously dispose
The Red, the dainty White, the goodly Damask Rose,
For the rich Ruby, Pearle, and Amatist, men place
Margarita, is both a
Pearle and a Daisy.
In Kings Emperiall Crownes, the circle that enchase.
The brave Carnation then, with sweet and soveraigne power
(So of his colour call’d, although a July-flower)
With th’other of his kinde, the speckled and the pale:
Then th’odoriferous Pink, that sends forth such a gale
Of sweetnes; yet in sents, as various as in sorts.
The purple Violet then, the Pansie there supports:
The Mary- gold above t’adorne the arched Bar:
The dubble Daysie, Thrift, the Button-batcheler,
Sweet William, Sops in wine, the Campion: and to these,
Some Lavander they put, with Rosemary and Bayes:
Sweet Marjoram, with her like, sweet Basill rare for smell,
With many a flower, whose name were now too long to tell:
And rarely with the rest, the goodly Fower-delice.
Thus for the nuptiall houre, all fitted point-device,
Whilst some still busied are in decking of the Bride,
Some others were again as seriously imploy’d
In strewing of those hearbs, at Bridalls us’d that be;
Flowers of Gardens.
Which every where they throwe with bountious hands and free.
The healthfull Balme and Mint, from their full laps doe fly,
The sent-full Camomill, the verdurous Costmary.
They hot Muscado oft with milder Maudlin cast:
Strong Tansey, Fennell coole, they prodigally waste:
Cleere Isop, and therewith the comfortable Thyme,
Germander with the rest, each thing then in her prime;
As well of wholesome hearbs, as every pleasant flower,
Which Nature here produc’t, to fit this happy houre.
Amongst these strewing kinds, some other wilde that growe,
As Burnet, all abroad, and Meadow-wort they throwe.
Strewing hearbs.
Thus all things falling out to every ones desire,
The ceremonies done that Mariage doth require,
The Bride and Bridegroome set, and serv’d with sundry cates,
And every other plac’t, as fitted their estates;
Amongst this confluence great, wise Charwell here was thought
The fitst to cheare the guests: who throughly had been taught
In all that could pertaine to Court-ship, long agon,
As comming from his Sire, the fruitfull * Helidon,
He travelleth to Tames; where passing by those Townes
Of that rich Country neere, whereas the mirthfull clownes,
With Taber and the pipe, on holydayes doe use,
Upon the May-pole Greene, to trample out their shooes:
A Hill betwixt
Norhampton-shire and
And having in his eares the deepe and * solemne rings,
Which sound him all the way, unto the * learned Springs,
Where he, his Soveraigne Ouze most happily doth meet,
And him, the thrice-three maids, Apollos ofspring, greet
With all their sacred gifts: thus, expert being growne
* Famous rings of Bells in
Oxford-shire, called the
* Oxford.
In musicke; and besides, a * curious Maker knowne:
This Charwell (as I said) the fitst these Floods among,
For silence having call’d, thus to th’assembly song;
Stand fast ye higher Hills: low vallies easily lie:
And Forrests that to both you equally apply
(But for the greater part, both wilde and barren be)
Retire ye to your wastes; and Rivers only we,
Oft meeting let us mixe: and with delightfull grace,
Let every beautious Nymph, her best lov’d Flood imbrace,
An Alien be he borne, or neer to her owne Spring,
So from his native Fount he bravely flourishing,
Along the flowry Fields, licentiously do straine,
Greeting each curled grove, and circling every Plaine;
Or hasting to his fall, his sholy gravell scowr’s,
And with his Crystall front, then courts the climing Towres.
Let all the world be Judge, what Mountaine hath a name,
Like that from whose proud foot, their springs some Flood of Fame:
And in the Earth’s survay, what seat like that is set,
Whose Streets some ample Streame, aboundantly doth wet?
Where is there Haven found, or Harbour, like that Road,
Int’which some goodly Flood, his burthen doth unload?
By whose rank swelling Streame, the far-fetcht forraine fraught,
May up to In-land Townes conveniently be brought.
Of any part of Earth, we be the most renown’d;
A fine Poet.
That countries very oft, nay, Empires oft we bound.
As Rubicon, much fam’d, both for his Fount and Fall,
The ancient limit held, twixt Italy and * Gaule.
Europe and Asia keep on Tanais either side.
Such honor have we Floods, the World (even) to divide.
* That which was call’d
Gallia Cisalpina, and is
Lombardy, Romagnia and
the Westerne part of Italy.
the fifteenth Song. 243
Nay: Kingdoms thus we prove are christened oft by us;
Iberia takes her name of Crystall Iberus.
Such reverence to our kinde the wiser Ancients gave,
As they suppos’d each Flood a Deity to have:
But with our fame at home returne we to proceed.
In Britanne here we find, our Seuerne, and our Tweed,
The tripartited Ile doe generally divide,
To England, Scotland, Wales, as each doth keep her side.
Trent cuts the Land in two, so equally, as tho
Nature it pointed-out, to our great Brute to show
How to his mightie Sonnes the Iland he might share.
A thousand of this kinde, and neerer, I will spare;
Where if the state of Floods, at large I list to show,
I proudly could report how Pactolus doth throwe
Up graines of perfect gold; and of great Ganges tell,
Which when full India’s showers inforceth him to swell,
Gilds with his glistering sands the over-pampered shore:
How wealthy Tagus first by tumbling down his ore,
The rude and slothfull Moores of old Iberia taught,
To search into those hills, from which such wealth he brought.
Beyond these if I pleas’d, I to your praise could bring,
In sacred Tempe, how (about the hoofe-plow’d Spring)
The Heliconian Maides, upon that hallowed ground,
Recounting heavenly Hymnes eternally are crown’d.
And as the earth doth us in her owne bowels nourish;
So every thing, that growes by us, doth thrive and flourish.
To godly vertuous men, we wisely likened are:
To be so in themselves, that do not only care;
But by a sacred power, which goodnesse doth awaite,
Doe make those vertuous too, that them associate.
By this, the wedding ends, and brake up all the Showe:
And Tames, got, borne, and bred, immediately doth flowe,
To Windsor-ward amaine (that with a wondring eye,
The Forrest might behold his awfull Emperie)
And soon becometh great, with waters wext so rank,
That with his wealth he seemes to retch his widned Bank:
Till happily attayn’d his Grandsire Chilterns grounds,
Who with his Beechen wreaths this king of Rivers crownes.
Amongst his holts and hils, as on his way he makes,
At Reading once arriv’d, cleere Kennet overtakes:
Her Lord the stately Tames, which that great flood againe,
With many signes of joy doth kindly entertaine.
Then Loddon next comes in, contributing her store;
As still we see, The much runnes ever to the more.
Set out with all this pompe, when this Emperiall Streame,
Himselfe establisht sees, amidst his watry Realme,
His much-lov’d Henly leaves, and proudly doth pursue
His Wood nymph Windsors seate, her lovely site to view.
Whose most delightful face when once the River sees,
Which shewes her selfe attir’d in tall and stately trees,
He in such earnest love with amorous gestures wooes,
That looking still at her, his way was like to loose;
And wandring in and out so wildly seems to goe,
As headlong he himselfe into her lap would throw.
Him with the like desire the Forrest doth imbrace,
And with her presence strives her Tames asmuch to grace.
No Forrest, of them all, so fit as she doth stand.
When Princes, for their sports, her pleasures will command,
No Wood-nymph as her selfe such troupes hath ever seene,
Nor can such Quarries boast as have in Windsor beene.
Nor any ever had so many solemne dayes;
So brave assemblies viewd, nor took so rich * assaies.
Then, hand in hand, her Tames the Forrest softly brings,
To that supreamest place of the great English Kings,
§. The Garters Royall seate, from him who did advance
That Princely Order first, our first that conquered France;
The Temple of Saint George, wheras his honored Knights,
Upon his hallowed day, observe their ancient rites:
Where Eaton is at hand to nurse that learned brood,
To keepe the Muses still neere to this Princely Flood;
That nothing there may want, to beawtifie that seate,
With every pleasure stor’d: And here my Song compleate.
* Breaking up of Deare
brought into the Quarry.