Song 22


The two and twentieth Song.


The Muse, Ouze from her Fountaine brings
Along by Buckingham, and sings:
The Earth that turneth wood to stone,
And t’holy Wells of Harlweston:
Then shewes wherefore the Fates doe grant,
That shee the Civill warres should chant:
By Huntingdon shee Waybridge meetes,
And thence the German Ocean greetes.

nvention as before, thy high-pitcht pinions rouze,
Exactly to set downe how the far-wandring Ouze,
Through the Bedfordian fields deliciously doth strain,
As holding on her course, by Huntingdon againe,
The Progresse of the River of Ouze to the German Sea.
How bravely shee her selfe betwixt her Bankes doth beare,
E’r Ely shee in-Ile, a Goddesse honored there;
From Brackley breaking forth, through soiles most heavenly sweet,
By Buckingham makes on, and crossing Watling-Street,
Shee with her lesser Ouze, at Newport next doth twin,
Which from proud Chiltern neere, comes eas’ly ambling in.
The Brooke which on her banke doth boast that earth alone:
(Which noted) of this Ile, converteth wood to stone.
That little Aspleyes earth we anciently instile,
Mongst sundry other things, A wonder of the Ile:
One of the wonders of this Iland.
Of which the lesser Ouze oft boasteth in her way,
As shee her selfe with Flowers doth gorgeously aray.
Ouze having Ouleney past, as shee were waxed mad,
From her first stayder course immediatly doth gad;
And in Meandred Gyres doth whirle herselfe about,
That, this way, here, and there, backe, forward, in, and out,
And like a wanton Girle, oft doubling in her gate,
In Labyrinth-like turnes, and twinings intricate,
After this river hath entred Bedford Shire, there is scarce any River in this Iland, that runneth with so many intricate Gyres and turnings as this Ouze.
Through those rich fields doth runne, till lastly in her pride,
The Shires Hospitious towne, shee in her course divide,
Where shee her spacious breast in glorious bredth displayes;
And varying her cleere forme a thousand sundry wayes,
Streakes through the verdant Meads; but farre she hath not gone,
When Ivell a cleare Nymph from Shefford sallying on,
Comes deftly dauncing in through many a daintie Slade,
Crown’d with a goodly Bridge, arriv’d at Bickleswade,
Encouraged the more her Mistris to pursue,
In whose cleere face the Sunne delights himselfe to view:
To mixe her selfe with Ouze, as on she thus doth make,
And lovingly at last hath hapt to overtake;
Shee in her Chrystall Armes her soveraigne Ouze doth cling,
Which Flood in her Allie, as highly glorying,
Shoots forward to Saint Neots, into those nether grounds,
Towards Huntingdon, and leaves the lov’d Bedfordian bounds.
Scarce is she entred yet upon this second Sheere,
Of which she soveraigne is, but that two Fountaines cleere,
At Harlweston neere hand, th’one salt, the other sweet,
At her first entrance, thus her greatnesse gently greet.
Once were we two faire Nymphs, who fortunatly prov’d,
The pleasures of the Woods, and faithfully belov’d
Of two such Sylvan gods, by hap that found us here;
For then their Sylvan kind most highly honoured were,
When this whole Countries face was Forresty, and we
Liv’d loosely in the Weilds, which now thus peopled be.
Oft interchang’d we sighs, oft amorous lookes we sent,
Oft whispering our deare loves, our thoughts oft did we vent
Amongst the secret shades, oft in the groves did play,
And in our sports our joyes, and sorrowes did bewray.
Oft cunningly we met, yet coyly then imbrac’t,
Still languish’d in desire, yet liv’d we ever chast.
And quoth the saltish Spring, as one day mine and I,
Set to recount our loves, from his more tender eye
The brinish teares drop’d downe, on mine impearced breast,
And instantly therein so deeply were imprest,
That brackish I became: he finding me depriv’d
Of former freshnesse quite, the cause from him deriv’d,
On me bestow’d this gift, my sweetnesse to requite,
That I should ever cure the dimnesse of the sight.
And, quoth the fresher Spring, the Wood-god me that woo’d,
As one day by my brim, surpriz’d with love he stood,
On me bestow’d this gift, that ever after I
Should cure the painfull Itch, and lothsome Leprosie.
Held on with this discourse, shee on not farre hath runne,
But that shee is ariv’d at goodly Huntingdon;
The holy Springs of
The two and twentieth Song. 29
Where shee no sooner viewes her darling and delight,
Proud Portholme, but became so ravish’d with the sight,
That shee her limber armes lascivously doth throw
About the Islets waste, who b’ing imbraced so,
Her Flowry bosome shewes to the inamored Brooke;
On which when as the Ouze amazedly doth looke
On her brave Damask’d breast, bedeck’d with many a flowre
(That grace this goodly Mead) as though the Spring did powre
Her full aboundance downe, whose various dyes so thicke,
Are intermixt as they by one another sticke,
That to the gazing eye that standeth farre, they show
Like those made by the Sunne in the Celestiall Bow.
But now t’advaunce this Flood, the Fates had brought to passe,
As shee of all the rest the onely River was:
That but a little while before that fatall warre,
Twixt that divided Blood of Yorke and Lancaster,
A little Iland made by this
River, lying neere
Neere Harleswood, above in her Bedfordian trace,
By keeping backe her streame, for neere three furlongs space,
Laying her Bosome bare unto the publique view,
Apparantly was prov’d by that which did ensue,
In her Prophetique selfe, those troubles to foresee:
Wherefore (even as her due) the Destinies agree,
Shee should the glory have our civill fights to sing,
When swelling in her bankes, from her aboundant Spring,
Her sober silence shee now resolutely breakes,
In language fitting warre, and thus to purpose speakes.
With that most fatall field, I will not here begin,
Where Norman William first the Conqueror, did win
Prodigious signes fore-
running the wars betwixt
the houses of Lancaster
and Yorke in this River of
The day at * Hastings, where the valiant Harold slaine,
Resign’d his Crowne, whose soyle the colour doth retaine,
Of th’English blood there shed, as th’earth still kept the skarre:
Which since not ours begot, but an invasive warre,
Amongst our home-fought fields, hath no discription here:
In Normandy nor that, that same day fortie yeare,
That Bastard William brought a Conquest on this Ile,
Twixt Robert his eld’st sonne, and Henry, who the while,
His Brothers warlike tents in Palestine were pight,
In England here usurp’d his eld’st borne brothers right;
Which since it forraine was, not strucke within this land,
Amongst our civill fights here numbred shall not stand.
In Sussex, neere the Sea.
But Lincolne Battell now we as our first will lay,
Where Maud the Empresse stood to trie the doubtfull day,
With Stephen, when he here had welneere three yeares raign’d,
Where both of them their right couragiously maintain’d,
And marshalling their Troups, the King his person put,
Into his well-arm’d Maine, of strong and valiant Foot:
The Battell at Lincolne.
The Wings that were his Horse, in th’one of them he plac’d
Young Alan that brave Duke of Britaine, whom he grac’d
With th’Earles of Norfolke, and Northampton, and with those,
He Mellent in that wing, and Warren did dispose.
The other no whit lesse, that this great day might sted;
The Earle of Aubemerle, and valiant Ipres led.
The Empresse powers again, but in two Squadrons were:
The Vaward Chester had, and Gloucester the Reare;
Then were there valiant Welsh, and desperate men of ours,
That when supplies should want, might reinforce their powers.
The Battels joyne, as when two adverse Seas are dasht
Against each others waves, that all the plaines were washt
With showers of sweltring blood, that downe the furrowes ran,
Ere it could be discern’d which either lost or wan.
Earle Baldwin, and Fitzurse those valiant Knights, were seene
To charge the Empresse Horse, as though dread Mars had beene
There in two sundry shapes; the day that beautious was,
Twinckled as when you see the Sunne-beames in a glasse,
That nimbly being stirr’d, flings up the trembling flame
At once, and on the earth reflects the very same.
With their resplendent swords, that glistred gainst the Sunne;
The honour of the day, at length the Empresse wonne.
King Stephen prisoner was, and with him many a Lord,
The common Souldiers put together to the sword.
The next, the Battell neere Saint Edmundsbury fought,
By our * Fitz-Empresse force, and Flemings hither brought
By th’Earle of Leister, bent to move intestine strife,
For yong King Henries cause, crown’d in his fathers life;
Which to his kingly Syre much care and sorrow bred,
In whose defiance then that Earle his Ensignes spred,
Back’d by Hugh Bigots power, the Earle of Norfolke then,
By bringing to his ayd the valiant Norfolke men.
Gainst Bohun, Englands great high Constable that swayd
The Royall forces, joyn’d with Lucy for his ayd
Chiefe Justice, and with them the German powers, to expell
The Earles of Cornewall came, Gloster, and Arundell,
From Bury, that with them Saint Edmonds Banner bring,
Their Battels in aray; both wisely ordering
The Armies chanc’d to meet upon the Marshy ground,
Betwixt Saint Edmunds towne, and Fornham (fitly found)
The bellowing Drummes beat up a thunder for the charge,
The Trumpets rend the ayre, the Ensignes let at large,
Like waving flames farre off, to either hoste appeare:
The bristling Pykes doe shake, to threat their comming neere;
All clouded in a mist, they hardly could them view,
So shaddowed with the Shafts from either side that flew.
The Battell at Saint
Edmunds Bury.

* Henry the second.
The two and twentieth Song. 31
The Wings came wheeling in, at joyning of whose forces,
The either part were seene to tumble from their horses,
Which emptie put to rout, are paunch’d with Gleaves and Pyles,
Lest else by running loose, they might disranke their Fyles.
The Bilmen come to blowes, that with the cruell thwacks,
The ground lay strew’d with Male, and shreds of tatterd Jacks:
The playnes like to a shop, lookt each where to behold,
Where limbes of mangled men on heaps lay to be sold;
Sterne discontented Warre did never yet appeare
With a more threatning brow, then it that time did there.
O Leicester (alas) in ill time wast thou wonne
To ayd this gracelesse youth, the most ingratefull sonne
Against his naturall Syre, who crown’d him in his dayes,
Whose ill-requited love did him much sorrow raise,
As Le’ster by this warre against King Henry show’d,
Upon so bad a cause, O courage ill bestow’d;
Who had thy quarrell beene, as thou thy selfe was skild
In brave and martiall feats, thou evermore hadst fild
This Ile with thy high deeds, done in that bloody field:
But Bigot and this Lord, inforc’d at length to yeeld
Them to the other part, when on that fatall plaine,
Of th’English and the Dutch, ten thousand men lay slaine.
As for the second Fight at Lincolne, betwixt those
Who sided with the French, by seeking to depose
Henry the sonne of John, then young, and to advaunce
The Daulphin Lewes, sonne to Philip King of France,
Which Lincolne Castle, then most straightly did besiege;
And William Marshall Earle of Pembroke for his Liege,
(Who led the faithfull Lords) although so many there,
Or in the conflict slaine, or taken prisoners were;
Yet for but a surprize, no field appointed fight,
Mongst our set Battels here, may no way claime a right,
The Field at Lewes then, by our third Henry fought,
Who Edward his brave sonne unto that Conflict brought;
With Richard then the King of Almaine, and his sonne
Young Henry, with such Lords as to his part he wonne,
With him their Soveraigne Liege, their lives that durst engage.
And the rebellious league of the proud Barronage,
By Symon Mounford Earle of Le’ster their chiefe Head,
And th’Earle of Gloster, Clare, against King Henry led;
For th’ancient Freedomes here that bound their lives to stand,
The Aliens to expulse, who troubled all the land,
Whilst for this dreadfull day, their great designes were meant;
From Edward the young Prince, defiances were sent
To Mountfords valiant sonnes, Lord Henry, Sim, and Guy,
And calling unto him a Herauld, quoth he, Flie
The Battell of Lewes.
To th’Earle of Leisters Tents, and publikely proclame
Defiance to his face, and to the Montfords name,
And say to his proud sonnes, say boldly thus from me;
That if they be the same, that they would seeme to be,
Now let them in the field be by their Band-roules knowne,
Where as I make no doubt, their valour shall be showne.
Which if they dare to doe, and still uphold their pride,
There will we vent our spleenes, where swords shall it decide.
To whom they thus replide, Tell that brave man of Hope,
He shall the Mountfords find in t’head of all their Troupe,
To answere his proud braves; our Bilbowes be as good
As his, our Armes as strong; and he shall find our blood
Sold at as deare a rate as his; and if we fall,
Tell him weele hold so fast, his Crowne shall goe withall.
The King into three fights his forces doth divide,
Of which his princely * sonne the Vaward had to guide:
The second to the King of Almaine, and his sonne,
Young Henry he betooke, in the third Legion
Of Knights, and Men of Armes, in person he appeares.
Into foure severall Fights, the desperate Barons theirs.
I’th first those valiant youths, the sonnes of Leister came,
Of leading of the which, Lord Henry had the name:
The Earle of Gloster brought the second Battell on,
And with him were the Lords Mountchency, and Fitz-John:
The third wherein alone the Londoners were plac’d,
The stout Lord Segrave led; the greatest, and the last,
Brave Leicester himselfe, with courage undertooke.
The day upon the host affrightedly doth looke,
To see the dreadfull shocke, their first encounter gave,
As though it with the rore, the Thunder would out-brave.
Prince Edward all in gold, as he great Jove had beene:
The Mountfords all in Plumes, like Estriges were seene,
To beard him to his teeth, to th’worke of death they goe;
The crouds like to a Sea seemd waving to and fro.
Friend falling by his friend, together they expire:
He breath’d, doth charge afresh; he wounded, doth retyre.
The Mountfords with the Prince vye valour all the day,
Which should for Knightly deeds excell, or he, or they,
To them about his head, his glistring blade he throwes,
They waft him with their swords, as long with equall showes:
Now Henry, Simon then, and then the youngest Guy,
Kept by his brothers backe, thus stoutly doth reply,
What though I be but young, let death me overwhelme,
But I will breake my sword upon his plumed helme.
The younger Bohun there, to high atchivements bent,
With whom two other Lords, Lucy, and Hastings went,
Prince Edward after called Edward the first.
The two and twentieth Song. 33
Which charging but too home, all sorely wounded were,
Whom living from the field, the Barons strove to beare,
Being on their partie fixd; whilst still Prince Edward spurres;
To bring his Forces up to charge the Londoners,
T’whom cruell hate he bare, and joyning with their Force,
Of heavy-armed Foot, with his light Northerne Horse,
He putting them to flight, foure miles in chase them slew:
But ere he could returne, the conquest wholly drew
To the stout Barons side: his father fled the field,
Into the Abbay there, constrained thence to yeeld.
The Lords Fitz-warren slaine, and Wilton that was then
Chiefe Justice (as some say) with them five thousand men;
And Bohun that great Earle of Her’ford overthrowne,
With Bardolfe, Somery, Patshull, and Percie knowne.
By their Coat-armours then, for Barons, prisoners ta’n;
Though Henry ware the Crowne, great Le’ster yet did raigne.
Now for the Conflict next, at Chesterfield that chanc’d
Gainst Robert that proud Earle of Darby, who advanc’d
His Ensignes gainst the King, (contrary to his oath)
Upon the Barons part, with the Lord Devell, both
Surpriz’d by Henry Prince of Almain with his power,
By comming at so strange an unexpected hower:
And taking them unarmd; since meerely a defeat,
With our well-ordered fights, we will not here repeat.
The fatall Battell then at fertile Evsham struck,
Though with the selfe same hands, not with the selfe same luck:
For both the King and Prince at Lewes prisoners taken,
By fortune were not yet so utterly forsaken;
But that the Prince was got from Le’ster, and doth gather
His friends, by force of Armes yet to redeeme his father;
And th’Earle of Glo’ster wonne, who through the Mountfords pride
Disgrac’d, came with his power to the Emperiall side.
When now those Lords, which late at Lewes wonne the day,
The Sacrament receiv’d, their Armes not downe to lay,
Untill the King should yeeld th’old Charter to maintaine.
King Henry and his sonne Prince Edward swore againe,
They would repeale those Lawes that were at Oxford made,
Or through this bloody warre to their destruction wade.
But since the King remain’d in puissant Lei’sters power,
The remnant of his friends, whom death did not devoure
At Lewes Battell late, and durst his part partake.
The Prince excites againe, an Armie up to make,
Whom Roger Bigot, Earle of Norfolke doth assist,
Englands high Marshall then, and that great Martialist,
Old Henry Bohun, Earle of Her’ford, in this warre,
Gray, Basset, and Saint-John, Lisle, Percie, Latimer,
The Battell at Evsham.
All Barons, which to him their utmost strengths doe lay,
With many a Knight for power their equall every way;
And William Valence, Earle of Pembroke, who had fled
From Lewes field, to France, thence with fresh succour sped.
Young Humphrey Bohun still, doth with great Le’ster goe,
Who for his Countries cause becomes his fathers foe.
Fitz-John, Gray, Spencer, Strange, Rosse, Segrave, Vessey, Gifford,
Wake, Lucy, Vipount, Vaux, Clare, Marmion, Hastings, Clifford.
In that blacke night before his sad and dismall day,
Were apparitions strange, as drad Heaven would bewray
The horrors to ensue, O most amazing sight!
Two Armies in the Ayre, discerned were to fight,
Which came so neere to earth, that in the morne they found
The prints of horses feet remaining on the ground,
Which came but as a show, the time to entertaine,
Till th’angry Armies joyn’d, to act the bloody Sceane.
Shrill shouts, and deadly cries, each way the ayre do fill,
And not a word was heard from either side, but kill:
The father gainst the sonne, the brother gainst the brother,
With Gleaves, Swords, Bills, and Pykes, were murthering one another.
The full luxurious earth, seemes surfitted with blood,
Whilst in his Unckles gore th’unnaturall Nephew stood;
Whilst with their charged Staves, the desperate horsmen meet,
They heare their kinsmen groane under their Horses feet.
Dead men, and weapons broke, doe on the earth abound;
The Drummes bedash’d with braines, doe give a dismall sound.
Great Le’ster there expir’d, with Henry his brave sonne,
When many a high exployt they in that day had done.
Scarce was there noble House, of which those times could tell,
But that some one thereof, on this, or that side fell;
Amongst the slaughtered men, that there lay heap’d on pyles:
Bohuns, and Beauchamps were, Basets, and Mandeviles:
Segraves, and Saint-Johns seeke, upon the end of all,
To give those of their names their Christian buriall.
Ten thousand on both sides were ta’n and slaine that day:
Prince Edward gets the gole, and beares the Palme away.
All Edward Long shankes time, her civill warres did cease,
Who strove his Countries bounds by Conquest to increase.
But in th’insuing raigne of his most riotous sonne,
As in his fathers dayes, a second warre begun;
When as the stubborne heires of the stout Barons dead,
Who for their Countries cause, their blood at Evsham shed,
Not able to endure the Spencers hatefull pride,
The father and the sonne, whose counsels then did guide
Th’inconsiderate King, conferring all his graces,
On them who got all gifts, and bought and sold all places,
The Conflicts at Burton
and Burrough Bridge in
the second Barons warres.
The two and twentieth Song. 35
Them raising, to debase the Baronage the more
For Gavaston, whom they had put to death before.
Which urg’d too farre, at length to open Armes they brake,
And for a speedy warre, they up their powers doe make.
Upon King Edwards part, for this great Action bent,
His brother Edmund came, the valiant Earle of Kent,
With Richmount, Arundell, and Pembroke, who engage,
Their powers, (three powerfull Earles) against the Baronage.
And on the Barons side, great master of the warre,
Was Thomas (of the Blood) the Earle of Lancaster,
With Henry Bohun, Earle of Hereford, his Peere,
With whom (of great command and Martialists) there were
Lyle, Darcy, Denvile, Teis, Beach, Bradburne, Bernvile, Knovile,
With Badlesmer, and Bercks, Fitz-william, Leyburne, Lovell,
Tuchet, and Talbot stout, doe for the Barons stand,
Mandute, and Mowbray, with great Clifford that command
Their Tenants to take Armes, that with their Landlords runne;
With these went also Hugh, and Henry Willington;
Redoubted Damory, as Audley, Elmesbridge, Wither,
Earles, Barons, Knights, Esquiers, embodied all together,
At Burton upon Trent who having gathered head,
Towards them with all his power the King in person sped;
Who at his neere approach (upon his March) discri’d,
That they against his power the Bridge had fortifi’d:
Which he by strong assault, assayes from them to win,
Where as a bloody fight doth instantly begin,
When he to beat them off, assayes them first by shot;
And they to make that good, which they before had got,
Defend them with the like, like Haylestones from the skie,
From Crosse-bowes, and the Long, the light-wingd arrowes flie:
But friended with the Flood, the Barons hold their strength,
Forcing the King by Boats, and pyles of wood at length,
T’attempt to land his force upon the other side.
The Barons, that the more his stratagems defide,
Withstand them in the streame, when as the troubled flood,
(With in a little time) was turned all to blood;
And from the Boats and Bridge, the mangled bodies feld,
The poore affrighted Fish, their watry walks expeld.
While at the Bridge the fight still strongly doth abide,
The King had learnt to know, that by a skilfull guide,
He by a Fourd not farre might passe his power of Horse,
Which quickly he performes, which drave the Barons force
From the defended Bridge, t’affront th’approching foe,
Imbattelling themselves, when to the shocke they goe,
(On both sides so assaild) till th’water, and the shore
Of one complexion were, distaind with equall gore.
Oft forc’d to change their fights, being driven from their ground,
That when by their much losse, too weake themselves they found,
Th’afflicted Barons flie, yet still together keepe.
The King his good successe, not suffring so to sleepe,
Pursues them with his power, which Northward still doe beare;
And seldome scapes a day, but he doth charge their Reare:
Till come to Burrough Bridge, where they too soone were staid
By Andrew Herckley, Earle of Carleill, with fresh ayd
Being lately thither come, King Edwards part to take.
The Barons range their fights, still good their ground to make;
But with long Marches tyerd, their wearied breath they draw,
After the desperat’st fight the Sunne yet ever saw,
Brave Bohun there was slaine, and Lancaster forsaken
Of Fortune, is surpriz’d; the Barons prisoners taken.
For those Rebellions, Stirres, Commotions, Uprores, here
In Richard Burdeaux raigne, that long so usuall were;
As that the first by Straw, and Tyler, with their Rout
Of Rebels brought from Kent, most insolent and stout,
By entring London, thought the Iland to subdue:
Richard the second, borne at Burdeux.
* The first of which, the Maior of London bravely slew;
Walworth, which wonne his name much honour by the deed:
As they of Suffolke next, those Rascals that succeed,
By * Litster led about, their Captaine who enstil’d
Himselfe the Commons King, in hope to have exil’d
The Gentry from those parts, by those that were his owne,
Jack Straw, kild by the
Maior of London with his dagger.
John Litstar, a Dyer of

By that brave Bishop (then) of Norwitch overthrowne.
By such unruly Slaves, and that in Essex rais’d
By Thomas that stout Duke of Glo’ster, strongly * ceaz’d,
As that at Radcot bridge, where the last named Peere,
Henry Spencer, the
warlike Bishop of
At Hatfield.
With foure brave * Earles his friends, encountred Robert Vere
Then Duke of Ireland cald, by Richard so created,
And gainst those Lords maintain’d, whom they most deadly hated;
Since they but Garboyles were, in a deformed masse,
Not ordered fitting warre, we lightly overpasse.
Warwicke, Darby,
Arundell, & Nottingham.
I chuse the Battell next of Shrewsbury to chant,
Betwixt Henry the fourth, the sonne of John of Gant,
And the stout Percies, Henry Hotspurre and his Eame
The Earle of Wor’ster, who the rightfull Diademe
Had from King Richard reft, and heav’d up to his Seat
This Henry, whom (too soone) they found to be too great,
Him seeking to depose, and to the Rule preferre
Richards proclaimed Heire, their cosen Mortimer,
Whom Owen Glendour then in Wales a prisoner staid,
Whom to their part they wonne, and thus their plot they laid,
That Glendour should have Wales, along as Severne went,
The Percies all the North, that lay beyond the Trent;
The Battell of
The two and twentieth Song. 37
And Mortimer from thence the South to be his share;
Which Henry having heard, doth for the warre prepare,
And down to Cheshire makes, (where gathering powers they were)
At Shrewsbury to meet, and doth affront them there:
With him his peerelesse sonne, the princely Henry came,
With th’Earle of Stafford, and of Gentlemen of name,
Blunt, Shyrley, Clifton, men that very powerfull were,
With Cockayne, Calverly, Massy, and Mortimer,
Gausell, and Wendsley, all in Friends and Tenants strong,
Resorting to the King still as he past along;
Which in the open field before the ranged fights,
He with his warlike Sonne, there dub’d his Mayden Knights.
Th’Earle Dowglasse for this day doth with the Percies stand,
To whom they Berwicke gave, and in Northumberland
Some Seigniories and Holds, if they the Battell got,
Who brought with him to Field full many an angry Scot,
At Holmdon Battell late that being overthrowne,
Now on the King and Prince hop’d to regaine their owne;
With almost all the power of Cheshire got together,
By Venables, (there great) and Vernon mustred thether.
The Vaward of the King, great Stafford tooke to guide.
The Vaward of the Lords upon the other side,
Consisted most of Scots, which joyning, made such spoyle,
As at the first constrain’d the English to recoyle,
And almost brake their Rankes, which when King Henry found,
Bringing his Battell up, to reinforce the ground,
The Percies bring up theirs, againe to make it good.
Thus whilst the either Host in opposition stood,
Brave Dowglasse with his spurres, his furious Courser strake,
His Lance set in his rest, when desperatly he brake
In, where his eye beheld th’Emperiall Ensigne pight,
Where soone it was his chance, upon the King to light,
Which in his full carreere he from his Courser threw;
The next Sir Walter Blunt, he with three other slew,
All armed like the King, which he dead sure accounted;
But after when hee saw the King himselfe remounted:
This hand of mine, quoth he, foure Kings this day hath slaine,
And swore out of the earth he thought they sprang againe,
Or Fate did him defend, at whom he onely aym’d.
When Henry Hotspurre, so with his high deeds inflam’d,
Doth second him againe, and through such dangers presse,
That Dowglasse valiant deeds he made to seeme the lesse,
As still the people cryed, A Percy Espirance.
The King which saw then time, or never to advance
His Battell in the Field, which neere from him was wonne,
Ayded by that brave Prince, his most couragious sonne,
The high courage of
Dowglasse wan him that
addition of Doughty
Dowglasse, which after
grew to a Proverbe.
Who bravely comming on, in hope to give them chase,
It chanc’d he with a shaft was wounded in the face;
Whom when out of the fight, his friends would beare away,
He strongly it refus’d, and thus was heard to say,
Time never shall report, Prince Henry left the field,
When Harry Percy staid, his traytrous sword to weeld.
Now rage and equall wounds, alike inflame their bloods,
And the maine Battels joyne, as doe two adverse floods
Met in some narrow Arme, shouldring as they would shove
Each other from their path, or would their bankes remove.
The King his traytrous foes, before him downe doth hew,
And with his hands that day, neere fortie persons slue:
When conquest wholly turnes to his victorious side,
His power surrounding all, like to a furious tyde;
That Henry Hotspurre dead upon the cold earth lyes,
Stout Wor’ster taken was, and doughtie Douglasse flyes.
Five thousand from both parts left dead upon the ground,
Mongst whom the kings fast friend, great Staffords coarse was found;
And all the Knights there dub’d the morning but before,
The evenings Sunne beheld there sweltred in their gore.
Here I at Bramham More, the Battell in should bring,
Of which Earle Percie had the greatest managing,
With the Lord Bardolfe there, against the Counties power,
Fast cleaving to his friend, even to his utmost houre:
In Flanders, France, and Wales, who having been abroad
To raise them present powers, intending for a Road
On England, for the hate he to King Henry bore;
His sonne and brothers blood augmenting it the more,
Which in his mightie spirit still rooted did remaine,
By his too much default, whom he imputed slaine
At Shrewsbury before, to whom if he had brought
Supplies, (that bloody field, when they so bravely fought)
They surely it had wonne; for which to make amends,
Being furnished with men, amongst his forraine friends,
By Scotland entred here, and with a violent hand
Upon those Castles ceaz’d within Northumberland
His Earledome, (which the King, who much his truth did doubt,
Had taken to himselfe, and put his people out)
Toward Yorkshire comming on, where (soone repaid his owne)
At Bramhams fatall More, was fowly overthrowne:
Which though it were indeed a long and mortall fight,
Where many men were maim’d, and many slaine outright:
Where that couragious Earle, all hopes there seeing past,
Amongst his murthered troups (even) fought it to the last:
Yet for it was atchiev’d by multitudes of men,
Which with Ralfe Roksby rose, the Shreefe of Yorkshire then,
The two and twentieth Song. 39
No well proportion’d fight, we of description quit,
Amongst our famous fields; nor will we here admit
That of that Rakehel Cades, and his rebellious crue,
In Kent and Sussex raisd, at Senok fight that slue
The Staffords with their power, that thither him pursu’d,
Who twice upon Black heath, back’d with the Commons rude,
Incamp’d against the King: then goodly London tooke,
There ransoming some rich, and up the prisons broke,
His sensuall beastly will, for Law that did preferre,
Beheaded the Lord Say, then Englands Treasurer,
And forc’d the King to flight, his person to secure,
The Muse admits not here, a rabble so impure.
But brings that Battell on of that long dreadfull warre,
Of those two Houses nam’d of Yorke and Lancaster,
In faire Saint Albans fought, most fatally betwixt
Richard then Duke of Yorke, and Henry cald the sixt,
The first Battell of Saint
For that ill-gotten Crowne, which him his * Grandsire left,
That likewise with his life, he from King Richard reft,
When underhand the Duke doth but promoue his claime,
Who from the elder sonne, the Duke of Clarence came,
For which he raised Armes, yet seem’d but to abet
The people, to plucke downe the Earle of Somerset,
By whom (as they gave out) we Normandy had lost,
And yet he was the man that onely rul’d the roast.
With Richard Duke of Yorke, (into his faction wonne)
Salsbury and Warwicke came, the father and the sonne;
The Nevils nobler name, that have renown’d so farre.
So likewise with the King in this great action are,
The Dukes of Somerset, and Buckingham, with these
Were thrice so many Earles, their stout accomplices,
As Pembroke great in power, and Stafford with them stand
With Devonshire, Dorset, Wilt, and fierce Northumberland,
With Sidley, Bernes, and Rosse, three Barons with the rest,
When Richard Duke of Yorke, then marching from the west;
Towards whom, whilst with his power King Henry forward set,
Unluckily as’t hapt, they at Saint Albans met;
Where taking up the Street, the buildings them enclose,
Where Front doth answer Front, & strength doth strength oppose;
Whilst like two mightie walls, they each to other stand,
And as one sinketh downe under his enemies hand,
Another thrusting in, his place doth still supply,
Betwixt them whilst on heaps the mangled bodies lie:
The Staules are overthrowne with the unweldy thrust,
The windowes with the shot, are shivered all to dust.
The Winters Sleet or Hayle was never seene so thicke,
As on the houses sides the bearded arrowes sticke,
Henry the fourth.
Where Warwicks courage first most Comet-like appeard,
Who with words full of Spirit, his fighting Souldiers cheerd;
And ever as he saw the slaughter of his men,
He with fresh forces fil’d the places up agen.
The valiant * Marchmen thus the battell still maintaine,
That when King Henry found on heaps his Souldiers slaine,
His great Commanders cals, who when they sadly saw,
The honour of the day would to the Yorkists draw,
Their persons they put in, as for the last to stand;
The Duke of Somerset, Henry Northumberland,
Of those brave warlike Earles, the second of that name,
The Earle of Stafford, sonne to th’Duke of Buckingham,
And John Lord Clifford then, which shed their noble gore
Under the Castles signe, (of which not long before,
A Prophet bad the Duke of Somerset beware)
With many a valiant Knight, in death that had his share:
So much great English blood, for others lawlesse guilt,
Upon so little ground before was never spilt.
Proud Yorke hath got the gole, the King of all forsaken,
Into a cottage got, a wofull prisoner taken.
Men brought out of the
Marches of Wales.
The Battell of Blore-heath, the place doth next supply,
Twixt Richard Nevill, that great Earle of Salisbury,
Who with the Duke of Yorke, had at Saint Albans late,
That glorious Battell got with uncontrouled Fate:
And James Lord Audley stir’d by that revengefull Queene,
To stop him on his way, for the inveterate spleene
Shee bare him, for that still he with the Yorkists held,
Who comming from the North, (by sundry wrongs compeld
To parley with the King) the Queene that time who lay
In Staffordshire, and thought to stop him on his way,
That valiant Tuchet stir’d, in Cheshire powerfull then,
T’affront him in the field, where Cheshire Gentlemen
Divided were, th’one part made valiant Tuchet strong,
The other with the Earle rose as he came along,
Incamping both their powers, divided by a Brooke,
Whereby the prudent Earle, this strong advantage tooke:
For putting in the field his Army in aray,
Then making as (with speed) he meant to march away,
He caus’d a flight of Shafts to be discharged first.
The enemy who thought that he had done his worst,
And cowardly had fled in a disordred Rout,
Attempt to wade the Brooke, he wheeling (soone) about,
Set fiercely on that part, which then were passed over;
Their Friends then in the Reare, not able to recover
The other rising banke, to lend the Vaward ayd.
The Earle who found the plot take right that he had layd,
The Battell of Blore heath.
The two and twentieth Song. 41
On those that forward prest, as those that did recoyle,
As hungry in revenge, there made a ravenous spoyle:
There Dutton, Dutton kils; A Done doth kill a Done;
A Booth, a Booth; and Leigh by Leigh is overthrowne;
A Venables, against a Venables doth stand;
And Troutbeck fighteth with a Troutbeck hand to hand;
There Molineux doth make a Molineux to die,
And Egerton, the strength of Egerton doth trie.
O Chesshire wert thou mad, of thine owne native gore
So much untill this day thou never shedst before!
Above two thousand men upon the earth were throwne,
Of which the greatest part were naturally thine owne.
The stout Lord Audley slaine, with many a Captaine there;
To Salsbury it sorts the Palme away to beare.
Then faire Northampton next, thy Battell place shall take,
Which of th’Emperiall warre, the third fought Field doth make,
Twixt Henry cald our sixt, upon whose partie came
His neere and deare Allies, the Dukes of Buckingham,
And Somerset, the Earle of Shrewsbury of account,
Stout Vicount Beaumount, and the yong Lord Egremount,
Gainst Edward Earle of March, sonne to the Duke of Yorke,
With Warwicke, in that warre, who set them all at worke,
And Falkonbridge with him, not much unlike the other;
A Nevill nobly borne, his puisant fathers brother,
Who to the Yorkists claime, had evermore been true,
And valiant Bourcher, Earle of Essex, and of Eau.
The King from out the towne, who drew his Foot and Horse,
As willingly to give full field-roomth to his Force,
Doth passe the River Nen, neere where it downe doth runne
From his first fountaines head, is neere to Harsington,
Advised of a place, by Nature strongly wrought,
Doth there encampe his power: the Earle of March who sought
To proove by dint of sword, who should obtaine the day,
From Tawcester traynd on his powers in good aray.
The Vaward Warwicke led, (whom no attempt could feare;
The Middle March himselfe, and Falkonbridge the Reare.
Now July entred was, and ere the restlesse Sunne,
Three houres ascent had got, the dreadfull fight begun
By Warwicke, who a straight from Vicount Beaumont tooke,
Defeating him at first, by which hee quickly brooke
In, on th’Emperiall host, which with a furious charge,
He forc’d upon the field, it selfe more to enlarge.
Now English Bowes, and Bills, and Battle-axes walke,
Death up and downe the field in gastly sort doth stalke.
March in the flower of Youth, like Mars himselfe doth beare;
But Warwicke as the man, whom Fortune seem’d to feare,
The Battell of
Did for him what he would, that wheresoere he goes,
Downe like a furious storme, before him all he throwes:
So Shrewsbury againe of Talbots valiant straine,
(That fatall Scourge of France) as stoutly doth maintaine,
The party of the King, so princely Somerset,
Whom th’others knightly deeds, more eagerly doth whet,
Beares up with them againe: by Somerset opposd
At last King Henries host being on three parts enclosd,
And ayds still comming in upon the Yorkists side,
The Summer being then at height of all her pride,
The Husbandman, then hard upon his Harvest was:
But yet the cocks of Hay, nor swaths of new-shorne grasse,
Strew’d not the Meads so thick, as mangled bodies there,
When nothing could be seene, but horror every where:
So that upon the bancks, and in the streame of * Nen,
Ten thousand well resolv’d, stout, native English men
Left breathlesse, with the rest great Buckingham is slaine,
And Shrewsbury whose losse those times did much complaine,
Egremont, and Beaumont, both found dead upon the Field,
The miserable King, inforc’d againe to yeeld.
The River running by
Then Wakefield Battell next, we in our Bedroule bring,
Fought by Prince Edward, sonne to that oft-conquered King,
And Richard Duke of Yorke, still strugling for the Crowne,
Whom Salsbury assists, the man with whose renowne,
The mouth of Fame seem’d fild, there having with them then
Some few selected Welsh, and Southerne Gentlemen:
A handfull to those powers, with which Prince Edward came;
Of which amongst the rest, the men of noblest name,
Were those two great-borne Dukes, which still his right preferre
His cosen Somerset, and princely Excester,
The Earle of Wiltshire still, that on his part stucke close:
With those two valiant Peeres, Lord Clifford, and Lord Rosse,
Who made their March from Yorke to Wakefield, on their way
To meet the Duke, who then at Sandall Castle lay,
Whom at his (very) gate, into the Field they dar’d,
Whose long expected powers not fully then prepar’d,
That March his valiant sonne, should to his succours bring.
Wherefore that puissant Lord, by speedy mustring
His Tenants and such friends, as he that time could get,
Five thousand in five dayes, in his Battalion set
Gainst their twice doubled strength; nor could the Duke be stayd,
Till he might from the South be seconded with ayd;
As in his martiall pride, disdaining his poore foes,
So often us’d to winne, he never thought to lose.
The Prince, which still provok’d th’incensed Duke to fight,
His maine Battalion rang’d in Sandals loftie sight,
The Battell of Wakefield.
The two and twentieth Song. 43
In which he, and the Dukes, were seene in all their pride:
And as Yorkes powers should passe, he had on either side
Two wings in ambush laid, which at the place assign’d
His Rereward should inclose, which as a thing divin’d,
Just caught as he forecast; for scarse his armie comes
From the descending banks, and that his ratling Drummes
Excites his men to charge; but Wiltshire with his force,
Which were of light-arm’d Foot, and Rosse with his light Horse,
Came in upon their backes, as from a mountaine throwne,
In number to the Dukes, by being foure to one.
Even as a Rout of wolves, when they by chance have caught
A Beast out of the Heard, which long time they have sought;
Upon him all at once couragiously doe set,
Him by the Dewlaps some, some by the flanke doe get:
Some climbing to his eares, doe never leave their hold,
Till falling on the ground, they have him as they would,
With many of his kind, which, when he us’d to wend,
What with their hornes & hoofes, could then themselves defend.
Thus on their foes they fell, and downe the Yorkists fall;
Red Slaughter in her armes encompasseth them all.
The first of all the fights in this unnaturall warre,
In which blind Fortune smild on wofull Lancaster.
Heere Richard Duke of Yorke, downe beaten, breath’d his last,
And Salsbury so long with conquest still that past,
Inforced was to yeeld; Rutland a younger sonne
To the deceased Duke, as he away would runne,
(A child scarse twelve yeares old) by Clifford there surpriz’d,
Who whilst he thought with teares his rage to have suffiz’d,
By him was answered thus, Thy father hath slaine mine,
And for his blood (young Boy) Ile have this blood of thine,
And stab’d him to the heart: thus the Lancastrians raigne,
The Yorkist in the field on heaps together slaine.
The Battell at that Crosse, which to this day doth beare
The great and ancient name of th’English Mortimer,
The next shall heare have place, betwixt that Edward fought,
Entitled Earle of March, (revengefully that sought
To wreake his fathers blood, at Wakefield lately shed
But then he Duke of Yorke, his father being dead)
And Jasper Tudor Earle of Pembroke, in this warre,
That stood to underprop the House of Lancaster,
Halfe brother to the King, that strove to hold his Crowne,
With Wiltshire, whose high prowesse had bravely beaten downe
The Yorkists swelling pride in that successefull warre
At Wakefield, whose greatst power of Welsh and Irish are.
The Dukes were Marchers most, which still stucke to him close,
And meeting on the plaine, by that forenamed Crosse;
The Battell at Mortimers
As either Generall there for his advantage found,
(For wisely they surveyd the fashion of the ground)
They into one maine fight their either Forces make,
When to the Duke of Yorke (his spirits as to awake)
Three sonnes at once appear’d, all severally that shone,
Which in a little space were joyned all in one.
Auspicious to the Duke, as after it fell out,
Who with the weaker power, (of which he seem’d to doubt)
The proud Lancastrian part had quickly put to chase,
Where plainly it should seeme, the Genius of the place,
The very name of March should greatly favour there,
A Title to this Prince deriv’d from Mortimer:
To whom this Trophy rear’d, much honored had the soyle.
The Yorkists here enrich’d with the Lancastrian spoyle,
Are Masters of the day; foure thousand being slaine,
The most of which were those, there standing to maintaine
The title of the King. Where Owen Tudors lot
Was to be taken then; who this young Earle begot
On Katherin the bright Queene, the fift King Henries Bride,
Who too untimely dead, this Owen had affide.
But he a Prisoner then, his sonne and Ormond fled,
At Hereford was made the shorter by the head;
When this most warlike Duke, in honour of that signe,
Which of his good successe so rightly did divine,
And thankfull to high heaven, which of his cause had care,
Three Sunnes for his device still in his Ensigne bare.
Thy second Battell now, Saint Albans I record,
Struck twixt Queene Margrets power, to ransome backe her Lord,
Ta’n prisoner at that towne, when there those factions fought,
Whom now the part of Yorke had thither with them brought,
Whose force consisted most of Southerne men, being led
By Thomas Howard Duke of Norfolke, and the head
Of that proud faction then, stout Warwicke still that swayd,
In every bloody field (the Yorkists onely ayd)
When eithers power approch’d, and they themselves had fixt,
Upon the South and North, the towne them both betwixt,
Which first of all to take, the Yorkists had forecast,
Putting their Vaward on, and their best Archers plac’d
The Market-sted about, and them so fitly layd,
That when the foe came up, they with such terror playd
Upon them in the Front, as forc’d them to retreit.
The Northerne mad with rage upon the first defeat,
Yet put for it againe, to enter from the North,
Which when great Warwicke heard, he sent his Vaward forth,
T’oppose them in what place so ere they made their stand,
Where in too fit a ground, a Heath too neere at hand,
The second Battell of
Saint Albans.
The two and twentieth Song. 45
Adjoyning to the towne, unluckily they light,
Where presenly began a fierce and deadly fight.
But those of Warwicks part, which scarce foure thousand were,
To th’Vaward of the Queenes, that stood so stoutly there,
Though still with fresh supplies from her maine Battell fed;
When they their courage saw so little them to sted,
Deluded by the long expectance of their ayd,
By passages too straight, and close ambushments stayd:
Their succours that forslow’d, to flight themselves betake,
When after them againe, such speed the Northerne make,
Being followed with the force of their maine Battell strong,
That this disordred Rout, these breathlesse men among,
They entred Warwicks Hoste, which with such horrour strooke
The Southerne, that each man began about to looke
A way how to escape, that when great Norfolke cri’d,
Now as you favour Yorke, and his just cause, abide.
And Warwicke in the Front even offred to have stood,
Yet neither of them both, should they have spent their blood,
Could make a man to stay, or looke upon a foe:
Where Fortune it should seeme, to Warwicke meant to show,
That shee this tide of his could turne, when ere she would.
Thus when they saw the day was for so little sould;
The King, which (for their ends) they to the field had brought,
Behind them there they leave, but as a thing of naught,
Which serv’d them to no use: who when his Queene and sonne,
There found in Norfolkes tent, the Battell being done,
With many a joyfull teare, each other they imbrace;
And whilst blind Fortune look’d with so well pleas’d a face:
Their swords with the warme blood of Yorkists so inbrude,
Their foes but lately fled, couragiously pursude.
Now followeth that blacke Sceane, borne up so wondrous hie,
That but a poore dumbe shew before a Tragedie,
The former Battels fought, have seem’d to this to be;
O Towton, let the blood Palme-Sunday spent on thee,
Affright the future times, when they the Muse shall heare,
Deliver it so to them; and let the ashes there
Of fortie thousand men, in that long quarrell slaine,
Arise out of the earth, as they would live againe,
To tell the manlike deeds, that bloody day were wrought
In that most fatall field, (with various fortunes fought)
Twixt Edward Duke of Yorke, then late proclaimed King,
Fourth of that royall name, and him accompanying,
The Nevills, (of that warre maintaining still the streame)
Great Warwicke, and with him his most couragious Eame,
Stout Falconbridge, the third, a firebrand like the other,
Of Salisbury surnam’d, that Warwicks bastard brother.
The Battell of Towton.
Lord Fitzwater, who still the Yorkists power assists,
Blount, Wenlock, Dinham, Knights approved Martialists.
And Henry the late King, to whom they still durst stand,
His true as powerfull friend, the great Northumberland,
With Westmerland, his claime who ever did preferre
His kinsman Somerset, his cosen Excester,
Dukes of the Royall line, his faithfull friends that were,
And little lesse then those, the Earle of Devonshire,
Th’Lord Dacres, and Lord Wels, both wise and warlike wights,
With him of great command, Nevill and Trolop, Knights.
Both armies then on foot, and on their way set forth,
King Edward from the South, King Henry from the North.
The later crowned King doth preparation make,
From Pomfret (where he lay) the passage first to take
O’r Aier at Ferybridge, and for that service sends
A most selected troupe of his well-chosen friends,
To make that passage good, when instantly began
The dire and ominous signes, the slaughter that foreran.
For valiant Clifford there, himselfe so bravely quit,
That comming to the Bridge (ere they could strengthen it)
From the Lancastrian power, with his light troupe of Horse,
And early in the morne defeating of their force,
The Lord Fitzwater slew, and that brave Bastard sonne
Of Salsbury, themselves who into danger runne:
For being in their beds, suspecting nought at all;
But hearing sudden noyse, suppos’d some broyle to fall
Mongst their misgovern’d troups, unarmed rushing out,
By Cliffords Souldiers soone incompassed about,
Were miserably slaine: which when great Warwicke heares,
As he had felt his heart transpersed through his eares,
To Edward mad with rage, imediatly he goes,
And with distracted eyes, in most sterne manner showes
The slaughter of those Lords; this day alone, quoth he,
Our utter ruine shall, or our sure rising be.
When soone before the Host, his glittering sword he drew,
And with relentlesse hands his springly Courser slew.
Then stand to me (quoth he) who meaneth not to flie;
This day shall Edward winne, or here shall Warwicke die.
Which words by Warwicke spoke, so deeply seem’d to sting
The much distempered breast of that couragious King,
That straight he made proclaim’d, that every fainting heart,
From his resolved host had licence to depart:
And those that would abide the hazard of the fight,
Rewards and titles due to their deserved right:
And that no man, that day, a prisoner there should take;
For this the upshot was, that all must marre or make.
The two and twentieth Song. 47
A hundred thousand men in both the Armies stood,
That native English were: O worthy of your Blood
What conquest had there been? But Ensignes flie at large,
And trumpets every way sound to the dreadfull charge.
Upon the Yorkists part, there flew the irefull Beare:
On the Lancastrian side, the Cressant waving there.
The Southerne on this side, for Yorke a Warwicke crie,
A Percy for the right, the Northerne men reply.
The two maine Battels joyne, the foure large Wings doe meet;
What with the shouts of men, and noyse of horses feet,
Hell through the troubled earth, her horrour seem’d to breath;
A thunder heard above, an earth-quake felt beneath:
As when the Evening is with darknesse overspread,
Her Star-befreckled face with Clouds invelloped,
You oftentimes behold, the trembling lightning flie,
Which suddenly againe, but turning of your eye,
Is vanished away, or doth so swiftly glide,
That with a trice it touch t’Horizons either side;
So through the smoke of dust, from wayes, and fallowes raisd,
And breath of horse and men, that both together ceasd
The ayre one every part, sent by the glimmering Sunne,
The splendor of their Armes doth by reflection runne:
Till heapes of dying men, and those already dead,
Much hindred them would charge, and letted them that fled.
Beyond all wonted bounds, their rage so farre extends,
That sullen night begins, before their fury ends.
Ten howers this fight endur’d, whilst still with murthering hands,
Expecting the next morne, the weak’st unconquered stands;
Which was no sooner come, but both begin againe
To wrecke their friends deare blood, the former evening slaine.
New Battels are begun, new fights that newly wound,
Till the Lancastrian part, by their much lesning found
Their long expected hopes were utterly forlorne,
When lastly to the foe, their recreant backs they turne.
Thy Channell then, O * Cock, was fild up with the dead,
Of the Lancastrian side, that from the Yorkists fled,
That those of Edwards part, that had the Reare in chase,
As though upon a Bridge, did on their bodies passe.
That Wharfe to whose large banks thou contribut’st thy store,
Had her more Christall face discoloured with the gore
Of fortie thousand men, that up the number made,
Northumberland the great, and Westmerland there layd
Their bodies: valiant Wels, and Dacres there doe leave
Their carkases, (whose hope too long) did them deceive.
Trolop and Nevill found massacred in the field,
The Earle of Wiltshire forc’d to the sterne foe to yeeld.
A little Rivilet neere to
Towton, running into
King Henry from fayre Yorke, upon this sad mischance
To Scotland fled, the Queene sayld over into France,
The Duke of Somerset, and Excester doe flie,
The rest upon the earth together breathlesse lie.
Muse, turne thee now to tell the Field at Hexam struck,
Upon the Yorkists part, with the most prosp’rous luck
Of any yet before, where to themselves they gain’d
Most safetie, yet their powers least damage there sustain’d,
Twixt John Lord Mountacute, that Nevill, who to stand
For Edward, gathered had out of Northumberland
A sort of valiant men, consisting most of Horse,
Which were againe suppli’d with a most puisant force,
Sent thither from the South, and by King Edward brought
In person downe to Yorke, to ayd if that in ought
His Generall should have need, for that he durst not trust
The Northerne, which so oft to him had been unjust:
Whilst he himselfe at Yorke, a second power doth hold,
To heare in this rough warre, what the Lancastrians would.
And Henry with his Queene, who to their powers had got,
The lively daring French, and the light hardy Scot,
To enter with them here, and to their part doe get,
Their faithfull lov’d Allie, the Duke of Somerset,
And Sir Ralfe Percie, then most powerfull in those parts,
Who had beene reconcil’d to Edward, but their hearts
Still with King Henry stay’d, to him and ever true,
To whom by this revolt, they many Northerne drew:
Sir William Taylboys, (cald of most) the Earle of Kime,
With Hungerford, and Rosse, and Mullins, of that time
Barons of high account, with Nevill, Tunstall, Gray,
Hussy, and Finderne, Knights, men bearing mighty sway.
As forward with his force, brave Mountacute was set,
It hap’d upon his way at Hegly More he met
With Hungerford, and Rosse, and Sir Ralph Percy, where,
In signe of good successe (as certainly it were)
They and their utmost force were quickly put to slight;
Yet Percy as he was a most couragious Knight,
Ne’r boudg’d till his last breath, but in the field was slaine.
Proud of this first defeat, then marching forth againe,
Towards Livells, a large Waste, which other plaines out-braves,
The Battell at Hexam.
Whose Verge fresh * Dowell still is watring with her waves,
Whereas his posting Scouts, King Henries power discri’d,
Tow’rds whom with speedy march, this valiant Generall hied,
Whose haste there likewise had such prosperous event,
That lucklesse Henry yet, had scarcely cleer’d his Tent,
His Captaines hardly set his Battels, nor enlarg’d
Their Squadrons on the field, but this great Nevill charg’d:
A little River neere
The two and twentieth Song. 49
Long was this doubtfull fight on either side maintain’d,
That rising whilst this falls, this loosing whilst that gain’d:
The ground which this part got, and there as Conquerors stood,
The other quickly gaine, and firmely make it good,
To either as blind Chance, her favors will dispose;
So to this part it eb’d, and to that side it flowes.
At last, till whether ‘twere that sad and horrid sight,
At Saxton that yet did their fainting spirits affright,
With doubt of second losse, and slaughter, or the ayd
That Mountacute receav’d; King Henries power dismayd:
And giving up the day, dishonourably fled,
Whom with so violent speed the Yorkists followed,
That had not Henry spur’d, and had a Courser swift,
Besides a skilfull guide, through woods and hilles to shift,
He sure had been surpriz’d, as they his Hench-men tooke,
With whom they found his Helme; with most disastrous lucke,
To save themselves by flight, ne’r more did any strive,
And yet so many men ne’r taken were alive.
Now Banbury we come thy Battell to report,
And show th’efficient cause, as in what wondrous sort
Great Warwicke was wrought in to the Lancastrian part,
When as that wanton King so vex’d his mightie heart:
Whilst in the Court of France, that Warriour he bestow’d,
(As potent here at home, as powerfull else abroad)
A marriage to intreat with Bona bright and sheene,
Of the Savoyan Blood, and sister to the Queene,
Which whilst this noble Earle negotiated there,
The widdow Lady Gray, the King espoused here.
By which the noble Earle in France who was disgrac’d,
(In England his revenge doth but too quickly hast)
T’excite the Northerne men doth secretly begin,
(With whom he powerfull was) to rile, that comming in,
He might put in his hand, (which onely he desir’d)
The Battell of Banbury.
Which rising before Yorke were likely to have fierd
The Citie, but repuls’d, and Holdorn them that led,
Being taken, for the cause made shorter by the head.
Yet would not they disist, but to their Captaines drew
Henry the valiant sonne of John the Lord Fitz-Hugh,
With Coniers that brave Knight, whose valour they preferre,
With Henry Nevill, sonne to the Lord Latimer,
By whose Allies and friends, they every day grew strong,
And so in proud aray tow’rds London march along.
Which when King Edward saw the world began to side
With Warwicke, till himselfe he might of power provide,
To noble Pembroke sends, those Rebels to withstand.
Six thousand valiant Welsh, who mustring out of hand,
The Citie of Yorke like to
have bin fired by
Warwicks faction.
By Richard Harberts ayd, his brother them doth bring,
And for their greater strength (appointed by the King)
Th’Lord Stafford (of his house) of Powick named then,
Eight hundred Archers brought, the most selected men
The Marches could make out: these having Severne crost,
And up to Cotswould clome, they heard the Northern host,
Being at Northampton then, it selfe tow’rds Warwicke wayd,
When with a speedy march, the Harberts that forlayd
Their passage, charg’d their Reare with neere two thousand horse,
That the Lancastrian part suspecting all their force
Had followed them againe, their armie bring about,
Both with such speed and skill, that e’re the Welsh got out,
By having charg’d too farre, some of their Vaward lost,
Beat to their armie backe; thus as these Legions coast,
On Danemore they are met, indifferent for this warre,
Whereas three easie hils that stand Trianguler,
Small Edgcoat overlooke; on that upon the West
The Welsh encampe themselves; the Northerne them possest
Of that upon the South, whilst, (by warres strange event)
Yong Nevill, who would brave the Harberts in their Tent,
Leading a troupe of Youth, (upon that fatall plaine)
Was taken by the Welsh, and miserably slaine;
Of whose untimely death, his friends the next day tooke
A terrible revenge, when Stafford there forsooke
The army of the Welsh, and with his Archers bad
Them fight that would for him; for that proud Pembroke had
Displac’d him of his Inne, in Banbury where he
His Paramore had lodg’d; where since he might not be,
He backward shapes his course, and leaves the Harberts there,
T’abide the brunt of all: with outcries every where
The clamorous Drummes & Fifes to the rough charge do sound,
Together horse and man come tumbling to the ground:
Then limbs like boughs were lop’d, from shoulders armes doe flie;
They fight as none could scape, yet scape as none could die.
The ruffling Northern Lads, and the stout Welshmen tri’d it;
Then Head-pieces hold out, or braines must sore abide it.
The Northern men Saint George for Lancaster doe crie:
A Pembroke for the King, the lustie Welsh replie;
When many a gallant youth doth desperatly assay,
To doe some thing that might be worthy of the day:
Where Richard Harbert beares into the Northern prease,
And with his Poleaxe makes his way with such successe,
That breaking through the Rankes, he their maine Battell past,
And quit it so againe, that many stood aghast,
That from the higher ground beheld him wade the crowd,
As often ye behold in tempests rough and proud,
The two and twentieth Song. 51
O’rtaken with a storme, some Shell or little Crea,
Hard labouring for the land, on the high-working Sea,
Seemes now as swallowed up, then floating light and free
O’th top of some high wave; then thinke that you it see
Quite sunke beneath that waste of waters, yet doth cleere
The Maine, and safely gets some Creeke or Harbor neere:
So Harbert cleer’d their Host; but see th’event of warre,
Some Spialls on the hill discerned had from farre
Another Armie come to ayd the Northerne side,
When they which Claphams craft so quickly not espide,
Who with five hundred men about Northampton raisd,
All discontented spirits, with Edwards rule displeasd,
Displaying in the field great Warwicks dreaded Beare:
The Welsh who thought the Earle in person had been there,
Leading a greater power (disheartened) turne the backe
Before the Northerne host, that quickly goe to wracke.
Five thousand valiant Welsh are in chase o’rthrowne,
Which but an houre before had thought the day their owne.
Their Leaders (in the flight) the high-borne Harberts t’ane,
At Banbury must pay for Henry Nevill slaine.
Now Stamford in due course, the Muse doth come to tell,
Of thine owne named field, what in the fight befell,
Betwixt brave youthfull Wells, from Lincolnshire that led
Neere twentie thousand men, tow’rd London making head,
Against the Yorkists power, great Warwicke to abet,
Who with a puisant force prepared forth to set,
To joyne with him in Armes, and joyntly take their chance.
And Edward with his friends, who likewise doe advance
His forces, to refell that desperate daring foe;
Who for he durst himselfe in open Armes to show,
Nor at his dread command them downe againe would lay.
His father the Lord Wells, who he suppos’d might sway
His so outragious sonne, with his lov’d law-made brother,
Sir Thomas Dymock, thought too much to rule the other,
He strangely did to die, which so incens’d the spleene
Of this couragious youth, that he to wreake his teene
Upon the cruell King, doth every way excite
Him to an equall field, that com’n where they might smite
The Battell: on this plaine it chanc’d their Armies met:
They rang’d their severall fights, which once in order set,
The loudly-brawling Drummes, which seemed to have feard
The trembling ayre at first, soone after were not heard,
For out-cries, shreekes, and showts, whilst noyse doth noyse confound.
No accents touch the eare, but such as death doe sound:
In thirsting for revenge, whilst fury them doth guide:
As slaughter seemes by turnes to sease on either side.
The Battell of Stamford,
or Loose-coat field.
The Southerne expert were, in all to warre belong,
And exercise their skill, the Marchmen stout and strong,
Which to the Battell sticke, and if they make retreat,
Yet comming on againe, the foe they backe doe beat,
And Wels for Warwicke crie, and for the rightfull Crowne;
The other call a Yorke, to beat the Rebels downe:
The worst that warre could doe, on either side she showes,
Or by the force of Bils, or by the strength of Bowes;
But still by fresh supplies, the Yorkists power encrease:
And Wels, who sees his troups so overborne with prease,
By hazarding too farre into the boystrous throng,
Incouraging his men the adverse troupes among,
With many a mortall wound, his wearied breath expir’d:
Which sooner knowne to his, then his first hopes desir’d,
Ten thousand on the earth before them lying slaine,
No hope left to repaire their ruin’d state againe,
Cast off their Countries coats, to hast their speed away,
(Of them) which Loose-coat field is cald (even) to this day.
Since needsly I must sticke upon my former text,
The bloody Battell fought, at Barnet followeth next,
Twixt Edward, who before he setled was to raigne,
By Warwicke hence expuls’d; but here ariv’d againe,
From Burgundy, brought in munition, men and pay,
And all things fit for warre, expecting yet a day.
The Battell of Barnet.
Whose brother * George came in, with Warwicke that had stood,
Whom nature wrought at length t’adhere to his owne blood:
His brother Richard Duke of Gloster, and his friend;
Lord Hastings, who to him their utmost powers extend;
And Warwick, whose great heart so mortall hatred bore
To Edward, that by all the Sacraments he swore,
Not to lay downe his Armes, untill his sword had rac’d,
That proud King from his Seat, that so had him disgrac’d:
And Marquesse Mountacute, his brother, that brave stem
Of Nevils noble Stock, who joyned had to them,
The Dukes of Somerset, and Excester, and take
The Earle of Oxford in; the Armies forward make,
And meeting on the plaine, to Barnet very neere,
That to this very day, is called Gladmore there.
Duke Richard to the field, doth Edwards Vaward bring;
And in the middle came that most couragious King,
With Clarence his reclaim’d, and brother then most deare;
His friend Lord Hastings had the guiding of the Reare,
(A man of whom the King most highly did repute.)
On puisant Warwicks part, the Marquesse Mountacute
His brother, and his friend the Earle of Oxford led
The right wing; and the left which most that day might sted,
George Duke of Clarence.
The two and twentieth Song. 53
The Duke of Excester; and he himselfe doe guide
The middle fight (which was the Armies onely pride)
Of Archers most approv’d, the best that he could get,
Directed by his friend, the Duke of Somerset.
O Sabboth ill bestow’d, O drery Easter day,
In which (as some suppose) the Sunne doth use to play,
In honour of that God for sinfull man that dy’d,
And rose on that third day, that Sunne which now doth hide
His face in foggy mists; nor was that morning seene,
So that the space of ground those angry hosts betweene,
Was overshadowed quite with darknesse, which so cast
The armies on both sides, that they each other past,
Before they could perceive advantage, where to fight;
Besides the envious mist so much deceiv’d their sight,
That where eight hundred men, which valiant Oxford brought,
Ware Comets on their coats: great Warwicks force which thought
They had King Edwards beene, which so with Sunnes were drest,
First made their shot at them, who by their friends distrest,
Constrayned were to flie, being scattered here and there.
But when this direfull day at last began to cleere,
King Edward then beholds that height of his first hopes,
Whose presence gave fresh life to his oft-fainting troupes,
Prepar’d to scourge his pride, there daring to defie
His mercie, to the host proclaiming publikely
His hatefull breach of faith, his perjury, and shame,
And what might make him vile; so Warwicke heard that name
Of Yorke, which in the field he had so oft advanc’d,
And to that glorious height, and greatnesse had inhanc’d,
Then cried against his power, by those which oft had fled,
Their swist pursuing foe, by him not bravely led,
Upon the enemies backe, their swords bath’d in the gore
Of those from whom they ran, like heartlesse men before,
Which Warwicks nobler name injuriously defide,
Even as the irefull host then joyned side to side.
Where cruell Richard charg’d the Earles maine battell, when
Proud Somerset therein, with his approoved men
Stood stoutly to the shocke, and flang out such a flight
Of shafts, as welneere seem’d t’eclipse the welcom’d light,
Which forc’d them to fall off, on whose retreit againe,
That great Battalion next approcheth the fayre plaine,
Wherein the King himselfe in person was to trie,
Proud Warwicks utmost strength: when Warwicke by and by,
With his left wing came up, and charg’d so home and round,
That had not his light horse by disvantagious ground
Been hindred, he had strucke the heart of Edwards host:
But finding his defeat, his enterprise so lost,
He his swift Currers sends, to will his valiant brother,
And Oxford, in command being equall to the other,
To charge with the right wing, who bravely up doe beare;
But Hastings that before raught thither with his Reare,
And with King Edward joynd, the host too strongly arm’d.
When every part with spoyle, with rape, with fury charm’d,
Are prodigall of blood, that slaughter seemes to swill
It selfe in humane gore, and every one cries kill.
So doubtfull and so long the battell doth abide,
That those, which to and fro, twixt that and London ride,
That Warwicke winnes the day for certaine newes doe bring,
Those following them againe, sayd certainly the King,
Untill great Warwicke found his armie had the worse,
And sore began to faint, alighting from his horse,
In with the formost puts, and wades into the throng;
And where he saw death stern’st, the murthered troupes among,
He ventures, as the Sunne in a tempestuous day,
With darknesse threatned long, yet sometimes doth display
His cheerefull beames, which scarce appeare to the cleere eye,
But suddenly the clouds, which on the winds doe flie,
Doe muffle him againe within them, till at length,
The storme (prevailing still with an unusuall strength)
His cleerenesse quite doth close, and shut him up in night:
So mightie Warwicke fares in this outragious fight.
The cruell Lyons thus inclose the dreaded Beare,
Whilst Montacute, who strives (if any helpe there were)
To rescue his belov’d and valiant brother, fell:
The losse of two such spirits at once, time shall not tell;
The Duke of Somerset, and th’Earle of Oxford fled,
And Excester being left for one amongst the dead,
At length recovering life, by night escap’d away,
Yorke never safely sat, till this victorious day.
Thus Fortune to his end this mightie Warwicke brings
This puisant setter up, and plucker downe of Kings.
He who those battels wonne, which so much blood had cost,
At Barnets fatall fight, both Life and Fortune lost.
Now Tewksbury it rests, thy storry to relate,
Thy sad and dreadfull fight, and that most direfull Fate
Of the Lancastrian Line, which hapned on that day,
Fourth of that fatall Month, that still-remembred May:
Twixt Edmund that brave Duke of Somerset, who fled
From Barnets bloody field, (againe there gathering head)
And Marquesse Dorset bound in blood to ayd him there,
With Thomas Courtney Earle of powerfull Devonshire:
With whom King Henries sonne, young Edward there was seene,
To claime his doubtlesse right, with that undaunted Queene
The Battell at Tewxbury.
The two and twentieth Song. 55
His mother, who from France with succours came on land
That day, when Warwicke fell at Barnet, which now stand,
Their fortune yet to trie, upon a second fight.
And Edward who imploy’d the utmost of his might,
The poore Lancastrian part (which he doth eas’ly feele,
By Warwicks mightie fall, already faintly reele)
By Battell to subvert, and to extirpe the Line;
And for the present act, his army doth assigne
To those at Barnet field so luckily that sped;
As Richard late did there, he here the Vaward led,
The Maine the King himselfe, and Clarence tooke to guide;
The Rearward as before by Hastings was supplide.
The Army of the Queene, into three Battels cast,
The first of which the Duke of Somerset, and (fast
To him) his brother John doe happily dispose;
The second, which the Prince for his owne safety chose
The Barons of Saint John, and Wenlocke; and the third,
To Courtney that brave Earle of Devonshire referd.
Where in a spacious field they set their Armies downe;
Behind, hard at their backes, the Abbey, and the Towne,
To whom their foe must come, by often banks and steepe,
Through quickset narrow Lanes, cut out with ditches deepe,
Repulsing Edwards power, constraining him to proove
By thundring Cannon shot, and Culvering to remoove
Them from that chosen ground, so tedious to assayle;
And with the shot came shafts, like stormy showres of Hayle:
The like they sent againe, which beat the other sore,
Who with the Ordnance strove the Yorkists to outrore,
And still make good their ground, that whilst the Peeces play,
The Yorkists hasting still to hand-blowes, doe assay,
In strong and boystrous crowds to scale the combrous Dykes;
But beaten downe with Bills, with Poleaxes, and Pykes,
Are forced to fall off; when Richard there that led
The Vaward, saw their strength so little them to sted,
As he a Captaine was, both politique and good,
The stratagems of warre, that rightly understood,
Doth seeme as from the field his forces to withdraw.
His sudden, strange retire, proud Somerset that saw,
(A man of haughtie spirit, in honour most precise;
In action yet farre more adventurous then wise)
Supposing from the field for safetie he had fled,
Straight giveth him the chase; when Richard turning head,
By his incounter let the desperate Duke to know,
Twas done to traine him out, when soone began the show
Of slaughter every where; for scarce their equall forces
Began the doubtfull fight, but that three hundred horses,
That out of sight this while on Edwards part had stayd,
To see, that neere at hand no ambushes were layd,
Soone charg’d them on the side, disordring quite their Ranks,
Whilst this most warlike King had wonne the climing Banks,
Upon the equall earth, and comming bravely in
Upon the adverse power, there likewise doth begin
A fierce and deadly fight, that the Lancastrian side,
The first and furious shocke not able to abide
The utmost of their strength, were forced to bestow,
To hold what they had got; that Somerset below,
Who from the second force, had still expected ayd,
But frustrated thereof, even as a man dismaid,
Scarce shifts to save himselfe his Battell overthrowne;
But faring as a man that frantique had beene growne,
With Wenlock hap’d to meet (preparing for his flight)
Upbraiding him with tearmes of basenesse and despight,
That cow’rdly he had faild to succour him with men:
Whilst Wenlock with like words requiteth him agen,
The Duke (to his sterne rage, as yeelding up the raines)
With his too pondrous Axe pasht out the Barons braines.
The partie of the Queene in every place are kild,
The Ditches with the dead, confusedly are fild,
And many in the flight, i’th neighbouring Rivers drown’d,
Which with victorious wreaths, the conquering Yorkists crownd.
Three thousand of those men, on Henries part that stood,
For their presumption paid the forfeit of their blood.
John Marquesse Dorset dead, and Devonshire that day
Drew his last vitall breath, as in that bloody fray,
Delues, Hamden, Whittingham, and Leuknor, who had there,
Their severall brave commands, all valiant men that were,
Found dead upon the earth. Now all is Edwards owne,
And through his enemies tents he march’d into the towne,
Where quickly he proclaimes, to him that foorth could bring
Young Edward, a large Fee, and as he was a King,
His person to be safe. Sir Richard Crofts who thought
His prisoner to disclose, before the King then brought
That faire and goodly Youth; whom when proud Yorke demands,
Why thus he had presum’d by helpe of traytrous hands
His kingdome to disturbe, and impiously display’d
His Ensignes: the stout Prince, as not a jot dismay’d,
With confidence replies, To claime his ancient right,
Him from his Grandsires left; by tyranny and might,
By him his foe usurp’d: with whose so bold reply,
Whilst Edward throughly vext, doth seeme to thrust him by;
His second brother George, and Richard neere that stood,
With many a cruell stab let out his princely blood;
The murther of Prince
The two and twentieth Song. 57
In whom the Line direct of Lancaster doth cease,
And Somerset himselfe surprized in the prease;
With many a worthy man, to Gloster prisoners led,
There forfeited their lives: Queene Margaret being fled
To a religious Cell, (to Tewksbury, too neere)
Discoverd to the King, with sad and heavy cheere,
A prisoner was convey’d to London, wofull Queene,
The last of all her hopes, that buried now had seene.
But of that outrage here, by that bold Bastard sonne
Of Thomas Nevill, nam’d Lord Falkonbridge, which wonne
A rude rebellious Rout in Kent and Essex rais’d,
Who London here besieg’d, and Southwarke having seas’d,
Set fire upon the Bridge: but when he not prevaild,
The Suburbs on the East he furiously assayl’d;
But by the Cities power was lastly put to flight:
Which being no set Field, nor yet well ordred fight,
Amongst our Battels here, may no way reckoned be.
A briefe passage
of the Bastard
Then Bosworth here the Muse now lastly bids for thee,
Thy Battell to describe, the last of that long warre,.
Entit’led by the name of Yorke and Lancaster;
Twixt Henry Tudor Earle of Richmond onely left
Of the Lancastian Line, who by the Yorkists reft
Of libertie at home, a banish’d man abroad,
In Britany had liv’d; but late at Milford Road,
Being prosperously ariv’d, though scarce two thousand strong,
Made out his way through Wales, where as he came along.
First Griffith great in Blood, then Morgan next doth meet
Him, with their severall powers, as offring at his feet
To lay their Lands, and lives; Sir Rice ap Thomas then,
With his brave Band of Welsh, most choyce and expert men,
Comes lastly to his ayd; at Shrewsbury ariv’d,
(His hopes so faint before, so happily reviv’d)
He on for England makes, and neere to Newport towne,
The next ensuing night setting his Army downe,
Sir Gilbert Talbot still for Lancaster that stood,
(To Henry neere Alli’d in friendship as in Blood)
From th’Earle of Shrewsbury his Nephew (under age)
Came with two thousand men, in warlike Equipage,
Which much his power increas’d; when easily setting on,
From Lichfield, as the way leads foorth to Atherston,
Brave Bourcher and his friend stout Hungerford, whose hopes
On Henry long had laine, stealing from Richards troups,
(Wherewith they had been mix’d) to Henry doe appeare,
Which with a high resolve, most strangely seem’d to cheere,
His oft-appauled heart, but yet the man which most,
Gave sayle to Henries selfe, and fresh life to his host,
The Battell of
The stout Lord Stanley was, who for he had affide
The mother of the Earle, to him so neere allide:
The King who fear’d his truth, (which he to have, compeld)
The yong Lord Strange his sonne, in hostage strongly held,
Which forc’d him to fall off, till he fit place could finde,
His sonne in law to meet; yet he with him combinde
Sir William Stanley, knowne to be a valiant Knight,
T’assure him of his ayd. Thus growing tow’rds his hight,
A most selected Band of Chesshire Bow-men came,
By Sir John Savage led, besides two men of name:
Sir Brian Sanford, and Sir Simon Digby, who
Leaving the tyrant King, themselves expresly show
Fast friends to Henries part, which still his power increast:
Both Armies well prepar’d, towards Bosworth strongly preast,
And on a spacious Moore, lying Southward from the towne;
Indifferent to them both, they set their Armies downe
Their Souldiers to refresh, preparing for the fight:
Where to the guiltie King, that black fore-running night,
Appeare the dreadfull ghosts of Henry and his sonne,
Of his owne brother George, and his two nephewes done
Most cruelly to death; and of his wife and friend,
Lord Hastings, with pale hands prepar’d as they would rend
Him peece-meale; at which oft he roreth in his sleepe.
No sooner gan the dawne out of the East to peepe,
But Drummes and Trumpets chide, the Souldiers to their Armes,
And all the neighboring fields are covered with the swarmes
Of those that came to fight, as those that came to see,
(Contending for a Crowne) whose that great day should be.
First, Richmond rang’d his fights, on Oxford, and bestowes
The leading, with a Band of strong and Sinewy Bowes
Out of the Army pick’d; the Front of all the field,
Sir Gilbert Talbot next, he wisely tooke to weeld,
The right Wing, with his strengths, most Northern men that were.
And Sir John Savage, with the power of Lancashire,
And Chesshire (Chiefe of men) was for the left Wing plac’d:
The Middle Battell he in his faire person grac’d,
With him the noble Earle of Pembroke, who commands
Their Countrey-men the Welsh, (of whom it mainly stands,
For their great numbers found to be of greatest force)
Which but his guard of Gleaves, consisted all of Horse.
Into two severall fights the King contriv’d his strength,
And his first Battell cast into a wondrous length,
In fashion of a wedge, in poynt of which he set
His Archery, thereof and to the guidance let
Of John the noble Duke of Norfolke, and his sonne
Brave Surrey: he himselfe the second bringing on,
Richards fearefull
Dreames the night
before before the
The two and twentieth Song. 59
Which was a perfect square; and on the other side,
His Horsemen had for wings, which by extending wide,
The adverse seem’d to threat, with an unequall power.
The utmost poynt ariv’d of this expected hower,
He to Lord Stanley sends, to bring away his ayd;
And threats him by an Oath, if longer he delayd
His eldest sonne young Strange imediatly should die,
To whom stout Stanley thus doth carelessely reply:
Tell thou the King Ile come, when I fit time shall see,
I love the Boy, but yet I have more sonnes then he.
The angry Armies meet, when the thin ayre was rent,
With such re-ecchoing shouts, from eithers Souldiers sent,
That flying o’r the field the Birds downe trembling dropt.
As some old building long that hath been underpropt,
When as the Timber fayles, by the unweldy fall,
Even into powder beats, the Roofe, and rotten wall,
And with confused clouds of smouldring dust doth choke
The streets and places neere; so through the mistie smoke,
By Shot and Ordnance made, a thundring noyse was heard.
When Stanley that this while his succours had deferd,
Both to the cruell King, and to the Earle his sonne,
When once he doth perceive the Battell was begun,
Brings on his valiant Troups, three thousand fully strong,
Which like a cloud farre off, that tempest threatned long,
Falls on the Tyrants host, which him with terrour strooke,
As also when he sees, he doth but vainly looke
For succours from the great Northumberland, this while,
That from the Battell scarce three quarters of a mile,
Stood with his power of Horse, nor once was seene to stirre:
When Richard (that th’event no longer would deferre,
The two maine Battels mix’d, and that with wearied breath,
Some laboured to their life, some laboured to their death,
(There for the better fought) even with a Spirit elate,
As one that inly scorn’d the very worst that Fate
Could possibly impose, his Launce set in his Rest,
Into the thick’st of Death, through threatning perill prest,
To where he had perceiv’d the Earle in person drew,
Whose Standard-Bearer he, Sir William Brandon slew,
The pile of his strong staffe into his arme-pit sent;
When at a second shocke, downe Sir John Cheney went,
Which scarce a Launces length before the Earle was plac’d,
Untill by Richmonds Guard, invironed at last,
With many a cruell wound, was through the body gride.
Upon this fatall field, John Duke of Norfolke dide;
The stout Lord Ferrers fell, and Ratcliffe, that had long
Of Richards counsels been, found in the field among
A thousand Souldiers that on both sides were slaine,
O Red-more, it then seem’d, thy name was not in vaine,
When with a thousands blood the earth was coloured red.
Whereas th’Emperiall Crowne was set on Henries head,
Being found in Richards Tent, as he it there did winne;
The cruell Tyrant stript to the bare naked skin,
Behind a Herauld truss’d, was backe to Le’ster sent,
From whence the day before he to the Battell went.
The Battell then at Stoke, so fortunatly strucke,
(Upon King Henries part, with so successefull lucke,
As never till that day he felt his Crowne to cleave
Unto his temples close, when Mars began to leave
His fury, and at last to sit him downe was brought)
I come at last to sing, twixt that seventh Henry fought;
With whom, to this brave Field the Duke of Bedford came,
With Oxford his great friend, whose praise did him inflame
To all Atchievements great, that fortunate had bin
In every doubtfull fight, since Henries comming in,
With th’Earle of Shresbury, a man of great command,
And his brave sonne Lord George, for him that firmly stand.
And on the other side, John Duke of Suffolks sonne,
(John Earle of Lincolne cald) who this sterne warre begun,
Subborning a lewd Boy, a false Imposter, who
By Simonds a worse Priest, instructed what to doe;
Upon him tooke the name of th’Earle of Warwicke, heire
To George the murthered Duke of Clarence, who (for feare
Lest some that favoured Yorke, might under hand maintaine)
King Henry in the Tower, did at that time detaine.
The Battell of Stoke.
* Which practise set on foot, this Earle of Lincolne sayld
To Burgundy, where he with Margaret prevayld,
Wife to that warlike Charles, and his most loved Aunt,
Who vexed that a proud Lancastrian should supplant
The lawfull Line of Yorke, whence she her blood deriv’d;
Wherefore for Lincolnes sake shee speedily contriv’d,
The Dutchesse of
Burgundy was sister to
Edward the 4, and so
was this Earles mother.
And Lovell, that brave Lord, before him sent to land
Upon the same pretence, to furnish them a Band
Of Almanes, and to them for their stout Captaine gave
The valiant Martin Swart, the man thought scarce to have
His match for Martiall feats, and sent them with a Fleet
For Ireland, where shee had appoynted them to meet,
With Simonds that lewd Clerke, and Lambert, whom they there
The Earle of Warwicke cald, and publish’d every where
His title to the Crowne, in Divelin, and proclaime
Him Englands lawfull King, by the fift Edwards name:
The Lord Francis
Then joyning with the Lord Fitz-Gerald, to their ayd
Who many Irish brought, they up their Ankres wayd,
The Lord Thomas
The two and twentiethmich Song. 61
And at the rocky Pyle of * Fowdray put to shore
In Lancashire; their power increasing more and more,
On the coast of
By Souldiers sent them in from Broughton (for supply)
A Knight that long had been of their confederacy;
Who making thence, direct their marches to the South.
When Henry saw himselfe so farre in dangers mouth,
From Coventry he came, still gathering up his Host,
Made greater on his way, and doth the Countrey coast,
Which way he understood his enemies must passe:
When after some few dayes (as if their Fortunes was)
At Stoke, a village neere to Newarke upon Trent,
Each in the others sight pitcht downe their warlike Tent.
Into one Battell soone, the Almans had disposd
Their Army, in a place upon two parts inclosd
With Dells, and fenced Dykes, (as they were expert men.)
And from the open fields King Henries Host agen,
In three faire severall fights came equally devided;
The first of which, and fitst, was given to be guided
By Shrewsbury, which most of Souldiers choice consisted:
The others plac’d as Wings, which ever as they listed,
Came up as need requir’d, or fell backe as they found
Just cause for their retire; when soone the troubled ground,
On her black bosome felt the thunder, which awooke
Her Genius, with the shock that violently shooke
Her intrayles; this sad day when there ye might have seene
Two thousand Almains stand, of which each might have beene
A Leader for his skill, which when the charge was hot,
That they could hardly see the very Sunne for shot,
Yet they that motion kept that perfect Souldiers should;
That most couragious Swart there might they well behold,
With most unusuall skill, that desperate fight maintaine,
And valiant De la Poole, most like his princely straine,
Did all that courage could, or noblesse might befit;
And Lovell that brave Lord, behind him not a whit,
For martiall deeds that day: stout Broughton that had stood
With Yorke (even) from the first, there lastly gave his blood
To that well-foughten Field: the poore Trowz’d Irish there,
Whose Mantles stood for Mayle, whose skinns for Corslets were,
And for their weapons had but Irish Skaines and Darts,
Like men that scorned death, with most resolved hearts,
Give not an inch of ground, but all in pieces hewen,
Where first they fought, they fell; with them was overthrowne
The Leader Geralds hope, amidst his men that fought,
And tooke such part as they, whom he had thither brought.
Sir Thomas Broughton.
This of that field be told, There was not one that fled,
But where he first was plac’d, there found alive or dead.
A Field bravely fought.
If in a foughten field, a man his life should loose,
To dye as these men did, who would not gladly choose,
Which full foure thousand were. But in this tedious Song,
The too laborious Muse hath taried all too long.
As for the Black-Smiths Rout, who did together rise,
Encamping on Blackheath, t’annull the Subsidies
Michael Joseph with
the Cornish Rebels.
By Parliment then given, or that of Cornwall call’d,
Inclosures to cast downe, which overmuch enthrald
The Subject: or proud Kets, who with the same pretence
In Norfolke rais’d such stirres, as but with great expence
Of blood was not appeas’d; or that begun in Lent
The Rebellion of
Cornwall, in the third
yeere of Edward the
By Wyat and his friends, the Mariage to prevent,
That Mary did intend with Philip King of Spaine:
Since these but Ryots were, nor fit the others straine,
Shee here her Battels ends: and as Shee did before,
So travelling along upon her silent shore,
Waybridge a neighbouring Nymph, the onely remnant left
Of all that Forrest kind, by Times injurious theft
Of all that tract destroy’d, with wood which did abound,
And former times had seene the goodliest Forrest ground,
This Iland ever had: but she so left alone,
The ruine of her kind, and no man to bemoane.
The deepe intranced Flood, as thinking to awake,
Thus from her shady Bower shee silently bespake.
O Flood in happy plight, which to this time, remainst,
As still along in state to Neptunes Court thou strainst;
Revive thee with the thought of those forepassed howers,
When the rough Wood-gods kept, in their delightfull Bowers
On thy embroydered bankes, when now this Country fild,
With villages, and by the labouring plowman tild,
Was Forrest, where the Firre, and spreading Poplar grew.
O let me yet the thought of those past times renew,
When as that woody kind, in our umbragious Wyld,
Whence every living thing save onely they exild,
In this their world of wast, the soveraigne Empire swayd.
O who would ere have thought, that time could have decayd
Those trees whose bodies seem’d by their so massie weight,
To presse the solid earth, and with their wondrous height
To climbe into the Clouds, their Armes so farre to shoot,
As they in measuring were of Acres, and their Root,
With long and mightie spurnes to grapple with the land,
As Nature would have sayd, that they should ever stand:
So that this place where now this Huntingdon is set,
Being an easie hill where mirthfull Hunters met,
From that first tooke the name. By this the Muse arives
At Elies Iled Marge, by having past Saint Ives,
Sir Thomas Wyat.
The two and twentieth Song. 63
Unto the German Sea shee hasteth her along,
And here shee shutteth up her two and twentieth Song,
In which shee quite hath spent her vigor, and must now,
As Workmen often use, a while sit downe and blow;
And after this short pause, though lesning of her height,
Come in another Key, yet not without delight.