Song 27


The seaven and twentieth Song.


The circuit of this Shire exprest,
Erwell, and Ribble then contest;
The Muse next to the Mosses flies,
And to fayre Wyre her selfe applies.
The Fishy Lun then doth shee bring,
The praise of Lancashire to sing,
The Isle of Man maintaines her plea,
Then falling Eastward from that Sea,
On rugged Furnesse, and his Fells,
Of which this Canto lastly tells.

carce could the labouring Muse salute this lively Shire,
But strait such shouts arose from every Mosse and Mere,
And Rivers rushing downe, with such unusuall noyse,
Upon their peably sholes, seem’d to expresse their joyes,
That Mersey (in her course which happily confines
Brave Chesshire from this Tract, two County Palatines)
As ravish’d with the newes, along to Lerpoole ran,
That all the Shores which lye to the * Vergivian,
Resounded with the shouts, so that from Creeke to Creeke,
So lowd the Ecchoes cry’d, that they were heard to shreeke
The Irish Sea.
To Fournesse ridged Front, whereas the rocky Pile
Of Foudra is at hand, to guard the out-layd Isle
Of Walney, and those grosse and foggy Fells awooke;
Thence flying to the East, with their reverberance shooke
The Clouds from Pendles head, (which as the people say,
Prognosticates to them a happy Halcyon day)
Rebounds on Blackstonedge, and there by falling fils
Faire Mersey, making in from the Derbeian Hills.
But whilst the active Muse thus nimbly goes about,
Of this large Tract to lay the true Demensions out,
The circuit and true
demension of
The neat Lancastrain Nymphes, for beauty that excell,
That for the * Hornpipe round doe beare away the bell;
Some that about the Banks of Erwell make abode,
With some that have their seat by Ribbles silver road,
In great contention fell, (that mighty difference grew)
Which of those Floods deserv’d to have the soveraigne due;
So that all future spleene, and quarrels to prevent,
That likely was to rise about their long discent,
Before the neighbouring Nymphs, their right they meane to plead,
And first thus for her selfe the lovely Erwell sayd.
The Lancashire Horne-
Yee Lasses, quoth this Flood, have long and blindly er’d,
That Ribble before me, so falsely have prefer’d,
That am a Native borne, and my descent doe bring,
From ancient Gentry here, when Ribble from her Spring,
An Alien knowne to be, and from the Mountaines rude
Of Yorkshire getting strength, here boldly dares intrude
Upon my proper Earth, and through her mighty fall,
Is not asham’d her selfe of Lancashire to call:
Whereas of all the Nymphes that carefully attend
My Mistris Merseys State, ther’s none that doth transcend
My greatnesse with her grace, which doth me so preferre,
That all is due to me, which doth belong to her.
For though from Blackstonedge the Taume come tripping downe,
And from that long-ridg’d Rocke, her fathers high renowne,
Of Mersey thinks from me, the place alone to winne,
With my attending Brooks, yet when I once come in,
I out of count’nance quite doe put the Nymph, for note,
As from my Fountaine I tow’rds mightier Mersey float,
First Roch a dainty Rill, from Roch-dale her deare Dame,
Who honored with the halfe of her sterne mothers name,
Growes proud; yet glad her selfe into my Bankes to get,
Which Spodden from her Spring, a pretty Rivelet,
As her attendant brings, when Irck addes to my store,
And Medlock to their much, by lending somewhat more,
At Manchester doe meet, all kneeling to my State,
Where brave I show my selfe; then with a prouder gate,
Tow’rds Mersey making on, great Chatmosse at my fall,
Lyes full of Turfe, and Marle, her unctuous Minerall,
And Blocks as blacke as Pitch, (with boring-Augars found)
There at the generall Flood supposed to be drownd.
Thus chiefe of Merseys traine, away with her I runne,
When in her prosperous course shee watreth Warrington,
And her faire silver load in Lerpoole downe doth lay,
A Road none more renownd in the Vergivian Sea.
Yee lustie Lasses then, in Lancashire that dwell,
For Beautie that are sayd to beare away the Bell,
Erwels oration.
The seaven and twentieth Song. 131
Your Countries Horn-pipe, yee so minsingly that tread,
As ye the Eg-pye love, and Apple Cherry-red;
In all your mirthfull Songs, and merry meetings tell,
That Erwell every way doth Ribble farre excell.
Her well-disposed speech had Erwell scarcely done,
But swift report therewith imediatly doth runne
To the Virgivian Shores, among the Mosses deepe,
Where Alt a neighboring Nymph for very joy doth weepe,
That Symonds-wood, from whence the Flood assumes her Spring,
Excited with the same, was lowdly heard to ring;
And over all the Moores, with shrill re-ecchoing sounds,
The drooping Fogs to drive from those grosse watry grounds,
Where those that toyle for Turffe, with peating Spades doe find
He that wil fish for a
Lancashire man, at any
time or tide, must bait
his hooke with a good
Eg-pie, or an Apple
with a red side.
Fish living in that earth (contrary to their kind)
Which but that Pontus, and Heraclia likewise showes,
The like in their like earth, that with like moisture flowes,
And that such Fish as these, had not been likewise found,
Within farre firmer earth, the Paphlagonian ground,
A Wonder of this Isle, this well might have been thought.
But Ribbell that this while for her advantage wrought,
Of what shee had to say, doth well her selfe advise,
And to brave Erwels speech, thus boldly she replies.
With that, whereby the most thou thinkst me to disgrace,
That I an Alien am, (not rightly of this place)
My greatest glory is, and Lancashire therefore,
To Nature for my Birth, beholding is the more;
That Yorkshire, which all Shires for largenesse doth exceed,
A kingdome to be cald, that well deserves (indeed)
And not a Fountaine hath, that from her wombe doth flow
Within her spacious selfe, but that she can bestow;
To Lancaster yet lends, me Ribbell, from her store,
Which adds to my renowne, and makes her Bountie more.
From Penigents proud foot, as from my source I slide,
That Mountaine my proud Syre, in height of all his pride,
Takes pleasure in my Course, as in his first-borne Flood:
And Ingleborow Hill of that Olympian Brood,
With Pendle, of the North the highest Hills that be,
Doe wistly me behold, and are beheld of me,
These Mountaines make me proud, to gaze on me that stand:
So Long-ridge, once ariv’d on the Lancastrian Land,
Salutes me, and with smiles, me to his soyle invites,
So have I many a Flood, that forward me excites,
As Hodder, that from home attends me from my Spring;
Then Caldor comming downe, from Blackstonedge doth bring
Me eas’ly on my way, to Preston the greatst Towne,
Wherewith my Banks are blest; whereat my going downe,
A wonder in Nature.
Cleere Darwen on along me to the Sea doth drive,
And in my spacious fall no sooner I arrive,
But Savock to the North, from Longridge making way,
To this my greatnesse adds, when in my ample Bay,
Swart Dulas comming in, from Wiggin with her ayds,
Short Taud, and Dartow small, two little Country Mayds,
(In those low watry lands, and Moory Mosses bred)
Doe see mee safely layd in mighty Neptunes bed;
And cutting in my course, even through the very heart
Of this renowned Shire, so equally it part,
As Nature should have said, Loe thus I meant to doe;
This Flood divides this Shire thus equally in two.
Ye Mayds, the Horne-pipe then, so minsingly that tread,
As yee the Egg-pye love, and Apple Cherry-red;
In all your mirthfull Songs, and merry meetings tell,
That Ribbell every way, your Erwell doth excell.
Heere ended shee againe, when Mertons Mosse and Mere,
With Ribbels sole reply so much revived were,
That all the Shores resound the Rivers good successe,
And wondrous joy there was all over * Andernesse,
Which straight convayd the newes into the upper land,
A part of Lancashire so
Where Pendle, Penigent, and Ingleborow stand
Like Gyants, and the rest doe proudly overlooke;
Or Atlas-like as though they onely undertooke
To under-prop high Heaven, or the wide Welkin dar’d,
Who in their Ribbles praise (be sure) no speeches spar’d;
That the loud sounds from them downe to the Forrests fell,
To Bowland brave in state, and Wyersdale, which as well,
As any Sylvan Nymphes, their beautious Scites may boast,
Whose Eccho’s sent the same all round about the Coast,
That there was not a Nymph to Jollity inclind,
Or of the wooddy brood, or of the watry kind,
But at their fingers ends, they Ribbels Song could say,
And perfectly the Note upon the Bag-pipe play.
That Wyre, when once she knew how well these Floods had sped,
(When their reports abroad in every place was spred)
It vex’d her very heart, their eminence to see,
Their equall (at the least) who thought her selfe to be,
Determins at the last to Neptunes Court to goe,
Before his ample State, with humblenesse to show
The wrongs she had sustain’d by her proud sisters spight,
And offring them no wrong, to doe her greatnesse right;
Arising but a Rill at first from Wyersdales lap,
Yet still receiving strength from her full Mothers pap,
As downe to Seaward she, her serious course doth ply,
Takes Caldor comming in, to beare her company.
Ingleborow, Pendle,
and Penigent, the
highest Hils betwixt
Barwick and Trent. See
to the 28. Song.
The seaven and twentieth Song. 133
From Woolfcrags Cliffy foot, a Hill to her at hand,
By that fayre Forrest knowne, within her Verge to stand.
So Bowland from her breast sends Brock her to attend,
As she a Forrest is, so likewise doth shee send
Her child, on Wyresdales Flood, the dainty Wyre to wayt,
With her assisting Rills, when Wyre is once repleat:
Shee in her crooked course to Seaward softly slides,
Where Pellins mighty Mosse, and Mertons, on her sides
Their boggy breasts out lay, and Skipton downe doth crawle,
To entertaine this Wyer, attained to her fall:
When whilst each wandring flood seem’d setled to admire,
First Erwell, Ribbell then, and last of all this Wyre,
That mighty wagers would have willingly been layd,
(But that these matters were with much discretion staid)
Some broyles about these Brooks had surely been begun.
When Coker a coy Nymph, that cleerely seemes to shun
All popular applause, who from her Christall head,
In Wyresdale, neere where Wyre is by her fountaine fed,
That by their naturall birth, they seeme (in deed) to twin,
Yet for her sisters pride shee careth not a pin,
Of none, and being help’d, she likewise helpeth none,
But to the Irish Sea goes gently downe alone
Of any undisturbd, till comming to her Sound,
Endangered by the Sands, with many a loftie bound,
Shee leaps against the Tydes, and cries to Christall Lon,
The Flood that names the Towne, from whence the Shire begun,
Her title first to take, and loudly tells the Flood,
That if a little while she thus but trifling stood,
These pettie Brooks would bee before her still preferd.
Which the long-wandring Lon, with good advisement heard,
As shee comes ambling on from Westmerland, where first
Arising from her head, amongst the Mountaines nurst,
By many a pretty spring, that howerly getting strength,
Ariving in her Course in Lancashire at length,
To Lonsdale showes her selfe, and lovingly doth play
With her deare daughter Dale, which her frim Cheeke doth lay
To her cleere mothers Breast, as minsingly she traces,
And oft imbracing her, she oft againe imbraces,
And on her Darling smiles, with every little gale.
When Lac the most lov’d child of this delicious Dale,
And Wemming on the way, present their eithers Spring.
Next them she Henbourne hath, and Robourne, which do bring
Their bounties in one banke, their Mistris to preferre,
That shee with greater state may come to Lancaster,
Of her which takes the name, which likewise to the Shire,
The Soveraigne title lends, and eminency, where
To give to this her Towne, what rightly doth belong,
Of this most famous Shire, our Lun thus frames her Song.
First, that most precious thing, and pleasing most to man,
Who from him (made of earth) imediatly began,
His shee selfe woman, which the goodliest of this Isle,
This country hath brought forth, that much doth grace my stile;
Why should those Ancients else, which so much knowing were,
When they the Blazons gave to every severall Shire,
Fayre women as mine owne, have titled due to me?
Faire women.
Besides in all this Isle, there no such Cattell be,
For largenesse, Horne, and Haire, as these of Lancashire;
So that from every part of England farre and neere,
Men haunt her Marts for Store, as from her Race to breed.
And for the third, wherein she doth all Shires exceed,
Breed of cattel the best.
Be those great race of Hounds, the deepest mouth’d of all
The other of this kind, which we our Hunters call,
Which from their bellowing throats upon a sent so roare,
That you would surely thinke, that the firme earth they tore
With their wide yawning chaps, or rent the Clouds in sunder,
As though by their lowd crie they meant to mocke the thunder.
Besides, her Natives have been anciently esteem’d,
Deepemouthd Hounds.
For Bow-men neere our best, and ever have been deem’d
So loyall, that the Guard of our preceding Kings,
Of them did most consist; but yet mongst all these things,
Even almost ever since the English Crowne was set
Upon the lawfull head, of our Plantaginet,
In Honor, next the first, our Dukedome was allow’d,
And alwayes with the greatst, revenewes was endow’d:
And after when it hapt, France-conquering Edwards blood
Divided in it selfe, here for the Garland stood;
The right Lancastrian Line, it from Yorks Issue bare;
Lancashire Bowmen.
The Red-rose, our brave Badge, which in their Helmets ware,
In many a bloody field, at many a doubtfull fight,
Against the House of Yorke, which bare for theirs the White.
The White and Red
And for my selfe there’s not the Tivy, nor the Wye,
Nor any of those Nymphs, that to the Southward lye,
See to the sixt Song.
For Salmon me excels; and for this name of Lun,
That I am Christned by, the Britaines it begun,
Which Fulnesse doth import, of waters still encrease:
To Neptune lowting low, when Christall Lun doth cease,
And Conder comming in, conducts her by the hand,
Llun, in the British,
Till lastly shee salute the poynt of * Sunderland,
And leaves our dainty Lun to Amphitrites care.
So blyth and bonny now the Lads and Lasses are,
That ever as anon the Bag-pipe up doth blow,
Cast in a gallant Round about the Harth they goe,
A part of Lancashire
jutting out into the Irish
The seaven and twentieth Song. 135
And at each pause they kisse, was never seene such rule
In any place but heere, at Boon-fire, or at Yeule;
And every village smokes at Wakes with lusty cheere,
Then Hey they cry for Lun, and Hey for Lancashire;
That one high Hill was heard to tell it to his brother,
That instantly againe to tell it to some other:
From Hill againe to Vale, from Vale to Hill it went,
The High-lands they againe, it to the lower sent,
The mud-exhausted Meres, and Mosses deepe among,
With the report thereof, each Road, and Harbor rung;
The Sea-Nymphs with their Song, so great a coyle doe keepe,
They cease not to resound it over all the Deepe,
And acted it each day before the Isle of Man,
Who like an Empresse sits in the Virgivian,
By her that hath the Calfe, long Walney, and the Pyle,
As Hand-mayds to attend on her their Soveraigne Isle,
To whom, so many though the Hebrides doe show,
Acknowlege, that to her they due subjection owe:
With Corne and Cattell stor’d, and what for hers is good,
(That we, nor Ireland, need not scorne her neighbourhood)
The Calfe of Man, a
little Island.
Her midst with Mountaines set, of which, from * Sceafels height,
A cleere and perfect eye, the weather being bright,
(Be Neptunes visage ne’r so terrible and sterne)
The Scotch, the Irish Shores, and th’English may discerne;
And what an Empire can, the same this Island brings
Her Pedigrees to show, her right successive Kings,
Her Chronicles and can as easily rehearce,
And with all forraine parts to have had free commerce;
Her Municipiall Lawes, and Customes very old,
Belonging to her State, which strongly shee doth hold:
This Island, with the Song of Lun is taken so,
As shee hath speciall cause before all other, who
For her bituminous Turfe, squar’d from her Mossy ground,
And Trees farre under earth, (by daily digging found,
As for the store of Oats, which her blacke Gleabe doth beare,
In every one of these resembling Lancashire,
To her shee’l stoutly stick, as to her neerest kin,
And cries the day is ours, brave Lancashire doth win.
But yet this Isle of Man more seemes not to rejoyce
For Lancashires good luck, nor with a louder voyce
To sound it to the Shores; then Furnesse whose sterne face,
With Mountaines set like Warts, which Nature as a grace
Bestow’d upon this Tract, whose Browes doe looke so sterne,
That when the Nymphs of Sea did first her Front discerne,
Amazedly they fled, to Amphitrites Bower.
Her grim aspect to see, which seem’d to them so sower,
A mountaine in the Isle
of Man.
As it malign’d the Rule which mighty Neptune bare,
Whose Fells to that grim god, most sterne and dreadfull are,
With Hills whose hanging browes, with Rocks about are bound,
Whose weighty feet stand fixt in that blacke beachy ground,
Whereas those scattered trees, which naturally pertake,
The fatnesse of the soyle (in many a slimy Lake,
Their roots so deeply sok’d) send from their stocky bough,
A soft and sappy Gum, from which those Tree-geese grow,
Call’d Barnacles by us, which like a Jelly first
To the beholder seeme, then by the fluxure nurst,
Still great and greater thrive, untill you well may see
Them turn’d to perfect Fowles, when dropping from the tree
Into the Meery Pond, which under them doth lye,
Waxe ripe, and taking wing, away in flockes doe flye;
Which well our Ancients did among our Wonders place:
Besides by her strong Scite, she doth receave this grace,
Before her neighbouring Tracts, (which Fournesse well may vaunt)
That when the Saxons here their forces first did plant,
And from the Inner-land the ancient Britains drave,
To their distrest estate it no lesse succour gave,
Then the trans-Severn’d Hills, which their old stocke yet stores,
Which now we call the Welsh, or the Cornubian Shores.
What Countrey lets ye see those soyles within her Seat,
But shee in little hath, what it can shew in great?
As first without her selfe at Sea to make her strong,
(Yet how soe’r expos’d, doth still to her belong)
And fence her furthest poynt, from that rough Neptunes rage,
The Isle of Walney lyes, whose longitude doth swage
His fury when his waves, on Furnesse seeme to warre,
Barnacles one of the
British Wonders.
Whose crooked back is arm’d with many a rugged * scarre
Against his boystrous shocks, which this defensive Isle
Of Walney still assayle, that shee doth scorne the while,
Which to assist her hath the Pyle of Fouldra set,
And Fulney at her backe, a pretty Insulet,
Which all their forces bend, their Furnesse safe to keepe:
But to his inner earth, divert we from the deepe,
Where those two mightie Meres, out-stretcht in length do wander,
The lesser Thurstan nam’d, the famouser Wynander,
So bounded with her Rocks, as Nature would descry,
By her how those great Seas Mediterranean lye.
To Sea-ward then shee hath her sundry Sands agen,
As that of Dudden first, then Levin, lastly Ken,
Of three bright Naiades nam’d, as Dudden on the West,
That Cumberland cuts off from this Shire, doth invest
Those Sands with her proud Style, when Levin from the Fells,
Besides her naturall source, with the abundance swells,
A scarre is a Rock.
The seaven and twentieth Song. 137
Which those two mighty Meres, upon her either side
Contrribute by recourse, that out of very pride,
Shee leaves her ancient name, and Fosse her selfe doth call,
Till comming to the Sands, even almost at her fall,
On them her ancient Style shee liberally bestowes.
Upon the East from these, cleere Ken her beautie showes,
From Kendale comming in, which shee doth please to grace,
First with her famous Type, then lastly in her race,
Her name upon those Sands doth liberally bequeath,
Whereas the Muse awhile may sit her downe to breath,
And after walke along tow’rds Yorkshire on her way,
On which shee strongly hopes to get a noble day.