|From Sarum thus we set, remov’d from whence it stood
By Avon to reside, her deerest loved Flood:
|Where her imperious a Fane her former seate disdaines,
And proudly over-tops the spacious neighboring Plaines.
What pleasures hath this Ile, of us esteem’d most deere,
| a The goodly
Church at Salisburie.
|In any place, but poore unto the plentie heere?
The chaulkie b Chiltern fields, nor Kelmarsh selfe compares
With c Everley for store and swiftnes of her Hares:
A horse of greater speed, nor yet a righter hound,
Not any where twixt Kent and d Calidon is found.
Nor yet the levell South can shewe a smoother Race,
Whereas the * ballow Nag out-strips the winds in chase;
As famous in the West for matches yeerelie tride,
As e Garterley, possest of all the Northen pride:
And on his match, as much the Western horseman layes,
As the rank-riding Scots upon their f Gallowayes.
And as the Westerne soyle as sound a Horse doth breed,
As doth the land that lies betwixt the Trent and Tweed:
No Hunter, so, but finds the breeding of the West,
The onely kind of Hounds, for mouth and nostrill best;
| b Two places famous
for Hares, the one in
other in North-
c Everley warren of
d The furthest part of
e A famous Yorkeshire
f The best kind of
|That cold doth sildome fret, nor heat doth over-haile;
As standing in the Flight, as pleasant on the Traile;
Free hunting, easely checkt, and loving every Chase;
Straight running, hard, and tough, of reasonable pase:
Not heavie, as that hound which Lancashire doth breed;
Nor as the Northerne kind, so light and hot of speed,
Upon the cleerer Chase, or on the foyled Traine,
Doth make the sweetest cry, in Wood-land, or on Plaine.
Where she, of all the Plaines of Britaine, that doth beare
The name to be the first (renowned everie where)
Hath worthily obtaind that Stonendge there should stand:
|The Western hounds
generally the best.
|Shee, first of Plaines; and g that, first Wonder of the Land.
Shee Wansdike also winnes, by whom shee is imbrac’t,
That in his aged armes doth gird her ampler wast:
Who (for a mightie Mound sith long he did remaine
§. Betwixt the Mercians rule, and the West-Saxons raigne,
And therefore of his place him selfe hee proudly bare)
Had very oft beene heard with Stonendge to compare;
Whom for a paltry Ditch, when Stonendge pleasd t’upbraid,
The old man taking heart, thus to that Trophy said;
Dull heape, that thus thy head above the rest doost reare,
Precisely yet not know’st who first did place thee there;
But Traytor basely turn’d to Merlins skill doost flie,
And with his Magiques doost thy Makers truth belie:
Conspirator with Time, now growen so meane and poore,
Comparing these his spirits with those that went before;
| g Stonendge the
greatest Wonder of
|the third Song.
|Yet rather art content thy Builders praise to lose,
Then passed greatnes should thy present wants disclose.
Ill did those mightie men to trust thee with their storie,
That hast forgot their names, who rear’d thee for their glorie:
For all their wondrous cost, thou that hast serv’d them so,
What tis to trust to Tombes, by thee we easely know.
In these invectives thus whilst Wansdick doth complaine,
|He interrupted is by that imperious * Plaine,
§. To hear two crystall Floods to court her, that apply
Themselves, which should be seene most gracious in her eye.
|First, Willy boasts her selfe more worthy then the other,
And better farre deriv’d: as having to her mother
Faire a Selwood, and to bring up b Diver in her traine;
Which, when the envious soile would from her course restraine,
A mile creeps under earth, as flying all resort:
And how cleere Nader waits attendance in her Court;
| a A Forest betwixt
b Of diving under the
|And therefore claimes of right the Plaine should hold her deere,
Which gives that Towne the name; which likewise names the Shire.
The Easterne Avon vaunts, and doth upon her take
|Wilton of Willie, and
Wiltshire of Wilton.
|To be the onelie child of shadefull c Savernake,
As Ambrayes ancient flood; her selfe and to enstile
The Stonendges best-lov’d, first wonder of the Ile;
And what (in her behoofe) might any want supply,
Shee vaunts the goodlie seat of famous Saliburie;
Where meeting prettie Bourne, with many a kind embrace,
Betwixt their crystall armes they clip that loved place.
Report, as lately rais’d, unto these Rivers came,
§. That Bathes cleere Avon (waxt imperious through her fame)
Their daliance should deride; and that by her disdaine,
Some other smaller Brooks, belonging to the Plaine,
A question seem’d to make, whereas the Shire sent forth
| c A Forest in
Wiltshire, as the Map
will tell you.
|Two Avons, which should be the flood of greatest worth;
This streame, which to the South the d Celtick Sea doth get,
Or that which from the North saluteth Somerset.
This when these Rivers heard, that even but lately strove
Which best did love the Plaine, or had the Plaines best love,
They straight themselves combine: for Willy wiselie waide,
That should her Avon lose the day for want of aide,
If one so great and neere were overprest with power,
The Foe (shee beeing lesse) would quicklie her devour.
As two contentious Kings, that on each little jarre,
Defiances send forth, proclaiming open warre,
Untill some other Realme, that on their frontires lies,
Be hazarded againe by other enemies,
Doe then betwixt themselves to composition fall,
To countercheck that sword, else like to conquer all:
| d The French Sea, as
you have in the note
|So falls it with these Floods, that deadlie hate doe beare.
And whilst on either part strong preparations were,
It greatly was suppos’d strange strife would there have been,
Had not the goodly Plaine (plac’t equally betweene)
Fore-warn’d them to desist, and off their purpose brake:
When in behalfe of Plaines thus (gloriously) she spake;
| a Away yee barb’rous Woods; How ever yee be plac’t
On Mountaines, or in Dales, or happily be grac’t
With floods, or marshie * fels, with pasture, or with earth
By nature made to till, that by the yeerely birth
The large-bay’d Barne doth fill, yea though the fruitfulst ground.
For, in respect of Plaines, what pleasure can be found
In darke and sleepie shades? where mists and rotten fogs
Hang in the gloomie thicks, and make unstedfast bogs,
By dropping from the boughs, the o’re-growen trees among,
With Caterpillers kells, and duskie cobwebs hong.
The deadlie Screech-owle sits, in gloomie covert hid:
Whereas the smooth-brow’d Plaine, as liberallie doth bid
The Larke to leave her Bowre, and on her trembling wing
In climing up tow’rds heaven, her high-pitcht Hymnes to sing
Unto the springing Day; when gainst the Sunnes arise
The earlie Dawning strewes the goodly Easterne skies
With Roses every where: who scarcelie lifts his head
To view this upper world, but hee his beames doth spred
Upon the goodlie Plaines; yet at his Noonesteds hight,
Doth scarcelie pierce the Brake with his farre-shooting sight.
The gentle Shepheards heer survay their gentler sheepe:
Amongst the bushie woods luxurious Satyrs keepe.
To these brave sports of field, who with desire is wonne,
To see his Grey-hound course, his Horse (in diet) runne,
His deepe mouth’d Hound to hunt, his long-wingd Haulk to flie,
To these most noble sports his mind who doth apply,
Resorts unto the Plaines. And not a foughten Field,
Where Kingdoms rights have laine upon the speare and shield,
But Plaines have beene the place; and all those Trophies hie
That ancient times haue rear’d to noble memorie:
As, Stonendge, that to tell the British Princes slaine
By those false Saxons fraud, here ever shall remaine.
It was upon the Plaine of Mamre (to the fame
Of mee and all our kind) whereas the Angels came
To Abraham in his Tent, and there with him did feed;
To Sara his deere wife then promising the seed
By whom all Nations should so highly honor’d bee,
In which the Sonne of God they in the flesh should see.
But Forests, to your plague there soone will come an Age,
In which all damned sinnes most vehemently shall rage.
| a The Plaine of
Salisburies speech in
defence of all Plaines.
* Boggy places. A
word frequent in
|the third Song.
|An Age! what have I said! nay, Ages there shall rise,
So senselesse of the good of their posterities,
That of your greatest Groves they scarce shall leave a tree
(By which the harmelesse Deere may after sheltred bee)
Their luxurie and pride but onely to maintaine,
And for your long excesse shall turne ye all to paine.
Thus ending; though some hils themselves that doe applie
To please the goodly Plaine, still standing in her eie,
|Did much applaud her speech (as Haradon, whose head
Old Ambry still doth awe, and Bagden from his sted,
Survaying of the Vies, whose likings do allure
Both Ouldbry and Saint Anne; and they againe procure
Mount Marting-sall: and he those hils that stand aloofe,
Those brothers Barbury, and Badbury, whose proofe
Addes much unto her praise) yet in most high disdaine,
The Forrests take her words, and sweare the prating Plaine
Growne old began to doate: and Savernake so much
Is galled with her taunts (whom they so nearely touch)
That she in spitefull tearmes defies her to her face;
And Aldburne with the rest, though being but a Chase,
At worse then nought her sets: but Bradon all afloate
When it was tolde to her, set open such a throate,
That all the countrey rang. She cals her barren Jade,
Base Queane, and riv’ld Witch, and wisht she could be made
But worthy of her hate (which most of all her grieves)
The basest beggers Baude, a harborer of theeves.
Then Peusham, and with her old Blackmore (not behinde)
Do wish that from the Seas some soultrie Southerne winde,
The foule infectious damps, and poisned aires would sweepe,
And poure them on the Plaine, to rot her and her Sheepe.
But whilst the sportive Muse delights her with these things,
She strangely taken is with those delicious Springs
Of Kenet rising here, and of the nobler Streame
Of Isis setting forth upon her way to Tame,
§. By Greeklade; whose great name yet vaunts that learned tong,
Where to great Britaine first the sacred Muses song;
Which first were seated here, at Isis bountious head,
As telling that her fame should through the world be spread;
And tempted by this flood, to Oxford after came,
There likewise to delight her bridegroome, lovely Tame:
Whose beautie when they saw, so much they did adore,
That Greeklade they forsooke, and would goe backe no more.
Then Bradon gently brings forth Avon from her source:
Which Southward making soone in her most quiet course,
Receives the gentle Calne: when on her rising side,
First Blackmoore crownes her banke, as Peusham with her pride
|Divers hils neere &
|Sets out her murmuring sholes, till (turning to the West)
Her, Somerset receives, with all the bounties blest
That Nature can produce in that Bathonian Spring,
Which from the Sulphury Mines her med’cinall force doth bring;
As Physick hath found out by colour, taste, and smell,
Which taught the world at first the vertue of that Well;
What quickliest it could cure: which men of knowledge drew
From that first minerall cause: but some that little knew
(Yet felt the great effects continually it wrought)
§. Ascrib’d it to that skill, which Bladud hither brought,
As by that learned King the Bathes should be begunne;
Not from the quickned Mine, by the begetting Sunne
Giving that naturall power, which by the vig’rous sweate,
Doth lend the lively Springs their perdurable heate
In passing through the veines, where matter doth not need;
Which in that minerous earth insep’rably doth breed:
So nature hath purvai’d, that during all her raigne
The Bathes their native power for ever shall retaine:
Where Time that Citie built, which to her greater fame,
Preserving of that Spring, participates her name;
The Tutilage whereof (as those past worlds did please)
Some to Minerva gave, and some to Hercules:
Proud Phoebus loved Spring, in whose Diurnall course,
§. When on this point of earth he bends his greatest force,
By his so strong approach, provokes her to desire;
Stung with the kindly rage of loves impatient fire:
Which boiling in her wombe, projects (as to a birth)
Such matter as she takes from the grosse humorous earth;
Till purg’d of dregs and slime, and her complexion cleere,
She smileth on the light, and lookes with mirthfull cheere.
Then came the lustie Froome, the first of floods that met
Faire Avon entring in to fruitfull Somerset,
With her attending Brooks; and her to Bathe doth bring,
Much honoured by that place, Minerva’s sacred Spring.
To noble Avon, next, cleere Chute as kindly came,
To Bristow her to beare, the fairest seat of Fame:
To entertaine this flood, as great a mind that hath,
|Minerva and Hercules,
the protectors of these
And striving in that kind farre to excell the Bath.
As when some wealthy Lord, prepares to entertaine
A man of high account, and feast his gallant traine;
Of him that did the like, doth seriously enquire
His diet, his device, his service, his attire;
That varying every thing (exampled by his store)
He everie way may passe what th’other did before:
Even so this Citie doth; the prospect of which place
To her faire building addes an admirable grace;
|The delicacies of
|the third Song.
|Well fashioned as the best, and with a double wall,
As brave as any Towne; but yet excelling all
For easement, that to health is requisit and meete;
Her piled shores, to keepe her delicate and sweete:
Hereto, she hath her Tides; that when she is opprest
With heat or drought, still poure their floods upon her breast.
To Mendip then the Muse upon the South inclines,
Which is the onely store, and Coffer of her Mines:
Elsewhere the Fields and Meades their sundry traffiques suit:
The Forrests yeeld her wood, the Orchards give her fruit.
As in some rich mans house his severall charges lie,
There stands his Wardrobe, here remaines his Treasurie;
His large provision there, of Fish, of Fowl, and Neat;
His Cellars for his Wines, his Larders for his meate;
There Banquet houses, Walkes for pleasure; here againe
Cribs, Graners, Stables, Barnes, the other to maintaine:
So this rich countrey hath, it selfe what may suffice;
Or that which through exchange a smaller want supplies:
Yet Ochyes dreadfull Hole still held her selfe disgrac’t,
|§. With * th’wonders of this Ile that she should not be plac’t:
But that which vext her most, was, that the a Peakish Cave
Before her darkesome selfe such dignitie should have;
And b th’Wyches for their Salts such state on them should take;
Or Cheshire should preferre her sad c Death-boding-lake;
And Stonendge in the world should get so high respect,
Which imitating Arte but idly did erect:
| *A catalog of many
wonders of this Land.
a The Divels arse.
b The Salt Wels in
c Bruertons pond.
|And that amongst the rest, the vaine inconstant d Dee,
By changing of his Foards, for one should reckond bee;
As of another sort, wood turn’d to e stone; among,
Th’anatomized f Fish, and Fowles from g planchers sprong:
And on the Cambrian side those strange and wondrous h Springs,
Our i beasts that seldome drinke; a thousand other things
Which Ochy inly vext, that they to fame should mount,
And greatly griev’d her friends for her so small account;
That there was scarcely Rock, or River, Marsh, or Meare
That held not Ochyes wrongs (for all held Ochy deare)
§. In great and high disdaine: and Froome for her disgrace
Since scarcely ever washt the Colesleck from her face;
But (melancholy growne) to Avon gets a path,
Through sickeness forc’t to seeke for cure unto the Bath:
§. And Chedder for meere griefe his teene he could not wreake,
Gusht forth so forcefull streames, that he was like to breake
The greater bankes of Ax, as from his mothers Cave,
He wandred towards the Sea; for madnesse who doth rave
At his drad mothers wrong: but who so wo begon
For Ochy, as the Ile of ancient Avalon?
| d A river by
e By sundry soiles of
f Our Pikes, ript and
sow’d up, live.
g Barnacles a bird
breeding upon old
h Wondrous Springs in
|Who having in her selfe, as inward cause of griefe,
Neglecteth yet her owne, to give her friend reliefe.
The other so againe for her doth sorrow make,
And in the Iles behalfe the dreadfull Caverne spake;
O three times famous Ile, where is that place that might
Be with thy selfe compar’d for glorie and delight,
Whilst Glastenbury stood? exalted to that pride,
Whose Monasterie seem’d all other to deride?
O who thy ruine sees, whom wonder doth not fill
With our great fathers pompe, devotion, and their skill?
Thou more then mortall power (this judgement rightly wai’d)
Then present to assist, at that foundation lai’d;
On whom for this sad waste, should Justice lay the crime?
Is there a power in Fate, or doth it yeeld to Time?
Or was their error such, that thou could’st not protect
Those buildings which thy hand did with their zeale erect?
To whom didst thou commit that monument, to keepe,
That suffreth with the dead their memory to sleepe?
|§. When not great Arthurs Tombe, nor holy a Josephs Grave,
From sacriledge had power their sacred bones to save;
He who that God in man to his sepulchre brought,
Or he which for the faith twelve famous battels fought.
What? Did so many Kings do honor to that place,
For Avarice at last so vilely to deface?
For rev’rence, to that seat which hath ascribed beene,
|a Joseph of Arimathea.
| b Trees yet in winter bloome, and beare their Summers greene.
This said, she many a sigh from her full stomacke cast,
Which issued through her breast in many a boystrous blast;
And with such floods of teares her sorrowes doth condole,
As into rivers turne within that darkesome hole:
Like sorrow for her selfe, this goodly Ile doth trie;
§. Imbrac’t by Selwoods sonne, her flood the lovely Bry,
On whom the Fates bestow’d (when he conceived was)
He should be much belov’d of many a daintie Lasse;
Who gives all leave to like, yet of them liketh none:
But his affection sets on beautious Avalon;
| b The wondrous tree at
|Though many a plump-thigh’d moore, & ful-flanck’t marsh do prove
To force his chaste desires, so dainty of his love.
First Sedgemore shewes this floud, her bosome all unbrac’t,
And casts her wanton armes about his slender wast:
Her lover to obtaine, so amorous Audry seekes:
And Gedney softly steales sweet kisses from his cheekes.
One takes him by the hand, intreating him to stay:
Another pluckes him backe, when he would faine away:
But, having caught at, length, whom long he did pursue,
Is so intranc’t with love, her goodly parts to view,
|Fruitful Moors on the
bankes of Bry.
|the third Song.
|That altring quite his shape, to her he doth appeare,
And casts his crystall selfe into an ample Meare:
But for his greater growth when needs he must depart,
And forc’t to leave his Love (though with a heavie hart)
As hee his back doth turne, and is departing out,
The batning marshie Brent environs him about:
But lothing her imbrace, away in haste he flings,
And in the Severne Sea surrounds his plentious Springs.
But, dallying in this place so long why doost thou dwell,
So many sundry things here having yet to tell?
Occasion calls the Muse her pynions to prepare.
Which (striking with the wind the vast and open aire)
Now, in the finnie Heaths, then in the Champains roves;
Now, measures out this Plaine; and then survayes those groves;
The batfull pastures fenc’t, and most with quickset mound,
The sundry sorts of soyle, diversitie of ground;
Where Plow-men cleanse the Earth of rubbish, weed, and filth,
And give the fallow lands their seasons and their tylth:
Where, best for breeding horse; where cattell fitst to keepe;
Which good for bearing Corne; which pasturing for sheepe:
The leane and hungry earth, the fat and marly mold,
Where sands be alwaies hot, and where the clayes be cold;
With plentie where they waste, some others toucht with want:
Heere set, and there they sowe; here proine, and there they plant.
As Wiltshire is a place best pleas’d with that resort
Which spend away the time continuallie in sport;
So Somerset, her selfe to profit doth apply,
As given all to gaine, and thriving huswifrie.
For, whereas in a Land one doth consume and wast,
Tis fit another be to gather in as fast:
This liketh moorie plots, delights in sedgie Bowres,
The grassy garlands loves, and oft attyr’d with flowres
Of ranke and mellow gleabe; a sward as soft as wooll,
With her complexion strong, a belly plumpe and full.
Thus whilst the active Muse straines out these various things,
Cleere Parret makes approach, with all those plentious Springs
Her fruitful banks that blesse; by whose Monarchall sway,
Shee fortifies her selfe against that mightie day
Wherein her utmost power she should be forc’t to try.
For, from the Druides time there was a prophecie,
That there should come a day (which now was neere at handBy all forerunning signes) that on the Easterne Strand,
|If * Parret stood not fast upon the English side,
They all should be supprest: and by the British pride
In cunning over-come; for why, impartiall Fate
(Yet constant alwaies to the Britains crazed state)
|Forbad they yet should fall; by whom she meant to showe
How much the present Age, and after-times should owe
Unto the line of Brute. Cleere Parret therefore prest
Her tributarie Streames, and whollie her addrest
Against the ancient Foe: First, calling to her ayde
|Two Rivers of * one name; which seeme as though they stayd
Their Empresse as she went, her either hand that take.
The first upon the right, as from her source, doth make
Large Muchelney an Ile, and unto Ivell lends
Her hardlie-rendred name: That on her left, descends
From Neroch’s neighboring woods; which, of that Forest borne,
Her rivalls proffered grace opprobriously doth scorne.
Shee by her wandring course doth Athelney in-Ile:
And for the greater state, her selfe she doth instile
§. The nearest neighbouring flood to Arthurs ancient seat,
Which made the Britaines name through all the world so great.
Like Camelot, what place, was ever yet renownd?
Where, as at Carlion, oft, hee kept the Table-round,
Most famous for the sports at Pentecost so long,
From whence all Knightlie deeds, and brave atchievements sprong.
As some soft-sliding Rill, which from a lesser head
(Yet in his going forth, by many a Fountaine fed)
Extends it selfe at length unto a goodly streame:
So, almost through the world his fame flew from this Realme;
That justlie I may charge those ancient Bards of wrong,
So idly to neglect his glorie in their Song.
For some aboundant braine, ô there had been a storie
|* Ivel: from which, the
town Ivel is
|Beyond the * Blind-mans might to have inhanc’t our glorie.*
Tow’rds the Sabrinian Sea then Parret setting on,
To her attendance next comes in the beautious Tone,
Crown’d with embroidred banks, and gorgeously arraid
With all th’enamild flowers of manie a goodly Mead:
In Orchards richly clad; whose proud aspyring boughes
Even of the tallest woods doe scorne a jote to loose,
Though Selwoods mighty selfe and Neroch standing by:
The sweetnes of her soyle through every Coast doth fly.
What eare so empty is, that hath not heard the sound
|Of Tauntons fruitfull a Deane? not matcht by any ground;
By b Athelney ador’d, a neighbourer to her Land:
Whereas those higher hills to view faire Tone that stand,
Her coadjuting Springs with much content behold:
Where Sea-ward Quantock stands as Neptune he controld,
And Blackdown In-land borne, a Mountain and a Mound,
As though he stood to look about the Country round:
But Parret as a Prince, attended heere the while,
Inricht with every Moore, and every In-land Ile,
| a One of the fruitfull
places of this Land.
b Interpreted the noble
|the third Song.
|Upon her taketh State, well forward tow’rds her fall:
Whom lastly yet to grace, and not the least of all,
Comes in the lively Carre, a Nymph, most lovely cleere,
From Somerton sent downe the Soveraigne of the Sheere;
Which makes our Parret proude. And wallowing in excesse,
Whilst like a Prince she vaunts amid the watry presse,
The breathlesse Muse awhile her wearied wings shall ease,
To get her strength to stem the rough Sabrinian Sea.