Song 6


The sixt Song.


With Cardiganthe Muse proceeds,
And tells what rare things Tivy breeds:
Next, proud Plynillimon shee plyes;
Where Severne, Wy, and Rydoll rise.
With Severne shee along doth goe,
Her Metamorphosis to showe;
And makes the wandring Wy declame
In honour of the British name:
Then musters all the watry traine
That those two Rivers entertaine:
And viewing how those Rillets creepe
From shore to the Vergivian Deepe,
By Radnor and Mountgomery then
To Severne turnes her course agen:
And bringing all their Riverets in,
There ends; a new Song to begin.

ith I must stem thy Streame, cleere Tivy, yet before
The Muse vouchsafe to seise the Cardiganian shore,
Shee of thy sourse will sing in all the Cambrian coast;
Which of thy Castors once, but now canst onelie boast
The Salmons, of all Floods most plentifull in thee.
Deere Brooke, within thy Banks if anie Powers there bee;
Then Neiads, or yee Nymphs of their like watrie kind
(Unto whose onelie care, great Neptune hath assign’d
The guidance of those Brooks wherein he takes delight)
Assist her: and whilst shee your dwelling shall recite,
Be present in her work: let her your graces view,
That to succeeding times them livelie shee may shew;
As when great Albions sonnes, which him a Sea-Nymph brought
Amongst the grisly Rocks, were with your beauties caught
(Whose onelie love surpriz’d those of the a Phlegrian size,
The Titanois, that once against high Heaven durst rise)
a Giants
When as the hoarie woods, the climing hills did hide,
And cover’d everie Vale through which you gentlie glide;
Even for those inly heats which through your loves they felt,
That oft in kindlie teares did in your bosomes melt,
To view your secret Bowres, such favour let her win.
Then Tivy commeth downe from her capacious Lin,
Twixt Mirk and Brenny led, two handmaids, that doe stay
Their Mistres, as in State shee goes upon her way.
Which when Lanbeder sees, her wondrouslie shee likes:
Whose untam’d bosome so the beautious Tivy strikes,
As that the Forrest faine would have her there abide.
But shee (so pure a streame) transported with her pride
The offer idlie scorns; though with her flattering shade
The Sylvan her entice with all that may perswade
A water-Nymph; yea, though great Thetis selfe shee were:
But nothing might prevaile, nor all the pleasures there
Her mind could ever move one minutes staie to make.
Mild Mathern then, the next, doth Tivy over-take:
Which instantlie againe by Dittor is suppli’d.
Then, Keach and Kerry helpe: twixt which on either side,
To Cardigan shee comes, the Soveraigne of the Shere.
Now Tivy let us tell thy sundrie glories here.
When as the Salmon seekes a fresher streame to find
(Which hither from the Sea comes yeerely by his kind,
As he in season growes) and stems the watry tract
Where Tivy falling downe, doth make a * Cataract,
Forc’t by the rising Rocks that there her course oppose,
As though within their bounds they meant her to inclose;
Heere, when the labouring Fish doth at the foote arrive,
And finds that by his strength but vainlie he doth strive,
His taile takes in his teeth; and bending like a bowe,
That’s to the compasse drawne, aloft himself doth throwe:
Then springing at his height, as doth a little wand,
That bended end to end, and flerted from the hand,
Farre off it selfe doth cast; so doth the Salmon vaut.
* Falling of water.
And if at first he faile, his second a Summersaut
Hee instantlie assaies; and from his nimble Ring,
Still yarking, never leaves, untill himselfe he fling
Above the streamefull top of the surrounded heape.
More famous long agone, then for the Salmons leape,
For Bevers Tivy was, in her strong banks that bred,
Which else no other Brooke of Brittaine nourished:
Where Nature, in the shape of this now-perisht beast
His propertie did seeme t’have wondrouslie exprest;
Be’ing bodied like a Boat, with such a mightie taile
As serv’d him for a bridge, a helme, or for a saile,
a The word in
tumbling, when one
casteth himselfe over
and over.
the sixt Song. 89
When Kind did him commaund the Architect to play,
That his strong Castle built of branched twigs and clay:
Which, set upon the Deepe, but yet not fixed there,
Hee easelie could remove as it he pleas’d to stere
To this side or to that; the workmanship so rare,
His stuffe where-with to build, first beeing to prepare,
A forraging he goes, to Groves or bushes nie,
And with his teeth cuts downe his Timber: which laid-by,
He turnes him on his back, his belly laid abroad,
When with what he hath got, the other doe him load,
Till lastlie by the weight, his burthen hee have found.
Then, with his mightie taile his carriage having bound
As Carters doe with ropes, in his sharpe teeth hee grip’t
Some stronger stick: from which the lesser branches stript,
He takes it in the midst; at both the ends, the rest
Hard holding with their fangs, unto the labour prest,
Going backward, tow’rds their home their loaded carriage led,
From whom, those first heere borne, were taught the usefull Sled.
Then builded he his Fort with strong and several fights;
His passages contriv’d with such unusuall sleights,
That from the Hunter oft he issu’d undiscern’d,
As if men from this Beast to fortifie had learn’d;
§. Whose Kind, in her decay’d, is to this Ile unknowne.
Thus Tivy boasts this Beast peculiarly her owne.
But here why spend I time these trifles to areed?
Now, with thy former taske my Muse againe proceed,
To shewe the other Floods from the a Cerettick shore
To the Vergivian Sea contributing their store:
With Bidder first begin, that bendeth all her force
The Arron to assist, Arth holding on her course
The way the other went, with Werry which doth win
Faire Istwid to her ayde; who kindlie comming in,
Meets Rydoll at her mouth, that faire and princelie maid,
Plynillimons deere child, deliciouslie arraid,
As fits a Nymph so neere to Severne and her Queene.
Then come the sister Salks, as they before had seene
Those delicater Dames so trippinglie to tread:
Then Kerry; Cletur next, and Kinver making head
With Enion, that her like cleere Levant brings by her.
Plynillimons high praise no longer Muse defer;
What once the Druids told, how great those Floods should bee
That here (most mightie Hill) derive themselves from thee.
The Bards with furie rapt, the British youth among,
§. Unto the charming Harpe thy future honor song
In brave and loftie straines; that in excesse of joy,
The Beldam and the Girle, the Grandsire and the Boy,
a Of Cardigan.
With shouts and yearning cries, the troubled ayre did load
(As when with crowned cuppes unto the a Elian God
Those Priests his Orgyes held; or when the old world saw
Full Phœbes face eclipst, and thinking her to daw,
Whom they supposed falne in some inchanted swound,
Of beaten tinkling Brasse still ply’d her with the sound)
That all the Cambrian hills, which high’st their heads doe beare
With most obsequious showes of lowe subjected feare,
Should to thy greatnes stoupe: and all the Brooks that be,
Doe homage to those Floods that issued out of thee:
To prìncelie Severne first; next, to her sister Wye,
Which to her elders Court her course doth still apply.
But Rydoll, young’st, and least, and for the others pride
Not finding fitting roomth upon the rising side,
Alone unto the West directlie takes her way.
So all the neighboring Hills Plynillimon obey.
For, though Moylvadian beare his craggy top so hie,
As scorning all that come in compasse of his eye,
Yet greatlie is he pleas’d Plynillimon will grace
Him with a cheerfull looke: and, fawning in his face,
His love to Severne showes as though his owne she were,
Thus comforting the Flood; O ever-during heire
a Bacchus.
Of Sabrine, Locryns child (who of her life bereft,
Her ever-living name to thee faire River left)
Brutes first begotten sonne, which Gwendolin did wed;
But soone th’unconstant Lord abandoned her bed
(Through his unchaste desire) for beautious Elstreds love.
Now, that which most of all her mightie hart did move,
Her Father, Cornwalls Duke, great Corineus dead,
Was by the lustfull King unjustlie banished.
When shee, who to that time still with a smoothed brow
Had seem’d to beare the breach of Locrines former vow,
Perceiving stil her wrongs insufferable were;
Growne bigge with the revenge which her full breast did beare,
And ayded to the birth with every little breath
(Alone shee beeing left the spoyle of love and death,
In labour of her griefe outrageously distract,
The utmost of her spleene on her false Lord to act)
Shee first implores their aide to hate him whom shee found;
Whose harts unto the depth she had not left to sound.
To Cornwall then shee sends (her Country) for supplies:
Which all at once in Armes with Gwendolin arise.
Then with her warlike power, her husband shee pursu’d,
Whom his unlawfull love too vainlie did delude.
The fierce and jealous Queene, then voyde of all remorce,
As great in power as spirit, whilst hee neglects her force,
The storie of Severne.
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Him suddainlie surpriz’d, and from her irefull hart
All pittie cleane exil’d (whom nothing could convert)
The sonne of mightie Brute bereaved of his life;
Amongst the Britans here the first intestine strife,
Since they were put a-land upon this promis’d shore.
Then crowning Madan King, whom shee to Locrine bore,
And those which serv’d his Sire to his obedience brought;
Not so with blood suffic’d, immediatly she sought
The mother and the child: whose beautie when shee saw,
Had not her hart been flint, had had the power to draw
A spring of pittying teares; when, dropping liquid pearle,
Before the cruell Queene, the Ladie and the Girle
Upon their tender knees begg’d mercie. Woe for thee
Faire Elstred, that thou should’st thy fairer Sabrine see,
As shee should thee behold the prey to her sterne rage
Whom kinglie Locrins death suffic’d not to asswage:
Who from the bordring Cleeves thee with thy Mother cast
Into thy christned Flood, the whilst the Rocks aghast
Resounded with your shriekes; till in a deadlie dreame
Your corses were dissolv’d into that crystall streame,
Your curles to curled waves, which plainlie still appeare
The same in water now, that once in locks they were:
And, as you wont to clip each others neck before,
Yee now with liquid armes embrace the wandring shore.
But leave we Severne heere, a little to pursue
The often wandring Wye (her passages to view,
As wantonlie shee straines in her lascivious course)
And muster every flood that from her bountious sourse
Attends upon her Streame, whilst (as the famous bound
Twixt the Brecknokian earth, and the Radnorian ground)
Shee every Brooke receives. First, Clarwen commeth in,
With Clarwy: which to them their consort Eland win
To ayde their goodly Wye; which, Ithon gets againe:
She Dulas drawes along: and in her watry traine
Clowedock hath recourse, and Comran; which she brings
Unto their wandring flood from the Radnorian Springs:
As Edwy her attends, and Matchwy forward heaves
Her Mistresse. When, at last the goodly Wye perceaves
Shee now was in that part of Wales, of all the rest
Which (as her very waste) in breadth from East to West,
In length from North to South, her midst is every way,
From Severns bordring banks unto the either Sea,
And might be tearm’d her hart. The ancient Britans heere
The River calls to mind, and what those British were
Whilst Britain was her selfe, the Queene of all the West.
To whose old Nations praise whilst shee her selfe addrest,
From the Brecknokian bound when Irvon comming in,
Her Dulas, with Commarch, and Wevery that doth win,
Perswading her for them good matter to provide.
The Wood-Nymphs so againe, from the Radnorian side,
As Radnor, with Blethaugh, and Knuckles Forrests, call
To Wye, and bad her now bestirre her for them all:
For, if shee stuck not close in their distressed Case,
The Britans were in doubt to under-goe disgrace.
That stronglie thus provok’t, shee for the Britans saies;
What spirit can lift you up, to that immortall praise
§. You worthilie deserve? by whom first Gaul was taught
Her knowledge: and for her, what Nation ever wrought
The conquest you atchiev’d? And, as you were most drad,
So yee (before the rest) in so great reverence had
Your Bards which sung your deeds, that when sterne hosts have stood
With lifted hands to strike (in their inflamed blood)
§. One Bard but comming in, their murd’rous swords hath staid;
In her most dreadful voice as thundring heaven had said,
Stay Britans: when he spake, his words so powrefull were.
So to her native Priests, the dreadlesse Druides here,
The neerest neighboring Gaul, that wiselie could discerne
Th’effect their doctrine wrought, it for their good to learne,
Her apt and pregnant Youth sent hither yeere by yeere,
Instructed in our Rites with most religious feare.
And afterward againe, when as our ancient seat
Her surcrease could not keepe, growne for her soile too great
(But like to casting Bees, so rising up in swarmes)
§. Our Cymbri with the Gaules, that their commixed Armes
Joyn’d with the German powers (those Nations of the North
Which over-spread the world) together issued forth:
§. Where, with our brazen swords, we stoutly fought, and long;
And after Conquests got, residing them among,
First planted in those parts our brave courageous brood:
Whose natures so adher’d unto their ancient blood,
As from them sprang those Priests, whose praise so farre did sound,
Through whom that spacious Gaul was after so renown’d.
Nor could the Saxons swords (which many a lingring yeere
Them sadlie did afflict, and shut us Britans heere
Twixt Severne and this Sea) our mightie minds deject;
But that even they which fain’st our weaknes would detect,
Were forced to confesse, our wildest beasts that breed
Upon our mightie wastes, or on our Mountaines feed,
Were farre more sooner tam’d, then heere our Welch-men were:
Besides, in all the world no Nation is so deere
As they unto their owne; that here within this Ile,
Or else in forraine parts, yea, forced to exile,
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The noble Britan still his countryman releeves;
A Patriot, and so true, that it to death him greeves
To heare his Wales disgrac’t: and on the Saxons swords
Oft hazardeth his life, ere with reprochefull words
His Language or his Leeke hee’le stand to heare abus’d.
Besides, the Britan is so naturallie infus’d
With true Poëtick rage, that in their a measures, Art
Doth rather seeme precise, then comlie; in each part
Their Metre most exact, in Verse of th’hardest kind.
And some to riming be so wondrouslie inclin’d,
Those Numbers they will hit, out of their genuine vaine,
Which many wise and learn’d can hardly ere attaine.
O memorable Bards, of unmixt blood, which still
Posteritie shall praise for your so wondrous skill,
That in your noble Songs, the long Descents have kept
Of your great Heroës, else in Lethe that had slept,
With theirs whose ignorant pride your labours have disdain’d;
How much from time, and them, how bravelie have you gain’d!
Musician, Herault, Bard, thrice maist thou be renown’d,
And with three severall wreathes immortallie be crown’d;
Who, when to Penbrooke call’d before the English King,
And to thy powerfull Harpe commaunded there to sing,
Of famous Arthur told’st, and where hee was interr’d;
In which, those retchlesse times had long and blindlie err’d,
And Ignorance had brought the world to such a pass
As now, which scarce beleeves that Arthur ever was.
a See to the fourth
But when King b Henry sent th’reported place to view,
He found that man of men: and what thou said’st was true.
Heere then I cannot chuse but bitterlie exclame
Against those fooles that all Antiquitie defame,
Because they have found out, some credulous Ages layd
Slight fictions with the truth, whilst truth on rumor stayd;
And that one forward Time (perceiving the neglect
A former of her had) to purchase her respect,
With toyes then trimd her up, the drowsie world t’allure,
And lent her what it thought might appetite procure
To man, whose mind doth still varietie pursue;
And therefore to those things whose grounds were verie true,
Though naked yet and bare (not having to content
The weyward curious eare) gave fictive ornament;
And fitter thought, the truth they should in question call,
Then coldlie sparing that, the truth should goe and all.
And surelie I suppose, that which this froward time
Doth scandalize her with to be her heynous crime,
That hath her most preserv’d: for, still where wit hath found
A thing most cleerlie true, it made that, fictions ground:
b Henry the Second.
Which shee suppos’d might give sure colour to them both:
From which, as from a roote, this wondred error grow’th
At which our Criticks gird, whose judgements are so strict,
And he the bravest man who most can contradict
That which decrepit Age (which forced is to leane
Upon Tradition) tells; esteeming it so meane,
As they it quite reject, and for some trifling thing
(Which Time hath pind to Truth) they all away will fling.
These men (for all the world) like our Precisions bee,
Who for some Crosse or Saint they in the window see
Will pluck downe all the Church: Soule-blinded sots that creepe
In durt, and never saw the wonders of the Deepe.
Therefore (in my conceit) most rightlie serv’d are they
§. That to the Roman trust (on his report that stay)
Our truth from him to learne, as ignorant of ours
As we were then of his; except t’were of his powers:
Who our wise Druides here unmercifullie slew;
Like whom, great Natures depths no men yet ever knew,
Nor with such dauntlesse spirits were ever yet inspir’d;
Who at their proud arrive th’ambitious Romans fir’d
When first they heard them preach the soules immortall state;
And even in Romes despight, and in contempt of Fate,
Graspt hands with horrid death: which out of hate and pride
They flew, who through the world were reverenced beside.
To understand our state, no marvaile then though wee
Should so to Cæsar seeke, in his reports to see
What ancientlie we were; when in our infant war,
Unskilfull of our tongue but by Interpreter,
Hee nothing had of ours which our great Bards did sing,
Except some few poore words; and those againe to bring
Unto the Latine sounds, and easiness they us’d,
By their most filed speech, our British most abus’d.
But of our former state, beginning, our descent,
The warres we had at home, the conquests where we went,
He never understood. And though the Romans here
So noble Trophies left, as verie worthie were
A people great as they, yet did they ours neglect,
Long rear’d ere they arriv’d. And where they doe object,
The Ruines and Records we show, be verie small
To prove our selues so great: even this the most of all
(Gainst their objection) seemes miraculous to mee,
That yet those should be found so generall as they bee;
The Roman, next the Pict, the Saxon, then the Dane,
All landing in this Ile, each like a horrid raine
Deforming her; besides the sacrilegious wrack
Of many a noble Booke, as impious hands should sack
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The Center, to extirp all knowledge, and exile
All brave and ancient things, for ever from this Ile:
Expressing wondrous griefe, thus wandring Wye did sing.
But, backe, industrious Muse; obsequiously to bring
Cleere Severne from her sourse, and tell how she doth straine
Downe her delicious Dales; with all the goodly traine,
Brought forth the first of all by Brugan: which to make
Her party worthy note, next, Dulas in doth take.
Moylvadian his much love to Severne then to showe,
Upon her Southerne side, sends likewise (in a rowe)
Bright Biga, that brings on her friend and fellow Floyd;
Next, Dungum; Bacho then is busily imploy’d,
Tarranon, Carno, Hawes, with Becan, and the Rue,
In Severn’s soveraine Bankes, that give attendance due.
Thus as she swoopes along, with all that goodly traine,
Upon her other Banke by Newtowne: so againe
§. Comes Dulas (of whose name so many Rivers bee,
As of none others is) with Mule, prepar’d to see
The confluence to their Queene, as on her course she makes:
Then at Mountgomery next cleere Kennet in she takes;
Where little Fledding fals into her broader Banke;
Forkt Vurnway, bringing Tur, and Tanot: growing ranke,
She plyes her towards the Poole, from the Gomerian feelds;
Then which in all our Wales, there is no country yeelds
An excellenter Horse, so full of naturall fire,
As one of Phœbus Steeds had beene that Stalyons sire
Which first their race begun; or of th’Asturian kind,
§. Which some have held to be begotten by the Wind,
Upon the Mountaine Mare; which strongly it receaves,
And in a little time her pregnant part upheaves.
But, leave we this to such as after wonders long:
The Muse prepares her selfe unto another Song.