Song 8


The eight Song.


The goodly Severne bravely sings
The noblest of her British Kings;
At Cæsars landing what we were,
And of the Roman Conquests here:
Then shewes, to her deare Britans fame,
How quicklie christned they became;
And of their constancie doth boast,
In sundry fortunes strangely tost:
Then doth the Saxons landing tell,
And how by them the Britans fell;
Cheeres the Salopian Mountaines hie,
That on the west of Severne lie;
Calls downe each Riveret from her Spring,
Their Queene upon her way to bring;
Whom downe to Bruge the Muse attends:
Where, leaving her, this Song shee ends.

o Salop when her selfe cleere Sabrine comes to showe,
And wisely her bethinks the way shee had to goe,
South-west-ward casts her course; & with an amorous eye
Those Countries whence shee came, survayeth (passing by)
Those Lands in Ancient times old Cambria claym’d her due,
For refuge when to her th’oppressed Britans flew;
By England now usurp’t, who (past the wonted Meeres,
Her sure and soveraigne banks) had taken sundry Sheeres,
Which shee her Marches made: whereby those Hills of fame
And Rivers stood disgrac’t; accounting it their shame,
§. That all without that Mound which Mercian Offa cast
To runne from North to South, athwart the Cambrian wast,
Could England not suffice, but that the stragling Wye,
Which in the hart of Wales was some-time said to lye,
Now onely for her bound proud England did prefer.
That Severne, when shee sees the wrong thus offred her,
Though by injurious Time deprived of that place
Which anciently shee held: yet loth that her disgrace
Should on the Britans light, the Hills and Rivers neere
Austerely to her calls, commaunding them to heare
In her deere childrens right (their Ancesters of yore,
Now thrust betwixt her selfe, and the Virgivian shore,
§. Who drave the Giants hence that of the Earth were bred,
And of the spacious Ile became the soveraigne head)
What from autentique bookes shee liberally could say.
Of which whilst shee bethought her; West-ward every way,
The Mountaines, Floods, and Meeres, to silence them betake:
When Severne lowting lowe, thus gravely them bespake;
How mightie was that man, and honoured still to bee,
That gave this Ile his name, and to his children three,
Three Kingdoms in the same? which, time doth now denie,
With his arrivall heere, and primer Monarchy.
a Loëgria, though thou canst thy Locrine easely lose,
Yet b Cambria, him, whom Fate her ancient Founder chose,
In no wise will forgoe; nay, should c Albania leave
§. Her Albanact for ayde, and to the Scythian cleave.
And though remorselesse Rome, which first did us enthrall,
As barbarous but esteem’d, and stickt not so to call;
The ancient Britans yet a sceptred King obey’d
§. Three hundred yeeres before Romes great foundation laid;
And had a thousand yeeres an Empire strongly stood,
Ere Cæsar to her shores here stemd the circling Flood;
§. And long before, borne Armes against the barbarous Hun,
Heere landing with intent the Ile to over-run:
And following them in flight, their Generall Humber drownd
In that great arme of Sea, by his great name renown’d;
And her great Builders had, her Citties who did reare
a England.
b Wales.
c Scotland.
With Fanes unto her Gods, and a Flamins every where.
Nor Troynovant alone a Citty long did stand;
But after, soone againe by Ebranks powerfull hand
Yorke lifts her Towers aloft: which scarcely finisht was,
But as they, by those Kings; so by Rudhudibras,
a Priests among idolatrous
Kents first and famous b Towne, with Winchester, arose:
And other, others built, as they fit places chose.
So Britaine to her praise, of all conditions brings;
The warlike, as the wise. Of her courageous Kings,
Brute Green-shield: to whose name we providence impure,
Divinely to revive the Land’s first Conqueror, Brute.
So had she those were learn’d, endu’d with nobler parts:
As, he from learned Greece, that (by the liberall Arts)
§. To Stamford, in this Ile, seem’d Athens to transfer;
Wise Bladud, of her Kings that great Philosopher;
b Canterbury.
the eight Song. 113
Who found our boyling Bathes; and in his knowledge hie,
Disdaining humane paths, heere practiced to flie.
Of justly vexed Leire, and those who last did tug
In worse then Civill warre, the a sonnes of Gorbodug
(By whose unnaturall strife the Land so long was tost)
I cannot stay to tell, nor shall my Britaine boast;
But, of that man which did her Monarchy restore,
Her first imperiall Crowne of gold that ever wore,
And that most glorious type of soveraignty regain’d;
Mulmutius: who this Land in such estate maintain’d
As his great Bel-sire Brute from Albions heires it wonne.
§. This Grand-child, great as he, those foure proud Streets begun
That each way crosse this Ile, and bounds did them allow.
Like priviledge he lent the Temple and the Plow:
So studious was this Prince in his most forward zeale
To the Celestiall power, and to the Publique weale.
a Ferrex and Porrex.
Bellinus he begot, who Dacia proud subdu’d;
And Brennus, who abroad a worthier warre pursu’d,
Asham’d of civill strife; at home heere leaving all:
And with such goodly Youth, in Germany and Gaul
As he had gather’d up, the Alpin Mountaines past,
And bravely on the banks of fatall Allia chas’t
The Romans (that her streame distained with their gore)
And through proud Rome, display’d his British Ensigne bore:
§. There, ballancing his sword against her baser gold,
The Senators for slaves hee in her Forum sold.
At last, by power expell’d, yet proud of late successe,
His forces then for Greece did instantly addresse;
And marching with his men upon her fruitfull face,
Made Macedon first stoope; then Thessaly, and Thrace;
His souldiers there enricht with all Peonia’s spoyle;
And where to Greece he gave the last and deadliest foyle,
In that most dreadfull fight, on that more dismall day,
O’rthrew their utmost prowesse at sad Thermopylæ;
And daring of her Gods, adventur’d to have tane
Those sacred things enshrin’d in wise Apollo’s Fane:
To whom when thundring Heaven pronounc’t her fearefulst word,
§. Against the Delphian Power he shak’t his irefull sword.
As of the British blood, the native Cambri here
(So of my Cambria call’d) those valiant Cymbri were
(When Britaine with her brood so peopled had her seat,
The soyle could not suffice, it daily grew so great)
Of Denmarke who themselves did anciently possesse,
And to that straitned poynt, that utmost Chersonesse,
§. My Countries name bequeath’d; whence Cymbrica it tooke:
Yet long were not compriz’d within that little nooke,
Belinus and Brennus.
But with those Almaine powers this people issued forth:
And like some boystrous wind arising from the North,
Came that unwieldie host; that, which way it did move,
The very burthenous earth before it seem’d to shove,
And onely meant to claime the Universe its owne.
In this terrestriall Globe, as though some world unknowne,
By pampred Natures store too prodigally fed
(And surfetting there-with) her surcrease vomited,
These roaming up and downe to seeke some setling roome,
First like a Deluge fell upon Illyricum,
And with his Roman powers Papyrius over-threw;
Then, by great * Belus brought against those Legions, slew
Their forces which in France Aurelius Scaurus led;
And afterward againe, as bravely vanquished
The Consulls Cæpio, and stout Manlius on the Plaine,
Where Rhodanus was red with blood of Latines slaine.
In greatnes next succeeds Belinus worthy sonne,
Gurgustus: who soone left what his great Father wonne,
* A great Generall of
those Northren Nations.
To Guynteline his heire: whose a Queene, beyond her kind,
In her great husbands peace, to shew her upright mind,
§. To wise Mulmutius lawes, her Martian first did frame:
From which we ours derive, to her eternall fame.
So Britaine forth with these, that valiant Bastard brought,
a Martia.
Morindus, Danius sonne, which with that Monster fought
His subjects that devour’d; to shew himselfe againe
Their Martyr, who by them selected was to raigne.
So Britaine likewise boasts her Elidure the just,
Who with his people was of such especiall trust,
That (Archigallo falne into their generall hate,
And by their powerfull hand depriv’d of kingly state)
Unto the Regall Chayre they Elidure advanc’t:
But long he had not raign’d, ere happily it chanc’t,
In hunting of a Hart, that in the Forrest wild,
The late deposed King, himselfe who had exil’d
From all resort of men, just Elidure did meet;
Who much unlike himselfe, at Elidurus feet,
Him prostrating with teares, his tender breast so strooke,
That he (the British rule who lately on him tooke
At th’earnest peoples pray’rs) him calling to the Court,
There Archigallo’s wrongs so lively did report,
Relating (in his right) his lamentable case,
With so effectuall speech imploring their high grace,
That him they reinthron’d; in peace who spent his dayes.
Then Elidure againe, crown’d with applausive praise,
As he a brother rais’d, by brothers was depos’d,
And put into the Towre: where miserably inclos’d,
A certain Monster often
issuing from the Sea,
devoured diverse of the
British people.
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Out-living yet their hate, and the Usurpers dead,
Thrice had the British Crowne set on his reverend head.
When more then thirty Kings in faire succession came
Unto that mighty Lud, in whose eternall name
§. Great London still shall live (by him rebuilded) while
To Citties she remaines the Soveraigne of this Ile.
And when commaunding Rome to Cæsar gave the charge,
Her Empire (but too great) still further to enlarge
With all beyond the Alpes; the aydes he found to passe
From these parts into Gaul, shew’d heere some Nation was
Undaunted that remain’d with Romes so dreadfull name,
That durst presume to ayde those shee decreed to tame.
Wherefore that matchlesse man, whose high ambition wrought
Beyond her Empires bounds, by shipping wisely sought
(Heere proling on the shores) this Iland to discry,
What people her possest, how fashion’d shee did lie:
Where scarce a Strangers foote defil’d her virgin breast,
Since her first Conqueror Brute heere put his powers to rest;
Onely some little Boats, from Gaul that did her feed
With tryfles, which shee tooke for nicenesse more then need:
But as another world, with all abundance blest,
And satisfi’d with what shee in her selfe possest;
Through her excessive wealth (at length) till wanton growne,
Some Kings (with others Lands that would enlarge their owne)
By innovating Armes an open passage made
For him that gap’t for all (the Roman) to invade.
Yet with grim-visag’d Warre when he her shores did greet,
And terriblest did threat with his amazing Fleet,
Those British bloods he found, his force that durst assaile,
And poured from the Cleeves their shafts like showers of haile
Upon his helmed head; to tell him as he came,
That they (from all the world) yet feared not his name:
Which, their undaunted spirits soone made that Conqueror feele,
Oft ventring their bare breasts gainst his oft-bloodied steele;
And in their Chariots charg’d: which they with wondrous skill
Could turne in their swift’st course upon the steepest hill,
And wheele about his troopes for vantage of the ground,
Or else disranke his force where entrance might be found:
And from their Armed seats their thrilling Darts could throwe;
Or nimblie leaping downe, their valiant swords bestowe,
And with an active skip remount themselves againe,
Leaving the Roman horse behind them on the Plaine,
And beat him back to Gaul his forces to supply;
As they the Gods of Rome and Cæsar did defie.
Cassibalan renown’d, the Britans faithfull guide,
Who when th’Italian powers could no way be deny’d,
But would this Ile subdue; their forces to fore-lay,
Thy Forrests thou didst fell, their speedy course to stay:
§. Those armed stakes in Tames that stuckst, their horse to gore
Which boldly durst attempt to forrage on thy shore:
Thou such hard entrance heere to Cæsar didst allow,
To whom (thy selfe except) the Westerne world did bow.
§. And more then Cæsar got, three Emperours could not win,
Till the courageous sonnes of our Cunobelin
Sunke under Plautius sword, sent hither to discusse
The former Roman right, by Armes againe, with us.
Nor with that Consull joyn’d, Vespasian could prevaile
In thirty severall fights, nor make them stoope their saile.
Yea, had not his brave sonne, young Titus, past their hopes,
His forward Father fetcht out of the British troopes,
And quit him wondrous well when he was strongly charg’d,
His Father (by his hands so valiantly enlarg’d)
Had never more seene Rome; nor had he ever spilt
The Temple that wise sonne of faithfull David built,
Subverted those high walls, and lay’d that Cittie wast
Which God, in humane flesh, above all other grac’t.
No marvaile then though Rome so great her conquest thought,
In that the Ile of Wight shee to subjection brought,
Our * Belgæ and subdu’d (a people of the West)
That latest came to us, our least of all the rest;
When Claudius, who that time her wreath imperiall wore,
Though scarce he shew’d himselfe upon our Southerne shore,
It scornd not in his stile; but, due to that his praise,
Triumphall Arches claim’d, and to have yeerely Playes;
The noblest Navall Crowne, upon his Palace pitcht;
As with the Oceans spoyle his Rome who had enricht.
Her Caradock (with cause) so Britaine may prefer;
Then whom, a braver spirit was nere brought forth by her:
For whilst here in the West the Britans gather’d head,
* A people then
inhabiting Hamp. Dorset.
Wilt. and Somerset shires.
This Generall of the rest, his stout a Silures led
Against Ostorius, sent by Cæsar to this place
With Romes high fortune (then the high’st in Fortunes grace)
A long and doubtfull warre with whom he did maintaine,
Untill that houre wherein his valiant Britans slaine
Hee grievously beheld (o’represt with Roman power)
Himselfe wel-neere the last their wrath did not devour.
When (for revenge, not feare) he fled (as trusting most,
Another day might win, what this had lately lost)
a Those of Monmouth, and the adjacent Shires.
To Cartismandua, Queene of b Brigants for her ayde,
He to his foes, by her, most falsely was betray’d.
Who, as a spoyle of warre, t’adorne the Triumph sent
To great Ostorius due, when through proud Rome hee went,
b Those of Yorkeshire, and there by.
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That had her selfe prepar’d (as shee had all been eyes)
Our Caradock to view; who in his Countries guise,
§. Came with his bodie nak’t, his haire downe to his waste,
Girt with a chaine of steele; his manly breast inchaste
With sundry shapes of Beasts. And when this Britaine saw
His wife and children bound as slaves, it could not awe
His manlinesse at all: but with a setled grace,
Undaunted with her pride, hee lookt her in the face:
And with a speech so grave as well a Prince became,
Himselfe and his redeem’d, to our eternall fame.
Then Romes great * Tyrant next, the lasts adopted heire,
That brave Suetonius sent, the British Coasts to cleere;
* Nero.
The utter spoyle of a Mon who strongly did pursue
(Unto whose gloomy strengths, th’revolted Britans flew)
There entring, hee beheld what strooke him pale with dread:
The frantick British Froes, their haire dishevelled,
With fire-brands ran about, like to their furious eyes;
And from the hollow woods the fearlesse Druides;
Who with their direfull threats, and execrable vowes,
Inforc’t the troubled heaven to knit her angry browes.
And as heere in the West the Romans bravely wan,
So all upon the East the Britans over-ran:
§. The Colony long kept at Mauldon, overthrowne,
Which by prodigious signes was many times fore-showne,
And often had dismai’d the Roman souldiers: when
Braue Voadicia made with her resolved’st men
a Anglesey, the chiefe
place of residence of the
To a Virolam; whose siege with fire and sword she pli’d,
Till leveld with the earth. To London as shee hy’d,
The Consull comming in with his auspicious ayde,
The Queene (to quit her yoke no longer that delay’d)
Him dar’d by dint of sword, it hers or his to try,
With words that courage show’d, and vvith a voice as hie
(In her right hand her Launce, and in her left her Shield,
As both the Battells stood prepared in the Field)
Incouraging her men: which resolute, as strong,
Upon the Roman rusht; and shee, the rest among,
Wades in that doubtfull warre: till lastly, when she saw
The fortune of the day unto the Roman draw,
The Queene (t’out-live her friends who highly did disdaine,
And lastly, for proud Rome a Triumph to remaine)
§. By poyson ends her dayes, unto that end prepar’d,
As lavishly to spend what Suetonius spar’d.
Him scarcely Rome recall’d, such glory having wonne,
But bravely to proceed, as erst she had begunne,
Agricola heere made her great Lieutenant then:
Who having setled Mon, that man of all her men,
a By Saint Albans.
Appointed by the Powers apparantly to see
The wearied Britans sinke, and easely in degree
Beneath his fatall sword the a Ordovies to fall
Inhabiting the West, those people last of all
Which stoutl’est him with-stood, renown’d for Martiall worth.
Thence leading on his powers unto the utmost North,
When all the Townes that lay betwixt our Trent and Tweed,
Suffic’d not (by the way) his wasteful fires to feed,
He there some Britans found, who (to rebate their spleene,
As yet with grieved eyes our spoyles not having seene)
a North-wales men.
Him at b Mount Grampus met: which from his height beheld
Them lavish of their lives; who could not be compeld
The Roman yoke to beare: and Galgacus their guide
Amongst his murthered troupes there resolutely di’d.
Eight Roman Emperours raign’d since first that warre began;
Great Julius Cæsar first, the last Domitian.
A hundred thirtie yeeres the Northerne Britans still,
That would in no wise stoupe to Romes imperious will,
Into the straitned Land with theirs retired farre,
In lawes and manners since from us that different are;
And with the Irish Pict, which to their ayde they drew
(On them oft breaking in, who long did them pursue)
§. A greater foe to us in our owne bowels bred,
Then Rome, with much expense that us had conquered.
And when that we great Romes so much in time were growne,
That shee her charge durst leave to Princes of our owne,
(Such as, within our selves, our suffrage should elect)
§. Aviragus, borne ours, heere first she did protect;
Who faithfully and long, of labour did her ease.
Then he, our Flamins seats who turn’d to Bishops seas;
Great Lucius, that good King: to whom we chiefly owe
§. This happinesse we have, Christ crucifi’d to knowe.
As Britaine to her praise receiv’d the Christian faith,
After (that Word-made Man) our deere Redeemers death
Within two hundred yeeres; and his Disciples heere,
By their great Maister sent to preach him every where,
Most reverently receiv’d, their doctrine and preferd;
b In the midst of Scotland.
Interring him, c who earst the Sonne of God interd.
So Britans was she borne, though Italy her crown’d,
Of all the Christian world that Empresse most renown’d,
§. Constantius worthy wife; who scorning worldly losse,
Her selfe in person went to seeke that sacred Crosse,
Whereon our Saviour di’d: which found, as it was sought,
c Joseph of Arimathea.
From d Salem unto Rome triumphantly she brought.
As when the Primer Church her Counsailes pleas’d to call,
Great Britains Bishops there were not the least of all;
d Jerusalem.
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§. Against the Arian Sect at Arles having roome,
At Sardica againe, and at Ariminum.
Now, when with various Fate five hundred yeeres had past,
And Rome of her great charge grew weary heere at last;
The Vandalls, Goths, and Huns, that with a powerfull head
All Italy and France had wel-neare over-spred,
To much-endanger’d Rome sufficient warning gave,
Those forces that shee held, within her selfe to have.
The Roman rule from us then utterly remov’d.
Whilst, we, in sundry Fields, our sundry fortunes prov’d
With the remorselesse Pict, still wasting us with warre.
And twixt the froward Sire, licentious Vortiger,
And his too forward sonne, young Vortimer, arose
Much strife within our selves, whilst heere they interpose
By turns each others raignes; whereby, we weakned grew.
The warlike Saxon then into the Land we drew;
A Nation nurst in spoyle, and fitt’st to undergoe
Our cause against the Pict, our most inveterate foe.
When they, which we had hyr’d for souldiers to the shore,
Perceiv’d the wealthy Ile to wallow in her store,
And suttly had found out how we infeebled were;
They, under false pretence of amitie and cheere,
The British Peeres invite, the German Healths to view
At Stonehenge; where they them unmercifully slew.
Then, those of Brutes great blood, of Armorick possest,
Extreamly griev’d to see their kinsmen so distrest,
Us offred to relieve, or else with us to die:
Wee, after, to requite their noble curtesie,
§. Eleven thousand mayds sent those our friends againe,
In wedlock to be linkt with them of Brute’s high Straine;
That none with Brutes great blood, but Britans might be mixt:
Such friendship ever was the stock of Troy betwixt.
Out of whose ancient race, that warlike Arthur sprong:
Whose most renowned Acts shall sounded be as long
As Britains name is known: which spred themselves so wide,
As scarcely hath for fame left any roomth beside.
My Wales, then hold thine owne, and let thy Britains stand
Upon their right, to be the noblest of the Land.
Thinke how much better tis, for thee, and those of thine,
From Gods, and Heroës old to drawe your famous line,
§. Then from the Scythian poore; whence they themselves derive
Whose multitudes did first you to the Mountaines drive.
Nor let the spacious Mound of that great Mercian King
(Into a lesser roomth thy burlinesse to bring)
Include thee; when my Selfe, and my deere brother Dee,
By nature were the bounds first limited to thee.
The ancient bounds of
Scarce ended shee her speech, but those great Mountaines neere,
Upon the Cambrian part that all for Brutus were,
With her high truths inflam’d, look’t every one about
To find their severall Springs; and bad them get them out,
And in their fulness waite upon their soveraigne Flood,
In Britains ancient right so bravely that had stood.
When first the furious Teame, that on the Cambrian side
Doth Shropshire as a Meere from Hereford divide,
As worthiest of the rest; so worthily doth crave
That of those lesser Brooks the leading she might have;
The first of which is Clun, that to her Mistris came:
Which of a * Forrest borne that beares her proper name,
Unto the Golden Vale and anciently ally’d,
Of every thing of both, sufficiently supply’d,
The longer that she growes, the more renowne doth win:
And for her greater State, next Bradfield bringeth in,
Which to her wider banks resignes a weaker streame.
When fiercely making forth, the strong and lustie Teame
A friendly Forest Nymph (nam’d Mocktry) doth imbrace,
Her selfe that bravely beares; twixt whom and Bringwood-Chase,
Her banks with many a wreath are curiously bedeckt,
And in their safer shades they long time her protect.
Then takes shee Oney in, and forth from them doth fling:
When to her further ayde, next Bowe, and Warren, bring
Cleere Quenny; by the way, which Stradbrooke up doth take:
By whose united powers, their Teame they mightier make;
Which in her lively course to Ludlowe comes at last,
Where Corve into her streame her selfe doth head-long cast.
With due attendance next, comes Ledwich and the Rhea.
Then speeding her, as though sent post unto the Sea,
Her native Shropshire leaves, and bids those Townes adiew,
Her onely soveraigne Queene, proud Severne to pursue.
When at her going out, those Mountaines of command
(The Clees, like loving Twinnes, and Stitterston that stand)
Trans-Severned, behold faire England tow’rds the rise,
And on their setting side, how ancient Cambria lies.
Then Stipperston a hill, though not of such renowne
As many that are set heere tow’rds the going downe,
To those his owne Allyes, that stood not farre away,
Thus in behalfe of Wales directly seem’d to say;
Deare Corndon, my delight, as thou art lov’d of mee,
And Breeden, as thou hop’st a Britaine thought to bee,
To Cortock strongly cleave, as to our ancient friend,
And all our utmost strength to Cambria let us lend.
For though that envious Time injuriously have wroong
From us those proper names did first to us belong,
* Clun Forrest.
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Yet for our Country still, stout Mountaines let us stand.
Here, every neighbouring Hill held up a willing hand,
As freely to applaud what Stipperston decreed:
And Hockstow when she heard the Mountaines thus proceed,
With ecchoes from her Woods, her inward joyes exprest,
To heare that Hill she lov’d, which likewise lov’d her best,
Should in the right of Wales, his neighbouring Mountaines stirre,
So to advance that place which might them both preferre;
That she from open shouts could scarce her selfe refraine.
When soone those other Rils to Severne which retaine,
And ‘t ended not on Teame, thus of themselves do showe
The service that to her they absolutely owe.
First Camlet commeth in, a Mountgomerian mayde,
Her source in Severns bankes that safely having layd,
Mele, her great Mistris next at Shrewsbury doth meet,
To see with what a grace she that faire towne doth greet;
Into what sundry gyres her wondered selfe she throwes,
And oft in-Iles the shore, as wantonly she flowes;
Of it, oft taking leave, oft turnes, it to imbrace;
As though she onely were enamored of that place,
Her fore-intended course determined to leave,
And to that most lov’d Towne eternally to cleave:
With much ado at length, yet bidding it adue,
Her journey towards the Sea doth seriously pursue.
Where, as along the shores she prosperously doth sweepe,
Small Marbrooke maketh-in, to her inticing Deepe.
And as she lends her eye to * Bruge’s loftie sight,
That Forest-Nymph milde Morffe doth kindly her invite
To see within her shade what pastime she could make:
Where she, of Shropshire ; I my leave of Severne take.
* Bruge-North.