Ballow appears only once in Poly-Olbion and it is initially unclear what Drayton means by it. A marginal note, of a kind found intermittently throughout the poem, supports the reader, suggesting that ballow means ‘gant’, or gaunt; however, since the word describes an apparently fast horse (‘the ballow Nag out-strips the winds in chase’), this might not be as helpful as it seems. Indeed the reader is often forced to rely on the way Drayton’s words feel in order to understand the poem, rather than always having an exact meaning. ‘Lean’ might thus be a fairer estimation.