This is a characteristic invention of Drayton’s, first appearing in Mortimeriados (1596) and then being used twice in Poly-Olbion, describing the twisting or winding of a water course. Drayton probably derived ‘crankling’ from ‘crank’, a word which had its first recorded usage in Shakespeare’s Venus and Adonis (1594) where it describes a hare which ‘crankes and crosses with a thousand doubles’. This makes for an interesting illustration of Drayton’s possible meaning when he says that a river is crankling, drawing a comparison between the rapid, darting movements of hares and the twisting and turning of a fast flowing river.