Thou Genius of the place (this most renowned Ile)
Which livedst long before the All-earth-drowning Flood,
Whilst yet the world did swarme with her Gigantick brood;
Goe thou before me still thy circling shores about,
And in this wandring Maze helpe to conduct me out:
Direct my course so right, as with thy hand to showe
Which way thy Forrests range, which way thy Rivers flowe;
Wise Genius, by thy helpe that so I may discry
How thy faire Mountaines stand, and how thy Vallyes lie; (1.8–16)

Near the beginning of the poem, Drayton addresses his muse, the ‘Genius’, or spirit, of the British Isles, and says that she is older than even those who inhabited the world before the supposed biblical flood. These people are described as ‘Gigantick’, in that they were literally giants, and ‘did swarme’ over the world. Drayton often takes a noun, as he does here with ‘giant’, and uses it to make a new adjective. Words like this include ‘beechy’, or abounding with beeches, and ‘foresty’, for areas covered in forest. These kinds of words, which often appear nowhere else in recorded English, give a sense of Drayton’s playfulness with language and his ability to evoke the particular qualities of geographical features.