Page images

(her so,

Receiveth her to guest, whose coming had too long Thus with her handmaid Sence, the Soare doth Put off her rightful praise, when thus herself she

eas’ly slide sung,

By Leicester, where yet her ruins show her pride, • Three shires there are (quoth she) in me their Demolish'd many years, that of the great foundation parts that claim,

[Nottingham. Of her long buried walls, men hardly see the station; Large Lincoln, Rutland rich, and th' north's eye Yet of some pieces found, so sure the cement locks But in the last of these since most of me doth lie, The stones, that they remain like perdurable rocks: To that my most-loved shire myself I must apply. Where whilst the lovely Soare, with many a dear Not Eusham that proud nymph, although she embrace, still pretend

(send Is solacing herself with this delightful place, Herself the first of vales, and though abroad she The forest, which the name of that brave town doth Her awful dread command, that all should tribute bear,

(hair, pay

[though her clay With many a goodly wreath, crowns her disheveld To her as our great queen ;

nor White-horse, And in her gallant green, her lusty livery shows Of silver seem to be, new melted, nor the vale Herself to this fair flood, which mildly as she flows, Of Aylsbury, whose grass seems given out by tale, Reciprocally likes her length and breadth to see, For it so silken is, nor any of our kind,

As also how she keeps her fertile purlues free: Or what, or where they be, or howsoe'er inclind, The herds of fallow deer she on the lawns doth feed, Me Bever shall outbrave, that in my state do scorn,

As having in herself to furnish every need. (take, By any of them all (once) to be overborn,

But now since gentle Soare such leisure seems to With theirs, do but compare the country where I lie, The Muse in her behalf this strong defence doth My Hill, and Oulds will say, they are the island's make, Consider next my scite, and say it doth excel; [eye. Against the neighbour floods, for that which tax Then come unto my soil, and you shall see it swell And her a channel call, because she is so slow. With every grass and grain, that Britain forth can The cause is that she lies upon so low a flat, bring;

Where nature most of all befriended her in that, I challenge any vale, to shew me but that thing The longer to enjoy the good she doth possess : I cannot shew to her (that truly is mine own) For had those (with such speed that forward seem Beside I dare thus boast, that I as far am known,

to press) As any of them all, the south their names doth sound, So many dainty meads, and pastures theirs to be, The spacious north doth me, that there is scarcely They then would wish themselves to be as slow as found,


[maid, A roomth for any else, it is so fill'd with mine, Who well may be compar'd to some young tender Which but a little wants of making me divine : Ent’ring some prince's court, which is for pomp arNor barren am of brooks, for that I still retain

ray'd, Two neat and dainty rills, the little Snyte,and Deane,

Who led from room to room amazed is to see That from the lovely Oulds, their beauteous parent

The furniture and states, which all embroideries be, sprung

The rich and sumptuous beds, with tester covering From the Leicestrian fields, come on with me along, plumes, Till both within one bank,theyon my north are meint,

And various as the sutes, so various the perfumes, And where I end, they fall, at Newark, into Trent.' Large galleries, where piece with piece doth seem Hence wand'ring as the Muse delightfully beholds

to strive, The beauty of the large, and goodly full-flock'd Of pictures done to life, landskip, and perspective, Oulds,

Thence goodly gardens sees, where antique statues She on the left hand leaves old Leicester, and Aies,

stand Until the fertile earth glut her insatiate eyes, In stone and copper, cut by many a skilful hand; From rich to richer still, that riseth her before,

Where every thing to gaze, her more and more enUntil she come to cease upon the head of Soare,

tices, Where Fosse, and Watling, cut each other in their Thinking at once she sees a thousand paradises,

(source, Goes softly on, as though before she saw the last, At Sharnford, where at first her soft and gentle She long'd again to see, what she had slightly past. To her but shallow banks, begineth to repair, So the enticing soil the Soare along doth lead, Of all this beauteous isle, the delicatest air;

As wond'ring in herself, at many a spacious mead; Whence softly sallying out, as loth the place to leave, When Charnwood from the rocks salutes her wished She Sence a pretty rill doth courteously receive: sight,

[light, For Swift, alittle brook, which certainly she thought (Of many a wood-god woo'd) her darling and deDown to the banks of Trent would safely her have Whose beauty whilst that Soare is pausing to behold brought,

Clear Wreakin coming in, from Waltham on the Because their native springs so nearly were ally'd, Ould, Her sister Soare forsook, and wholly her apply'd Brings Eye, a pretty brook, to bear her silver train, To Avon, as with her continually to keep,

Which on by Melton makes, and tripping o'er the And wait on her along to the Sabrinian deep.




Here finding her surpriz’d with proud Mount-sor- The lesser Tame, and Mess, the Mess a dainty rill, rel's sight,

Near Charnwood rising first, where she begins to fill By quickening of her course, more eas'ly doth invite Her banks, which all her course on both sides do Her to the goodly Trent, whereas she goes along

abound By Loughborough, she thus of that fair forest sung. With heath and ferny olds, and often gleabyground, "O Charnwood, be thou call’d the choicest of thy Till Croxall's fertile earth doth comfort her at last kind,

When she is entring Trent; but I was like t' have The like in any place, what flood hath hapt to find? past

[hers, No tract in all this isle, the proudest let her be, The other Sence, whose source doth rise not far from Can shew a sylvan nymph, for beauty like to thee: By Ancor, that herself to famous Trent prefers, The satyrs, and the fawns, by Dian set to keep The second of that name, allotted to this shire, Rough bills, and forest holts, were sadly seen to A name but hardly found in any place but here; weep,

Nor is to many known, this country that frequent. When thy high-palmed harts, the sport of bows and But Muse return at last, attend the princely Trent, hounds,

Who straining on in state,the north’s imperious flood, By gripple borderers hands, were banished thy The third of England call’d,with many a daintywood, grounds.

Being crown'd to Burton comes, to Needwood where The Driades that were wont about thy lawns to rove, she shows

[flows, To trip from wood to wood, and scud from grove to Herself in all her pomp; and as from thence she grove,

[rocks, She takes into her train rich Dove, and Darwin clear, On Sharpley that were seen, and Cadman's aged Darwin, whose font and fall are both in Derbyshire; Against the rising sun, to braid their silver locks ; And of those thirty floods, that wait the Trent upon, And with the harmless Elves, on heathy Bardon's Doth stand without compare, the very paragon. height,

(night, Thus wand'ring at her will, as uncontrould she By Cynthia's colder beams to play them night by ranges, Exil'd their sweet abode to poor bare commons fled, Her often varying form, as variously and changes. They with the oaks that liv'd, now with the oaks First Erwash, and then Lyne,sweet Sherwood sends are dead.

her in ; Who will describe to life, a forest, let him take Then looking wide, as one that newly wak'd had Thy surface to himself, nor shall he need to make been, Another form at all, where oft in thee is found Saluted from the north, with Nottingham's proud Fine sharp but easy hills, which reverently are height, crown's

[sheep So strongly is surpris'd, and taken with the sight, With aged antique rocks, to which the goats and That she from running wild, but hardly can refrain, (To him that stands remote) do softly seem to creep, To view in how great state, as she along doth strain, To gnaw the little shrubs, on their steep sides that That brave exalted seat beholdeth her in pride, grow;

As how the large-spread meads upon the other side, Upon whose other part, on some descending brow, All flourishing in flowers, and rich embroideries Huge stones are hanging out, as though they down dress'd,

[bless’d. would drop,

[prop In which she sees herself above her neighbours Where under-growing oaks, on their old shoulders As wrap'd with the delights, that her this prospect The others hoary heads, which still seem to decline, brings, And in a dimble near (even as a place divine, In her peculiar praise, lo thus the river sings : For contemplation fit) an ivy-ceiled bower,

• What should I care at all, from what my name As nature had therein ordain’d some sylvan power; I take, As men may very oft at great assemblies see, [be: That thirty doth import, that thirty rivers make; Wbere many of most choice, and wond'red beauties My greatness what it is, or thirty abbeys great, For stature one doth seem the best away to bear; That on my fruitful banks, times formerly did seat: Another for her shape, to stand beyond compare ; Or thirty kinds of fish that in my streams do live, Another for the fine composure of a face:

To me this name of Trent, did from that number give. Another short of these, yet for a modest grace What reck 1? let great Thames, since by his forBefore them all prefer'd; amongst the rest yet one,

tune he Adjudgʻd by all to be, so perfect paragon,

Is sovereign of us all that here in Britain be; That all those parts in her together simply dwell, From Isis, and old Tame, his pedigree derive; For which the other do so severally excel.

And for the second place, proud Severn that doth My Charnwood, like the last, hath in herself alone, strive, What excellent can be in any forest shown.' Fetch her descent from Wales, from that proud On whom when thus the Soare had these high mountain sprung, praises spent,

Plinillimon, whose praise is frequent them among, She easily slid away into her sovereign Trent, As of that princely maid, whose name she boasts to Who having wander'd long, at length began toleave bear,

[heir, Her native country's bounds, and kindlydoth receive Bright Sabrin, whom she holds as her undoubted than me, m

[ocr errors]

Let these imperious floods draw down their long Which bending of himself to th' fashion of a ring, descent

Above the forced weares, himself doth nimbly fling, From these so famous stocks, and only say of Trent, And often when the net hath drag'd him safe to land, That Mooreland's barren carth me first to light did Is seen by natural force to’scape his murderer's hand; bring,

[plexion’d spring Whose grain doth rise in flakes, with fatness interWhich hough she be but brown, my clear com

larded, Gain'd with the nymphs such grace, that when I Of many a liquorish lip, that highly is regarded. first did rise,

And Humber, to whose waste I pay my wat'ry store, The Naiades on my brim danc'd wanton hydagies, Me of her sturgeons sends, that I thereby the more And on her spacious breast (with heaths that doth Should have my beauties grac'd with something abound)

from him sent: Encircled my fair fount with many a lusty round: Not Ancum's silver'd eel excelleth that of Trent; And of the British floods, though but the third I be, Though the sweet smelling smelt be more in Thames Yet Thames and Severn both in this come short of me For that I am the mere of England, that divides The lamprey, and his lesse, in Severn general be; The north part from the south, on my so either sides, The flounder smooth and flat, in other rivers caught, That reckoning how these tracts in compass be ex- Perhaps in greater store, yet better are not thought: tent,

[Trent; The dainty gudgeon, loche, the minnow, and the Men bound them on the north, or on the south of Since they but little are, little need to speak (bleake, Their banks are barren sands, if but compar'd with Of them, nor doth it fit me much of those to reck, mine,

[shine: Which every where are found in every little beck ; Through my perspicuous breast, the pearly peebles Nor of the crayfish here, which creeps amongst my I throw my crystal arms along the flow'ry vallies, stones, Which lying sleek and smooth as any garden-alleys, From all the rest alone, whose shell is all his bones: Do give me leave to play, whilst they do court my For carp, the tench, and breame, my other store stream,

among, And crown mywinding banks with many an anadem : To lakes and standing pools that chiefly do belong, My silver-scaled sculls about my streams do sweep, Here scouring in my fords, feed in my waters clear, Now in the shallow fords, now in the falling deep: Are muddy fish in ponds to that which they are here.' So that of every kind, the new spawn'd numerous fry From Nottingham, near which this river first beSeem in me as the sands that on my shore do lie.


(run, The barbell, than which fish a braver doth not swim, This song, she the meanwhile, by Newark having Nor greater for the ford within my spacious brim, Receiving little Synte, from Bever's batning grounds, Nor(newly taken) more the curious taste doth please; At Gainsborough goes out, where the Lincolnian The greling, whose great spawn is big as any pease ; bounds. The pearch with pricking fins, against the pike pre- Yet Sherwood all this while, not satisfied to show par'd,

Her love to princely Trent, as downward she doth As nature had thereon bestow'd this stronger guard flow, His daintiness to keep, (each curious palate's proof)

Her Meden and her Man, she down from Mansfield From his vile ravenous foe: next him I name the To Iddle for heraid, bywhom she recommends (sends ruffe,

Her love to that brave queen of waters, her to meet, His very near ally, and both for scale and fin, When she tow'rds Humber comes, do humbly kiss In taste, and for his bait (indeed) his next of kin,

her feet,

(fall. The pretty slender dare, of many call’d the dace, And clip her till she grace great Humber with her Within my liquid glass, when Phæbus looks his face, When Sherwood somewhat back the forward Muse Oft swiftly as he swims, his silver belly shows,

doth call; But with such nimble flight, that e'er ye can disclose For she was let to know, that Soare had in her song His shape, out of your sight like lightning he is shot. Sochanted Charnwood'sworth, the rivers that along, The trout by nature mark’d with manya crimson spot, Amongst the neighbouring nymphs there was no As though she curious were in him above the rest,

other lays,

[her praise: And of fresh-water fish, did note him for the best; But those which seem'a to sound of Charnwood, and The roche, whose common kind to every flood doth Which Sherwood took to heart, and very much disfall; [call) dain'd,

(tain'd The chub (whose neater name which some a chevin (As one that had both long, and worthily mainFood to the tyrant pike, (most being in his power) The title of the great’st and bravest of her kind) Who for their numerous store he most doth them To fall so far below one wretchedly confin'd devour ;

Within a furlong's space, to her large skirts comThe lusty salmon then, from Neptune's wat'ry realm, par'd: When as his season serves, stemming my tideful Wherefore she as a nymph that neither fear'd nor stream,

car'd Then being in his kind, in me his pleasure takes, Forought to her might chance, by others love or hate, (For whom the fisher then all other game forsakes) With resolution arm'd against the power of fate,

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]


All self-praise set apart, determineth to sing He from the husband's bed no married woman wan, That lusty Robin Hood, who long time like a king But to his mistress dear, his loved Marian, [came, Within her compass liv’d, and when he list to range Was ever constant known, which wheresoe'er she For some rich booty set, or else his air to change, Was sovereign of the woods, chief lady of the game: To Sherwood still retir’d, his only standing court, Her clothes tuck'd to the knee, and dainty braided Whose praise the forest thus doth pleasantly report: hair,

(there • The merry pranks he play'd, would ask an age With bow and quiver arm’d, she wander'd here and to tell,

Amongst the forests wild; Diana never knew And the adventures strange that Robin Hood befel, Such pleasures, nor such harts as Mariana slew.' When Mansfield many a time for Robin hath been Of merry Robin Hood, and of his merrier men, laid,

The song had scarcelyceas’d,when as the Muse again How he hath cousen'd them, that him would have Wades Erwash that at hand on Sherwood's setting betray'd;

side How often he hath come to Nottingham disguis’d, The Nottinghamian field, and Derbian doth divide, And cunningly escap'd, being set to be surpriz’d. And northward from her springs, haps Scardale In this our spacious isle, I think there is not one,

forth to find, But he hath heard some talk of him and little John; Which like her mistress Peake, is naturally inclin'd And to the end of time, the tales shall ne'er be done, To thrust forth ragged cleeves, with which she Of Scarlock,George-a-Green, and Much the miller's scattered lies son,

As busy nature here could not herself suffice, of Tuck the merry friar, which many a sermon made Of this oft-alt’ring earth the sundry shapes to show, In praise of Robin Hood, his outlaws, and their trade. That from my entrance here doth rough and rougher An hundred valiant men had this brave Robin Hood, grow, Still ready at his call, that bowmen were right good, Which of a lowly dale, although the name it bear, All clad in Lincoln green, with caps of red and blue, You by the rocks might think, that it a mountain His fellow's winded horn, not one of them but knew,

[express'd, When setting to their lips their little beugles shrill, From which it takes the name of Scardale, which The warbling echoes wak’d from every dale and hill: Is the hard vale of rocks, of Chesterfield possess’d, Their bauldricks set with studs, athwart their shoul. By her which is instil'd: where Rother from her rist, ders cast,

(fast, Ibber, and Crawley hath, and Gunno, that assist To which under their arms their sheafs were buckled Her weaker wand'ring stream tow'rds Yorkshire as A short sword at their belt, a buckler scarce a span,

she wends,

(sends, Who struck below the knee, nor counted then a man: So Scardale tow'rds the same, that lovely Iddle All made of Spanish yew, their bows were wond'rous That helps the fertile seat of Axholme to inisle: strong;

But to th’ unwearied Muse the Peake appears the They not an arrow drew, but was a cloth yard long.

while, Of archery they had the very perfect craft,

A withered beldam long, with bleared wat'rish eyes, With broad-arrow, or but, or prick, or roving shaft, With many a bleak storm dim’d, which often to the At marks full forty score, they us’d to prick, and rove,


[head, Yet higher than the breast, for compass never strove;

She cast, and oft to th' earth bow'd down her aged Yet at the farthest mark a foot could hardly win: Her meagre wrinkled face, being sullied still with At long-buts, short, and hoyles, each one could lead,

[mines, cleave the pin:

With sitting in the works, and poring o’er the Their arrows finelypair’d, for timber, and for feather, Which she out of the ore continually refines: With birch and brazil piec'd, to fly in any weather;

For she a chemist was, and nature's secrets knew, And shot they with the round, the square, or forked And from amongst the lead, she antimony drew, pile,

(mile. And crystal there congeal'd (by herinstiled flowers) The loose gave such a twang, as might be heard a

And in all medicines knew their most effectual And of these archers brave, there was not any one, powers. But he could kill a deer his swiftest speed upon,

The spirits that haunt the mines, she could comWhich they did boil and roast, in many a mighty

mand and tame, wood,

[food. And bind them as she listin Saturn's dreadful name: Sharp hunger the fine sauce to their more kingly She mill-stones from the quarrs, with sharpen'd Then taking them to rest, his merry men and he picks could get,

[to whet. Slept many a summer's night under the greenwood And dainty whet-stones make, the dull-edg'd tools

(store, Wherefore the Peake as proud of her laborious toil, From wealthy abbots' chests, and churls abundant As others of their corn, or goodness of their soil, What oftentimes he took, he shar'd amongst the Thinking the time was long, till she her tale had told, No lordly bishop came in lusty Robin's way, [poor: Her wonders one by one, thus plainly doth unfold; To him before he went, but for his pass must pay:

• My dreadful daughters born, your mother's dear The widow in distress he graciously reliev'd,


[her might; And remedied the wrongsof many a virgin griev'd:

Great nature's chiefest work, wherein she shew'd





Ye dark and hollow caves, the portraitures of hell, And coming back thereto, with a still list’ning ear,
Where fogs and misty damps continually do dwell; May hear a sound as though that stone then falling
Oye my lovely joys, my darlings, in whose eyes,
Horror assumes her seat, from whose abiding flies Yet for her caves, and holes, Peake only not excels,
Thick vapours, that like rugs still hang the troubled But that I can again produce those wondrous wells
Yeof your mother Peake the hope and onlycare:(air, Of Buckston, as I have, that most delicious fount,
Othou my first and best, of thy black entrance nam'd Which men the second Bath of England do account,

. O be thou not asham'd, Which in the primer reigns, when first this well Nor think thyself disgrac'd or hurt thereby at all, began

(Anne, Since from thy horror first men us’d thee so to call: To have her virtues known unto the blest Saint For as amongst the Moors, the jettiest black are Was consecrated then, which the same temper hath, deem'd

Asthat most dainty spring, which at the famous Bath The beautiful'st of them; so are your kind esteem'd Is by the cross instil'd, whose fame I much prefer, The more ye gloomy are, more fearful and obscure, In that I do compare my daintiest spring to her, (That hardly any eye your sternness may endure) Nice sicknesses to cure, as also to prevent, [quent; The more ye famous are, and what name men can hit, And supple their clear skins, which ladies oft freThat best may ye express, that best doth ye befit: Most full, most fair, most sweet, and most delicious For he that will attempt thy black and darksome jaws,

[flaws, To this a second fount, that in her natural course, In midst of summer meets with winter's stormy As mighty Neptune doth, so doth she ebb and flow, Cold dews, that over head from thy foul roof distil, If some Welsh shires report, that they the like can And meeteth under foot with a dead sullen rill,

show. That Acheron itself a man would think be were I answer those, that her shall so no wonder call, Immediately to pass, and staid for Charon there; So far from any sea, not any of them all. Thy floor, dread cave, yet flat, though very rough it My caves and fountains thus deliver'd you, for be


change, With often winding turns: then come thou next to A little hill I have, a wonder yet more strange, My pretty daughter Poole, my second loved child, Which though it be of light, and almost dusty sand, Which by that noble name was happily instil'd, Unalter'd with the wind, yet doth it firmly stand; Of that more generous stock, long honour'd in this And running from the top, although it never cease, shire,

Yet doth the foot thereof, no whit at all increase. Of which amongst the rest, one being outlaw'd here, Nor is it at the top, the lower or the less, For his strong refuge took this dark and uncouth As nature had ordain'd, that so its own excess place,

Should by some secret way within itself ascend, An heir-loom ever since, to that succeeding race : To feed the falling back; with this yet doth not end Whose entrance though depress'd below a moun- The wonders of the Peake, for nothing that I have,

But it a wonder's name doth very justly crave: Besides so very strait, that who will see't must treep A forest such have I (of which when any speak Into the mouth thereof, yet being once got in, Of me they it instile, The Forest of the Peake) A rude and ample roof doth instantly begin

Whose hills do serve for brakes, the rocks for shrubs To raise itself aloft, and whoso doth intend

and trees, The length thereof to see, still going must ascend To which the stag pursu'd, as to the thicket flees; On mighty slippery stones, as by a winding stair, Like it in all this isle, for sternness there is none, Which of a kind of base dark alabaster are,

Where nature may be said to show you groves of Of strange and sundry forms, both in the roof and As she in little there, had curiously compil'd (stone, floor,

The model of the vast Arabian stony wild. As nature show'd in thee, what ne'er was seen before. Then as it is suppos’d, in England that there be For Elden thou my third, a wonder I prefer

Seven wonders: to myself so have I here in me, Before the other two, which perpendicular

My seven before rehears'd, allotted me by fate, Dive'st down into the ground, as if an entrance were Her greatness, as therein ordain'd to imitate.' Through earth to lead to hell, ye well might judge No sooner had the Peake her seven proud wonit here. [found,

(among, Whose depth is so immense, and wondrously pro- But Darwin from her fount, her mother's hills As that long line which serves the deepest sea to Through many a crooked way,oppos'd with envious sound, (scent, rocks,

[goodly flocks Her bottom never wrought, as though the vast de- Comes tripping down tow'rds Trent, and sees the Through this terrestrial globe directly pointing went Fed by her mother Peake; and herds (for horn and Our Antipodes to sec, and with her gloomy eyes, hair, To plote upon those stars, to us that never rise; That hardly are put down by those of Lancashire) That down into this hole if that a stone ye throw, Which on her mountains side, and in her bottoms Ap noro's length from thence (some say that) ye graze,

(to gaze, may go,

On whose delightful course, whilst Unknidge stands

tain steep,

ders sung,

« PreviousContinue »