BYGONE SUSSEX - online book

Essays, Sketches and Illustrations of bygone Sussex

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DRAYTON'S SONG OF SUSSEX.
159
The Dowries did very ill, poor Woods so to debase. But now, the Ouse, a Nymph of very scornfull grace, So touchy waxt therewith, and was so squeamish growne, That her old name she scorn'd should publiquely be
knowne. Whose haven out of mind when as it almost grew, The lately passed times denominate, the New * So Cucmer with the rest put to her utmost might: As Ashbourne undertakes to doe the Forrests right (At Pemsey, where she powres her soft and gentler Flood) And Asten once distain'd with native English blood : (Whose Soyle, when yet but wet with any little raine, Doth blush ;f as put in mind of those there sadly slaine, Whose name and honors now are denizend for ours) That boding ominous Brook, it through the Forrest rung: Which echoing it againe the mighty Weald along, Great stirre was like to grow; but that the Muse did charme Their furies, and her selfe for nobler things did arme."
So ends the seventeenth song of the " Poly-
albion." A part of the eighteenth may also be
claimed for Sussex, as may appear by the
" argument":—
" The Rother through the Weald doth rove Till he with Oxney fall in love : Rumney would with her wealth beguile, And win the River from the Isle."
* New-Haven.
t In the Flaine neere Hastings, where the Norman William after his victorie found King Harold slaine, he built Battell Abbey, which at last (as diuers other Monasteries) grew to a Towne enough populous. There­about is a place which after raine alwaies looks red, which som (a) haue (by that authoritie, the Muse also) attributed to a very bloudy sweat of the earth, as crying to heauen for Reuenge of so great a slaughter.
(a) Guil. Paruus hist. I., Cap. 1.
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