Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A HYMNE TO HIS LADIES BIRTH-PLACE, by MICHAEL DRAYTON



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

A HYMNE TO HIS LADIES BIRTH-PLACE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Coventry, that do'st adorne
Last Line: And strike the slave for ever dumbe.
Subject(s): Coventry, England; Godiva, Lady (1140-1180)


Coventry, that do'st adorne
The Countrey wherein I was borne,
Yet therein lyes not thy prayse,
Why I should crowne thy Tow'rs with Bayes:
'Tis not thy Wall, me to thee weds,
Thy Ports, nor thy proud Pyrameds,
Nor thy Trophies of the Bore,
But that Shee which I adore,
Which scarce Goodnesse selfe can payre,
First their breathing blest thy Ayre;
IDEA, in which Name I hide
Her, in my heart Deifi'd,
For what good, Man's mind can see,
Onely Her IDEAS be;
She, in whom the Vertues came
In Womans shape, and tooke her Name,
She so farre past Imitation,
As but Nature our Creation
Could not alter, she had aymed,
More then Woman to have framed:
She, whose truely written Story,
To thy poore Name shall adde more glory,
Then if it should have beene thy Chance,
T'have bred our Kings that Conquer'd France.
Had She beene borne the former Age,
That house had beene a Pilgrimage,
And reputed more Divine,
The Walsingham or BECKETS Shrine.
That Princesse, to whom thou do'st owe
Thy Freedome, whose Cleere blushing snow,
The envious Sunne saw, when as she
Naked rode to make Thee free,
Was but her Type, as to foretell,
Thou should'st bring forth one, should excell
Her Bounty, by whom thou should'st have
More Honour, then she Freedome gave;
And that great Queene, which but of late
Ru'ld this Land in Peace and State,
Had not beene, but Heaven had sworne,
A Maide should raigne, when she was borne.
Of thy Streets, which thou hold'st best,
And most frequent of the rest,
Happy Mich-Parke ev'ry yeere,
On the fourth of August there,
Let thy Maides from FLORS's bowers,
With their Choyce and daintiest flowers
Decke Thee up, and from their store,
With brave Garlands crowne that dore.
The old Man passing by that way,
To his Sonne in Time shall say,
There was that Lady borne, which long
To after-Ages shall be sung;
Who unawares being passed by,
Back to that House shall cast his Eye,
Speaking my Verses as he goes,
And with a Sigh shut ev'ry Close.
Deare Citie, travelling by thee,
When thy rising Spyres I see,
Destined her place of Birth;
Yet me thinkes the very Earth
Hallowed is, so farre as I
Can thee possibly descry:
Then thou dwelling in this place,
Hearing some rude Hinde disgrace
Thy Citie with some scurvy thing,
Which some Jester forth did bring,
Speake these Lines where thou do'st come,
And strike the Slave for ever dumbe.





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