MICHAEL DRAYTON

from Poly-Olbion

Of all the Marshland Iles, I Ely am the Queene:
For Winter each where sad, in me lookes freshe and greene.
The Horse, or other beast, o'rway'd with his owne masse,
Lies wallowing in my Fennes, hid over head in grasse:
And in the place where growes ranke Fodder for my Neat;
The Turffe which beares the Hay, is wondrous needfull Peat:
My full and batning earth, needs not the Plowmans paines;
The Rils which runne in me, are like the branched vaines
In humane Bodies seene; those Ditches cut by hand,
From the surrounding Meres, to winne the measured land,
To those choyce waters, I most fitly may compare,
Wherewith nice women use to blanch their Beauties rare.
Hath there a man beene borne in me, that never knew
Of Watersey the Leame, or th' other cal'd the New.
The Frithdike neer'st my midst, and of another sort,
Who ever fish'd, or fowl'd, that cannot make report
Of sundry Meres at hand, upon my Westerne way,
As Ramsey mere, and Ug, with the great Whittelsey:
Of the abundant store of Fish and Fowle there bred,
Which whilst of Europes Iles Great Britaine is the Head,
No Meres shall truely tell, in them, then at one draught,
More store of either kinds hath with the Net been caught:
Which though some pettie Iles doe challenge them to be
Their owne, yet must those Iles likewise acknowledge me
Their soveraigne. Nor yet let that Islet Ramsey shame,
Although to Ramsey-Mere shee onely gives the name;
Nor Huntingdon, to me thought she extend her grounds,
Twit me that I at all usurpe upon her Bounds.
Those Meres may well be proud, that I will take them in,
Which otherwise perhaps forgotten might have bin.
Beside my towred Phane, and my rich Citied seat,
With Villages and Dorpes, to make me most compleat.

The Fens