It’s been a quiet few months on the blog site but now the book is completed and back from the printers it is time to get back to some more regular blogging here ….. and there is a backlog of poems to catch up on!
I have a selection of new pieces related to the river Teign, starting with one that has its origins back in 1598 – Poly-Olbion. Written by Michael Drayton, it was otherwise known as “A chorographicall description of all the tracts, rivers, mountaines, forests, and other parts of this renowned isle of Great Britaine” and is an extraordinary poetic journey through the landscape, history, traditions and customs of early modern England and Wales.
It is written as a series of 30 ‘Songs’ in alexandrine couplets totalling 15000 lines. No I am not going to reproduce the whole of it, only the section of 10 lines relating to the river Teign (or ‘Ting’ as it’s described in the Song). You’ll also see a reference to the river Lemon which flows into the Teign at Newton Abbot.
Poly-Albion – extract
‘Ting (whose banks were blest
By her beloved nymph dear Leman) which addrest,
And fully with herself determined before
To sing the Danish spoils committed on her shore,
When hither from the east they came in mighty swarms,
Nor could their native earth contain their numerous arms,
Their surcrease grew so great, as forced them at last
To seek another soil, as bees do when they cast;
And by their impious pride how hard she was bested,
When all the country swam with blood of Saxons shed.’
The above extract has been taken from: Devon, its Moorlands, Streams and Coasts by Rosalind Northcote.
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