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Michael Drayton (1563-1631)

Idea LIII: To the River Ancor


              1Clear Ancor, on whose silver-sanded shore
              2My soul-shrin'd saint, my fair Idea lies,
              3O blessed brook, whose milk-white swans adore
              4Thy crystal stream, refined by her eyes,
              5Where sweet myrrh-breathing Zephyr in the spring
              6Gently distils his nectar-dropping showers,
              7Where nightingales in Arden sit and sing
              8Amongst the dainty dew-impearled flowers;
              9Say thus, fair brook, when thou shalt see thy queen:
            10Lo, here thy shepherd spent his wand'ring years,
            11And in these shades, dear nymph, he oft hath been,
            12And here to thee he sacrific'd his tears.
            13Fair Arden, thou my Tempe art alone,
            14And thou, sweet Ancor, art my Helicon.

Notes

1] Ancor: sometimes spelt Anker; a small Warwickshire river passing through the estate of Polesworth Hall, where Drayton's "Idea," Anne Goodere, lived.

7] Arden: in Shakespeare's and Drayton's day a great forest in Warwickshire.

13] Tempe: a beautiful valley in Thessaly, Greece. Cf. Keats, Ode on a Grecian Urn, opening stanza.

14] Helicon: a mountain in Boeotia, Greece, sacred to the Muses.


Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Michael Drayton, Poems (W. Stansby for J. Swethwicke, 1619). STC 7222. Facs. edn.: Scolar Press, 1969. PR 2255 A1 1619A.
First publication date: 1594
RPO poem editor: F. D. Hoeniger
RP edition: 3RP 1.132.
Recent editing: 2:2002/4/26

Form: sonnet
Rhyme: ababcdcdefefgg


Other poems by Michael Drayton