Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > England
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
England: Vols. I–IV.  1876–79.
 
Wales: Milford Haven
Milford Haven
Michael Drayton (1563–1631)
 
From “Poly-Olbion”

YOU goodly sister floods, how happy is your state!
Or should I more commend your features or your fate,
That Milford, which this isle her greatest port doth call,
Before your equal floods is lotted to your fall?
Where was sail ever seen, or wind hath ever blown,        5
Whence Penbrooke yet hath heard of haven like her own?
She bids Dungleddy dare Iberia’s proudest road,
And chargeth her to send her challenges abroad
Along the coast of France, to prove if any be
Her Milford that dare match: so absolute is she.        10
And Clethy coming down from Wrenyvaur her sire
(A hill that thrusts his head into the etherial fire)
Her sister’s part doth take, and dare avouch as much;
And Percily the Proud, whom nearly it doth touch,
Said he would bear her out, and that they all should know.        15
And therewithal he struts, as though he scorned to show
His head below the heaven when he of Milford spake:
But there was not a port the prize durst undertake.
So highly Milford is in every mouth renowned,
No haven hath aught good, in her that is not found.        20
Whereas the swelling surge, that, with his foamy head,
The gentler-looking land with fury menaced,
With his encountering wave no longer there contends;
But sitting mildly down like perfect ancient friends,
Unmoved of any wind which way soe’er it blow,        25
And rather seem to smile than knit an angry brow.
The ships with shattered ribs scarce creeping from the seas,
On her sleek bosom ride with such deliberate ease,
As all her passed storms she holds but mean and base,
So she may reach at length this most delightful place,        30
By nature with proud cleeves invironed about,
To crown the goodly road: where builds the falcon stout,
Which we the gentle call; whose fleet and active wings
It seems that Nature made when most she thought on kings;
Which managed to the lure, her high and gallant flight        35
The vacant sportful man so greatly doth delight,
That with her nimble quills his soul doth seem to hover,
And lie the very pitch that lusty bird doth cover.
 
 
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