Hymne to his Ladies Birthplace

Michael Drayton

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 haue framed:
She, whose truely written Story,
To thy poore Name shall adde more glory,
Then if it should haue beene thy Chance,
T' haue bred our Kings that Conquer'd France.
Had She beene borne the former Age,
That house had beene a Pilgrimage,
And reputed more Diuine,
Then Walsingham or BECKETS Shrine.
That Princesse, to whom thou do'st owe
Thy Freedome, whose Cleere blushing snow,
The enuious 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 haue
More Honour, then she Freedome gaue;
And that great Queene, which but of late
Rul'd this Land in Peace and State,
Had not beene, but Heauen 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 eu'ry yeere,
On the fourth of August there,
Let thy Maides from FLORA'S bowers,
With their Choyce and daintiest flowers
Decke Thee vp, and from their store,
With braue 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 vnawares being passed by,
Back to that House shall cast his Eye,
Speaking my Verses as he goes,
And with a Sigh shut eu'ry Close.
Deare Citie, trauelling 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 scuruy thing,
Which some Iester forth did bring,
Speake these Lines where thou do'st come,
And strike the Slaue for euer dumb.

Drayton's Muse (and patron!) was Ann Goodere, whom he referred to as "idea".

Author's Notes:

Coventry is finely walled. (Coventry's Towers)

"The Shoulder-bone  of a hare of mighty bignesse" (The Trophies of the boar)

Godiua, Duke Leofricks wife, who obtained the Freedome of the city, of her husband, by riding 
throw it naked. (That Princesse...)