Channel Islands

Michael Drayton

Thus scarcely said the Muse, but hovering while she hung
Upon the Celtic wastes, the sea-nymphs loudly sung:
O ever-happy Isles, your heads so high that bear,
By nature strongly fenced, which never need to fear
On Neptune's watery realms when Eolus raiseth wars.
And every billow bounds as though to quench the stars:
Fair Jersey first of these here scattered in the deep,
Peculiarly that boast'st thy double-horned sheep:
Inferior nor to thee, thou Jernsey, bravely crowned
With rough-imbattled rocks, whose venom-hating ground
The hardened emeril hath, which thou abroad dost send
Thou Ligon, her beloved, and Serk, that dost attend
Her pleasure every hour; as Jethow, them at need.
With pheasants, fallow deer, and conies, that dost feed:
Ye seven small sister Isles, and Sorlings, which to see
The half-sunk seaman joys, or whatsoe'er you be,
From fruitful Aumey, near the ancient Celtic shore,
To Ushant and the Seams, whereas those nuns of yore
Gave answers from their caves, and took what shapes they please:
Ye happy Islands set within the British seas,
With shrill and jocund shouts the unmeasured deeps awake.
And let the Gods of sea their secret bowers forsake,
Whilst our industrious Muse Great Britain forth shall bring.
Crowned with those glorious wreaths that beautify the spring;
And whilst green Thetis' nymphs, with many an amorous lay
Sing our invention safe unto her long-wished bay.
Upon the utmost end of Cornwall's furrowing beak.
Where Bresan from the land the tilting waves doth break;
The shore let her transcend, the promont to descry,
And view about the Point the unnumbered fowl that fly.
Some, rising like a storm from off the troubled sand,
Seem in their hovering flight to shadow all the land;
Some, sitting on the beach to prune their painted breasts,
As if both earth and air they only did possess.