Michael Drayton

O Charnwood, be thou called the choicest of thy kind,
The like in any place what flood hath happed to find?
No tract in all this isle, the proudest let her be.
Can show a sylvan nymph for beauty like to thee:
The satyrs and the fawns, by Dian set to keep.
Rough hills and forest holts were sadly seen to weep,
When thy high-palmed harts, the sport of bows and hounds.
By gripple borderers' hands were banished thy grounds.
The Driades that were wont about thy lawns to rove.
To trip from wood to wood and scud from grove to grove.
On Sharpley that were seen, and Chadman's aged rocks.
Against the rising sun to braid their silver locks;
And with the harmless elves, on heathy Pardon's height.
By Cynthia's colder beams to play them night by night,
Exiled their sweet abode, to poor bare commons fled,
They with the oaks that lived, now with the oaks are dead.
Who will describe to life a forest, let him take
Thy surface to himself, nor shall he need to make
Another fonn at all, where oft in thee is found
Fine sharp but easy hills, which reverently are crowned
With aged antique rocks, to which the goats and sheep
(To him that stands remote) do softly seem to creep,
To gnaw the little shrubs on their steep sides that grow;
Upon whose other part on some descending brow,
Huge stones are hanging out as though they down would drop,
Where under-growing oaks on their old shoulders prop
The others' hoary heads, which still seem to decline,
And in a dimble near (even as a place divine,
For contemplation fit) an ivy cieled bower,
As nature had therein ordained some sylvan power:
As men may very oft at great assemblies see,
Whei-e many of most choice and wondered beauties be:
For stature one doth seem the best away to bear;
Another for her shape to stand beyond compare;
Another for the fine composure of a face;
Another short of these, yet for a modest grace
Before them all preferred; amongst the rest yet one,
Adjudged by all to be so perfect paragon.
That all those parts in her together simply dwell.
For which the other do so severally excel.
My Charnwood, like the last, hath in herself alone
What excellent can be in any forest shown.