The Trent

Michael Drayton

WHEN now the neighboring floods willed Wrekin to suppress

His style, or they were like to surfeit with excess,

And time had brought about that now they all began

To listen to a long-told prophecy, which ran

Of Moreland, that she might live prosperously to see

A river born of her, who well might reckoned be

The third of this large isle: which saw did first arise

From Arden, in those days delivering prophecies.

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                            Then of her

Why shouldst thou all this while the prophecy defer,

Who bearing many springs, which pretty rivers grew,

She could not be content until she fully knew

Which child it was of hers (born under such a fate)

As should in time be raised unto that high estate?

(I fain would have you think that this was long ago,

When many a river now that furiously doth flow

Had scarcely learned to creep), and therefore she doth will

Wise Arden, from the depth of her abundant skill,

To tell her which of these her rills it was she meant.

To satisfy her will, the wizard answers, Trent.

For, as a skilful seer, the aged forest wist,

A more than usual power did in that name consist,

Which thirty doth import: by which she thus divined,

There should be found in her of fishes thirty kind;

And thirty Abbeys great, in places fat and rank,

Should in succeeding time be builded on her bank;

And thirty several streams from many a sundry way

Unto her greatness should their watery tribute pay.