Idea LIII: To the River Ancor

Original Text: 
Michael Drayton, Poems (W. Stansby for J. Swethwicke, 1619). STC 7222. Facs. edn.: Scolar Press, 1969. PR 2255 A1 1619A.
2My soul-shrin'd saint, my fair Idea lies,
3O blessed brook, whose milk-white swans adore
4Thy crystal stream, refined by her eyes,
5Where sweet myrrh-breathing Zephyr in the spring
6Gently distils his nectar-dropping showers,
8Amongst the dainty dew-impearled flowers;
9Say thus, fair brook, when thou shalt see thy queen:
10Lo, here thy shepherd spent his wand'ring years,
11And in these shades, dear nymph, he oft hath been,
12And here to thee he sacrific'd his tears.


1] Ancor: sometimes spelt Anker; a small Warwickshire river passing through the estate of Polesworth Hall, where Drayton's "Idea," Anne Goodere, lived. Back to Line
7] Arden: in Shakespeare's and Drayton's day a great forest in Warwickshire. Back to Line
13] Tempe: a beautiful valley in Thessaly, Greece. Cf. Keats, Ode on a Grecian Urn, opening stanza. Back to Line
14] Helicon: a mountain in Boeotia, Greece, sacred to the Muses. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
F. D. Hoeniger
RPO Edition: 
3RP 1.132.