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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
England: Vols. I–IV. 1876–79.

Derbyshire, the Peak

An Ode Written in the Peak

By Michael Drayton (1563–1631)

THIS while we are abroad

Shall we not touch our lyre?

Shall we not sing an ode?

Shall that holy fire,

In us that strongly glowed,

In this cold air expire?

Long since the summer laid

Her lusty bravery down,

The autumn half is way’d,

And Boreas ’gins to frown,

Since now I did behold

Great Brute’s first builded town.

Though in the utmost Peak

Awhile we do remain,

Amongst the mountains bleak

Exposed to sleet and rain,

No sport our hours shall break

To exercise our vein.

What though bright Phœbus’ beams

Refresh the southern ground,

And though the princely Thames

With beauteous nymphs abound,

And by old Camber’s streams

Be many wonders found:

Yet many rivers clear

Here glide in silver swathes,

And what of all most dear,

Buxton’s delicious baths,

Strong ale and noble cheer,

To assuage breem winter’s scathes.

Those grim and horrid caves,

Whose looks affright the day,

Wherein nice Nature saves

What she would not bewray,

Our better leisure craves

And doth invite our lay.

In places far or near,

Or famous or obscure,

Where wholesome is the air,

Or where the most impure,

All times and everywhere

The Muse is still in ure.