A Journey Along the Lea

An extract from A Tale of Two Swannes by William Vallens published 1590

‘From Stansted unto Hodsdon goe these Swannes, From thence to Broxborne, and to Wormley wood And so salute the holy house of Nunnes, That late ato captaine Edward Dennie, A knight in Ireland of the best accompt Who late made execution on our foes, I meane of Spanyardes, that with open armes Attempted both against our Queene and us: There now lord Talbot keepes a noble haouse: Now see these Swannes the new and worthie seate Of famous Cicill, treasoror of the land, Whose wisedome, counsell, skill of Princes state The world admires, then Swannes may doe the same: The house it selfe doth shewe the owners wit, And may for bewtie, state, and every thing, Compared be with most within the land. Downe all along through Waltham street they passe, And wonder at the ruines of the Abbay, Late supprest, the walles, the walkes, the monumentes, And everie thing that there is to be seene: Among them all a rare devise they see, But newly made, a waterworke: the locke Through which the boates of Ware doe passe with malt, This locke containes two double doores of wood, Within the same a Cesterne all of Plancke, Which onely fils when boates come there to passe By opening anie of these mightie dores with sleight, And strange devise, but now decayed sore. And as they stayed here, thy chaunst to see The stately crosse of Elnor, Henries wise Then Enfield house that longes unto our Queene, They all behold, and with due reveverence Salute the same. From hence by Hackney, Leyton, and old-Foord, They come to Stratford, cal’d also the Bowe: And underneath the bridge that thwartes the streame And partes the shires of Middlesex, and Essex both At last (though long and wearie was their way) They come unto the mouth of river Lee,’