Old map of Somerset illustrated with figures relevant to the landscape Show image info

Map of Somerset and Wiltshire engraved by William Hole, 1612, to illustrate ‘Poly-Olbion’ the epic poem by Michael Drayton

Inspired by William Hole's illustrated map for Poly-Olbion

Written in 2019 by a member of a creative writing class, through a collaboration between Bath Record Office and the St. John’s Foundation.

A poem inspired by the map of Somerset and Wiltshire engraved by William Hole in 1612 to illustrate ‘Poly-Olbion’ the epic poem by Michael Drayton.

Sing me a song of Somersetshire
back in the days of old
when maidens and nymphs abound
scantily clad and very cold

Shepherds and sheep - such rustic souls
watch maiden's bosoms a-heaving
in rivers runneth like roots of a tree
mother earth, wandering and weaving

Hunters and peasants live in the woods
like dryads in the oak trees
foraging and waiting from dawn to dusk
by marshes, mountains and seas

Big towns where the well-off live
hold no interest to us country folk
give us a pasture, a field with sheep
or a forest of hearty oak

Sing me a song of Somersetshire
rural, wild and free
folklaw, legend stars and a moon
and rivers that run to the sea.

Ros Foreman 2019