With lockes uncomb’d, for haste the lovelie Wye to see
(The floud that grac’t her most) this daie should married be
To that more lovelie Lug; a River of much fame,
That in her wandering bankes should lose his glorious name.
For Hereford, although her Wye she hold so deere,
Yet Lug (whose longer course doth grace the goodlie Sheere,
And with his plentious Streame so manie Brookes doth bring)
Of all hers that be North is absolutelie King.From ‘The Seaventh Song’, Poly-Olbion Poem by Michael Drayton PArt 1, 1612.
Pete Blench, Leominster’s local historian, told me about this 15,000 line poem produced in the 1600’s as a collaboration between poet Michael Drayton illustrated with thirty engraved county maps by William Hole, with the first eighteen songs accompanied by John Selden’s prose ‘illustrations’.
I walked the short distance along the Lugg from Mordiford to find this romantic meeting point, a quiet spot witnessed by sheep and ducks. Sure enough, mistletoe was growing thickly on the trees leaning into the Lugg.