Poly-Olbion by Michael Drayton, 1622
But Pictswall all this while, as though he had been lost,
Not mention'd by the Muse, began to fret and fume,
That every petty Brook thus proudly should presume
To talke; and he whom first the Romans did invent
And of their greatness yet, the long'st liv'd monument,
Should this be over-trod; wherefore his wrong to wreake,
In their proud presence thus, doth aged Pictswall speak.
Methinks that Offa's Ditch in Cambria should not dare
To think himself my match, who with such cost and care
The Romans did erect, and for my safeguard set
Their legions, from my spoyle the proling Pict to let,
That often in-roads made, our earth from them to win,
By Adrian beaten back, so he to keep them in,
To sea from East to West, begun me first a wall
Of eighty miles in length, twixt Tyne and Eden's fall:
Long making me they were, and long did me maintaine.
Nor yet that Trench which tracts the Western Wiltshire Plain,
Of Woden, Wansdyke call'd, should parallel with me,
Comparing our descents, which shall appear to be
Mere upstarts, basely born: for when I was in hand,
The Saxon had not then set foot upon this land.
Till my declining age, and after many a year.
Of whose poor petty Kings, those the small labours were.
That on Newmarket Heath made up as though but now,
Who for the Devil's work the vulgar dare avow,
Tradition telling none, who truly it began,
Where many a reverent book can tell you of my Man,
And when I first decay'd, Severus going on,
What Adrian built of turf, he builded new of stone,
And after many a time, the Britans me repair'd,
To keep me still in plight, nor cost they ever spar'd.
Towns stood upon my length, where Garrisons were laid,
Their limits to defend; and for my greater aid,
With Turrets I was built, where Sentinels were plac'd,
To watch upon the Pict; so me my Makers grac'd,
With hollow pipes of brass, along me still that went,
By which they in one fort still to another sent,
By speaking in the same, to tell them what to do,
And so from sea to sea could I be whispered through.
Upon my thickness, three march'd eas'ly breast to breast,
Twelve foot was I in height, such glory I possest.