Miss Twinkleton then proceeded to remark that Rumour, Ladies, had been represented by the bard
of Avon--needless were it to mention the immortal SHAKESPEARE, also called the Swan of his native river, not improbably with some reference to the ancient superstition that that bird of graceful plumage (Miss Jennings will please stand upright) sang sweetly on the approach of death, for which we have no ornithological authority,--Rumour, Ladies, had been represented by that bard
Caesar "never understood" any aspects of British life, including "our tongue," the heroic songs "which our great bards did sing," and "our former state, beginning, our descent, / The warres we had at home, the conquests where we went" (320-27).
We have also seen in examining the two defenses that bards and druids are an integral part of the problem; it is they who comprise Drayton's best evidence for continuity, though they also present an impenetrable mystery by keeping the secrets of the past to themselves for eternity.
That Drayton identified personally with bards, as Hiller argues, is beyond question.
But bards were vital not only to Drayton's self-image, but also to his monumental purposes: bards were linked to the idea of continuity because they represented victory over time.
The first statement on bards virtually opens the entire poem, as Drayton devotes his invocation to them: "Yee sacred Bards, that to your Harps melodious strings / Sung th'ancient Heroes deeds (the monuments of Kings) / And in your dreadfull verse ingrav'd the prophecies, / The aged worlds descents, and Genealogies" (1.
In Song 4, Drayton's second major treatment of bards describes the institution as it existed in Wales (171-90).