1589 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Robert Greene

Thomas Brabine, "In Praise of the Author" Greene, Menaphon (1589) sig. *3v.



Come foorth you witts that vaunt the pompe of speach,
And strive to thunder from a Stage-mans throate:
View Menaphon a note beyond your reach;
Whose sight will make your drumming descant doate:
Players avant, you know not to delight;
Welcome sweete Shepheard, worth a Schollers sight.

Smirna is drie, and Helicon exhal'd,
Caballian founts have left their springing sourse,
Parnassus with his Lawrell stands appal'd;
And yet His Muse keepes on her wonted course:
Wonted said I? I wrong his paines too much,
Since that his pen before brought foorth none such.

One writes of love, and wanders in the aire;
Another stands on tearmes of trees and stones:
When heavens compare yeeldes but the praise of faire,
And christall can describe but flesh and bones:
Yet countrey swaynes, whose thoughts are faith and troth,
Will shape sweete words of wooll and russet cloth.

Mongst whom if I my Tityrus should chuse,
Whose warbling tunes might wanton out my woes;
To none more oftner would my solace use,
Than to his Pastoralls their mortall foes.
Sweete verse, sweet prose, how have you pleasde my vaine?
Be thou still Greene, whiles others glorie waine.