1640 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Habington

George Talbot, "To his best Friend and Kinsman William Habington, Esquire" Habington, Castara (1640) sig. A0-A9v.



Not in the silence of content and store
Of private sweets ought thy Muse charme no more
Then thy Castara's eare. 'Twere wrong such gold
Shou'd not like Mines, (poore nam'd to this) behold
It selfe a publike joy. Who her restraine,
Make a close prisoner of a Soveraigne.
Inlarge her then to triumph, while we see
Such worth in beauty, such desert in thee,
Such mutuall flames betweene you both, as show
How chastity, though yee, like love can grow,
Yet stand a Virgin: How that full content
By vertue is to soules united, lent,
Which proves all wealth is poore, all honours are
But empty titles, highest power but care,
That quits not cost. Yet Heaven to Vertue kind,
Hath given you plenty to suffice a minde
That knowes but temper. For beyond your state
Maybe a prouder, not a happier Fate.
I Write not this in hope t' incroach on fame,
Or adde a greater lustre to your name.
Bright in it selfe enough. We two are knowne
To th' World, as to our selves, to be but one
In blood as study: And my carefull love
Did never action worth my name, approve,
Which serv'd not thee. Nor did we ere contend,
But who should be best patterne of a friend.
Who read thee, praise thy fancie, and admire
Thee burning with so high and pure a fire,
As reaches heaven it selfe. But I who know
Thy soule religious to her ends, where grow
No sinnes by art or custome, boldly can
Stile thee more than good Poet, a good man.
Then let thy temples shake off vulgar bayes,
Th' hast built an Altar which enshrines thy praise;
And to the faith of after time commends
Yee the best paire of lovers, us of friends.