1611 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Ben Jonson

Francis Beaumont, "To my deare Friend, Mr. Ben: upon his Cataline" Jonson, Cataline (1611) sig. A3v.



If thou had'st itch'd after the wild applause
Of common people, and had'st made thy Lawes
In writing, such, as catch'd at present voice,
I should commend the thing, but not thy choyse.
But thou hast squar'd thy rules, by what is good;
And art, three Ages yet, from understood:
And (I dare say) in it, there lies much Wit
Lost, till thy Readers can grow up to it.
Which they can neer outgrow, to find it ill,
But must fall backe againe, or like it still.