1616 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Camden

Ben Jonson, "To William Camden" Jonson, Workes (1616) 772-73.



CAMDEN, most reverend head, to whom I owe
All that I am in arts, all that I know.
(How nothing's that?) to whom my countrey owes
The great renowne, and name wherewith shee goes.
Then thee the age sees not that thing more grave,
More high, more holy, that shee more would crave.
What name, what skill, what faith hast thou in things!
What sight in searching the most antique springs!
What weight, and what authoritie in thy speech!
Man scarse can make that doubt, but thou canst teach.
Pardon free truth, and let thy modestie,
Which conquers all, be once over-come by thee.
Many of thine this better could, then I,
But for their powers, accept my pietie.