1616 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir Thomas Overbury

Ben Jonson, "To Sir Thomas Overbury" Jonson, Workes (1616) 805-06.



So PHOEBUS make me worthy of his bayes,
As but to speake thee, OVERBURY, is praise:
So, where thou liv'st, thou mak'st life understood!
Where, what makes others great, doth keepe thee good!
I thinke, the Fate of court thy comming crav'd,
That the wit there, and manners might be sav'd:
For since, what ignorance, what pride is fled!
And letters, and humanitie is the stead!
Repent thee not of thy faire precedent,
Could make such men, and such a place repent:
Nor may any feare, to loose of their degree,
Who in such ambition can but follow thee.