1611 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Ben Jonson

John Fletcher, "To his worthy Friend Mr. Ben. Jonson" Jonson, Cataline (1611) sigs A3v-A4.



He, that dares wrong this Play, it should appeare
Dares utter more, then other men dare heare,
That have their wits about 'hem: yet such men,
Deare friend, must see your Booke, and reade; and then,
Out of their learned ignorance, crie ill,
And lay you by, calling for mad Pasquill,
Or Greene's deare Groatsworth, or Tom Coryate,
The new Lexicon, with the errant Pate;
And picke away, from all these severall ends,
And durtie ones, to make their as-wise friends
Beleeve they are translaters. Of this, pitty,
There is a great plague hanging o'er the Citty:
Unlesse she purge her judgement presently.
But, O thou happy man, that must not die
As these things shall: leaving no more behind
But a thin memory (like a passing wind)
That blowes, and is forgotten, ere they are cold.
Thy labours shall out live thee; and, like gold
Stampt for continuance, shall be currant, where
There is a Sunne, a People, or a Yeare.