1637 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Heywood

Shakerley Marmion, "To his worthie Friend the Authour, Master Thomas Heywood" Heywood, Pleasant Dialogues and Drama's (1637) sig. A6.



Heywood, when men weigh truly what thou art,
How the whole frame of learning claimes a part
In thy deepe apprehension; and then see,
To knowledge added so much industry;
Who will deny thee the best Palme and Bayes?
And that to name thee, to himselfe is praise.
As first, which I must ever first preferre,
Thy skill in Poetry, where thou so farre
Hast gone, as none beyond thee, and hast writ,
That after-ages must despaire of wit
Or matter to write more. Nor art thou lesse,
In whatsoere thy fancy will expresse.
Thy pen commands all history, all actions,
Counsels, Decrees, men, manners, States, and factions,
Playes, Epidediums, Odes, and Lyrics,
Translations, Epitaphs, Odes, and Lyricks,
They all doe speake thy worth. Nor dost thou teach
Things meere prophane; but thy great Muse does reach
Above the Orbes, unto the utmost skie,
And makes transition unto Deitie.
When thou with such high straines detainst our eares,
As might become the Angels, or the Spheares.
What Reader then in justice can decline
From this assertion? Poets are divine,
Rapt with a heavenly fire, which is made knowne
By no example better than thine owne.