1637 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Heywood

D. E., "To the learned Authour Master Thomas Heywood" Heywood, Pleasant Dialogues and Drama's (1637) sig. A6v.



Who can deny but Poets take their birth
From some thing that's more excellent than earth
Since those harmonious strains that fill our eares,
Proclaime their neere allyance with the Spheares,
And shewes their Art all Arts as farre exceed
As doth the fiery-Cane, the weakest Reed.
That Matter which six lines of Prose rehearse,
May fitly be contained in one Verse;
Yea, and so pithily (if well compacted)
That out of it whole Bookes may be extracted.
A President whereof if thou wouldst find,
I prethee gentle Reader bend thy mind
To what this little Volume doth containe,
And sure the fruit will recompence thy paine.
The subject with the Authours names agree,
Who all have left unto Posteritie
Such Noble badges of their learned fame,
That my weake Pen can no way shew the same;
Therefore doe thou, O Heywood, weare the Bayes
As thy just merit many thousand wayes.
For this thy Worke, with others heretofore
Shall honor thee till time shall be no more.