1638 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Shakerley Marmion

Thomas Heywood, "Of my worthy Friend, Mr. Shakerley Marmion, upon his Poem, of Cupid and Psyche" Marmion, Cupid and Psyche (1638) sig. B-Bv.



Love and the Soule are two things, both Divine,
Thy task (friend Marmion) now, which once was mine.
What I writ was Dramatical; thy Muse
Runnes in an Epick straine, which they still use,
Who write Heroicke Poems. Thine is such,
Which when I read, I could not praise too much.
The Argument is high, and not within
Their shallow reach to catch, who hold no sin
To taxe, what they conceive not; the best minds
Judge trees by fruit, not by their leaves and rinds.
And such can find (full knowledge having gain'd)
In leaden Fables, golden truths contain'd.
Thy subjects of that nature, a sublime
And weighty rapture, which being cloath'd in ryme,
Carries such sweetnesse with't, as hadst thou sung
Unto Apollo's Harpe, being newly strung,
These, had they issued from another's Pen,
A stranger, and unknowne to me; I then
Could not have bin so pleas'd: but from a Friend,
Where I might envy, I must now commend.
And glad I am this faire course thou hast runne,
Unvext to see my selfe so far out done.
'Twixt Intimates, who mutuall love professe,
More's not requir'd, and mine could show no lesse.