1662 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir Aston Cokayne

Charles Cotton, "To Sir Aston Cockayne, on his Tragedy of Ovid" 1662; Cotton, Poems (1923) 277-78.



Long live the Poet, and his lovely Muse,
The Stage with Wit, and Learning to infuse,
Embalm him in immortal Elegy,
My gentle Naso, for if he should die,
Who makes thee live, thou'lt be again pursu'd,
And banisht Heaven for ingratitude.
Transform again thy Metamorphosis
In one, and turn thy various shapes to his,
A twin-born Muse in such embraces curl'd,
As shall subject the scribblers of the world,
And spite of Time, and envy, henceforth sit,
The ruling Gemini of Love and Wit.

So two pure streams in one smooth channel glide
In even motion, without ebb, or tide:
As in your pens Tybur, and Anchor meet,
And run Meanders with their silver feet.

Both soft, both gentle, both transcending high,
Both skill'd alike in charming Elegy;
So equally admir'd the laurels due,
Without distinction both to him and you:
Naso was Rome's fam'd Ovid, you alone
Must be the Ovid to our Albion:
In all things equal, saving in this case,
Our modern Ovid has the better grace.
Philodramatos.