Philip Massinger

Aston Cokayne, "To my worthy Friend the Author upon his Tragae-comedy, The Maid of Honour" Massinger, The Maid of Honour (1632) sig. A2v.

Was not thy Emperor enough before
For thee to give, that thou dost give us more?
I would be just, but cannot: that I know
I did not slander, this I feare I doe.
But pardon mee, if I offend: Thy fire
Let equall Poets praise, while I admire.
If any say that I enough have writ,
They are the foes, and envy at thy wit.
Believe not them, nor mee, they know thy lines
Deserve applause, but speake against their mindes.
I, out of justice, would commend thy Play,
But (friend forgive mee) 'tis above my way.
Oneword, and I have done (and from my heart
Would I could speake the whole truth, not the part)
Because 'tis thine; it henceforth will be said,
Not the Maid of Honour, but the Honour'd Maid.