1632 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Randolph

James Duport, "To his ingenuous Friend, the Author, concerning his Comedie" Randolph, The Jealous Lovers (1632) sig. ¶¶3.



The Muses (Tom) thy Jealous Lovers be,
Striving which has the greatest share in thee.
Euterpe calls thee hers, such is thy skill
In pastorall sonnets, and in rurall quill.
Melpomene claims thee for her own, and cries
Thou hast an excellent vein for elegies.
'Tis true; but then Calliope disdains,
Urging thy fancy in heroick strains.
Thus all the nine: Apollo by his laws
Sits judge in person to decide the cause:
Beholds thy Comedy, approves thy art,
And so gives sentence on Thalia's part.
To her he dooms thee onely of the nine;
What though the rest with jealousie repine?
Then let thy Comedie, Thalia's daughter,
Begin to know her mother Muse by laughter.
Out with't, I say, smother not this thy birth,
But publish to the world thy harmlesse mirth.
No fretting frontispiece, nor biting Satyre
Needs usher't forth: born tooth'd? fie, 'tis gainst nature.
Thou hadst th' applause of all: King, Queen, and Court,
And University, all lik't thy sport.
No blunt preamble in a Cynick humour
Need quarrell at dislike, and spight of rumour
Force a more candid censure, and extort
An approbation, maugre all the court,
Such rude and snarling prefaces suit not thee,
They are superfluous; for thy Comedie,
Backt with it's own worth, and the authours name,
Will finde sufficient welcome, credit, fame.