1620 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Michael Drayton

Henry Peacham, "To Maister Michael Drayton" Peacham, Thalias Banquet (1620) sig. B3-B3v.



What thinkst thou worthy Michael of our Times,
When onely Almanack and ballad rimes
Are in request now, where those Worthies be,
Who formerly did cherish poesie,
Where is Augustus? oh no rather she,
Would lend an eare unto thy Melodie.
Sweete poetesse her selfe, where's Surrey and,
Our Phoenix Sydney, Essex, Cumberland?
With numbers moe, of whom we are bereft,
That scarce a prop th' abandon'd Muse hath left.
But what's the reason? they that list define
For mee, except the same of Aretine,
Who one day asked why that Great ones now,
Will no reward to Poetry allow?
Replied, because Their conscience doth suggest,
In Poets praise they have no interest.
Moreover would not have them take in hand,
To Patterne that they cannot understand.