1635 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir Kenelm Digby

Joseph Rutter, "To the truely noble Sir Kenelme Digby, Kt." Rutter, The Shepheards Holy-day" sig. A2-A2v.



SIR,

It is sayd, that all things naturally affect their place of birth. Fire fain'd to be stolne from Heaven, of its owne Nature tends upwards. The Soule of Man desires to be united with the Divine Essence from whence it is derived. Tis then but reason that these Poems should of themselves returne to you, by whose influence they were conceived; Both of them being borne in your house: The one whilst I admir'd the serenity, and sweetnesse of your disposition: the other when I kept time with your griefe, which you tooke for the losse of that noble Lady, your deare wife: So that now I doubt whether I may call my selfe the Author, or you. At least, if this be my worke, I am yours: And could my capacity have reacht those Heroique vertues, which in the time of my attendance I beheld in you, I might perhaps have dar'd a higher flight, and from the humble straine of shepheards, have growne up to you, as you are, the subject of all morall vertues: I should ha' then describ'd your valour, Industry, and Prudence in your actions at sea, your Bounty still exercised in the right place, your Piety in the memory of your deceased Lady, of whom, (besides the Monument you have erected to her,) the statues and pictures you have, and what ever else might render her, testifie what a value you set on the originall. Uxorem enim vivam amare voluptas est, defunctam religio. But these aymes are too high for me, yet may you somewhat raise my thoughts, if you descend to keepe these in your esteeme, and with them,

Your true servant,

JOS. RUTTER.