1635 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Joseph Rutter

Thomas May, "To my much respected Friend, Master Joseph Rutter, upon his Pastorall" Rutter, The Shepheards Holy-day" sig. A3v.



Why should I vainely strive to vindicate
Thy fame, or feare thy well-writ Poems fate?
Why should I wrong the age, to thinke a straine
So clearely sweete, so elegantly plaine,
Should be mistaken? that a Reader, though
Not of the best, who judge because they know,
But of the venturing ranke, should therefore cease
To praise, because he understands with ease?
Because he is not puzled, but may finde
A quicke delight, such as should moove the minde
In Playes or Pastoralls, whose gentle straines,
Should not perplexe, but recreate the braines?
Can unjust ignorance offer so much
Wrong to it self? yet I have heard that such,
For whom no language can be plaine enough,
Praise nought but intricate and clouded stuffe,
As if that conscious to their owne weake sence,
Because they know not perfect eloquence,
And yet would seeme; they thinke that best must be,
That's farthest off from their capacity.
Let such, if such there be, have their desire;
And, though not pleas'd, nor profited, admire.
I wish who ere shall read thy sweetest straine,
May love the Authours skill that made it plaine,
And so be just both to himselfe, and thee:
But I'le no more anticipate, nor be
Tedious in censure; to that Worthy breast,
To whom thou send'st thy Booke, I leave the rest.