1612 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Taylor the Water Poet

Nicholas Breton, "In laudem Authoris" Taylor, The Sculler, rowing from Tiber to Thames (1612) sig. A3v.



Wit, Reason, Grace, Religion, Nature, Zeale,
Wrought all together in thy working braine,
And to thy worke did set this certaine seale,
Pure is the cullor that will take no staine.
What need I praise, the worke it selfe doth praise:
In words, in worth, in forme, and matter to,
A world of wits are working many waies,
But few have done, that thou dost truly doe;
Was never Taylor shapt so fit a Coate,
Unto the corps of any earthly creature,
As thou hast made for that foule Romish Goate,
In true description of his devillish nature,
Besides, such matter of judicious wit,
With queint conceits so fitting every fancy,
As well may prove, who scornes and spights at it,
Shall either shew their folly or their franzie.
Then let the Popes Bulls roare, bell, booke and candle,
In all the Devills circuit sound thy curse:
Whilst thou with truth dost every tryall handle,
God blesse thy worke and thou art nere the worse.
And while Hells friends their hatefull foe doe prove thee
The Saints on earth, and God in heaven will love thee.
Thy loving friend Nicholas Bretton.