1648 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Ben Jonson

Robert Herrick, "Upon Mr. Ben. Johnson. Epig." Herrick, Hesperides (1648) 173.



After the rare Arch-Poet JOHNSON dy'd,
The Sock grew loathsome, and the Buskins pride,
Together with the Stages glory stood
Each like a poore and pitied widowhood.
The Cirque prophan'd was, and all postures rack'd:
For men did strut, and stride, and stare, not act.
Then temper flew from words, and men did squeake,
Looke red, and blow, and bluster, but not speake:
No Holy-Rage, or frantick-fires did stirre,
Or flash about the spacious Theater.
No clap of hands, or shout, or praises-proofe
Did crack the Play-house sides, or cleave her roofe.
Artlesse the Sceane was; and that monstrous sin
Of deep and arrant ignorance came in;
Such ignorance as theirs was, who once hist
At thy unequal'd Play, the Alchymist:
Oh fie upon 'em! Lastly too, all witt
In utter darknes did, and still will sit
Sleeping the lucklesse Age out, till that she
Her Resurrection ha's again with Thee.