1648 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir John Denham

Robert Herrick, "To Mr. Denham, on his Prospective Poem" Herrick, Hesperides (1648) 275.



Or looke I back unto the Times hence flown,
To praise those Muses, and dislike our own?
Or did I walk those Pean-Gardens through,
To kick the Flow'rs, and scorn their odours too?
I might (and justly) be reputed (here)
One nicely made, or peevishly severe.
But by Apollo! as I worship wit,
(Where I have cause to burn perfumes to it:)
So, I confesse, 'tis from what to do well
In our high art, although we can't excell,
Like thee; or dare the Buskins to unloose
Of thy brave, bold, and sweet Maronian Muse;
But since I'm cal'd (rare Denham) to be gone,
Take from thy Herrick this conclusion:
'Tis dignity in others, if they be
Crown'd Poets; yet live Princes under thee:
The while their wreaths and Purple Robes do shine,
Lesse by their own jemms, then those beams of thine.