1653 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir William Davenant

John Denham, "To Daphne. On his incomparable incomprehensible Poem Gondibert" Certain Verses written by severall of the Authors Friends; to be re-printed with the Second Edition of Gondibert (1653) 20.



Chear up small Wits; now you shall crowned be;
Daphne himself is turn'd into a tree.
(Nor think it strange, for our great Author can
Clap stones to Hirmigil, and make her Man:)
Go gather sprigs, nor can you strip him bare,
For all the ancient Wreaths fall to his share.
Poor Homer's eyes by his unshaded light
Again put out, who bids the world Good-night,
And is as much eclips'd by one more blind,
As is his by our new Hectors out-shin'd:
Virgil, thou hast no Wit, and Naso is
More short of Will, than is Will's Nose of his;
Can silence Tasso, and the Fairy Queen,
Thou all by Will unread, and most unseen.
Nor shall we ere hear more of great Tom-Thumb,
For Gondibert and Oswald strike all dumb.
Thus then secur'd, thy Babe shall not miscarry,
Since all do bow to Fames Fine Secretary.
So have I heard the great Leviathan,
Let me speak true, and not bely a man,
Reign in the Deep and with tyrannick Power
Both Costick Codd, and squallid Sprats devour.