1637 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Ben Jonson

John Suckling, in "A Sessions of the Poets" 1637; Suckling, Fragmenta Aurea (1646) 7-8.



The first that broke silence was good old Ben,
Prepar'd before with Canary wine,
And he told them plainly he deserv'd the Bayes,
For his were calld Works, where others were but Plaies.

And
Bid them remember how he had purg'd the Stage
Of errors, that had lasted many an Age,
And he hopes they did not think the silent Woman,
The Fox, and the Alchymist out done by no man.

Apollo stopt him there, and bade him not go on,
'Twas merit, he said, and not presumption
Must carry't; at which Ben turned about,
And in great choler offer'd to go out:

But
Those that were there thought it not fit
To discontent so ancient a wit;
And therefore Apollo call'd him back agen,
And made him mine host of his owne new Inne.