1669 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Edward Howard

Roger Boyle, Earl of Orrery, "To my honoured Friend Edward Howard Esq; on his Heroick Poem, The Brittish Princes" in Howard, Brittish Princes (1669) sig. a2v-a3v.



This Noble Poem, which thou giv'st us now,
Does both oblige the Dead, and Living too:
Till the old Brittains fame thou didst display,
Their Glories were interr'd, as much as they.
And all the world by what thou now dost write,
Are bravely taught both how to Love, and Fight.
To purchase Fame two things are requisite,
Great Deeds, and those by a great Poet writ:
Aeneas Glory had not liv'd so long,
Had it not been the Theam of Maro's Song:
Arthur a brave and valiant Brittish King,
Wanting a Poet, who his Reigne could sing;
Has nothing, but his Name that does survive;
But in thy verse his Son shall ever live,
Which shows how soon a Lawrel Wreath decayes,
When 'tis not interwoven with the Bayes.
Though Nature many Powerful Charms did give
To fair Bonduca, yet we all believe
Her Beauties, in their height ne'r shone so bright,
As thou hast drawn them, now, in black, and white.
The Poets Art, the Painters does controul,
This but the Body draws, but that the Soul,
Old Ennius Passion, for the Queen, does prove,
No cold can triumph, o'r the heat of Love.
Whose boundless Power, who can too much admire,
Which Ages Ashes turns into a Fire.
Thou art the first hast done thy Country right;
For th' English, who Heroick Poems write
In praise of Foreigners, employ their Pen,
Though their own Country yields the bravest men:
For who but they at once could overcome
The falshood of the Gauls, and force of Rome,
And on both Generals, impose their Fate,
Though Rival'd Love, their swords did animate.
But our Delight! why dost thou so much wrong,
As to begin, but now conclude thy Song?
Thy Foes do envy, and thy Friends deplore,
Those, that so much is writ, these, that no more.
ORRERY.