1673 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Edmund Waller

Richard Flecknoe, "To Mr. Ed: Waller" Epigrams made at several Times (1673) 72.



'Tis not in Wits, as 'tis in houses found,
Where those who run the fastest get most ground.
Nor does't with books, as't does with Cattle fare,
Where such are counted best, that greatest are.
Yet such voluminous Authors think it brave,
When they, like those o' th' Alps, their swelling have;
Which other men more learned and more wise,
Do look upon but as deformities.
If Writing much did make a learned man,
Scriveners write more than Learned'st Authors can;
A hundred Tradesmen Imploy more than they.
The Italian wisely says, A little and good,
By which best way of writing's understood.
And never any Author more then you,
Did in their writings make that saying true.