1651 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Samuel Sheppard

John Ridley, "To the Author on his Epigrams" Sheppard, Epigrams (1651) sigs Bv-B2.



Had these thy learned Epigrams been own'd
By L. or B. or any wit renown'd
For empty trifles, (oh the name! the name!)
Thy Statue had been fixt ith' house of Fame,
And o're thy head, in golden letters, writ,
"The Prince of Epigrammatists and Wit."
But we (alas) do take up Wit on trust,
If this man say 'tis his, of force it must
Be rare and excellent, although if scand
More dull then drosse, heavier then lead, or sand.
Rare SHEPPARD, nere what Fount, upon what Hill,
May I sometimes but listen to thy Quill,
And see the horn-hooff'd Satyrs dance to please,
Those Sylvan beauties, the Oreades:
Sure not a Nymph, or Wood-God but doth lie
Couchant, when thou dost chant a Lullabie.
But when more strenuously thou list t' advance
Thy tone, they cannot but Corantos dance:
For to thy Lyre the Thespian Ladies sing,
The thrice three Spheares, in consort answering.
Ecchoed by all those Orders, named Nine,
(Who still sing sacred Anthems to the Trine)
Both Heaven and Earth to share thy wit contend,
How blest am I, then, to have such a Friend.