1633 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Phineas Fletcher

W. Benlowes, "To the Learned Authour" in Purple Island (1633) Sig. ¶¶v.



Grave Father of this Muse, thou deem'st too light
To wear thy name, 'cause of thy youthfull brain
It seems a sportfull childe; resembling right
Thy wittie childehood, not thy graver strain,
Which now esteems these works of fancie vain.
Let not thy childe, thee living, orphan be;
Who when th' art dead, will give a life to thee.

How many barren wits would gladly own,
How few o' th' pregnantest own such another!
Thou Father art, yet blushest to be known;
And though 't may call the best of Muses Mother,
Yet thy severer judgement would it smoother.
O judge not Thou, let Readers judge thy book:
Such Cates should rather please the Guest, then Cook.

O but thou fear'st 'twill stain the reverend gown
Thou wearest now; nay then fear not to show it:
For were't a stain, 'twere natures, not thine own:
For thou art Poet born; who know thee, know it:
Thy brother, sire, thy very name's a Poet.
Thy very name will make these Poems take,
These very Poems else thy name will make.