1842 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

George Wither

C. H. Timperley, in Encyclopaedia of Literary and Typographical Anecdote (1842) 2:545.



1667, May 2. Died, GEORGE WITHERS, a poet of some eminence, who was imprisoned for his first work, called Abuses Whipt end Stript, but still continued to write satires and eclogues in prison. Sir John Denham begged his life that it might be said that there was a worse poet living than himself. The following inscription is from a collection of rare portraits in the Cracherode collection, in the British museum:—

No matter where the world bestowes her praise,
Or whom she crownes with her victorious bayes:
For he that fearless hath opposed the crymes
And checkt the gyant vices of the tymes;
He that unchanged hath afflictions borne,
That smiles on wants, that laughs contempts to scorne,
And hath most courage when most perills are,
Is he that should of right the laurel weare.

The motto of George Withers was, "I grow and wither both together."