1807 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Robert Aylett

Thomas Park, "A Wife not ready made, but bespoken" Censura Literaria 5 (1807) 373-74.



A Wife not ready made, but bespoken: By Dicus the batchelor; and made up for him by his fellow shepheard Tityrus. In four pastorall eglogues. The Second Edition. London: Printed for A. R. 1653. 8vo.

This is a poetical pleading for and against marriage, in which the opposite advocates display equal ingenuity. The tract has a dedication in verse by R. A. "to his honoured good friend Sir Robert Stapleton," the translator of Juvenal and Musaeus. R. A. is Robert Aylet, LL.D. who wrote several pieces of a graver cast on scriptural subjects, which were collected into a thick octavo volume, of unfrequent occurrence. The present little work exhibits a few lyric stanzas which invite transcription. They appear under the quaint title of "A Mandee to Grammar-Scholars."

In time of seed, no cost or labour spare;
Who soweth cheap,
Shall never reap
Things admirable, excellent, and rare.

One hour in youth, well-spent, may go for two:
When we grow old
Our studie's cold;
The things we learn in youth, in age we do.

Look but before, you plainly shall descry—
Honours attend
On them that spend
Their youth in sacred Muses' company:

When they that follow worldly vain delights,
In folly spend
What heav'ns do send,
And set in mists of sad obscured night.

Hence, younger brothers by their studies raise
Their houses' name
To height of fame,
And build brave monuments of lasting praise:

Which th' elder finding ready built to hand,
Their genius please
In sloth and ease,
Or waste, in pride and riot, goods and land.

Two elegies are added on the deaths of Edmund Alleyn, Esq. of Hatfield in Essex, (son and heir to Sir Edward Alleyn, Bart.) and Mary his wife.

T. P.