1640 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

George Wither

Thomas Beedome, "To the excellent Poet Mr. George Withers" Beedome, Poems (1641) sig. G-Gv.



I never saw thee: but should grossely lie
To say I know thee not, for silly I,
Or one that is more stupid, well may guesse
At what thou art by what thou dost expresse.
Oh! that blest day when first my willing hand
Opt the remembrance of this Sinsicke land:
Trust mee, I griev'd to thinke that now my age,
Had sixteene summers acted on this stage:
Yet was a stranger to so rare a soule
As thine, whose heaven-bred boldnesse durst controle
Without respect of persons, every sinne,
That to thy knowledge had committed bin.
Then next thy Satyres, and thy Motto, I
Made hast to purchase, where I might espie,
How some too base for earth, not worth a name,
Sought by their mire and dirt to clay thy fame.
And credit mee, I hardly could forbeare,
Upon these pittied lines to drop a teare.
But that I know vertue oppos'd by fate,
Lookes greatest (like the Sunne) in lowest state:
When other wits, who have in some base rime,
Imploy'd of late, that they might conquer time;
Shall like those paper toyes, in which they trust,
Be eate by wormes, or molded into dust,
And want a name: thou by thy vertues grac't,
Shall live till earth by fire shall be imbrac't.
Thy unknown well-wisher Th. Beed.