1611 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

George Chapman

John Davies of Hereford, "To Mr. George Chapman, Father of our English Poets" in Scourge of Folly (1611 ca.); Davies, Works, ed. Grosart (1878) 2:59-60.



I know thee not (good George) but by thy pen;
For which I ranke thee with the rarest men.
And in that ranke I put thee at the front,
Especially of poets of account,
Who art the treasurer of that company;
But in thy hand too little coyne doth lye:
For of all artes that now in London are,
Poets gett least in uttering of their ware.
But thou hast in thy head and hart and hand,
Treasures of arte that treasure can command.
Ah, would they could; then should thy wealth and witt
Bee equall, and a lofty fortune fitt.
But George thou wert accurst, and so was I
To bee of that most blessed company;
For if they most are blest that most are crost,
Then poets (I am sure) are blessed most.
Yet wee with rhime and reason trimme the times,
Though they give little reason for our rhimes.
The reason is (els error blinds my witts)
They reason want to do what honor fitts.
But let them do as please them, wee must do
What Phoebus (sire of arte) moves nature to.