1604 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Nashe

Thomas Middleton, in The Ant and the Nightingale (1604); Beloe, Anecdotes of Literature and Scarce Books 1 (1807) 262-63.



Or if in bitternes thou raile like Nash
Forgive me, honest soule, that tearme thy phrase,
Rayling, for in thy workes thou wert not rash,
Nor didst affect in youth thy private praise.
Thou hadst a strife with that Tergemini;
Thou hurst not them till they had injured thee.
Thou was indeede too slothfull to thyselfe,
Hiding thy better talent in thy spleene
True spirits are not covetous in pelfe,
Youths wit is every ready, quick, and keene.
Thou didst not live thy ripend Autumn day,
But wert cut off in thy best blooming May.