1613 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Browne of Tavistock

William Ferrar, "To the Author" Britannias Pastorals (1613) Sig A6v.



Had I beheld thy Muse upon the Stage,
A Poesie in fashion with this age;
Or had I seene, when first I view'd thy taske,
An active wit dance in a Satyres Maske,
I should in those have prais'd thy Wit and Art,
But not thy ground, A Poems better part:
Which being the perfect'st Image of the Braine,
Not fram'd to any base end, but to gaine
True approbation of the Artists worth,
When to an open view he sets it forth,
Judiciously, hee strives; no lesse t' adorne
By a choise Subject, then a curious Forme:
Well hast thou then past o'er all other rhime,
And in a Pastorall spent thy leasures time:
Where fruit so faire, and field so fruitful is,
That hard it is to judge whether in This
The Substance or the Fashion more excell,
So precious is the Jemme, and wrought so well.
Thus rest thou prais'd of mee, Fruit, Field, Jemme, Art,
Doe claime much praise to equall such Desart.