1616 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Browne of Tavistock

George Wither, "To the Author" Britannia's Pastorals, The Second Book (1616) Sig. A5.



Tis knowne I scorne to flatter (or commend)
What merits not applause though in my Friend:
Which by my censure should now more appeare,
Were this not full as good as thou art deare:
But since thou couldst not (erring) make it so,
That I might my impartiall humour show
By finding fault; Nor one of these friends tell
How to show love so ill, that I as well
Might paint out mine: I feele an envious touch,
And tell thee Swaine: that at thy fame I grutch,
Wishing the Art that makes this Poesie shine,
And this thy Worke (wert not thou wronged) mine.
For when Detraction shall forgotten be
This will continue to eternize thee;
And if hereafter any busie wit
Should, wronging thy conceit, miscensure it,
Though seeming learn'd or wise: here hee shall see,
Tis prais'd by wiser and more learn'd then hee.