1780 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Francis Quarles

Richard Jago, "Hamlet's Soliloquy imitated" 1790 ca.; Knox, Elegant Extracts (1805) 2:757.



To print, or not to print — that is the question.
Whether 'tis better in a trunk to bury
The quirks and crotches of outrageous fancy,
Or sent a well-wrote copy to the press,
And, by disclosing, end them. To print, to doubt
No more; and by one act to say we end
The head-ach, and a thousand natural shocks
Of scribbling phrensy — 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To print — to beam
From the same shelf with Pope, in calf well bound:
To sleep, perchance, with Quarles — Ay, there's the rub—
For to what class a writer may be doom'd,
When he hath shuffled off some paltry stuff,
Must give us pause....