1645 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas May

George Wither, in Great Assises holden upon Parnassus (1645) 16-17.



Hee likewise of offences him accus'd,
Whereby his King Apollo was abus'd:
And with malicious arguments attempts
To prove him guilty of sublime contempts,
But chiefly he indeavour'd to conclude,
That hee was guilty of ingratitude:
Which crime Parnassus Lawes doe so oppose,
As in that State, it for high Treason goes.
Then May stept forth, and first implor'd the grace
And leave of Phoebus to maintaine his case:
Then to the Learned Cunsistory sues,
That they would him or censure, or excuse:
Then calls the Gods, and all whom they protect,
The Starres, and all on whom they doe reflect,
The Elements, and what's compos'd of these,
Him to acquit from all disloyalties.
If by just proofes (said hee) thou canst evince,
That I have beene ungratefull to my Prince,
Then let mee from these groves bee now exil'd
To Scythian snowes, or into deserts wild;
Yea, I invoke the Gods that I may feele
The Gyants valour, or Ixions wheele,
If it bee found I have transgressed thus,
As 'tis inform'd by lying Aulicus.
Apollo then darts forth an awfull ray
From his impiercing eye, which silenc'd May.
So Kings (if they bee just) may rule like Gods,
And be observed by their lookes, and nods.
Hee Aulicus rebuk'd, because hee knew
His accusation from meere malice grew:
And him advis'd in peace to stand aside,
If hee desir'd with favour to be try'd