1811 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Thomas Frognall Dibdin

Wyllym Caxton, "To my ryght worthie Maister the Reverende Mayster Dybdyn" Gentleman's Magazine 81 (December 1811) 558.



Fayre sonne grand mercy for the mickle paine
By the bestowed tauvaunce my name
Whyche by the labeur of thy pen shall gaine
Eternall recorde in the Boke of Fame
For folkis yet unborne enfourmd by the
Shall gaine a knowlege of my werkes and me
Here in this hapye region as I sitte
Fro alle my former yerthelye cares unbente
I ofte renewe in myn entendement
The daies yspente belowe, and when it
To me grete laude and hyghe renowme that I
In Englonde fyrste the prynters art dede trye.
The werkis whyche by me enpryntid wer
Whan I recal unto my remembraunce
And wel consydre my smal suffisaunce
Moche doet it me astonde my utmoste care
Shuld in these dayes whan menne ben growne so nice
By them be valewd at soe haute a pryse.
And moche I mervayle that my typis rude
And homelie pourtraictes whyche my bokes adorne
And paper by the mothe and worme ytorne
Swyche lengthe of tyme have thyr assautes withstode
I coulde nat hope soe manye yeres ypast
One parfyte boke of myne til now shulde laste.
But yet I heare (for sothlye here perchaunce
By Goddis grace some of my brethrene com
Thrugh Christis bloude redemyd fro the dome
Due to mannys sin and his obeisaunce)
That in your londe one ATTICUS doeth dwelse
Who pryseth moche my warkes as men me tell
And others some ther ben who moche delyghte
Myne werkis to collecte and hepe wyth care
Albeit thei ne fruytefulle ben ne rare
Ne from tymes blemysshe fre ne yet parfyte
Yet to pourchase them alle thyr thoghtes they bend
Ne reke thei of the coyne whyche they therin byspende
Ne reas wyth WYNKYN, PYNSONE, MACHLINIA
In sote comunyon I trewe plesure taste
Devysynge of oure yerthelye labeurs past
We cal to mynde the dayes of yore and saye
Ful lytell dede we thynke whylest yet on lyve
That these oure werkis shuld so longe survive
Wherfore to hym and theym we mekely praye
That they accepte oure hartye thanke condyne
For theyr gode wylle to us whych soe doeth shine
And oure remercimentes they take in gre
For sothe to saye to them we ben moche bounden
For alle the faveur wee from them have founden
And moche thi labeur do we take in gre
Whyche hath from darke forgetfulnesse reshewde
Soe manie of oure auncyente werkis rude
And thus comendyd to posterite
Wherby oure fayre renome shal taste for aye
Ne blemyshe be ne never know decaye
Wyth these here GUTENBERG and FUST unite
In thanke ryghte herty unto the oure frende
Besechynge me I theym to commende
Prayen we alle that heven maye the requyte
For this thy travaile and thy warke of love
And that we may embrace the here above
Whan from the lower warlde thou shalt remouve.

P.S.
Sonne of my love I praye the thou foryeve
The wordes uncouthe in whyche to the I wryte
For coude I yet in beter style endyte
I wolde nat, to thentente thou mote parceive
And fuly knowe and sykerly entende
By this myne auncyente speche thy veray frende,
W. C.