1651 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Taylor the Water Poet

Samuel Sheppard, "To John Taylor (commonly called) the Water-Poet" Sheppard, Epigrams (1651) 148-49.



If ever I did drink, or taste one drop
Of Hellicon, or coveted the top
Of craggy cliv'd Parnassus, if that I
Did ever pipe or sing harmoniously,
Then let my censure find a free accesse
To those that make thee more, making thee lesse:
I say thy Lines are fluent, and thy Layes
(I do avowch't, not partiall in my praise)
[Some Cockle cast away] are such to mee,
That when I read 'em, I'me in Love with thee,
And sighing say, had this man Learning known,
(Who hath in quaint a Genius of his own)
Great Ben had crept to's Urne without a Name,
And Taylor solely slept i' th' house of Fame.