Richard Barnfield declares Edmund Spenser a candidate for fame, along with Daniel, Drayton, and Shakespeare. If it is more than a passing compliment, this early reference to Spenser as laureate is of some interest. The passage is reprinted among the "Commendatory Verses" to Todd's Works of Spenser (1805).
John Payne Collier: "The same evidence which proves that some poems, once published as Barnefield's, are Shakespeare's, establishes beyond question that the following sonnet, devoted to the praises of Spenser, Drayton, and Shakespeare, is by Barnefield.... How inferior this is to the sonnet by Shakespeare on Spenser and Dowland, we need not take the pains to establish ["To his Friend Maister R. L. in Praise of Musique and Poetrie" (1598), now attributed to Barnfield]" Poetical Works of Spenser (1862; 1875) 1:cviii-ix.
Katherine Duncan-Jones: the poem "celebrates Spenser, Daniel, Drayton, and Shakespeare as living poets whereas the immediately previous poem, 'Against the Dispraysers of Poetrie,' commemorates the dead ones such as Sidney and Gascoigne" Spenser Encyclopedia (1990) 79.
Live Spenser ever, in thy Fairy Queene:
Whose like (for deepe Conceit) was never seene.
Crownd mayst thou bee, unto thy more renowne,
(As King of Poets) with a Lawrell Crowne.
And Daniell, praised for thy sweet-chast Verse:
Whose Fame is grav'd on Rosamonds blacke Herse.
Still mayst thou live: and still be honored,
For that rare Worke, The White Rose and the Red.
And Drayton, whose wel-written Tragedies,
And sweete Epistles, soare thy fame to skies.
Thy learned Name, is aequall with the rest;
Whose stately Numbers are so well addrest.
And Shakespeare thou, whose hony-flowing Vaine,
(Pleasing the World) thy Praises doth obtaine.
Whose Venus, and whose Lucrece (sweete, and chaste)
Thy Name in fames immortall Booke have plac't.
Live ever you, at least in Fame live ever:
Well may the Bodye dye, but Fame dies never.