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About the town; this reckoning I will pay,
Without conferring symbols: this, my day.

It was no dream! I was awake, and saw. Lend me thy voice, O Fame, that I may draw Wonder to truth, and have my vision hurled Hot from thy trumpet round about the world. I saw a beauty, from the sea to rise,

That all earth looked on, and that earth all eyes!
It cast a beam, as when the cheerful sun
Is fair got up, and day some hours begun;
And filled an orb as circular as heaven;
The orb was cut forth into regions seven,
And those so sweet, and well-proportioned parts,
As it had been the circle of the arts:
When, by thy bright IDEA 16 standing by,
I found it pure and perfect poesy.

There read I, straight, thy learned LEGENDS three,

Heard the soft airs, between our swains and thee, Which made me think the old Theocritus,

Or rural Virgil, come to pipe to us.

But then thy Epistolar HEROIC SONGS,
Their loves, their quarrels, jealousies and wrongs,
Did all so strike me, as I cried, who can
With us be called the Naso, but this man?
And looking up, I saw Minerva's fowl,

16 This is one of Drayton's earliest pieces: Idea, or the Shepherd's Garland, fashioned in nine eglogs, 1593. The Legends are, I believe, those of Cromwell, Mortimer, and Matilda; the Songs are England's Heroical Epistles, published in 1598.-G.

Perched overhead, the wise Athenian OwL: 17

I thought thee then our Orpheus, that wouldst


Like him, to make the air one volary.

And I had styled thee Orpheus, but, before
My lips could form the voice, I heard that roar,
And rouse, the marching of a mighty force,
Drums against drums, the neighing of the horse,
The fights, the cries, and wondering at the jars
I saw and read it was the BARONS' WARS.
O how in those dost thou instruct these times,
That rebels' actions are but valiant crimes;
And carried, though with shout and noise, con-

A wild, and an unauthorized wickedness!
Sayst thou so, Lucan? but thou scorn'st to


Under one title; thou hast made thy way
And flight about the isle, well near, by this
In thy admired Periegesis,

Or universal circumduction

Of all that read thy POLY-OLBION; 18

That read it! that are ravished; such was I,

17 The Owl, published in 4to, 1604. The Barons' Wars, 1598.


18 Drayton's principal work, and once exceedingly popu lar.. The poems to which Jonson alludes in the subsequent lines, are The Battle of Agincourt, The Miseries of Queen Margaret, The Quest of Cynthia, The Shepherds' Syrene, The Moon-Calf, and the well-known Nymphidia, or the Court of Fairies; all published in 1627. - B.


With every song,
I swear, and so would die;
But that I hear again thy drum to beat
A better cause, and strike the bravest heat
That ever yet did fire the English blood,
Our right in France, if rightly understood.
There thou art Homer; pray thee use the style
Thou hast deserved, and let me read the while
Thy catalogue of ships, exceeding his,
Thy list of aids and force, for so it is,

The poet's act; and for his country's sake,
Brave are the musters that the muse will make.
And when he ships them, where to use their arms,
How do his trumpets breathe! what loud alarms!
Look how we read the Spartans were inflamed
With bold Tyrtæus' verse; when thou art named,
So shall our English youth urge on, and cry
This book, it is a catechism to fight,

And will be bought of every lord and knight
That can but read; who cannot, may in prose
Get broken pieces, and fight well by those.
The miseries of MARGARET the queen,
Of tender eyes will more be wept than seen.

19 This panegyric must be qualified by the opinion expressed to Drummond, who reports Jonson to have said "that Michael Drayton's Polyolbion, if he had performed what he promised to write (the deeds of all the worthies), had been excellent his long verses pleased him not." There is apparently some confusion in this reference to the Polyolbion; but it does not affect the fact of Jonson's dislike to the long measure.

- B.

I feel it by mine own, that overflow

And stop my sight in every line I go.
But then, refreshed by thy FAIRY COURT,
I look on Cynthia and Syrena's sport,

As on two flowery carpets, that did rise,
And with their grassy green restored mine eyes.
Yet give me leave to wonder at the birth

Of thy strange MOON-CALF, both thy strain of mirth,

And gossip-got acquaintance, as to us
Thou hast brought Lapland, or old Cobalus,
Empusa, Lamia, or some monster more
Than Afric knew, or the full Grecian store.
I gratulate it to thee, and thy ends,
To all thy virtues and well-chosen friends;
Only my loss is, that I am not there,
And till I worthy am to wish I were,
I call the world that envies me, to see
If I can be a friend, and friend to thee.

Do, pious marble, let thy readers know
What they, and what their children owe
To Drayton's name: whose sacred dust
We recommend unto thy trust.

Protect his memory, and preserve his story, Remain a lasting monument of his glory.

20 The authorship of this epitaph is doubtful. It has been ascribed to Quarles, Randolph, and others; but more commonly to Jonson, whose manner it resembles. — B.

And when thy ruins shall disclaim
To be the treasurer of his name;
His name, that cannot die, shall be
An everlasting monument to thee.


Some men, of books or friends not speaking


May hurt them more with praise, than foes with


But I have seen thy work, and I know thee:
And, if thou list thyself, what thou canst be.
For, though but early in these paths thou tread,
I find thee write most worthy to be read.
It must be thine own judgment, yet, that sends
This thy work forth: that judgment mine com-

And, where the most read books, on authors' fames,

Or, like our money-brokers, take up names
On credit, and are cozened; see that thou,
By offering not more sureties than enow,
Hold thine own worth unbroke; which is so good
Upon the Exchange of Letters, as I would

More of our writers would, like thee, not swell With the how much they set forth, but the how well.

21 Prefixed to Britannia's Pastorals, the second book, by William Browne, fol., 1616, and 8vo., 1625. — G.

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