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About the town; this reckoning I will pay,
It was no dream! I was awake, and saw.
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 Smgs are England's Heroical Epistles, published in 1598. - G.
Perched overhead, the wise Athenian Owl: 17
fess A wild, and an unauthorized wickedness ! Sayst thou so, Lucan ? but thou scorn'st to
17 The Owl, published in 4to, 1604. The Barons' Wars, 1598. – G.
18 Drayton's principal work, and once exceedingly popular. . . . . 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,
19 This panegyric must be qualified by the opinion expressed to Druirinond, 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 does not affect the fact of Jonson's dislike to the long measure. B.
I feel it by mine own, that overflow
EPITAPII ON MICHAEL DRAYTON.20 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 authors!
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 MY TRULY BELOVED FRIEND, MASTER
BROWNE; ON HIS PASTORALS. 21 Some men, of books or friends not speaking
right, May hurt them more with praise, than foes with
spite. 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
mends. 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
21 Prefixed to Britannia's Pastorals, the second book, by William Browne, fol., 1616, and 8vo., 1625. - G.