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Or for the laurel, he may gain a scorn;

For a good poet's made, as well as born..

And such wert thou! Look how the father's face Lives in his issue, even so the race

Of Shakespeare's mind and manners brightly shine

In his well turned and true filed lines;

In each of which he seems to shake a lance,
As brandished at the eyes of ignorance.
Sweet Swan of Avon! what a sight it were
To see thee in our water yet appear,

And make those flights upon the banks of

That so did take Eliza, and our James!
But stay, I see thee in the hemisphere
Advanced, and made a constellation there!
Shine forth, thou star of poets, and with rage,
Or influence, chide, or cheer the drooping stage,
Which, since thy flight from hence, hath
mourned like night,

And despairs day, but for thy volume's light.


This book will live; it hath a Genius; this
Above his reader, or his praiser, is.
Hence, then, profane! here needs no words' ex-


12 The elder brother of the dramatist, and himself a poet. He died in 1628, at the age of forty-eight. The verses are prefixed to the volume of poems.

In bulwarks, ravelines, ramparts for defence:
Such as the creeping common pioneers use,
When they do sweat to fortify a muse.
Though I confess it Beaumont's book to be
The bound, and frontier of our poetry;
And doth deserve all muniments of praise,
That art, or engine, on the strength can raise ;
Yet, who dares offer a redoubt to rear,
To cut a dike, or stick a stake up, here,
Before this work? where envy hath not cast
A trench against it, or a battery placed?
Stay till she make her vain approaches; then,
If maimèd she come off, 'tis not of men,
This fort of so impregnable access :

But higher power, as spite could not make less,
Nor flattery; but, secured by the author's name,
Defies what's cross to piety, or good fame;
And like a hallowed temple, free from taint
Of ethnicism, makes his muse a saint.

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The wise and many-headed bench, that sits Upon the life and death of plays and wits, (Composed of gamester, captain, knight, knight's


Lady or pucelle, that wears mask or fan,

18 Taken by Whalley from Seward's edition of Beaumont and Fletcher. The Faithful Shepherdess was brought out about 1610.

Velvet or taffeta cap, ranked in the dark

With the shop's foreman, or some such brave spark

That may judge for his sixpence) had, before They saw it half, damned thy whole play, and


Their motives were, since it had not to do

With vices, which they looked for, and came to.
I, that am glad thy innocence was thy guilt,
And wish that all the Muses' blood were spilt
In such a martyrdom, to vex their eyes,
Do crown thy murdered poem: which shall rise
A glorified work to time, when fire,

Or moths shall eat what all these fools admire.


Underneath this sable hearse
Lies the subject of all verse,


14 The accomplished sister of Sir Philip Sidney, who dedicated to her his Arcadia. The Countess of Pembroke wrote some graceful poems, translated the tragedy of Antony from the French, and joined her brother in a translation of the Psalms, which was first published in 1823. Spenser speaks of her as

"Most resembling, both in shape and spirit, Her brother dear."

She died in 1621.

The above epitaph was first introduced into the collected works of Ben Jonson by Whalley, on the ground that it was 'universally assigned to him.' Jonson's claim to it, however, is by no means certain. In a manuscript collection of Browne's poems, preserved amongst the Lansdowne MSS. in

Sidney's sister, Pembroke's mother:
Death! ere thou hast slain another,
Learned, and fair, and good as she,

Time shall throw a dart at thee.

the British Museum, the epitaph is ascribed to Browne, with the following additional stanza : —

"Marble piles let no man raise

To her name for after days,
Some kind woman, born as she,
Reading this, like Niobe,

Shall turn marble, and become

Both her mourner and her tomb."

Osborne published this stanza under the impression that the whole piece was written by Jonson; and Gifford, who calls these lines a 'paltry addition,' and condemns them upon a groundless charge of inconsistency, says that the critics ought to have known that they were copied from the poems of the Earl of Pembroke, 'to whose pen they are assigned by the prefix of his usual initials.' Now Gifford himself ought to have known that the prefix of his lordship's initials cannot be admitted as proof of the authorship, it being notorious to all readers familiar with the literature of the period, that the Earl of Pembroke, to use the language of a writer entitled to be heard on the subject, had the fame of a poet, but that his right to the poems ascribed to him has been questioned as standing on no adequate authority.' That no part of this epitaph was written by the Earl of Pembroke is established by the MS. in the Museum, which contains, together with other pieces, a song by Lord Pembroke. This latter circumstance collaterally supports the evidence, for had his Lordship also written the epitaph, it is only reasonable to assume that it would have been also ascribed to him. The question of the authorship, dismissing Pembroke's pretensions to any share in it, may thus be fairly stated that while Jonson's claim rests upon no more definite authority than that of tradition, Browne's is directly asserted in an




It hath been questioned, Michael, if I be
A friend at all; or, if at all, to thee:
Because, who make the question, have not seen
Those ambling visits pass in verse, between
Thy muse and mine, as they expect; 'tis true,
You have not writ to me, nor I to you.

And though I now begin, 'tis not to rub Haunch against haunch, or raise a rhyming club

authentic MS. undoubtedly comprising a large collection of his poems which had long been supposed to have been lost. A further presumption in favor of Browne may be raised upon the intimate relations which existed between him and Pembroke. That he should have furnished an epitaph for the tomb of an admirable woman, whose death was deeply deplored by his friend and patron, is, at least, extremely probable; and this probability is strengthened by the elegy which some years afterwards he dedicated to her memory.-B.

15 Whalley observes that these lines contain "an enumeration of Drayton's poems, with our author's testimony to their merits." It is scarcely necessary to point out that the "enumeration" does not include the "Odes," "Pastorals," "The Muses' Elysium," and many other pieces, some of which were of a later date than the edition of Drayton's works to which this panegyric was prefixed Jonson was one of Drayton's most intimate friends; yet in his loose conversations with Drummond he spoke slightingly of him, saying that Drayton "feared him, and that he esteemed not of him." Drayton died in 1631.-B. The lines are prefixed to the second volume of Drayton's works, which came out, in folio, in 1627.-G.

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