Page images
PDF
EPUB

To my friend Mr John FORD, (on Love's Sacri

fice.)

Unto this altar, rich with thy own spice,
I bring one grain to thy Love's Sacrifice;
And boast to see thy flames ascending, while
Perfumes enrich our air from thy sweet pile.

Look here, thou, that hast malice to the stage,
And impudence enough for the whole age ;
Voluminously ignorant! be vex'd
To read this tragedy, and thy own be next.

JAMES SHIRLEY.

To my own Friend, Master John FORD, on his

justifiable poem of Perkin Warbeck, this Ode,

They who do know me, know that I,

Unskill'd to flatter, Dare speak this piece, in words, in matter, A work, without the danger of a lie.

Believe me, friend, the name of this and thee,

Will live, your story :
Books may want faith, or merit glory ;
This, neither, without judgment's lethargy.

* This dramatic author, whose plays, though very numerous, often exhibit uncommon poetical powers, was, according to Oldys (MS. notes to Langbaine), born about 1594, near Stocks Mar. ket in London, and died in the parish of St Giles's in the Fields, having been burnt out of his habitation in Fleet Street in the great fire of 1666.

When the arts doat, then some sick poet may

Hope that his pen, In new-stain's paper, can find men To roar, He is the Wit ; his noise doth sway:

But such an age cannot be known ; for all

Ere that time be,
Must prove such truth, mortality :
So, friend, thy honour stands too fix'd to fall.

GEORGE DONNE,

To his worthy Friend, Master John FORD, upon

his Perkin Warbeck.

Let men, who are writ poets, lay a claim
To the Phæbean hill, I have no name,
Nor art in verse ; true, I have heard some tell
Of Aganippe, but ne'er knew the well:
Therefore have no ambition with the times,
To be in print, for making of ill rhymes ;
But love of thee, and justice to thy pen,
Hath drawn me to this bar, with other men
To justify, though against double laws,
(Waving the subtle business of his cause)
The glorious Perkin, and thy poet's art
Equal with his, in playing the king's part.

RA. EURE, baronis primogenitus *.

* He was the son of William, Lord Eure.

VOL. 1.

To my faithful, no less deserving Friend, the Author

(of Perkin Warbeck), this indebted oblation.

Perkin is rediviv'd by thy strong hand,
And crown'd a king of new ; the vengeful wand
Of greatness is forgot ; his execution
May rest unmention'd, and his birth's conclusion
Lie buried in the story ; but his fame
Thou hast eterniz'd; made a crown his game.
His lofty spirit soars yet : had he been
Base in his enterprise, as was his sin
Conceiv’d, his title, doubtless, prov'd unjust,
Had, but for thee, been silent in the dust.

GEORGE CRYMES, miles.

To the Author, his Friend, upon his Chronicle His

tory (of Perkin Warbeck.)

These are not to express thy wit,
But to pronounce thy judgment fit,
In full-fil'd phrase, those times to raise,
When Perkin ran his wily ways.
Still, let the method of thy brain,
From Error's touch, and Envy's stain
Preserve thee free ; that ever thy quill
Fair Truth may wet, and fancy fill.
Thus graces are with muses met,
And practic critics on may fret :
For here thou hast produc'd a story
Which shall eclipse their future glory.

John BROGRAVE, Ar,

To my Friend and Kinsman Master John FORD,

the Author (of Perkin Warbeck.)

DRAMATIC poets, as the times go now,
Can hardly write what others will allow ;
The cynic snarls, the critic howls and barks,
And ravens croak, to drown the voice of larks :
Scorn those stage-harpies ! This I'll boldly say,
Many may imitate, few match thy play.

John FORD, Graiensis.

To Master John FORD of the Middle Temple, on

his Bower of Fancies (or, Fancies Chaste and Noble.)

I FOLLOW fair example, not report,
Like wits o'th' university, or court,

To show how I can write,
At mine own charges, for the time's delight;

But to acquit a debt,
Due to right poets, not the counterfeit.

These Fancies Chaste and Noble, are no strains
Dropt from the itch of over-heated brains :

They speak unblushing truth,
The guard of beauty, and the care of youth ;

Well relish'd, might repair
An acadèmy for the young and fair.

Such labours, friend, will live; for though some new Pretenders to the stage, in haste pursue

Those laurels which of old Enrich'd the actors ; yet I can be bold,

To say, their hopes are starv’d, For they but beg, what pens approv'd deserv'd.

Edw. GREENFIELD.

Upon the Sun's Darling (by FORD and DEKKAR.)

Is he then found ? Phoebus, make holiday,

Tie up thy steeds, and let the Cyclops play: Mulciber, leave thy anvil, and be trim ; Comb thy black muzzle, be no longer grim: Mercury, be quick, with mirth furnish the heavens; Jove, this day let all run at six and sevens ; And Ganimede, be nimble, to the brim Fill bowls of nectar that the Gods may swim, To solemnize their health that did discover The obscure being of the Sun's fond lover; That from th' example of their liberal mirth We may enjoy like freedom (here] on earth.

John TATHAM *.

* John Tatham was a poet of the reign of Charles I. and au. thor of four plays enumerated in the Biographia Dramatica. From 1657 to 1663, he furnished pageants for the Lord Mayor's day, in the quality of city poet.

« PreviousContinue »