Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A FIT OF RHYME AGAINST RHYME [OR, RIME], by BEN JONSON

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A FIT OF RHYME AGAINST RHYME [OR, RIME], by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Rhyme, the rack of finest wits
Last Line: Was the founder!
Subject(s): Poetry & Poets; Rhyme

Rhyme, the rack of finest wits,
That expresseth but by fits
True conceit,
Spoiling senses of their treasure,
Cozening judgment with a measure,
But false weight;
Wresting words from their true calling;
Propping verse for fear of falling
To the ground;
Jointing syllables, drowning letters,
Fastening vowels, as with fetters
They were bound!
Soon as lazy thou wert known,
All good poetry hence was flown,
And art banished:
For thousand years together,
All Parnassus' green did wither,
And wit vanished!
Pegasus did fly away,
At the wells no Muse did stay,
But bewailed,
So to see the fountain dry,
And Apollo's music die,
All light failed!
Starveling rhymes did fill the stage,
Not a poet in an age
Worthy crowning.
Not a work deserving bays,
Nor a line deserving praise,
Pallas frowning:
Greek was free from rhyme's infection,
Happy Greek, by this protection,
Was not spoiled.
Whilst the Latin, queen of tongues,
Is not yet free from rhyme's wrongs,
But rests foiled.
Scarce the hill again doth flourish,
Scarce the world a wit doth nourish
To restore
Phoebus to his crown again,
And the Muses to their brain,
As before.
Vulgar languages that want
Words, and sweetness, and be scant
Of true measure,
Tyrant rhyme hath so abused,
That they long since have refused
Other caesure.
He that first invented thee,
May his joints tormented be,
Cramped for ever;
Still may syllabes jar with time,
Still may reason war with rhyme,
Resting never!
May his sense when it would meet
The cold tumor in his feet,
Grow unsounder;
And his title be long fool,
That in rearing such a school
Was the founder!

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