Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE AUTHOR'S FRIEND TO THE READER, by WILLIAM BROWNE (1591-1643)



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THE AUTHOR'S FRIEND TO THE READER, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The printer's haste calls on; I must not drive
Last Line: Of all that are call'd works, the best are plays.
Alternate Author Name(s): Browne, William Of Tavistock
Subject(s): Massinger, Philip (1583-1640); Plays & Playwrights ; Dramatists


THE printer's haste calls on; I must not drive
My time past six, though I begin at five.
One hour I have entire; and 'tis enough.
Here are no gipsy jigs, no drumming stuff,
Dances, or other trumpery to delight,
Or take, by common way, the common sight.
The author of this poem, as he dares
To stand the austerest censure, so he cares
As little what it is. His own best way
Is to be judge and author of his play.
It is his knowledge makes him thus secure;
Nor does he write to please, but to endure.
And, reader, if you have disburs'd a shilling
To see this worthy story, and are willingTo have a large increase; if rul'd by
me,
You may a merchant and a poet be.
'Tis granted for your twelvepence you did sit,
And see, and hear, and understand not yet.
The author, in a Christian pity, takes
Care of your good, and prints it for your sakes.
That such as will but venter sixpence more
May know what they but saw and heard before;
'Twill not be money lost, if you can read,
(There's all the doubt now) but your gains exceed,
If you can understand, and you are made
Free of the freest and the noblest trade.
And in the way of poetry, now-a-days,
Of all that are call'd works, the best are plays.




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