Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, UPON THIS WORK OF HIS BELOVED FRIEND THE AUTHOR, by WILLIAM BROWNE (1591-1643)



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

UPON THIS WORK OF HIS BELOVED FRIEND THE AUTHOR, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I am snapp'd already, and may go my way
Last Line: Thy muse must labour when thy hand is dead.
Alternate Author Name(s): Browne, William Of Tavistock
Subject(s): Massinger, Philip (1583-1640)


I AM snapp'd already, and may go my way;
The poet-critic's come; I hear him say,
This youth's mistook, the author's work's a play.

He could not miss it; he will straight appear
At such a bait; 'twas laid on purpose there
To take the vermin, and I have him here.

Sirrah, you will be nibbling; a small bit,
A syllable, when yo' are i' the hungry fit,
Will serve to stay the stomach of your wit.

Fool; knave; what's worse? for worse cannot deprave thee.
And were the divel now instantly to have thee,
Thou canst not instance such a work to save thee,

'Mongst all the ballets which thou dost compose,
And what thou styl'st thy poems, ill as those.
And, void of rhyme and reason, thy worse prose.

Yet like a rude Jack-sauce in poesy,
With thoughts unbless'd and hand unmannerly,
Ravishing branches from Apollo's tree:

Thou mak'st a garland (for thy touch unfit)
And boldly deck'st thy pig-brain'd sconce with it,
As if it were the supreme head

The blameless Muses blush, who now allow
That reverend order to each vulgar brow;
Whose sinful touch profanes the holy bough.

Hence, shallow prophet, and admire the strain
Of thine own pen, or thy poor copesmate's vein:
This piece too curious is for thy coarse brain.

Here wit (more fortunate) is join'd with art,
And that most sacred frenzy bears a part,
Infus'd by nature in the poet's heart.

Here may the puny-wits themselves direct;
Here may the wisest find what to affect;
And kings may learn their proper dialect.

On, then, dear friend; thy pen thy name shall spread;
And shouldst thou write while thou shalt not be read,
Thy Muse must labour when thy hand is dead.





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