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TO MY HONOURED FRIEND MASTER THOMAS MAY, UPON HIS COMEDY, 'THE HEIR', by                 Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: The heir' being born, was in his tender age
Last Line: Nature allow'd me was not large enough
Subject(s): May, Thomas (1595-1650); Plays & Playwrights ; Dramatists

"THE HEIR" being born, was in his tender age
Rock'd in the cradle of a private stage,
Where, lifted up by many a willing hand,
The child did from the first day fairly stand;
Since, having gather'd strength, he dares prefer
His steps into the public theatre,
The world: where he despairs not but to find
A doom from men more able, not less kind.
I but his usher am, yet if my word
May pass, I dare be bound he will afford
Things must deserve a welcome, if well known,
Such as best writers would have wish'd their own.
You shall observe his words in order meet,
And softly stealing on with equal feet,
Slide into even numbers with such grace
As each word had been moulded for that place.
You shall perceive an amorous passion spun
Into so smooth a web, as had the Sun,
When he pursu'd the swiftly flying maid,
Courted her in such language, she had stay'd;
A love so well express'd must be the same
The author felt himself from his fair flame.
The whole plot doth alike itself disclose
Through the five acts, as doth a lock that goes
With letters, for, till every one be known,
The lock's as fast as if you had found none;
And where his sportive Muse doth draw a thread
Of mirth, chaste matrons may not blush to read.
Thus have I thought it fitter to reveal
My want of art, dear friend, than to conceal
My love. It did appear I did not mean
So to commend thy well-wrought comic scene,
As men might judge my aim rather to be
To gain praise to myself, than give it thee:
Though I can give thee none but what thou hast
Deserv'd, and what must my faint breath outlast
Yet was this garment (though I skilless be
To take thy measure,) only made for thee,
And if it prove too scant, 'tis 'cause the stuff
Nature allow'd me was not large enough

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