Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A SKELTONIAD, by MICHAEL DRAYTON

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

A SKELTONIAD, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The muse should be sprightly
Last Line: How well to live, and not how long.

The Muse should be sprightly,
Yet not handling lightly
Things grave; as much loath,
Things that be slight, to cloath
Curiously: To retayne
The Comelinesse in meane,
Is true Knowledge and Wit.
Nor me forc'd Rage doth fit,
That I thereto should lacke
Tabacco, or need Sacke,
Which to the colder Braine
Is the true Hyppocrene;
Nor did I ever care
For great Fooles, nor them spare.
Vertue, though neglected,
Is not so dejected,
As vilely to descend
To low Basenesse their end;
Neyther each ryming Slave
Deserves the Name to have
Of Poet: so the Rabble
Of Fooles, for the Table,
That have their Jests by Heart,
As an Actor his Part,
Might assume them Chayres
Amongst the Muses Heyres.
Parnassus is not clome
By every such Mome;
Up whose steepe side who swerves,
It behoves t'have strong Nerves:
My Resolution such,
How well, and not how much
To write, thus doe I fare,
Like some few good that care
(The evill sort among)
How well to live, and not how long.

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