Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, OF HIS FRIEND MASTER WILLIAM BROWNE, by EDWARD JOHNSON (17TH CENTURY-)



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OF HIS FRIEND MASTER WILLIAM BROWNE, by            
First Line: A poet's born, not made: no wonder then
Last Line: Expresseth well your name, and theirs, their nature.
Subject(s): Browne, William (1591-1645)


A POET'S born, not made: no wonder then
Though Spenser, Sidney (miracles of men,
Sole English makers, whose ev'n names so high
Express by implication poesy)
Were long unparallel'd: for Nature, bold
In their creation, spent that precious mould,
That nobly better earth, that purer spirit
Which poets, as their birthrights, claim t' inherit:
And in their great production prodigal,
Careless of futures, well-nigh spent her all.
Viewing her work, conscious sh' had suffer'd wrack,
Hath caus'd our countrymen e'er since to lack
That better earth and form: long thrifty grown,
Who truly might bear poets, brought forth none:Till now of late, seeing her
stocks new full
(By time and thrift) of matter beautiful,
And quintessence of forms, what several
Our elder poets graces had, those all
She now determin'd to unite in one,
So to surpass herself, and call'd him Browne.
That beggar'd by his birth, she's now so poor
That of true maker[s] she can make no more.
Hereof accus'd, answer'd, she meant that he
A species should, no individuum, be.
That, Phœnix-like, he in himself should find
Of poesy contain'd each several kind;
And from this Phœnix's urn thought she could take
Whereof all following-poets well to make.
For of some former she had now made known
They were her errors whilst sh' intended Browne.

In libellum inscriptionemque.

Not Æglogues your, but Eclogues: to compare:
Virgil's selected, yours elected are.
He imitates, you make: and this your creature
Expresseth well your name, and theirs, their nature.





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