Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ON THE EDITION OF MR. FLETCHER'S WORKS, by THOMAS STANLEY



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ON THE EDITION OF MR. FLETCHER'S WORKS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Fletcher (whose fame no age can ever waste)
Last Line: And plays, by intermission, longer liv'd.
Subject(s): Fletcher, John (1579-1625)


FLETCHER (whose fame no age can ever waste;
Envy of ours, and glory of the last)
Is now alive again; and with his name
His sacred ashes wak'd into a flame;
Such as before did by a secret charm
The wildest heart subdue, the coldest warm,
And lend the ladies' eyes a power more bright,
Dispensing thus to either, heat and light.
He to a sympathy those souls betray'd,
Whom Love or Beauty never could persuade;
And in each mov'd spectator could beget
A real passion by a counterfeit:
When first Bellario bled, what lady there
Did not for every drop let fall a tear?
And when Aspasia wept, not any eye
But seem'd to wear the same sad livery.
By him inspir'd, the feign'd Lucina drew
More streams of melting sorrow than the true;
But then the Scornful Lady did beguile
Their easy griefs, and teach them all to smile.
Thus he affections could or raise or lay;
Love, Grief, and Mirth thus did his charms obey:
He Nature taught her passions to outdo,
How to refine the old, and create new;
Which such a happy likeness seem'd to bear,
As if that Nature Art, Art Nature were.
Yet all had nothing been, obscurely kept
In the same urn wherein his dust hath slept,
Nor had he ris' the Delphic wreath to claim,
Had not the dying scene expir'd his name.
Oh the indulgent justice of this age,
To grant the Press, what it denies the Stage!
Despair our joy hath doubled; he is come
Twice welcome by this post-liminium;
His loss preserv'd him; they that silenc'd wit
Are now the authors to eternize it:
Thus poets are in spite of Fate reviv'd,
And plays, by intermission, longer liv'd.





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