Sunday, June 10, 2012


      To sing of wars, of captains, and of kings,
     Of cities founded, commomwealths begun,
    For my mean pen, are too superior things,
  And how they all, or each, their dates have run
    Let  poets, and historians  set these forth,
  My obscure verse shall not so dim their worth.

                                                                            But when  my wond'ring eyes, and  envious heart,
                                                                                Great Bartas' sugared lines do but read
                                                                            o'er,Fool, I do grudge  the Muses  did not part 
                                                                                "Twixt  him and me that overfluent store;
                                                                                     A Bartas can do what a Bartas will,
                                                                                    But  simple I, according  to my skill.

    From schoolboy's tongue,  no rhetoric we expect,
       Nor yet a sweet consort, from broken strings,
       Nor perfect beauty,  where's a  main  defect;
      My foolish, broken, blemished Muse so sings;
           And this to mend, alas,  no art is able,
                'Cause made it irreparable.

                                                                             Nor can I, like that fluent sweet-tongued  Greek,
                                                                             Who lisped at first, speak afterwards more plain.
                                                                                  By art he gladly found what he did seek,
                                                                                       A full requital of his striving pain:
                                                                                Art can do much, but this maxim's most sure.
                                                                                  A weak or wounded brain admits no cure.

       I am obnoxious to each carping tongue,
     Who says my first hand a needle better fits;
     A poet's pen all scorn  I should thus wrong;
      For such despite they cast on female wits:
       If what I do prove well, it won't advance,
    They'll  say it's stolen, or else it was by chance.

                                                                             But sure the antique Greeks were far more mild,
                                                                                Else of our sex, why feigned  they those nine,
                                                                                    And poesy made Calliope's own child?
                                                                                So 'mongst the rest they placed the art divine:
                                                                                   But this week knot they will full soon untie,
                                                                              The Greeks did nought, but play the fool and lie.

     Let's Greeks  be Greeks, and women what they are, 
              Men have precedency, and still excel;
                It is but vain, unjustly to wage war,
         Men can do best, and women know it well;
              Preeminence in each and all is yours,
      Yet grant some small acknowledgement of ours.

                                                                                And oh, ye high flown quills that soar the skies
                                                                              And ever with your prey, still catch  your praise,
                                                                                If e'er you design these lowly lines your eyes,
                                                                              Give wholesome parsley wreath, I ask no bays:
                                                                                    This mean and unrefined stuff of mine,
                                                                               Will make your glistering but more to shine.


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