Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. II. Ben Jonson to Dryden
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. II. The Seventeenth Century: Ben Jonson to Dryden
 
Extracts from Britannia’s Pastorals: The Praise of Spenser
By William Browne (c. 1590–c. 1645)
 
Book II. Song 1.

                    ALL their pipes were still,
And Colin Clout began to tune his quill
With such deep art that every one was given
To think Apollo, newly slid from Heaven,
Had ta’en a human shape to win his love,        5
Or with the western swains for glory strove.
He sung th’ heroic knights of Faiery-land
In lines so elegant, of such command,
That had the Thracian played but half so well,
He had not left Eurydice in Hell.        10
But ere he ended his melodious song
An host of angels flew the clouds among,
And rapt this swan from his attentive mates,
To make him one of their associates
In Heaven’s fair quire: where now he sings the praise        15
Of Him that is the first and last of days
Divinèst Spenser, heaven-bred, happy Muse!
Would any power into my brain infuse
Thy worth, or all that poets had before,
I could not praise till thou deserv’st no more.        20
 
 
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