TO M. DENHAM ON HIS PROSPECTIVE POEM.
by Robert Herrick
OR look'd I back unto the times hence flown
To praise those muses and dislike our own
Or did I walk those Pæan-gardens through,
To kick the flowers and scorn their odours too
I might, and justly, be reputed here
One nicely mad or peevishly severe.
But by Apollo ! as I worship wit,
Where I have cause to burn perfumes to it ;
So, I confess, 'tis somewhat to do well
In our high art, although we can't excel
Like thee, or dare the buskins to unloose
Of thy brave, bold, and sweet Maronian muse.
But since I'm call'd, rare Denham, to be gone,
Take from thy Herrick this conclusion :
'Tis dignity in others, if they be
Crown'd poets, yet live princes under thee ;
The while their wreaths and purple robes do shine
Less by their own gems than those beams of thine.
Pæan-gardens, gardens sacred to Apollo.
Herrick, Robert. Works of Robert Herrick. vol II.
Alfred Pollard, ed.
London, Lawrence & Bullen, 1891. 39-40.