UPON M. BEN. JONSON. EPIG.
by Robert Herrick
AFTER the rare arch-poet, Jonson, died,
The sock grew loathsome, and the buskin's pride,
Together with the stage's glory, stood
Each like a poor and pitied widowhood.
The cirque profan'd was, and all postures rack'd ;
For men did strut, and stride, and stare, not act.
Then temper flew from words, and men did squeak,
Look red, and blow, and bluster, but not speak ;
No holy rage or frantic fires did stir
Or flash about the spacious theatre.
No clap of hands, or shout, or praise's proof
Did crack the play-house sides, or cleave her roof.
Artless the scene was, and that monstrous sin
Of deep and arrant ignorance came in :
Such ignorance as theirs was who once hiss'd
At thy unequall'd play, the Alchemist ;
Oh, fie upon 'em ! Lastly, too, all wit
In utter darkness did, and still will sit,
Sleeping the luckless age out, till that she
Her resurrection has again with thee.
Herrick, Robert. Works of Robert Herrick. vol I.
Alfred Pollard, ed.
London, Lawrence & Bullen, 1891. 188.