The Metamorphosis of Pigmalion's Image
By John Marston

The AUTHOR in Prayse of his precedent Poem.        

OW Rufus, by old Glebrons fearefull mace,
   Hath not my Muse deserv'd a worthy place?
Come, come, Luxurio, crowne my head with bayes,
Which, like a Paphian, wantonly displayes
The Salaminian titilations,
Which tickle up our leud Priapians.
Is not my pen compleate?  Are not my lines
Right in the swaggering humour of these times?
O sing peana to my learned muse:
Io bis dicite !   Wilt thou refuse?
Doe not I put my mistres in before,
And pitiously her gracious ayde implore?
Doe not I flatter, call her wondrous faire,
Vertuous, divine, most debonaire?
Hath not my goddesse, in the vaunt-gard place,
The leading of my lines theyr plumes to grace?
And then ensues my stanzaes, like odd bands
Of voluntaries and mercenarians,
Which, like soldados of our warlike age,
March rich bedlight in warlike equipage,
Glittering in dawbed lac'd accoustrements,
And pleasing sutes of loves habiliments;
Yet puffie as Dutch hose they are within,
Faint and white-liver'd, as our gallants bin;
Patch'd like a beggars cloake, and run as sweet
As doth a tumbrell in the paved street.
And in the end (the end of love I wot),
Pigmalion hath a jolly boy begot.
So Labeo did complaine his love was stone,
Obdurate, flinty, so relentlesse none;
Yet Lynceus knowes, that in the end of this,
He wrought as strange a metamorphosis.
Ends not my poem then surpassing ill?
Come, come, Augustus, crowne my laureat quill.
Now, by the whyps of epigramatists,
Ile not be lasht for my dissembling shifts;
And therefore I use Popelings discipline,
Lay ope my faults to Mastigophoros eyne;
Censure my selfe, fore others me deride
And scoffe at mee, as if I had deni'd
Or thought my poem good, when that I see
My lines are froth, my stanzaes saplesse be.
Thus having rail'd against my selfe a while,
Ile snarle at those which doe the world beguile
With masked showes.  Ye changing Proteans, list,
And tremble at a barking Satyrist.

The Works of John Marston, Vol. III.
J. O. Halliwell [Halliwell-Phillips], ed.
London: John Russell Smith, 1856. 211-212.


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