To Edward Allen (Alleyne)
by Ben Jonson

IF Rome so great, and in her wisest age,
    Fear'd not to boast the glories of her stage,
As skilful ROSCIUS, and grave ÆSOPE, men,
    Yet crown'd with honors, as with riches, then ;
Who had no lesse a trumpet of their name,
    Than Cicero, whose every breath was fame :
How can so great example dye in me,
    That ALLEN, I should pause to publish thee ?
Who both their graces in thy selfe hast more
Out-stript, than they did all that went before :
And present worth in all dost so contract,
    As others speak, but only thou dost act.
Weare this renowne.  'Tis just, that who did give
    So many Poets life, by one should live.


Edward Alleyn
Edward Alleyn Page

The Oxford Book of Seventeenth Century Verse.
H. J. C. Grierson and G. Bullough, eds.
Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1934. 152.

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