Poems, &c. written upon several occasions, and to several persons by Edmond Waller.
Waller, Edmund, 1606-1687.
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On Mr. John Fletcher's Plays.
FLetcher, to thee we do not only owe
All our good Plays, but all those other too,
Thy Wit repeated, does support the Stage,
Credits the last, and entertains this Age,
No Worthies form 'd by any Muse but thine
Could purchase Robes, to make themselves so fine.
What brave Commander is not proud to see
Thy brave Mela•ti•s in his Gallantry.
Page 157 Our greatest Ladies love to see their scorn
Out-done by thine, in what themselves have worn;
The impatient Widow e're the year be done,
Sees thy Aspasia weeping in her Gown.
I never yet the Tragick strain assay'd,
Deterr'd by that inimitable Maid.
And when I venture at the Comick stile,
Thy scornful Lady seems to mock my toil.
Thus has thy Muse at once improv'd and marr'd
Our sport in Plays by rendring it too hard;
So when a sort of lusty Shepherds throw,
The Bar by turns, and none the rest out-go
So far, but that the best are measuring casts,
Their emulation, and their pastime lasts;
But if some brawny Yeoman of the Guard
Step in and toss the Axle-tree a yard
Or more beyond the furthest mark, the rest,
Despai••ing stand, their sport is at the best.