Internet Shakespeare Editions

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  • Title: Prefatory Materials (Folio 1, 1664)

  • Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    Author: Ben Jonson
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Prefatory Materials (Folio 1, 1664)

    And constant blew, rich purple, guiltless white,
    The lowly Russet, and the Scarlet bright;
    Branch't and embroydered like the painted Spring
    Each leafe match'd with a Flower, and each string
    Of golden wire, each line of silk; there run
    Italian works whose thred the Sisters spun;
    And there did sing, or seem to sing, the choice
    Birds of a foreign note and various voice.
    Here hangs a mossy Rock; there playes a faire
    But chiding Fountain purled: Not the aire,
    Nor Clouds, nor Thunder, but were living drawn
    Not out of common Tiffany or Lawn.
    But fine materials, which the Muses know
    And onely know the countries where they grow.
    Now when they could no longer him enjoy
    In mortal garments pent; Death may destroy
    They say his body, but his Verse shall live
    And more then Nature takes, our hands shall give.
    In a lesse Volume, but more strongly bound
    [crown'd
    Shakespeare shall breathe and speak, with Laurel
    Which never fades. Fed with Ambrosian meat
    In a well-lined vesture rich and neat
    [it,
    So with this Robe they cloathe him, bid him wear
    For time shall never stain, nor envy tear it.

    The friendly admirer of his
    Endowments,

    J. M. S.