REACTIO.NOw doth Ramnusia Adrastian,
Daughter of Night, and of the Ocean
Prouoke my pen. What cold Saturnian
Can hold, and heare such vile detraction?
Yee Pines of Ida, shake your fayre growne height,
For Ioue at first dash will with thunder fight.
Yee Cedars bend, fore lightning you dismay,
Yee Lyons tremble, for an Asse doth bray.
Who cannot raile? what dog but dare to barke
Gainst Phoebes brightnes in the silent darke?
What stinking Scauenger (if so he will
Through streets be fayre,) but may right easily fill,
His dungy tumbrel? sweep, pare, wash, make cleane,
Yet from your fairnes he some durt can gleane.
The windie-chollicke striu'd to haue some vent,
And now tis flowne, and now his rage is spent.
So haue I seene the fuming waues to fret,
And in the end, naught but white foame beget.
So haue I seene the sullen clowdes to cry,
And weepe for anger that the earth was dry
After theyr spight, that all the haile-shot drops
Could neuer peirce the christall water tops,
And neuer yet could worke her more disgrace
But onely bubble quiet Thetis face.
Vaine enuious detractor from the good
What Cynicke spirit rageth in thy blood?
Cannot a poore mistaken title scape
But thou must that into thy Tumbrell scrape?
Cannot some lewd, immodest beastlines
Lurke, and lie hid in iust forgetfulnes,
But Grillus subtile-smelling swinish snout
Must sent, and grunt, and needes will finde it out?
Come daunce yee stumbling Satyres by his side
If he list once the Syon Muse deride.
Ye Granta's white Nymphs, come & with you bring
Some sillabub, whilst he doth sweetly sing
Gainst Peters teares, and Maries mouing moane,
And like a fierce enraged Boare doth foame
At sacred Sonnets. O daring hardiment!
At Bartas sweet Semaines, raile impudent
At Hopkins, Sternhold, and the Scottish King,
At all Translators that doe striue to bring
That stranger language to our vulgar tongue,
Spett in thy poyson theyr faire acts among.
Ding them all downe from faire Ierusalem,
And mew them vp in thy deserued Bedlem.
Shall Painims honor, their vile falsed gods
With sprightly wits? and shall not we by ods
Farre, farre, more striue with wits best quintessence
To adore that sacred euer-liuing Essence?
Hath not strong reason moou'd the Legists mind,
To say the fayrest of all Natures kinde
The Prince by his prerogatiue may claime?
Why may not then our soules without thy blame,
(which is the best thing that our God did frame)
Deuote the best part to his sacred Name?
And with due reuerence and deuotion
Honor his Name with our inuention?
No, Poesie not fit for such an action,
It is defild with superstition:
It honord Baule, therefore polute, polute,
Vnfit for such a sacred institute.
So haue I heard an Heritick maintaine
The Church vnholy, where Iehouas Name
Is now ador'd: because he surely knowes
Some-times it was defil'd with Popish showes.
The Bells profane, and not to be endur'd,
Because to Popish rites they were inur'd.
Pure madnes peace, cease to be insolent,
And be not outward sober, inlye impudent.
Fie inconsiderate, it greeueth me
An Academick should so senceles be.
Fond Censurer! Why should those mirrors seeme
So vile to thee? which better iudgements deeme
Exquisite then, and in our polish'd times
May run for sencefull tollerable lines.
What, not mediocria firma from thy spight?
But must thy enuious hungry fangs needs light
On Magistrates mirrour? must thou needs detract
And striue to worke his antient honors wrack?
What, shall not Rosamond, or Gaueston,
Ope their sweet lips without detraction?
But must our moderne Critticks enuious eye
Seeme thus to quote some groose deformity?
Where Art, not error shineth in their stile,
But error and no Art doth thee beguile.
For tell me Crittick, is not Fiction
The soule of Poesies inuention?
Is't not the forme? the spirit? and the essence?
The life? and the essentiall difference?
Which omni, semper, soli, doth agree
To heauenly discended Poesie?
Thy wit God comfort mad Chirurgion
What, make so dangerous an Incision?
At first dash whip away the instrument
Of Poets Procreation? fie ignorant!
When as the soule, and vitall blood doth rest
And hath in Fiction onely interest?
What Satyre! sucke the soule from Poesie
And leaue him spritles? ô impiety!
Would euer any erudite Pedant
Seeme in his artles lines so insolent?
But thus it is when pitty Priscians
Will needs step vp to be Censorians.
When once they can in true skan's verses frame
A braue Encomium of good Vertues name.
Why thus it is, when Mimick Apes will striue
with Iron wedge the trunks of Oakes to riue.
But see, his spirit of detraction
Must nible at a glorious action.
Euge! some gallant spirit, some resolued blood
will hazard all to worke his Countries good
And to enrich his soule, and raise his name
will boldly saile vnto the rich Guiane.
What then? must straight some shameles Satyrist
with odious and opprobrius termes insist
To blast so high resolu'd intention
with a malignant vile detraction?
So haue I seene a curre dogge in the streete
Pisse gainst the fairest posts he still could meete.
So haue I seene the march wind striue to fade
The fairest hewe that Art, or Nature made.
So Enuy still doth barke at clearest shine
And striues to staine heroyick acts, deuine.
well, I haue cast thy water, and I see
Th'art falne to wits extreamest pouerty,
Sure in Consumption of the spritely part.
Goe vse some Cordiall for to cheere thy hart:
Or els I feare that I one day shall see
Thee fall, into some dangerous Litargie.
But come fond Bragart, crowne thy browes with Bay
Intrance thy selfe in thy sweet extasie.
Come, manumit thy plumie pinion,
And scower the sword of Eluish champion,
Or els vouchsafe to breathe in wax-bound quill,
And daine our longing eares with musick fill:
Or let vs see thee some such stanzaes frame
That thou maist raise thy vile inglorious name.
Sommon the Nymphs and Driades to bring
Some rare inuention, whilst thou doost sing
So sweet, that thou maist shoulder from aboue
The Eagle from the staires of freendly Ioue:
And leade sad Pluto Captiue with thy song,
Gracing thy selfe, that art obscur'd so long.
Come somewhat say (but hang me when tis done)
Worthy of brasse, and hoary marble stone;
Speake yee attentiue Swaines that heard him neuer
Will not his Pastorals indure for euer?
Speake yee that neuer heard him ought but raile
Doe not his Poems beare a glorious saile?
Hath not he strongly iustled from aboue
The Eagle from the staires of friendly Ioue?
May be, may be, tut tis his modesty,
He could if that he would, nay would if could I see.
Who cannot raile? and with a blasting breath
Scorch euen the whitest Lillies of the earth?
Who cannot stumble in a stuttering stile?
And shallow heads with seeming shades beguile?
Cease, cease, at length to be maleuolent,
To fairest bloomes of Vertues eminent.
Striue not to soile the freshest hewes on earth
With thy malitious and vpbraiding breath.
Enuie, let Pines of Ida rest alone,
For they will growe spight of thy thunder stone,
Striue not to nible in their swelling graine
With toothles gums of thy detracting braine:
Eate not thy dam, but laugh and sport with me
At strangers follies with a merry glee.
Lets not maligne our kin. Then Satyrist
I doe salute thee with an open fist.
[@ Marston, E2v-E7v]