First three Bookes.
Of Tooth-lesse Satyrs,
Corrected and amended.
Imprinted at London by Richard Bradocke,
for Robert Dexter, 1598.
Or better write, or Labeo write alone.
Nay, call the Cynick but a wittie foole,
Thence to abiure his handsome drinking bole:
Because the thirstie swaine with hollow hand,
Conueyd the streame to weet his drie weasand.
Write they that can, tho they that cannot doe:
But who knowes that, but they that doe not know?
Lo what it is that makes white rags so deare,
That men must giue a teston for a queare.
Lo what it is that makes goose-wings so scant,
That the distressed Semster did them want.
So, lauish ope-tide causeth fasting lents,
And staru'ling Famine comes of large expence.
Might not (so they were pleasd that beene aboue)
Long Paper-abstinence our dearth remoue?
Then many a Loller would in forfaitment,
Beare Paper-fagots ore the Pauement,
But now men wager who shall blot the most,
And each man writes: Ther's so much labour lost.
That's good, that's great: Nay much is seldome well,
Of what is bad, a littl's a great deale.
Better is more: but best is nought at all.
Lesse is the next, and lesser criminall.
Little and good, is greatest good saue one,
Then Labeo, or write little, or write none.
Tush in small paines can be but little art,
Or lode full drie-fats fro the forren mart:
With Folio-volumes, two to an Oxe hide,
Or else ye Pamphleter go stand a side,
Read in each schoole, in euery margent coted,
In euery Catalogue for an autour noted.
Ther's happinesse well giuen, and well got,
Lesse gifts, and lesser gaines I weigh them not.
So may the Giant rome and write on high,
Be he a Dwarfe that writes not there as I,
But well fare Strabo, which as storeis tell,
Contriu'd all Troy within one Walnut shell.
His curious Ghost now lately hither came,
Arriuing neere the mouth of luckie Tame.
I saw a Pismire strugling with the lode,
Dragging all Troy home towards her abode.
Now dare we hither, if he durst appeare,
The subtile Stithy-man that liu'd while eare:
Such one was once, or once I was mistaught,
A Smith at Vulcan his owne forge vp brought,
That made an Iron-chariot so light,
The coach-horse was a Flea in trappings dight,
The tame-lesse steed could well his wagon wield,
Through downes and dales of the vneuen field.
Striue they, laugh we: mean while the Black-smiths toy
Passes new Strabo, and new Straboes Troy.
Little for great: and great for good all one:
For shame or better write, or Labeo write none.
But who coniur'd this bawdie Poggies ghost,
From out the stewes of his lewde home-bred coast:
Or wicked Rablais dronken reuellings,
To grace the mis-rule of our Tauernings?
Or who put Bayes into blinde Cupids fist,
That he should crowne what Laureats him list?
Whose wordes are those, to remedie the deed,
That cause men stop their noses when they read?
Both good things ill, and ill things well: all one?
For shame write cleanly Labeo, or write none.
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