An Elegy On Ben Jonson - Poem by John Cleveland
WHO first reform'd our Stage with justest Lawes,
And was the first best Judge in his owne Cause?
Who (when his Actors trembled for Applause)
Could (with a noble Confidence) preferre
His owne, by right, to a whole Theater;
From Principles which he knew could not erre.
Who to his FABLE did his Persons fitt,
With all the Properties of Art and Witt,
And above all (that could bee Acted) writt.
Who publique Follies did to covert drive,
Which hee againe could cunningly retrive,
Leaving them no ground to rest on, and thrive.
Heere IONSON lies, whom had I nam'd before
In that one word alone, I had paid more
Then can be now, when plentie makes me poore.
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