To My Friend M. Ben Jonson, Upon His Catiline - Poem by Francis Beaumont
If thou hadst itch'd after the wild applause
Of common people, and hadst made thy laws
In writing such as catch'd at present voice,
I should commend the thing, but not thy choice.
But thou hast squared thy rules by what is good,
And art three ages yet from understood:
And (I dare say) in it there lies much wit
Lost, till the reader can grow up to it;
Which they can ne'er outgrow, to find it ill,
But must fall back again, or like it still.
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