To The Right Honourable Edward, Earl Of Dorset.

A poem by Robert Herrick

If I dare write to you, my lord, who are
Of your own self a public theatre,
And, sitting, see the wiles, ways, walks of wit,
And give a righteous judgment upon it,
What need I care, though some dislike me should,
If Dorset say what Herrick writes is good?
We know y'are learn'd i' th' Muses, and no less
In our state-sanctions, deep or bottomless.
Whose smile can make a poet, and your glance
Dash all bad poems out of countenance;
So that an author needs no other bays
For coronation than your only praise,
And no one mischief greater than your frown
To null his numbers, and to blast his crown.
Few live the life immortal. He ensures
His fame's long life who strives to set up yours.

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