Upon M. Ben. Jonson. Epig.

A poem by Robert Herrick

After the rare arch-poet, Jonson, died,
The sock grew loathsome, and the buskin's pride,
Together with the stage's glory, stood
Each like a poor and pitied widowhood.
The cirque profan'd was, and all postures rack'd;
For men did strut, and stride, and stare, not act.
Then temper flew from words, and men did squeak,
Look red, and blow, and bluster, but not speak;
No holy rage or frantic fires did stir
Or flash about the spacious theatre.
No clap of hands, or shout, or praise's proof
Did crack the play-house sides, or cleave her roof.
Artless the scene was, and that monstrous sin
Of deep and arrant ignorance came in:
Such ignorance as theirs was who once hiss'd
At thy unequall'd play, the Alchemist;
Oh, fie upon 'em! Lastly, too, all wit
In utter darkness did, and still will sit,
Sleeping the luckless age out, till that she
Her resurrection has again with thee.

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