The Poetaster HTML version
SCENE I.-An Apartment in the Palace.
Enter CAESAR, MECAENAS, GALLUS, TIBULLUS, HORACE,
and Equites Romani.
We, that have conquer'd still, to save the conquer'd,
And loved to make inflictions fear'd, not felt;
Grieved to reprove, and joyful to reward;
More proud of reconcilement than revenge;
Resume into the late state of our love,
Worthy Cornelius Gallus, and Tibullus:
You both are gentlemen: and, you, Cornelius,
A soldier of renown, and the first provost
That ever let our Roman eagles fly
On swarthy AEgypt, quarried with her spoils.
Yet (not to bear cold forms, nor men's out-terms,
Without the inward fires, and lives of men)
You both have virtues shining through your shapes;
To shew, your titles are not writ on posts,
Or hollow statues which the best men are,
Without Promethean stuffings reach'd from heaven!
Sweet poesy's sacred garlands crown your gentry:
Which is, of all the faculties on earth,
The most abstract and perfect; if she be
True-born, and nursed with all the sciences.
She can so mould Rome, and her monuments,
Within the liquid marble of her lines,
That they shall stand fresh and miraculous,
Even when they mix with innovating dust;
In her sweet streams shall our brave Roman spirits
Chase, and swim after death, with their choice deeds
Shining on their white shoulders; and therein
Shall Tyber, and our famous rivers fall
With such attraction, that the ambitious line
Of the round world shall to her centre shrink,
To hear their music: and, for these high parts,
Caesar shall reverence the Pierian arts.
Your majesty's high grace to poesy,
Shall stand 'gainst all the dull detractions