ELEGIA 15Ad invidos, quod fama poetarum sit perennis
Envie, why carpest thou my time is spent so ill,
And tearmes my works fruits of an idle quill?
Or that unlike the line from whence I sprong,
Wars dustie honors are refused being yong,
Nor that I studie not the brawling lawes,
Nor set my voyce to sale in everie cause?
Thy scope is mortall, mine eternall fame,
That all the world may ever chaunt my name.
Homer shall live while Tenedos stands and Ide,
Or into sea swift Symois doth slide.
Ascreus lives, while grapes with new wine swell,
Or men with crooked sickles come downe fell.
The world shall of Callimachus ever speake,
His Arte excelld, although his witte was weake.
For ever lasts high Sophocles proud vaine,
With sunne and moone Aratus shall remaine.
While bond-men cheat, fathers be hard, bawds hoorish,
And strumpets flatter, shall Menander flourish.
Rude Ennius, and Plautus full of wit,
Are both in Fames etemall legend writ.
What age of Varroes name shall not be tolde,
And fasons Argos, and the fleece of golde?
Loftie Lucretius shall live that houre,
That Nature shall dissolve this earthly bowre.
Aeneas warre, and Titerus shall be read,
While Rome of all the conquered world is head.
Till Cupids bow, and flerie shafts be broken,
Thy verses sweet Tibullus shall be spoken.
And Gallus shall be knowne from East to West,
So shall Licoris whom he loved best:
Therefore when flint and yron weare away,
Verse is immortall, and shall nere decay.
Let Kings give place to verse, and kingly showes,
And banks ore which gold bearing Tagus flowes.
Let base conceited wits admire vilde things,
Faire Phoebus leade me to the Muses springs.
About my head be quivering Mirtle wound,
And in sad lovers heads let me be found.
The living, not the dead can envie bite,
For after death all men receive their right:
Then though death rackes my bones in funerall fler,
lie live, and as he puls me downe, mount higher