Thomas Dekker

(1572-1632 / England)

Prologue: The Pleasant Comedy Of Old Fortunatus


OF Love's sweet war our timorous Muse doth sing,
And to the bosom of each gentle dear,
Offers her artless tunes, borne on the wing
Of sacred poesy. A benumbing fear,
That your nice souls, cloyed with delicious sounds,
Will loath her lowly notes, makes her pull in
Her fainting pinions, and her spirit confounds,
Before the weak voice of her song begin.
Yet since within the circle of each eye,
Being like so many suns in his round sphere,
No wrinkle yet is seen, she'll dare to fly,
Borne up with hopes, that as you oft do rear
With your fair hands, those who would else sink down,
So some will deign to smile, where all might frown:
And for this small circumference must stand,
For the imagined surface of much land,
Of many kingdoms, and since many a mile
Should here be measured out, our Muse entreats
Your thoughts to help poor art, and to allow
That I may serve as Chorus to her senses;
She begs your pardon, for she'll send one forth,
Not when the laws of poesy do call,
But as the story needs; your gracious eye
Gives life to Fortunatus' history.

Submitted: Tuesday, April 20, 2010

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