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Ben Jonson
Ben Jonson
Born in 1572, Ben Jonson is regarded as one of the major dramatists and poets of the seventeenth century...
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On Poet-Ape

 
by Ben Jonson

Poor Poet-Ape, that would be thought our chief, 
   Whose works are e'en the frippery of wit, 
From brokage is become so bold a thief, 
   As we, the robb'd, leave rage, and pity it. 
At first he made low shifts, would pick and glean, 
   Buy the reversion of old plays;  now grown 
To a little wealth, and credit in the scene, 
   He takes up all, makes each man's wit his own: 
And, told of this, he slights it.  Tut, such crimes 
   The sluggish gaping auditor devours; 
He marks not whose 'twas first: and after-times 
   May judge it to be his, as well as ours. 
Fool!  as if half eyes will not know a fleece 
   From locks of wool, or shreds from the whole piece? 



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