Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


On Poet-Ape

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? 

Credit


This poem is in the public domain.

Author


Ben Jonson

Born in 1572, Ben Jonson is regarded as one of the major dramatists and poets of the seventeenth century

Date Published: 1616-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/poet-ape