Epilogue: An Epigram. To the Household
by Ben Jonson
What can the cause be, when the king hath given
His poet sack, the Household will not pay?
Are they so scanted in their store? or driven
For want of knowing the poet, to say him nay?
Well, they should know him, would the king but grant
His poet leave to sing his Household true;
He’ld frame such ditties of their store, and want,
Would make the very green-cloth to look blue:
And rather wish, in their expense of sack,
So, the allowance from the king to use,
As the old bard, should no canary lack,
’Twere better spare a butt, than spill his muse.
For in the genius of a poet’s verse,
The king’s fame lives. Go now, deny his tierce.