To Elizabeth, Countess of Rutland
— TO ELIZABETH, COUNTESS OF RUTLAND.
That poets are far rarer births than king,
Your noblest father proved; like whom, before,
Or then, or since, about our Muses' springs,
Came not that soul exhausted so their store.
Hence was it, that the Destinies decreed
(Save that most masculine issue of his brain)
No male unto him; who could so exceed
Nature, they thought, in all that he would feign,
At which, she happily displeased, made you:
On whom, if he were living now, to look,
He should those rare, and absolute numbers view,
As he would burn, or better far his book.