To Elizabeth, Countess of Rutland

T
That poets are far rarer births than kings
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 fain.
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.

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