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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

The Gift of Poetry

By Nathaniel Ward (1578–1652)

[From The Simple Cobbler of Aggawam. 1647.]

POETRY ’s a gift wherein but few excel,

He doth very ill, that doth not passing well.

But he doth passing well, that doth his best,

And he doth best, that passeth all the rest.