So oft have I invoked thee for my muse,
And found such fair assistance in my verse,
As every alien pen hath got my use,
And under thee their poesy disperse.
Thine eyes, that taught the dumb on high to sing,
And heavy ignorance aloft to fly,
Have added feathers to the learnèd’s wing
And given grace a double majesty.
Yet be most proud of that which I compile,
Whose influence is thine and born of thee.
In others' works thou dost but mend the style,
And arts with thy sweet graces gracèd be;
But thou art all my art, and dost advance
As high as learning my rude ignorance.
I have cited you as my source of inspiration so often, and you’ve helped my poetry so much, that every other writer has adopted my habit of addressing poems to you, and now they all write their poetry in your name. Your beautiful eyes are such a source of inspiration that they’ve helped the mute sing high notes, raised the ignorant to new heights of intelligence, helped the educated soar even higher, and enhanced the gracefulness of the graceful. Yet your greatest pride should be in my accomplishment, because it’s done under your influence and inspired by you. With other writers, you only improve their style, adding an extra sheen to the skill they already have. But without you I have no skill at all; you lift up my utter ignorance so that I am well-educated.