Or ever set a play to ink and paper.
He had no words beneath his witless bonnet,
No thoughts at all beyond a listless vapor
That hovers now with scent of vile deception
Where a greater soul his true name should disclose.
And so the groundlings grapple with this question:
Who was the poet whom this poser would depose?
From the "never writer to the ever reader"
(Ben Johnson knew the full disguise 'tis clear)--
A consort of the Queen, her constant pleader,
Whose loss of love released every tear.
The man, and he alone, unless all logic err,
Must be that courtier of the Queen-- de Vere!