Untitled [Give me a free and noble style]


Give me a2 free and noble style that goes3
In an uncurbed strain, though wild it shows:4
Though5 it runs wild about,6 it cares not where,
It shows more courage than it doth of fear.
Give me a style that Nature frames, not Art,               5
For Art doth seem to take the pedant’s part.
And that seems noble, which is easy, free,
And not bound up7 with o’ernice pedantry.

  1. In some editions this poem is given the title “The Clasp”; as I have discussed in the Introduction to this site, I believe that “The Clasp” is not a poem title but a structural marker, so have named this poem as “Untitled.”
  2. a] the 1653
  3. style that goes] Stile, 1653
  4. In an uncurbed strain, though wild it shows:] Which seems uncurb’d, though it be wild: 1653
  5. Though] For though 1664; For, though 1668
  6. wild about,] about 1664, 1668
  7. And not bound up] Not to be bound 1653