Thomas Watson (1557-92) left Oxford without a degree to study law in London. His inclination was always to poetry and he was fortunate enough to meet during his travels on the Continent a future patron in Walsingham, for whom the elegy below. Harvey commends Watson in the third of the Foure Letters (q.v.) for his 'studious endeavours in enriching and polishing his native tongue' ranking him with Spenser, Stanyhurst, Fraunce, Daniel, and of all people (as Nashe himself pointed out) Nashe. In Colin Clout Spenser commends him as the 'noblest swaine,/That euer piped in an oaten quill'.
See William Kingsler, 'Spenser and Thomas Watson', MLN, LXIX (1954), 484-7.
An Eglogue Vpon the death of the Right Honorable Sir Francis Walsingham in Meliboeus Thomae Watsoni, siue Ecloga in Obitum F. Walsinghami (1590), sigs. C3V-C4; repr. in Poems, ed. Edward Arber (1870), p. 173:
Yet lest my homespun verse obscure hir worth,
sweet Spencer let me leaue this taske to thee,
Whose neuerstooping quill can best set forth
such things of state, as passe my Muse, and me.
Thou Spencer art the alderliefest swaine,
or haply if that word be all to base,
Thou art Apollo whose sweet hunnie vaine
amongst the Muses hath a chiefest place.
Therefore in fulnes of thy duties loue,
calme thou the tempest of Dianaes brest,
Whilst shee for Meliboeus late remoue
afflicts hir mind with ouerlong vnrest.