Samuel Sheppard (flor. c. 1646) began his literary career early in the century as amanuensis to Ben Jonson. It is to Ben Jonson, in however inferior a fashion, that he owes most as a poet, and not to Spenser with whom he persistently aligns himself. On The Fairie King, see R.B. Brinckley, Arthurian Legend in the Seventeenth Century, Johns Hopkin's Monographs in Literary History, III (1932), 111-13.
(a) From The Sixth Sestyad (stanza 7) in The times displayed in Six Sestyads (1646), p. 21; repr. Sir Egerton Brydges, British Bibliographer (1810), I. 528:
Although the Bard, whose lines unequalled,
To my Eternal grief, be long since dead,
His lines for ever shal preserve his Fame.
So his ★ who did so neer his foot paths tread
Whose lines as neer as Virgils Homers came,
Do equal Spencers, who the soul of verse
In his admired Poems doth rehearse.
(b) On Mr Spencers inimitable Poem, the Faerie Queen in Epigrams Theo-logical, Philosophical, and Romantick (1651), pp. 95-7 (Epigram 28):
Collin my Master, O Muse sound his praise
Extoll his never to be equal'd Layes,
Whom thou dost Imitate with all thy might,
As he did once in Chawcers veine delight
And thy new Faerie King, shall with Queen
When thou art dead, still flourish ever green.
Cease wealthy Italy to brag and boast,