An Ode to Ben JonsonViewed 333 times
Say how, or when
Shall we thy guests
Meet at those lyric feasts
Made at the Sun,
The Dog, the Triple Tun?
Where we such clusters had
As made us nobly wild, not mad;
And yet each verse of thine
Outdid the meat, outdid the frolic wine.
Or come again,
Or send to us
Thy wit's great overplus;
But teach us yet
Wisely to husband it;
Lest we that talent spend,
And having once brought to an end
That precious stock, the store
Of such a wit the world should have no more.
In this world, the isle of dreams,
While we sit by sorrow’s streams,
Tears and terrors are our themes
Let’s call for Hymen if agreed thou art –
Delays in love but crucify the heart.
Love’s thorny tapers yet neglected lie;
Bid me to live, and I will live
Thy protestant to be;
Or bid me love, and I will give
Fair Daffodils, we weep to see
You haste away so soon;
As yet the early-rising sun
Weigh me the fire; or canst thou find
A way to measure out the wind?
Distinguish all those floods that are
Can I not sin, but thou wilt be
My private protonotary?
Can I not woo thee to pass by
Now is the time for mirth,
Nor cheek or tongue be dumb;
For with the flow'ry earth
If thou dislik’st the piece thou light’st on first, …
Think that of all that I have writ the worst;
But if thou read’st my book unto the end,
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old time is still a-flying:
And this same flower that smiles to-day
Here she lies, a pretty bud,
Lately made of flesh and blood,
Who as soon fell fast asleep