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BEN JONSON

Was born in 1574, and died in 1637.

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[From “ The Forest."]

Come, my Celia, let us prove, ,

, While we may,

the
sports

of love;
Time will not be ours for ever,
He at length our good will sever :
Spend not then his gifts in vain!
Suns that set may rise again;
But if once we lose this light,
'Tis with us perpetual night.
Why should we defer our joys ?
Fame and rumour are but toys.
Cannot we delude the eyes
Of a few poor household spies?
Or his easier ears beguile,
So removed by our wile ?
'Tis no sin love's fruit to steal ;
But the sweet theft to reveal,
To be taken, to be seen,
These have crimes accounted been.

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To Celia.

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[From the same.] Drink to me only with thine eyes,

And I will pledge with mine; Or leave a kiss but in the

cup,
And I'll not look for wine.
The thirst that from the soul doth rise

Doth ask a drink divine,
But might I of Jove's nectar sup,

I would not change for thine.

а

I sent thee late a rosy wreath,

Not so much honouring thee,
As giving it a hope that there

It could not withered be;
But thou thereon didst only breathe,

And sent'st it back to me ;
Since when it grows and smells, I swear,

Not of itself, but thee.

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(From “ The Silent Woman.”] Still to be neat, still to be drest, As you were going to a feast ;

Still to be powder'd, still perfum'd:
Lady, it is to be presum’d,
Though art's hid causes are not found,
All is not sweet, all is not sound.

Give me a look, give me a face,
That makes simplicity a grace;
Robes loosely flowing, hair as free;
Such sweet neglect more taketh me
Than all th' adulteries of art;
They strike mine eyes, but not my heart.

[From “ Masques at Court.”]

ye seen this

BEAUTIES,
have

toy,
Called Love! a little boy
Almost naked, wanton, blind,
Cruel now, and then as kind ?
If he be amongst ye, say!
He is Venus' run-away.

She that will but now discover
Where the winged wag doth hover,
Shall to-night receive a kiss,
How or where herself would wish
But who brings him to his mother
Shall have that kiss, and another.

He hath of marks about him plenty,
You shall know him among twenty:
All his body is a fire,
And his breath a flame intire,
That, being shot like lightning in,
Wounds the heart, but not the skin.

At his sight the sun hath turned,
Neptune in the waters burned ;
Hell hath felt a greater heat ;
Jove himself forsook his seat :
From the centre to the sky
Are his trophies reared high.

Wings he hath, which though ye clip,
He will leap from lip to lip :
Over liver, lights, and heart,
But not stay in any part.
And if chance his arrow misses,
He will shoot himself in kisses.

He doth bear a golden bow,
And a quiver, hanging low,
Full of arrows, that outbrave
Dian's shafts, where, if he have
Any head more sharp than other,
With that first he strikes his mother.

Still the fairest are his fuel.
When his days are to be cruel,
Lovers' hearts are all his food,
And his baths their warmest blood :
Nought but wounds his hand doth season,
And he hates none like to Reason.

Trust him not: his words, though sweet,
Seldom with his heart do meet :
All his practice is deceit,
Every gift it is a bait :
Not a kiss but poison bears,
And most treason in his tears.

a

Idle minutes are his reign :
Then the straggler makes his gain,
By presenting maids with toys,
And would have ye think them joys:
'Tis the ambition of the elf
To have all childish as himself.

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If by these ye please to know him,
Beauties, be not nice, but show him.
Though ye had a will to hide him,
Now, we hope, ye'll not abide him,
Since ye hear his falser play,
And that he's Venus' run-away,

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