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JONSON, Ben


It was a beauty that I saw

It was a beauty that I saw,

So pure, so perfect, as the frame

Of all the universe was lame

To that one figure, could I draw

Or give least line of it a law.

A skein of silk without a knot,

A fair march made without a halt,

A curious form without a fault,

A printed book without a blot:

All beauty, and without a spot.


Sweet neglect

Still to be neat, still to be dressed,

As you were going to a feast;

Still to be powdered, still perfumed; 

Lady, it is to be presumed,

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.


To Celia

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.

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 back to me:
Since when it grows, and smells, I swear,
Not of itself, but thee.


Come my Celia, let us prove

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.