Ben Jonson

My Picture Left in Scotland


I now think Love is rather deaf than blind, 
    For else it could not be 
           That she, 
    Whom I adore so much, should so slight me 
And cast my love behind. 
I'm sure my language to her was as sweet, 
    And every close did meet 
    In sentence of as subtle feet, 
    As hath the youngest He 
That sits in shadow of Apollo's tree. 

    O, but my conscious fears, 
          That fly my thoughts between, 
          Tell me that she hath seen 
       My hundred of gray hairs, 
       Told seven and forty years 
    Read so much waste, as she cannot embrace 
    My mountain belly and my rocky face; 
And all these through her eyes have stopp'd her ears.


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 hon'ring thee As giving it a hope that there It could not withered be;
But thou thereon did'st only breathe, And sent'st it back to me, Since when it grows and smells, I swear Not of itself, but thee.



To Celia is first published after March 1616.
It was set to music after 1770.


Ben Jonson  (15721637)


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© Gaston D'Haese: 10-02-2013
Update: 01-09-2017.