Ben Jonson

  U  N  D  E  R  W  O  O  D  S .



By those bright eyes, at whose immortal fires
Love lights his torches to inflame desires ;
By that fair stand, your forehead, whence he bends
His double bow, and round his arrows sends ;
By that tall grove, your hair, whose globy rings
He flying curls, and crispeth with his wings ;
By those pure baths your either cheek discloses,
Where he doth steep himself in milk and roses ;
And lastly, by your lips, the bank of kisses,
Where men at once may plant and gather blisses :
Tell me, my lov'd friend, do you love or no ?
So well as I may tell in verse, 'tis so ?
You blush, but do not : — friends are either none,
Though they may number bodies, or but one.
I'll therefore ask no more, but bid you love,
And so that either example prove
Unto the other ;  and live patterns, how
Others, in time, may love as we do now.
Slip no occasion ;  as time stands not still,
I know no beauty, nor no youth that will.
To use the present, then, is not abuse,
You have a husband is the just excuse
Of all that can be done him ;  such a one
As would make shift to make himself alone
That which we can ;  who both in you, his wife,
His issue, and all circumstance of life,
As in his place, because he would not vary,
Is constant to be extraordinary.


Jonson, Ben.  The Works of Ben Jonson.
Boston: Phillips, Sampson, and Co., 1853. 822.

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