To John Donne
by Ben Jonson

DONNE, the delight of Phoebus, and each Muse,
    Who, to thy one, all other braines refuse ;
Whose every work, of thy most early wit,
    Came forth example, and remaines so, yet ;
Longer a knowing, than most wits do live ;
    And which no affection praise enough can give !
To it, thy language, letters, arts, best life,
    Which might with halfe mankinde maintaine a strife ;
All which I meant to praise, and, yet, I would ;
    But leave, because I cannot as I should !

The Oxford Book of Seventeenth Century Verse.
H. J. C. Grierson and G. Bullough, eds.
Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1934. 150.

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