Ben Jonson, Renaissance, Dramatist, Playwright, Poetry, Shakespeare
To Lucy Countesse of Bedford
by Ben Jonson
THIS morning, timely rapt with holy fire,
    I thought to forme unto my zealous Muse,
What kinde of creature I could most desire,
    To honor, serve, and love ; as Poets use.
I meant to make her and free, and wise,
    Of greatest blood, and yet more good than great ;
I meant the day-starre should not brighter rise,
    Nor lend like influence from his lucent seat.
I meant shee should be curteous, facile, sweet,
    Hating that solemne vice of greatnesse, pride ;
I meant each softest vertue, there should meet,
    Fit in that softer bosome to reside.
Onely a learned, and a manly soule
    I purpos'd her ; that should, with even powers,
The rock, the spindle, and the sheeres controule
    Of destinie, and spin her owne free houres.
Such when I meant to faigne, and wish'd to see,
    My Muse bade, Bedford write, and that was shee.

Lucy, Countess of Bedford
Lucy Harington, Countess of Bedford,
Patroness of Renaissance poets.

The Oxford Book of Seventeenth Century Verse.
H. J. C. Grierson and G. Bullough, eds.
Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1934. 152.

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