On My First Son
by Ben Jonson

Farewell, thou child of my right hand, and joy ;
    My sin was too much hope of thee, lov'd boy.
Seven years thou wert lent to me, and I thee pay,
    Exacted by thy fate, on the just day.
Oh, could I lose all father now ! For why
    Will man lament the state he should envy?
To have so soon 'scaped world's and flesh's rage,
    And if no other misery, yet age !
Rest in soft peace, and, asked, say, Here doth lie
    Ben Jonson his best piece of poetry.
For whose sake henceforth all his vows be such
    As what he loves may never like too much.

father and son
Statue of father and son.
Vatican Museums. ©1999 A. Jokinen.

Poetry of the English Renaissance 1509-1660.
J. William Hebel and Hoyt H. Hudson, eds.
New York: F. S. Crofts & Co., 1941. 498.

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Copyright © 1996-1999 Anniina Jokinen. All Rights Reserved. Violators will be prosecuted.
Created by Anniina Jokinen on September 4, 1999.