Ben Jonson


  U  N  D  E  R  W  O  O  D  S .

MISCELLANEOUS POEMS.


XLII. — THE MIND OF THE FRONTISPIECE

TO A BOOK.   

From death and dark oblivion (near the same)
    The mistress of manís life, grave History,
Raising the world to good and evil fame,
    Doth vindicate it to eternity.
Wise Providence would so : that nor the good
    Might be defrauded, nor the great secured,
But both might know their ways were understood,
    When vice alike in time with virtue dured :
Which makes that, lighted by the beamy hand
Of Truth, that searcheth the most hidden springs,
And guided by Experience, whose straight wand
    Doth mete, whose line doth sound the depth of things ;
She cheerfully supporteth what she rears,
    Assisted by no strengths but are her own,
Some note of which each varied pillar bears,
    By which, as proper titles, she is known
Time's witness, herald of Antiquity,
The light of Truth, and life of Memory.


 

Source:
Jonson, Ben.  The Works of Ben Jonson.
Boston: Phillips, Sampson, and Co., 1853. 824.


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