To Mary Lady Wroth|
by Ben Jonson
MADAME, had all antiquitie been lost,
All history seal'd up, and fables crost;
That wee had left us, nor by time, nor place,
Least mention of a Nymph, a Muse, a Grace,
But even their names were to bee made anew,
Who could not but create them all, from you ?
He, that but saw you weare the wheaten hat,
Would call you more than CERES, if not that :
And, drest in shepherd's tire, who would not say :
You were the bright OENONE, FLORA, or May ?
If dancing, all would cry th' Idalian Queene,
Were leading forth the Graces on the greene :
And, armed to the chase, so bare her bow
DIANA 'alone, so hit, and hunted so.
There's none so dull, that for your style would aske,
That saw you put on PALLAS' plumed caske :
Or, keeping your due state, that would not cry,
There JUNO sate, and yet no Peacock by.
So are you Nature's Index, and restore
I' your selfe, all treasure lost of th'age before.
Lady Mary Wroth
The Oxford Book of Seventeenth Century Verse.
H. J. C. Grierson and G. Bullough, eds.
Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1934. 156-157.
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