Ben Jonson



His Excuse for Loving

Let it not your wonder move,
Less your laughter, that I love.
Though I now write fifty years,
I have had, and have my peers ;
Poets, though divine, are men :
Some have loved as old again.
And it is not always face,
Clothes, or fortune, gives the grace ;
Or the feature, or the youth :
But the language, and the truth,
With the ardor, and the passion,
Gives the lover weight, and fashion.
If you then will read the story,
First, prepare you to be sorry,
That you never knew till now,
Either whom to love, or how :
But be glad as soon with me,
When you know that this is she,
Of whose beauty it was sung,
She shall make the old Man young,
Keep the middle age at stay,
And let nothing high decay ;
Till she be the reason why,
All the world for Love may die.

Listen to the poem read by Robert Pinsky.

The Songs and Poems of Ben Jonson.
London: Philip Allan & Co., 1924. 19.

to Works of Ben Jonson

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