Ben Jonson



How he saw Her

I beheld her on a day,
When her look out-flourish'd May :
And her dressing did out-brave
All the pride the fields then have :
Far I was from being stupid,
For I ran and call'd on Cupid ;—
Love, if thou wilt ever see
Mark of glory, come with me ;
Where's thy quiver ?  bend thy bow ;
Here's a shaft, thou art too slow !
And, withal, I did untie
Every cloud about his eye ;
But he had not gain'd his sight
Sooner than he lost his might,
Or his courage ;  for away
Straight he ran, and durst not stay,
Letting bow and arrow fall :
Not for any threat, or call,
Could be brought once back to look.
I foolhardy, there up took
Both the arrow he had quit,
And the bow, with thought to hit
This my object ;  but she threw
Such a lightning (as I drew)
At my face, that took my sight,
And my motion from me quite ;
So that there I stood a stone,
Mock'd of all, and call'd of one,
(Which with grief and wrath I heard),
' Cupid's statue with a beard ;
Or else one that play'd his ape,
In a Hercules his shape.'

The Songs and Poems of Ben Jonson.
London: Philip Allan & Co., 1924. 20-21.

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