To Lucy, Countesse of Bedford, with Mr.
Donnes Satyres

by Ben Jonson

LUCY, you brightnesse of our spheare, who are
    Life of the Muses day, their morning Starre !
If works (not th' authors) their own grace should look,
    Whose poems would not wish to be your book ?
But these, desir'd by you, the maker's ends
    Crowne with their own.  Rare poems aske rare friends.
Yet, Satyres, since the most of mankind bee
    Their un-avoided subject, fewest see :
For none e'er tooke that pleasure in sins sense,
    But, when they heard it tax'd, tooke more offence.
They, then, that living where the matter is bred,
    Dare for these Poemes, yet, both aske, and read,
And like them too ; must needfully, though few,
    Be of the best : and 'mongst those, best are you ;
Lucy, you brightnesse of our spheare, who are
    The Muses evening, as their morning-starre.

  Lucy, Countess of Bedford
Lucy Harington, Countess of Bedford,
Patroness of Renaissance poets.

The Oxford Book of Seventeenth Century Verse.
H. J. C. Grierson and G. Bullough, eds.
Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1934. 153.

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