Ben Jonson

  E  P  I  G  R  A  M  S .


It will be look'd for, BOOK, when some but see
Thy title, EPIGRAMS, and named of me,
Thou shouldst be bold, licentious, full of gall,
Wormwood, and sulphur, sharp, and tooth'd withal ;
Become a petulent thing, hurl ink, and wit,
As madmen stones ;  not caring whom they hit.
Deceive their malice, who could wish it so ;
And by thy wiser temper, let men know
Thou art not so covetous of least self-fame,
Made from the hazard of another's shame ;
Much less, with lewd, profane, and beastly phrase,
To catch the world's loose laughter, or vain gaze.
He that departs with his own honesty
For vulgar praise, doth it too dearly buy.

Jonson, Ben.  The Works of Ben Jonson.
Boston: Phillips, Sampson, and Co., 1853. 785.

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Copyright © 1996-2001 Anniina Jokinen. All Rights Reserved.
Created by Anniina Jokinen on March 21, 1997. Last updated on December 5, 2001.