Author Topic: Ben Jonson, Though I Am Young and Cannot Tell  (Read 2202 times)

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Ben Jonson, Though I Am Young and Cannot Tell
« on: 24 Nov, 2011, 15:43:13 »

Ben Jonson’s “Song to Celia” is known to millions as “Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes.” Jonson was educated at the prestigious Westminster School in London. He took up acting, and by 1597 he was writing original plays. Jonson’s first widely acclaimed play, Every Man in His Humour, included William Shakespeare in its cast.

Ben Jonson, Though I Am Young and Cannot Tell

Though I am young, and cannot tell
    Either what Death or Love is well,
Yet I have heard they both bear darts,
    And both do aim at human hearts.
And then again, I have been told
    Love wounds with heat, as Death with cold;
So that I fear they do but bring
    Extremes to touch, and mean one thing.

As in a ruin we it call
    One thing to be blown up, or fall;
Or to our end like way may have
    By a flash of lightning, or a wave;
So Love’s inflamèd shaft or brand
    May kill as soon as Death’s cold hand;
Except Love’s fires the virtue have
    To fight the frost out of the grave.


Index of world poetry