“Still to be neat, still to be dressed”

By Ben Jonson 1572–1637 Ben Jonson
Still to be neat, still to be dressed,
As you were going to a feast;
Still to be powdered, still perfumed; 
Lady, it is to be presumed,
Though art's hid causes are not found,
All is not sweet, all is not sound.

Give me a look, give me a face,
That makes simplicity a grace;
Robes loosely flowing, hair as free;
Such sweet neglect more taketh me
                       Than all th'adulteries of art. 
They strike mine eyes, but not my heart.

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Poet Ben Jonson 1572–1637

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

Subjects Relationships, Love, Men & Women, Romantic Love, Desire

Poetic Terms Couplet

 Ben  Jonson

Biography

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.

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Love, Men & Women, Romantic Love, Desire

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

Poetic Terms Couplet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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