To John Donne

By Ben Jonson 1572–1637 Ben Jonson
Donne, the delight of Phoebus and each Muse
Who, to thy one, all other brains refuse;
Whose every work of thy most early wit
Came forth example, and remains so yet;
Longer a-knowing than most wits do live;
And which no affection praise enough can give!
To it, thy language, letters, arts, best life,
Which might with half mankind maintain a strife.
All which I meant to praise, and yet I would;
But leave, because I cannot as I should!

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Poet Ben Jonson 1572–1637

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

Subjects Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets

Poetic Terms Epigram, 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 Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

Poetic Terms Epigram, Couplet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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