To Lucy, Countess of Bedford, with John Donne's Satires

By Ben Jonson 1572–1637 Ben Jonson
Lucy, you brightness of our sphere, who are
Life of the Muses' day, their morning star!
If works, not th' author's, their own grace should look,
Whose poems would not wish to be your book?
But these, desir'd by you, the maker's ends
Crown with their own. Rare poems ask rare friends.
Yet satires, since the most of mankind be
Their unavoided subject, fewest see;
For none e'er took that pleasure in sin's sense
But, when they heard it tax'd, took more offence.
They, then, that living where the matter is bred,
Dare for these poems, yet, both ask and read
And like them too, must needfully, though few,
Be of the best; and 'mongst those best are you,
Lucy, you brightness of our sphere, who are
The Muses' evening, as their morning star.

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Ben Jonson 1572–1637

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

Subjects Poetry & Poets, Reading & Books, Arts & Sciences

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.

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Poetry & Poets, Reading & Books, Arts & Sciences

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

Poetic Terms Epigram, Couplet

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.