An Ode to Ben Jonson

By Robert Herrick 1591–1674 Robert Herrick
Ah Ben!
                        Say how, or when
                        Shall we thy guests
                Meet at those lyric feasts
                        Made at the Sun,
                The Dog, the Triple Tun?
                Where we such clusters had
         As made us nobly wild, not mad;
                And yet each verse of thine
Outdid the meat, outdid the frolic wine.

                               My Ben
                        Or come again,
                        Or send to us
                Thy wit's great overplus;
                        But teach us yet
                Wisely to husband it;
                Lest we that talent spend,
         And having once brought to an end
                That precious stock, the store
Of such a wit the world should have no more.

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Poet Robert Herrick 1591–1674


Subjects Relationships, Friends & Enemies, Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets

Poetic Terms Ode

 Robert  Herrick


Almost forgotten in the eighteenth century, and in the nineteenth century alternately applauded for his poetry’s lyricism and condemned for its “obscenities,” Robert Herrick is, in the latter half of the twentieth century, finally becoming recognized as one of the most accomplished nondramatic poets of his age. Long dismissed as merely a “minor poet” and, as a consequence, neglected or underestimated by scholars and critics, the . . .

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SUBJECT Relationships, Friends & Enemies, Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets


Poetic Terms Ode

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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