On English Monsieur

By Ben Jonson 1572–1637 Ben Jonson
Would you believe, when you this monsieur see,
That his whole body should speak French, not he?
That so much scarf of France, and hat, and feather,
And shoe, and tie, and garter should come hether,
And land on one whose face durst never be
Toward the sea farther than Half-Way Tree?
That he, untraveled, should be French so much
As Frenchmen in his company should seem Dutch?
Or had his father, when he did him get,
The French disease, with which he labors yet?
Or hung some monsieur’s picture on the wall,
By which his dam conceived him, clothes and all?
Or is it some French statue? No: ’T doth move,
And stoop, and cringe. O then, it needs must prove
The new French tailor’s motion, monthly made,
Daily to turn in Paul’s, and help the trade.

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

Poet Ben Jonson 1572–1637

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

Subjects Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Social Commentaries, History & Politics

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 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 Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Social Commentaries, History & Politics

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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.