A Sonnet to the Noble Lady, the Lady Mary Wroth

By Ben Jonson 1572–1637 Ben Jonson
I that have been a lover, and could show it,
    Though not in these, in rithmes not wholly dumb,
    Since I exscribe your sonnets, am become
A better lover, and much better poet.
Nor is my Muse or I ashamed to owe it
    To those true numerous graces, whereof some
    But charm the senses, others overcome
    Both brains and hearts; and mine now best do know it:
For in your verse all Cupid’s armory,
    His flames, his shafts, his quiver, and his bow,
    His very eyes are yours to overthrow.
But then his mother’s sweets you so apply,
    Her joys, her smiles, her loves, as readers take
    For Venus’ ceston every line you make.

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

Poet Ben Jonson 1572–1637


SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

Subjects Love, Romantic Love, Infatuation & Crushes

 Ben  Jonson


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 Love, Romantic Love, Infatuation & Crushes


SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

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.