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Ben Jonson Short Poems

Famous Short Ben Jonson Poems. Short poetry by famous poet Ben Jonson. A collection of the all-time best Ben Jonson short poems


by Ben Jonson
Consider this small dust here running in the glass,
By atoms moved;
Could you believe that this the body was 
Of one that loved?
And in his mistress' flame, playing like a fly,
Turned to cinders by her eye:
Yes; and in death, as life, unblessed,
To have it expressed,
Even ashes of lovers find no rest.



by Ben Jonson

IX.
 ? TO ALL TO WHOM I WRITE.
  
May none whose scatter'd names honor my book,
For strict degrees of rank or title look :
'Tis 'gainst the manners of an epigram ;
And I a poet here, no herald am.


by Robert Herrick
 When I a verse shall make,
Know I have pray'd thee,
For old religion's sake,
Saint Ben to aid me.
Make the way smooth for me, When I, thy Herrick, Honouring thee, on my knee Offer my lyric.
Candles I'll give to thee, And a new altar, And thou, Saint Ben, shalt be Writ in my psalter.

On Gut  Create an image from this poem
by Ben Jonson

CXVIII.
 ? ON GUT.
  
GUT eats all day and letchers all the night,
   So all his meat he tasteth over twice ;
And striving so to double his delight,
   He makes himself a thorough-fare of vice.
Thus, in his belly, can he change a sin,
Lust it comes out, that gluttony went in.



by 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
Out-did the meat, out-did 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.

by Ben Jonson

XXXIV.
 ? OF DEATH.
  
He that fears death, or mourns it, in the just,
Shews of the Resurrection little trust.


by Ben Jonson

LXXX.
 ? OF LIFE AND DEATH.
  
The ports of death are sins ; of life, good deeds ;
Through which our merit leads us to our meeds.
How wilful blind is he, then, that would stray,
And hath it, in his powers, to make his way !
This world death's region is, the other life's ;
And here, it should be one of our first strifes,
So to front death, as men might judge us past it :
For good men but see death, the wicked taste it.




by Ben Jonson

X.
 ? TO MY LORD IGNORANT.
  
Thou call'st me POET, as a term of shame ;
But I have my revenge made, in thy name.



by Ben Jonson

LXXII.
 — TO COURTLING.

I grieve not, COURTLING, thou art started up
A chamber-critic, and doth dine, and sup
At madam's table, where thou mak'st all wit
Go high, or low, as thou wilt value it.
'Tis not thy judgment breeds thy prejudice,
Thy person only, Courtling, is the vice.


by Ben Jonson

XV.
 ? ON COURT-WORM.
  
All men are worms ; but this no man.
  In silk
'Twas brought to court first wrapt, and white as milk ;
Where, afterwards, it grew a butterfly,
Which was a caterpillar : so 'twill die.



by Ben Jonson

LXXV.
 — ON LIPPE THE TEACHER.

I cannot think there's that antipathy
'Twixt puritans and players, as some cry;
Though LIPPE, at Paul's, ran from his text away,
To inveigh 'gainst plays, what did he then but play?

by Ben Jonson

LIX.
 — TO FOOL, OR KNAVE.
SPIES, you are lights in state, but of base stuff,
Who, when you've burnt yourselves down to the snuff,
Stink, and are thrown away.
End fair enough.



by Ben Jonson
An Epitaph on S [alathiel] P [avy], a child
of Q
[ueen] El [izabeth's] Chapel
by Ben Jonson

by Ben Jonson

LVIII.
 ? TO GROOM IDIOT.
  
IDIOT, last night, I pray'd thee but forbear
To read my verses ;  now I must to hear :
For offering with thy smiles my wit to grace,
Thy ignorance still laughs in the wrong place.

And so my sharpness thou no less disjoints,
Than thou didst late my sense, losing my points.

So have I seen, at Christmas-sports, one lost,
And hood-wink'd, for a man embrace a post.



by Ben Jonson

VIII.
 ? ON A ROBBERY.
  
RIDWAY robb'd DUNCOTE of three hundred pound,
    Ridway was ta'en, arraign'd, condemn'd to die ;
But, for this money, was a courtier found,
    Begg'd Ridway's pardon :  Duncote now doth cry,
Robb'd both of money, and the law's relief,
    ? The courtier is become the greater thief.
?


by Ben Jonson

XIII.
 ? TO DOCTOR EMPIRIC.
  
When men a dangerous disease did 'scape,
Of old, they gave a cock to Æsculape :
Let me give too, that doubly am got free ;
From my disease's danger, and from thee.


[ AJ Notes:
   l.
3    Too, two.
]

by Ben Jonson

V.
 ? ON THE UNION.
  
When was there contract better driven by fate,
Or celebrated with more truth of state ?
The world the temple was, the priest a king,
The spoused pair two realms, the sea the ring.


by Ben Jonson

XXXVI.
 ? TO THE GHOST OF MARTIAL.
  
Martial, thou gav'st far nobler epigrams
To thy DOMITIAN, than I can my JAMES :
But in my royal subject I pass thee,
Thou flatter'dst thine, mine cannot flatter'd be.


by Ben Jonson

LXXI.
 — ON COURT PARROT.

To pluck down mine, POLL sets up new wits still;
Still 'tis his luck to praise me 'gainst his will.


by Ben Jonson

LXI.
 — TO FOOL, OR KNAVE.

Thy praise or dispraise is to me alike ;
One doth not stroke me, nor the other strike.



by Ben Jonson

XLI.
 ? ON GIPSY.
  
GIPSY, new bawd, is turn'd physician,
And gets more gold than all the College can :
Such her quaint practice is, so it allures,
For what she gave, a whore ;  a bawd, she cures.


by Ben Jonson

XLIV.
 ? ON CHUFFE, BANKS THE USURER'S KINSMAN.
  
CHUFFE, lately rich in name, in chattels, goods,
    And rich in issue to inherit all,
    Ere blacks were bought for his own funeral,
Saw all his race approach the blacker floods :
    He meant they thither should make swift repair,
    When he made him executor, might be heir.


by Ben Jonson

XIX.
 ? ON SIR COD THE PERFUMED.
  
That COD can get no widow, yet a knight,
I scent the cause : he wooes with an ill sprite.


by Ben Jonson

VI.
 ? TO ALCHEMISTS.
  
If all you boast of your great art be true ;
Sure, willing poverty lives most in you.

    Adriaen Jansz van Ostade.
    Alchemist.
1661.
[detail]


    Adriaen Jansz van Ostade.
    Alchemist.
1661.
[detail]

by Ben Jonson

XXXVIII.
 ? TO PERSON GUILTY.
  (II)   
GUILTY, because I bade you late be wise ;
And to conceal your ulcers, did advise,
You laugh when you are touch'd, and long before
Any man else, you clap your hands and roar,
And cry, good !  good !   This quite perverts my sense,
And lies so far from wit, 'tis impudence.
Believe it, GUILTY, if you lose your shame,
I'll lose my modesty, and tell your name.