Treasure Island

Ben Jonson

(11 June 1572 – 6 August 1637 / London / England)

Quotations

  • ''Have you seen but a bright lily grow
    Before rude hands have touch'd it?
    Have you mark'd but the fall of the snow
    Before the soil hath smutch'd it?
    Have you felt the wool of the beaver,
    Or swan's down ever?
    Or have smelt of the bud of the brier,
    Or the nard in the fire?
    Or have tasted the bag of the bee?
    O so white, O so soft, O so sweet is she!''
    Ben Jonson (1572-1637), British dramatist, poet. A Celebration of Charis in Ten Lyrick Peeces (l. 21-30). . . The Complete Poems [Ben Jonson]. George Parfitt, ed. (1988) Penguin.
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  • ''Let it not your wonder move,
    Less your laughter, that I love.
    Though I now write fifty years,
    I have had, and have, my peers;
    Poets, though divine, are men:
    Some have loved as old again.
    And it is not always face,
    Clothes, or fortune gives the grace,
    Or the feature, or the youth;
    But the language, and the truth,
    With the ardour and the passion,
    Gives the lover weight and fashion.''
    Ben Jonson (1572-1637), British dramatist, poet. A Celebration of Charis in Ten Lyrick Peeces (l. 1-12). . . The Complete Poems [Ben Jonson]. George Parfitt, ed. (1988) Penguin.
  • ''Rhyme, the rack of finest wits,
    That expresseth but by fits
    True conceit,
    Spoiling senses of their treasure,
    Cozening judgment with a measure,
    But false weight;
    Wresting words from their true calling;
    Propping verse for fear of falling
    To the ground;
    Jointing syllables, drowning letters,
    Fastening vowels, as with fetters
    They were bound!''
    Ben Jonson (1572-1637), British dramatist, poet. A Fit of Rime against Rime (l. 1-12). . . The Complete Poems [Ben Jonson]. George Parfitt, ed. (1988) Penguin.
  • ''Hear me, O God!
    A broken heart,
    Is my best part:
    Use still thy rod,
    That I may prove
    Therein, thy Love.

    If thou hadst not
    Beene stern to mee.
    But left me free.
    I had forgot
    My selfe and thee.''
    Ben Jonson (1572-1637), British dramatist, poet. A Hymn to God the Father (l. 1-11). . . The Complete Poems [Ben Jonson]. George Parfitt, ed. (1988) Penguin.
  • ''Blueness doth express trueness.''
    Ben Jonson (1573-1637), British dramatist, poet. Amorphus, in Cynthia's Revels, act 5, sc. 2.
  • ''Though beautie be the marke of praise,
    And yours of whom I sing be such
    As not the world can praise too much,
    Yet is't your vertue now I raise.''
    Ben Jonson (1572-1637), British dramatist, poet. An Elegy (l. 1-4). . . The Complete Poems [Ben Jonson]. George Parfitt, ed. (1988) Penguin.
  • ''And since our Daintie age,
    Cannot indure reproofe,
    Make not thy selfe a Page,
    To that strumpet the Stage,
    But sing high and aloofe,
    Safe from the wolves black jaw, and the dull Asses hoofe.''
    Ben Jonson (1572-1637), British dramatist, poet. An Ode: To Himselfe (l. 31-36). . . The Complete Poems [Ben Jonson]. George Parfitt, ed. (1988) Penguin.
  • ''Buz, quoth the blue fly,
    Hum, quoth the bee,
    Buz and hum they cry,
    And so do we:
    In his ear, in his nose, thus, do you see?
    He ate the dormouse, else it was he.''
    Ben Jonson (1572-1637), British dramatist, poet. Buz, quoth the blue fly (l. 1-6). . . The Complete Poems [Ben Jonson]. George Parfitt, ed. (1988) Penguin.
  • ''The owl is abroad, the bat and the toad,
    And so is the cat-a-mountain;
    The ant and the mole sit both in a hole,
    And frog peeps out o' the fountain.''
    Ben Jonson (1572-1637), British dramatist, poet. Charm (l. 1-4). . . The Complete Poems [Ben Jonson]. George Parfitt, ed. (1988) Penguin.
  • ''With pictures full, of wax and of wool,
    Their livers I stick with needles quick;
    There lacks but the blood to make up the flood.''
    Ben Jonson (1572-1637), British dramatist, poet. Charm (l. 10-12). . . The Complete Poems [Ben Jonson]. George Parfitt, ed. (1988) Penguin.

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His Excuse for Loving

Let it not your wonder move,
Less your laughter, that I love.
Though I now write fifty years,
I have had, and have, my peers.
Poets, though divine, are men;
Some have loved as old again.
And it is not always face,
Clothes, or fortune gives the grace,
Or the feature, or the youth;

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