Ben Jonson (11 June 1572 – 6 August 1637 / London / England)
A Sonnet, to the Noble Lady, the Lady Mary Wroth
I that have been a lover, and could show it,
Though not in these, in rhymes 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.
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