Epigrams: To John Donne
Ben Jonson, The workes of Benjamin Jonson (London: Will Stansby, 1616). STC 14751.
2Who, to thy one, all other brains refuse;
3Whose every work of thy most early wit
4Came forth example, and remains so yet;
5Longer a-knowing than most wits do live;
6And which no affection praise enough can give!
7To it, thy language, letters, arts, best life,
8Which might with half mankind maintain a strife.
10But leave, because I cannot as I should!
1] Drummond reported Jonson as remarking: "he esteemeth John Done the first poet in the World in some things." Jonson wrote another epigram of twelve lines to Donne in which he praises him (lines 3-6) as a judge of poetry:
That so alone canst judge, so alone dost make;Back to Line
And, in thy censures, evenly dost take
As free simplicity, to disavow,
As thou hast best authority to allow.
9] yet I would: still would I like to. Back to Line
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RPO poem Editors:
F. D. Hoeniger