Volpone: Come my Celia, let us prove
Ben Jonson, The workes of Benjamin Jonson (London: Will Stansby, 1616). STC 14751.
2While we may, the sports of love.
3Time will not be ours for ever:
4He at length our good will sever.
5Spend not then his gifts in vain;
6Suns that set may rise again,
7But if once we lose this light
8'Tis, with us, perpetual night.
9Why should we defer our joys?
10Fame and rumour are but toys.
11Cannot we delude the eyes
12Of a few poor household spies?
13Or his easier ears beguile,
14So removed by our wile?
15'Tis no sin love's fruit to steal,
16But the sweet theft to reveal;
17To be taken, to be seen,
18These have crimes accounted been.
1] From Volpone, one of Jonson's greatest comedies, first produced in 1605 and printed in 1607. The song occurs in III, vii, 166-83, where Volpone is wooing Celia impudently but in vain. It was inspired by Catullus, V, and in turn inspired Herrick. Back to Line
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RPO poem Editors:
F. D. Hoeniger