A Celebration of Charis: I. His Excuse for Loving

Original Text: 
Ben Jonson, The workes of Benjamin Jonson (London: R. Bishop, sold by A. Crooke, 1640). STC 14754. stc Fisher Rare Book Library (Toronto). Also British Library copy as microfilmed in English Books 1475-1640. Ann Arbor: University Microfilms. P & R 14754 * 20250.
2Less your laughter, that I love.
3Though I now write fifty years,
4I have had, and have, my peers;
5Poets, though divine, are men,
6Some have lov'd as old again.
7And it is not always face,
8Clothes, or fortune, gives the grace;
10But the language and the truth,
11With the ardour and the passion,
12Gives the lover weight and fashion.
13If you then will read the story,
14First prepare you to be sorry
15That you never knew till now
16Either whom to love or how;
17But be glad, as soon with me,
18When you know that this is she
19Of whose beauty it was sung;
20She shall make the old man young,
21Keep the middle age at stay,
22And let nothing high decay,
23Till she be the reason why
24All the world for love may die.


1] A poem in ten lyric pieces, first printed in Works, 1640. Most of the poem was probably written before 1616, when The Devil is an Ass, containing the last two stanzas of "Her Triumph," was acted at the Blackfriars. The first part, "His excuse for loving," was composed in 1623, judging from the third line. Back to Line
9] feature: make, shape. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
F. D. Hoeniger
RPO Edition: 
3RP 1.157.