Epicoene, or the Silent Woman: Still to be neat, still to be drest

Original Text: 
Ben Jonson, The workes of Benjamin Jonson (London: Will Stansby, 1616). STC 14751.
2As you were going to a feast;
3Still to be powder'd, still perfum'd:
4Lady, it is to be presum'd,
5Though art's hid causes are not found,
6All is not sweet, all is not sound.
7Give me a look, give me a face,
8That makes simplicity a grace;
9Robes loosely flowing, hair as free:
10Such sweet neglect more taketh me
11Than all th' adulteries of art;
12They strike mine eyes, but not my heart.


1] Also one of Jonson's best comedies, Epicoene was first produced in 1609 but published only in the Jonson Folio of 1616. The Song is modelled on a Latin lyric, Simplex Munditiis perhaps written by Jean Bonnefons, a contemporary. Especially with the second stanza, cf. Herrick's A Sweet Disorder.
Still: always. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
Publication Notes: 
RPO poem Editors: 
F. D. Hoeniger
RPO Edition: 
3RP 1.154.