Epigrams: On my First Son

Original Text: 
Ben Jonson, The workes of Benjamin Jonson (London: Will Stansby, 1616). STC 14751.
2My sin was too much hope of thee, lov'd boy.
4Exacted by thy fate, on the just day.
5O, could I lose all father now! For why
6Will man lament the state he should envy?
7To have so soon 'scap'd world's and flesh's rage,
8And if no other misery, yet age?
9Rest in soft peace, and, ask'd, say, "Here doth lie
10Ben Jonson his best piece of poetry."
11For whose sake henceforth all his vows be such,
12As what he loves may never like too much.


1] The boy died of the plague in 1603, the same plague which delayed the coronation ceremonies of James I.
child of my right hand: i.e., the Hebrew Benjamin, which meant "fortunate" or "dexterous.'' Back to Line
3] lent: i.e., as a gift from heaven. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
F. D. Hoeniger
RPO Edition: 
3RP 1.156.