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bear by san

March 2017

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bear by san

because the past is not another country

On My First Daughter
Ben Jonson

Here lies, to each her parents' ruth,
Mary, the daughter of their youth;
Yet all heaven's gifts being heaven's due,
It makes the father less to rue.
At six months' end, she parted hence
With safety of her innocence;
Whose soul heaven's queen, whose name she bears,
In comfort of her mother's tears,
Hath placed amongst her virgin-train:
Where, while that severed doth remain,
This grave partakes the fleshly birth;
Which cover lightly, gentle earth!



On My First Son
Ben Jonson

Farewell, thou child of my right hand, and joy ;
My sin was too much hope of thee, lov'd boy.
Seven years thou wert lent to me, and I thee pay,
Exacted by thy fate, on the just day.
Oh, could I loose all father now ! For why
Will man lament the state he should envy?
To have so soon 'scaped world's and flesh's rage,
And if no other misery, yet age !
Rest in soft peace, and, asked, say, Here doth lie
Ben Jonson his best piece of poetry.
For whose sake henceforth all his vows be such
As what he loves may never like too much.



I think it's nice to think that these people from another time were very different from us and we've learned something since then, because then we don't have to think that we would ever say something like "Kill them all; God will know his own," or "We had to destroy the village in order to save it," or what you will.

Really, this one couplet:

Rest in soft peace, and, asked, say, Here doth lie
Ben Jonson his best piece of poetry.


just knocks me over every time.

Sorry about that, Ben.

Alright, I promise to stop spamming your reading lists with the bengeekery now. *g*

***

Comments

Alright, I promise to stop spamming your reading lists with the bengeekery now. *g*

You take that back!

I mean, please don't stop...

We likes your bengeekery!
How about a break until tomorrow?
Those made me cry, Bear. :-( Too much for a mom.
They make me cry too, FWIW.

*hug*
I promise to stop spamming your reading lists with the bengeekery now.

No, no, no! Enjoying it! How often, I ask you, do we daily get poetry in our lives this way? Post away; it's your journal after all.
Hee. Well, tomorrow, Renaissance English Poets on professional jealousy.
I don't know if I should admit this or not, but I once published a poem addressed to Ben.

---L.
Absolutely you should.
::nods:: Generalisation and overviews provide a wonderfully comforting distance. Start anthropomorphising and it looks more like a change of clothes.
Yes. And of course it's lovely to be able to say, early modern parents didn't think much of their children. Because it's comforting to repeat when you're reading about how only a third of them lived to adulthood.
"On My First Son" especially just kills me absolutely dead. I am still somewhat amazed with myself for being able to teach it (as I did once) without crying in front of the class. Which would have been bad. But...yeah.
They're raw poems. I think that's why I love them so much, and it's also why I can't quite buy Ben as *just* the pompous windbag he's so often portrayed. Because he is not mouthing pretty noises about those children.

He's puking up his guts.

Riggs thinks the third child may have died in 1603 too. And I'm not sure we have any record of Anne after that spring either, though I'm sure if there is, Riggs will dig it out. (Really, it's only his textual biography that's making me crazy.)

Poor Ben.
*hug*
*ambushed by tears and beauty*
*hug*
"On My First Son" has always killed me.

And please don't stop providing bengeekery! I'm too cowardly to do the same with Ottoman/Albanian geekery--I keep getting scared that someone will steal the good stuff and make a novel out of it before I finish mine. :-)
*g* it's just history....

Re: Jonson as Meta

Yes.

Shakespeare does the running conceit thing too, heavily, throughout his sonnets.