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Or what strong hand can hold his swift foot back?
O, none, unless this miracle have might,
POETRY VICTOR OVER DEATH,
But be contented : when that fell arrest
THE PEN GIVES A LIFE BEYOND LIFE.
Or I shall live your epitaph to make,
you survive when I in earth am rotten;
You still shall live—such virtue hath my pen— Where breath most breathes, even in the mouths of men.
BEN JONSON. (Born 1573. Educated at Westminster School, under William Camden. Produced his first comedy, Every Man in His Humour, 1596; his first tragedy, Sejanus,
1603. Published the first volume of his Works, in. cluding Plays, Epigrams, and The Forest, 1616. The University of Oxford conferred on him the degree M.A., 1619. Died 1637. The second folio volume of his works published 1641.)
TO THE READER.
Pray thee, take care, that tak'st my book in hand, To read it well; that is to understand.
TO MY BOOK.
It will be look'd for, Book, when some but see
Become a petulant thing, hurl ink, and wit,
He that departs with his own honesty
FRIENDS AND BOOKS.
When I would know thee GOODYERE, my thought
looks Upon thy well
made choice of friends and books; Then do I love thee, and behold thy ends In making thy friends books, and thy books
friends : Now I must give thy life and deed, the voice Attending such a study, such a choice; Where, though 't be love that to thy praise doth
move, It was a knowledge that begat that love.
POWER OF THE MUSE.
It is the Muse alone, can raise to heaven,
Painted, or carv'd upon our great men's tombs,
before Ajax, or Idomen, or all the store That Homer brought to Troy; yet none so live, Because they lack'd the sacred pen could give Like life unto them. Who heav'd Hercules Unto the stars, or the Tyndarides ? Who placed Jason's Argo in the sky, Or set bright Ariadne's crown so high ? Who made a lamp of Berenice's hair, Or lifted Cassiopeia in her chair, But only poets, rapt with rage divine? And such, or my hopes fail, shall make you shine.
(Epistle to Elizabeth, Countess of Rutland : from “ The Forest.")