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Ben Jonson

A Farewell to the World

FALSE world, good night! since thou hast brought
    That hour upon my morn of age;
Henceforth I quit thee from my thought,
    My part is ended on thy stage.

Yes, threaten, do. Alas! I fear
    As little as I hope from thee:
I know thou canst not show nor bear
    More hatred than thou hast to me.

My tender, first, and simple years
    Thou didst abuse and then betray;
Since stir'd'st up jealousies and fears,
    When all the causes were away.

Then in a soil hast planted me
    Where breathe the basest of thy fools;
Where envious arts professèd be,
    And pride and ignorance the schools;

Where nothing is examined, weigh'd,
    But as 'tis rumour'd, so believed;
Where every freedom is betray'd,
    And every goodness tax'd or grieved.

But what we're born for, we must bear:
    Our frail condition it is such
That what to all may happen here,
    If 't chance to me, I must not grutch.

Else I my state should much mistake
    To harbour a divided thought
From all my kind—that, for my sake,
    There should a miracle be wrought.

No, I do know that I was born
    To age, misfortune, sickness, grief:
But I will bear these with that scorn
    As shall not need thy false relief.

Nor for my peace will I go far,
    As wanderers do, that still do roam;
But make my strengths, such as they are,
    Here in my bosom, and at home.

 
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About the poet
Ben Jonson
 
By the same poet
Hymn to Diana
To Celia
Simplex Munditiis
The Shadow
The Triumph
An Elegy
The Noble Balm
Epitaph (i): On Elizabeth L.H.
Epitaph (ii): On Salathiel Pavy
 
Related books
Ben Jonson at amazon.com


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