Ben Jonson

Poet, Essayist, and Playwright

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Born: June 11, 1572 in London, England

  • Went to Westminster School
  • 1589 (Age 17)
  • Military
  • Anne Lewis
  • Every Man in His Humor
  • William Shakespeare
  • The murder
  • His friends

Died: August 8, 1637 in Westminster

His Excuse For Loving

Let it not your wonder move,

Less your laughter, that I love.

Though I now write fifty years,

I have had, and have, my peers.

Poets, though divine, are men;

Some have loved as old again.

And it is not always face,

Clothes, or fortune gives the grace,

Or the feature, or the youth;

But the language and the truth,

With the ardor and the passion,

Gives the lover weight and fashion.

If you then would hear the story,

First, prepare you to be sorry

That you never knew till now

Either whom to love or how;

But be glad as soon with me

When you hear that this is she

Of whose beauty it was sung,

She shall make the old man young,

Keep the middle age at stay,

And let nothing hide decay,

Till she be the reason why

All the world for love may die.