Rate this poem:(0.00 / 0 votes)

An Ode To Himself

Ben Jonson 1572 (Westminster) – 1637 (Westminster)



Where dost thou careless lie,
Buried in ease and sloth?
Knowledge that sleeps doth die;
And this security,
It is the common moth
That eats on wits and arts, and oft destroys them both.

Are all th' Aonian springs
Dried up? lies Thespia waste?
Doth Clarius' harp want strings,
That not a nymph now sings?
Or droop they as disgrac'd,
To see their seats and bowers by chatt'ring pies defac'd?

If hence thy silence be,
As 'tis too just a cause,
Let this thought quicken thee:
Minds that are great and free
Should not on fortune pause;
'Tis crown enough to virtue still, her own applause.

What though the greedy fry
Be taken with false baits
Of worded balladry,
And think it poesy?
They die with their conceits,
And only piteous scorn upon their folly waits.

Then take in hand thy lyre,
Strike in thy proper strain,
With Japhet's line aspire
Sol's chariot for new fire,
To give the world again;
Who aided him will thee, the issue of Jove's brain.

And since our dainty age
Cannot endure reproof,
Make not thyself a page
To that strumpet, the stage,
But sing high and aloof,
Safe from the wolf's black jaw and the dull ass's hoof.
Font size:
 

Submitted on August 03, 2020

1:05 min read
1 View

Ben Jonson

Ben Jonson was a playwright, poet, and literary critic of the seventeenth century, whose artistry exerted a lasting impact upon English poetry and stage comedy. more…

All Ben Jonson poems | Ben Jonson Books

FAVORITE (0 fans)

Discuss this Ben Jonson poem with the community:

0 Comments

    Translation

    Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)

    Citation

    Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:

    Style:MLAChicagoAPA

    "An Ode To Himself" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 26 Nov. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/54829/an-ode-to-himself>.

    Become a member!

    Join our community of poets and poetry lovers to share your work and offer feedback and encouragement to writers all over the world!

    Browse Poetry.com

    Quiz

    Are you a poetry master?

    »
    "She walks in beauty, like the night of cloudless climes and starry skies."
    • A. William Wordsworth
    • B. John Keats
    • C. Lord Byron
    • D. Percy Bysshe Shelley

    Our favorite collection of

    Famous Poets

    »