Ben Jonson

Cupid

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.







Beauties, have ye seen this toy,
Called love, a little boy
Almost naked, wanton, blind,
Cruel now, and then as kind?
If he be amongst ye, say!
He is Venus' runaway.
 
He hath of marks about him plenty;
Ye shall know him among twenty;
All his body is a fire,
And his breath a flame entire,
That, being shot like lightning in,
Wounds the heart, but not the skin.
 
He doth bear a golden bow,
And a quiver, hanging low,
Full of arrows, that outbrave
Dian's shafts, where, if he have
Any head more sharp than other,
With that first he strikes his mother.
 
Trust him not: his words, though sweet,
Seldom with his heart do meet;
All his practice is deceit,
Every gift is but a bait;
Not a kiss but poison bears,
And most treason in his tears.
 
If by these ye please to know him,
Beauties, be not nice, but show him,
Though ye had a will to hide him.
Now, we hope, ye'll not abide him,
Since ye hear his falser play,
And that he's Venus' runaway.

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