To Celia

by BEN JONSON (1572-1637)

DRINK to me only with thine eyes,
And I will pledge with mine;
Or leave a kiss but in the cup
And I’ll not look for wine.
The thirst that from the soul doth rise
Doth ask a drink divine;
But might I of Jove’s nectar sup,
I would not change for thine.

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I sent thee late a rosy wreath,
Not so much honouring thee
As giving it a hope that there
It could not wither’d be;
But thou thereon didst only breathe,
And sent’st it back to me;
Since when it grows, and smells, I swear,
Not of itself but thee!

Ben Jonson

The tumultuous life of Ben Jonson began in London on June 11, 1572. His clergyman father died before he was born, but his mother remarried to a bricklayer. Jonson attended Westminster School before joining his stepfather in the bricklaying trade.

Ben Jonson Contemporaries
Christopher Marlowe
William Shakespeare
Sir Walter Raleigh

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