Robert Herrick

(1591-1674 / London / England)

AN ODE FOR BEN JONSON


Ah Ben!
Say how or when
Shall we, thy guests,
Meet at those lyric feasts,
Made at the Sun,
The Dog, the Triple Tun;
Where we such clusters had,
As made us nobly wild, not mad?
And yet each verse of thine
Out-did the meat, out-did the frolic wine.

My Ben!
Or come again,
Or send to us
Thy wit's great overplus;
But teach us yet
Wisely to husband it,
Lest we that talent spend;
And having once brought to an end
That precious stock,--the store
Of such a wit the world should have no more.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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  • Ned Coates (4/4/2013 11:27:00 AM)

    What a wonderful first stanza. i would rate it a ten, with wild, not mad being brilliantly perfect. The second stanza doesn't get beyond the convention in a way that Herrick often does with his word choice. But still a wonderful poem. (Report) Reply

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