Ben Jonson

June 11, 1572 - August 6, 1637


In The Person Of Womankind

by Ben Jonson

A Song Apologetic

Men, if you love us, play no more
The fools or tyrants with your friends,
To make us still sing o'er and o'er
Our own false praises, for your ends:
We have both wits and fancies too,
And if we must, let's sing of you.

Nor do we doubt, but that we can,
If we would search with care and pain,
Find some one good, in some one man;
So going thorough all your strain,
We shall at last, of parcels make
One good enough for a song's sake.

And as a cunning painter takes
In any curious piece you see,
More pleasure while the thing he makes,
Than when 'tis made; why, so will we.
And having pleased our art, we'll try
To make a new, and hang that by.


Plays And Poems, 2nd Edition
Copyright 1886
George Routledge And Son, Broadway, Ludgate Hill, New York: 9 Lafayette Place