On My First Son
by Ben Jonson
Farewell, thou child of my right hand, and joy;
My sin was too much hope of thee, lov'd boy:
Seven years thou wert lent to me, and I thee pay,
Exacted by thy fate, on the just day.
Oh, could I lose all father, now! for why,
Will man lament the state he should envy?
To have so soon 'scaped world's, and flesh's rage,
And, if no other misery, yet age!
Rest in soft peace, and ask'd, say here doth lie
Ben Jonson his best piece of poetry:
For whose sake henceforth all his vows be such,
As what he loves may never like too much.
Source:Plays And Poems, 2nd Edition
George Routledge And Son, Broadway, Ludgate Hill, New York: 9 Lafayette Place