ON LUCY, COUNTESS OF BEDFORD
by: Ben Jonson (1572-1637)
- HIS morning,
timely rapt with holy fire,
- I thought to form unto my jealous Muse
- What kind of creature I could most desire,
- To honour, serve, and love, as poets use.
- I meant to make her fair and free and wise,
- Of greatest blood, and yet more good than great;
- I meant the day-star should not brighter rise,
- Nor lend like influence from his lucent seat.
- I meant she should be courteous, facile, sweet,
- Hating that solemn vice of greatness, pride;
- I meant each softest virtue there should meet,
- Fit in that softer bosom to reside.
- Only a learnèd and a manly soul
- I purposed her; that should, with even powers,
- The rock, the spindle, and the shears control
- Of Destiny, and spin her own free hours.
- Such when I meant to feign, and wished to see,
- My Muse bade 'Bedford' write, and that was she.
POEMS BY BEN JONSON
"On Lucy, Countess of Bedford"
is reprinted from Epigrams (1616).