Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, AN ELEGY ON BEN JONSON, by JOHN CLEVELAND



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AN ELEGY ON BEN JONSON, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Who first reformed our stage with justest laws
Last Line: Than can be now, when plenty makes me poor.
Subject(s): Jonson, Ben (1572-1637); Poetry & Poets


WHO first reformed our stage with justest laws,
And was the first best judge in his own cause;
Who, when his actors trembled for applause,

Could (with a noble confidence) prefer
His own, by right, to a whole theatre;
From principles which he knew could not err:

Who to his fable did his persons fit,
With all the properties of art and wit,
And above all that could be acted, writ:

Who public follies did to covert drive,
Which he again could cunningly retrive,
Leaving them no ground to rest on and thrive:

Here JONSON lies, whom, had I named before,
In that one word alone I had paid more
Than can be now, when plenty makes me poor.





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