Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ON THE MAGNETIC LADY, by BEN JONSON



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ON THE MAGNETIC LADY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: But to advise thee, ben, in this strict age
Last Line: Cropped, branded, slit, neck-stocked; go, you are stripped.
Subject(s): Critics & Criticism


. . . But to advise thee, Ben, in this strict age,
A brick-kiln's better for thee than a stage.
Thou better know'st a groundsill for to lay,
Than lay the plot or groundwork of a play,
And better canst direct to cap a chimney,
Than to converse with Clio or Polyhimny.
Fall then to work in thy old age again,
Take up thy trudge and trowel, gentle Ben,
Let plays alone: or if thou needs will write,
And thrust thy feeble muse into the light;
Let Lowen cease, and Taylor scorn to touch
The loathed stage, for thou hast made it such.

Ben Jonson's Answer
Shall the prosperity of a pardon still
Secure thy railing rhymes, infamous Gill,
At libelling? Shall no Star Chamber peers,
Pillory, nor whip, nor want of ears,
All which thou hast incurred deservedly;
Nor degradation from the ministry,
To be the Denis of thy father's school,
Keep in thy barking wit, thou bawling fool?
Thinking to stir me, thou hast lost thy end;
I'll laugh at thee, poor wretched tyke; go send
Thy blatant muse abroad, and teach it rather
A tune to drown the ballads of thy father:
For thou hast naught in thee to cure his fame,
But tune and noise, the echo of his shame.
A rogue by statute, censured to be whipped,
Cropped, branded, slit, neck-stocked; go, you are stripped.





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