Ben Jonson

A Farewell to the World

FALSE world, good night! since thou hast brought
    That hour upon my morn of age;
Henceforth I quit thee from my thought,
    My part is ended on thy stage.

Yes, threaten, do. Alas! I fear
    As little as I hope from thee:
I know thou canst not show nor bear
    More hatred than thou hast to me.

My tender, first, and simple years
    Thou didst abuse and then betray;
Since stir'd'st up jealousies and fears,
    When all the causes were away.

Then in a soil hast planted me
    Where breathe the basest of thy fools;
Where envious arts professèd be,
    And pride and ignorance the schools;

Where nothing is examined, weigh'd,
    But as 'tis rumour'd, so believed;
Where every freedom is betray'd,
    And every goodness tax'd or grieved.

But what we're born for, we must bear:
    Our frail condition it is such
That what to all may happen here,
    If 't chance to me, I must not grutch.

Else I my state should much mistake
    To harbour a divided thought
From all my kind—that, for my sake,
    There should a miracle be wrought.

No, I do know that I was born
    To age, misfortune, sickness, grief:
But I will bear these with that scorn
    As shall not need thy false relief.

Nor for my peace will I go far,
    As wanderers do, that still do roam;
But make my strengths, such as they are,
    Here in my bosom, and at home.

About the poet
Ben Jonson
By the same poet
Hymn to Diana
To Celia
Simplex Munditiis
The Shadow
The Triumph
An Elegy
The Noble Balm
Epitaph (i): On Elizabeth L.H.
Epitaph (ii): On Salathiel Pavy
Related books
Ben Jonson at amazon.co.uk

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