Home  »  The Book of Elizabethan Verse  »  Ben Jonson (1572–1637)

William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Elizabethan Verse. 1907.

Love and Death

Ben Jonson (1572–1637)

THOUGH I am young and cannot tell

Either what Death or Love is well,

Yet I have heard they both bear darts,

And both do aim at human hearts;

And then again, I have been told,

Love wounds with heat, as Death with cold;

So that I fear they do but bring

Extremes to touch, and mean one thing.

As in a ruin we it call

One thing to be blown up, or fall;

Or to our end like way may have

By a flash of lightning, or a wave:

So Love’s inflamèd shaft or brand,

May kill as soon as Death’s cold hand;

Except Love’s fires the virtue have

To fright the frost out of the grave.