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


Ben Jonson (1572–1637)

COME, my Celia, let us prove,

While we may the sports of Love;

Time will not be ours for ever,

He at length our good will sever.

Spend not then his gifts in vain:

Suns that set may rise again;

But if once we lose this light,

’Tis with us perpetual night.

Why should we defer our joys?

Fame and rumour are but toys.

Cannot we delude the eyes

Of a few poor household spies?

Or his easier ears beguile,

So removèd by our wile?

’Tis no sin Love’s fruit to steal,

But the sweet theft to reveal:

To be taken, to be seen,

These have crimes accounted been.