Wednesday, January 19, 2011

To Celia - Ben Jonson

This love lyric is especially known for its strikingly beautiful opening line, but the whole thing is quite pretty.

To Celia

Drink to me only with thine eyes,
   And I will pledge with mine;
Or leave a kiss but in the cup
   And I'll not look for wine.
The thirst that from the soul doth rise,
   Doth ask a drink divine;
But might I of Jove's nectar sup,
   I would not change for thine.

I sent thee late a rosy wreath,
   Not so much honouring thee,
As giving it a hope that there
   It could not wither'd be.
But thou thereon didst only breathe,
   And sent'st it back to me;
Since when it grows and smells, I swear
   Not of itself, but thee!

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