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Poem by Ben Jonson


His Supposed Mistress


If I freely can discover
What would please me in my lover,
I would have her fair and witty,
Savouring more of court than city;
A little proud, but full of pity;
Light and humourous in her toying;
Oft building hopes, and soon destroying;
Long, but sweet in the enjoying,
Neither too easy, nor too hard:
All extremes I would have barred.

She should be allowed her passions,
So they were but used as fashions;
Sometimes froward, and then frowning,
Sometimes sickish, and then swowning,
Every fit with change still crowning.
Purely jealous I would have her;
Then only constant when I crave her,
ТTis a virtue should not save her.
Thus, nor her delicates would cloy me,
Neither her peevishness annoy me. 



Ben Jonson


Ben Jonson's other poems:
  1. Epitaph on the Countess of Pembroke
  2. A Hymn to God the Father
  3. To Censorious Courtling
  4. Queen and Huntress
  5. Living By


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