14. 17th C Poetry: Ben Jonson's songs
Mainly a close reading of the unutterably subtle effects of the Song to Celia "Drink to me only with thine eyes."
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 withered 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.
What makes it a song? What makes it a story? What's their relation? A look at "So Beauty on the water stood," in this context:
So beauty on the waters stood,
When love had sever’d earth from flood.
So when he parted air from fire,
He did with concord all inspire.
And then a motion he them taught,
That elder than himself was thought,
Which thought was yet the child of earth,
For Love is elder than his birth.
And then a brief return to "On my first son":
Farewell, thou child of my right hand, and joy;
My sin was too much hope of thee, lov'd boy.
Seven years tho' wert lent to me, and I thee pay,
Exacted by thy fate, on the just day.
O, could I lose all father now! For why
Will man lament the state he should envy?
To have so soon 'scap'd world's and flesh's rage,
And if no other misery, yet age?
Rest in soft peace, and, ask'd, say, "Here doth lie
Ben Jonson his best piece of poetry."
For whose sake henceforth all his vows be such,
As what he loves may never like too much.
It is Free