The Poems of Ben Jonson
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The Poems of Ben Jonson

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Ben Jonson, who was with Shakespeare and Marlowe one of three principal playwrights of his age, was also one of its most original and influential poets. Known best for the country house poem 'To Penshurst' and his moving elegy 'On my First Son', his work inspired the whole generation of seventeenth-century poets who declared themselves the 'Sons of Ben'. This edition brings his three major publications, Epigrams (1616), The Forest (1616), and Underwood (1641) together with his large body of uncollected poems to create the largest collection of Jonson's verse that has been published. It thus gives readers a comprehensive view of the wide range of his achievement, from satirical epigrams through graceful lyrics to tender epitaphs. Though he is often seen as the preeminent English poet of the plain style, Jonson employed a wealth of topical and classical allusion and a compressed syntax which mean his poetry can require as much annotation for the modern reader as that of his friend John Donne. This edition not only provides comprehensive explanation and contextualization aimed at student and non-specialist readers alike, but presents the poems in a modern spelling and punctuation that brings Jonson's poetry to life.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 860 pages
  • 156 x 234mm | 454g
  • Routledge
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 9 Halftones, black and white; 9 Illustrations, black and white
  • 1138904716
  • 9781138904712

Table of contents

Contents





Note by the General Editors


Introduction


Acknowledgements


List of Illustrations


Chronological Table of Jonson's Life


Abbreviations


THE POEMS


POEMS 1597-1616


1 Song from The Case is Altered


2 From Thomas Palmer, The Sprite of Trees and Herbs


3 Prologus, Poem, Songs and Epilogus from Cynthia's Revels


4 From Nicholas Breton, Melancholic Humours. In Authorem


5 An Epistle to a Friend


6 From England's Parnassus: Murder. Peace. Riches


7 [On Thomas Nashe]


8 From Love's Martyr. The Phoenix Analysed. Ode


9 Prologue, Songs and Poems from Poetaster


10 Ode 'If men and times were now'


11 A Speech out of Lucan


12 From Hugh Holland, Pancharis. Ode


13 B. J. HIS PANEGYRE on the happy entrance of James our sovereign to his


first high session of Parliament


14 From Thomas Wright, The Passions of the Mind in General. To the Author


15 Prologue from Every Man in His Humour


16 Songs from The Masque of Blackness


17 Songs and Epithalamion from Hymenaei


18 Prologue, Songs and Epilogue from Volpone


19 Song from An Entertainment at Theobalds


20 Songs from The Entertainment for the Merchant Taylors Company


21 Songs from The Masque of Beauty


22 Song and Epithalanion from The Haddington Masque


23 Charms and Songs from The Masque of Queens


24 Song from The Entertainment at Britain's Burse


25 Epitaph on Cecilia Bulstrode


26 From John Fletcher, The Faithful Shepherdess. To the Worthy Author,


Master John Fletcher


27 Prologues and Song from Epicene


28 Songs from Oberon, The Fairy Prince


29 Songs from Love Freed from Ignorance and Folly


30 From Coryate's Crudities. Certain Opening and Drawing Distichs


The CHARACTER of the Famous Odcombian


To the Right Noble Tom Tell-Truth of His Travails


31 From Coryate's Crambe. Certain Verses Written Upon Coryate's Crudities


32 Songs from Love Restored


33 From Thomas Farnaby's Juvenal


34 From Thomas Farnaby's Persius


35 From Thomas Farnaby's Seneca


36 A Speech presented unto King James at a Tilting


37 From John Stephens, Cynthia's Revenge.


To His Much and Worthily Esteemed Friend the Author


38 To the Most Noble, and Above His Titles, Robert, Earl of Somerset


39 Songs from The Irish Masque at Court


40 From Christopher Brooke, The Ghost of Richard the Third.


To His Friend the Author Upon His Richard


41 From The Husband. To the Worthy Author on The Husband


42 Prologue, Songs and Epilogue from Bartholomew Fair


43 Song from Mercury Vindicated


44 Martial. [Epigram 10.47]


45 Songs from The Golden Age Restored


46 From William Browne, Britannia's Pastorals.


To my Truly-Beloved Friend, Master Browne On His Pastorals





EPIGRAMS.


TO THE GREAT EXAMPLE OF HONOUR AND VIRTUE THE MOST NOBLE WILLIAM, EARL OF PEMBROKE


1. To the Reader


2 To My Book


3 To My Bookseller


4 To King James


5 On the Union


6 To Alchemists


7 On the New Hot-House


8 On a Robbery


9 To All to Whom I Write


10 To My Lord Ignorant


11 On Something that Walks Somewhere


12 On Lieutenant Shift


13 To Doctor Empiric


14 To William Camden


15 On Court-Worm


16 To Brain-Hardy


17 To the Learned Critic


18 To My Mere English Censurer


19 On Sir Cod the Perfumed


20 To the Same Sir Cod


21 On Reformed Gamester


22 On My First Daughter


23 To John Donne


24 To the Parliament


25 On Sir Voluptuous Beast


26 On the Same Beast


27 On Sir John Roe


28 On Don Surly


29 To Sir Annual Tilter


30 To Person Guilty


31 On Bank the Usurer


32 On Sir John Roe


33 To the Same


34 Of Death


35 To King James


36 To the Ghost of Martial


37 On Cheverel the Lawyer


38 To Person Guilty


39 On Old Colt


40 On Margaret Ratcliffe


41 On Gypsy


42 On Giles and Joan


43 To Robert, Earl of Salisbury


44 On Chuff, Banks the Usurer's Kinsman


45 On My First Son


46 To Sir Luckless Woo-All


47 To the Same


48 On Mongrel Esquire


49 To Playwright


50 To Sir Cod


51 To King James, Upon the Happy False Rumour of his Death


52 To Censorious Courtling


53 To Old-End Gatherer


54 On Cheverel


55 To Francis Beaumont


56 On Poet-Ape


57 On Bawds and Usurers


58 To Groom Idiot


59 On Spies


60 To William, Lord Monteagle


61 To Fool, or Knave


62 To Fine Lady Would-Be


63 To Robert, Earl of Salisbury


64 To the Same, Upon the Accession of the Treasurership to Him


65 To My Muse


66 To Sir Henry Cary


67 To Thomas, Earl of Suffolk


68 On Playwright


69 To Pertinax Cob


70 To William Roe


71 On Court-Parrot


72 To Courtling


73 To Fine Grand


74 To Thomas, Lord Chancellor Egerton


75 On Lip the Teacher


76 On Lucy, Countess of Bedford


77 To One That Desired Me Not to Name Him


78 To Hornet


79 To Elizabeth, Countess of Rutland


80 Of Life and Death


81 To Prowl the Plagiary


82 On Cashiered Captain Surly


83 To a Friend


84 To Lucy, Countess of Bedford


85 To Sir Henry Goodyere


86 To the Same


87 On Captain Hazard the Cheater


88 On English Monsieur


89 To Edward Alleyn


90 On Mill, My Lady's Woman


91 To Sir Horace Vere


92 The New Cry


93 To Sir John Radcliffe


94 To Lucy, Countess of Bedford, With Master Donne's Satires


95 To Sir Henry Savile


96 To John Donne


97 On the New Motion


98 To Sir Thomas Roe


99 To the Same


100 On Playwright


101 Inviting a Friend to Supper


102 To William, Earl of Pembroke


103 To Mary, Lady Wroth


104 To Susan, Countess of Montgomery


105 To Mary, Lady Wroth


106 To Sir Edward Herbert


107 To Captain Hungry


108 To True Soldiers


109 To Sir Henry Neville


110 To Clement Edmondes, On his Caesar's Commentaries


111 To the Same, on the Same


112 To a Weak Gamester in Poetry


113 To Sir Thomas Overbury


114 To Mistress Philip Sidney


115 On the Town's Honest Man


116 To Sir William Jephson


117 On Groin


118 On Gut


119To Sir Rafe Shelton


120 Epitaph on S. P. a child of Q. Elizabeth's Chapel


121 To Benjamin Rudyerd


122 To the Same


123 To the Same


124 Epitaph on Elizabeth, L.H.


125 To Sir William Uvedale


126 To his lady, then Mistress Cary


127 To Esme, Lord Aubigny


128 To William Roe


129 To Mime


130 To Alfonso Ferrabosco, on his Book


131 To the Same


132 To Master Joshua Sylvester


133 On the Famous Voyage





THE FOREST


1 Why I Write Not of Love


2 To Penshurst


3 To Sir Robert Wroth


4 To the World: A Farewell for a Gentlewoman, virtuous and noble


5 Song To Celia


6 To the Same


7 Song That Women are but Men's Shadows


8 To Sickness


9 Song To Celia


10(a) Proludium


10 'And must I sing?'


11 Epode


12 Epistle To Elizabeth, Countess of Rutland


13 Epistle To Katherine, Lady Aubigny


14 Ode to Sir William Sidney, on his Birthday


15 To Heaven





POEMS 1616-1636


47 Songs from Christmas His Masque


48 Songs from The Vision of Delight


49 Songs from Pleasure Reconciled to Virtue


50 From George Chapman, The Georgics of Hesiod. To My Worthy and


Honoured Friend Master George Chapman


51.1 To Master Ben Jonson in his Journey By Master Craven.


51.2 This Was Master Ben Jonson's Answer of the Sudden


52.1 A Grace by Ben Jonson Extempore Before King James


52.2 A Form of a Grace


52.3 Ben Jonson's Grace before King James


53 Charles Cavendish to His Posterity


54 Leges Convivales Quod felix, faustumque in Apolline sit


55 Verses Over the Door at the Entrance into the Apollo


56 Songs from Pan's Anniversary, or The Shepherd's Holy-day


57 Songs from A Masque of the Metamorphosed Gypsies


58 Ballad from The Masque of Augurs


59 From James Mabbe, The Rogue. On the Author, Work, and Translator


60 From Mr William Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies.


To the Reader


61 From Mr William Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies.


To the Memory of My Beloved, The Author Master William Shakespeare


And What He Hath Left Us


62 Song from Neptune's Triumph


63 To the Memory of That Most Honoured Lady Jane,


Eldest Daughter to Cuthbert, Lord Ogle, and Countess of Shrewsbury


64 Prologues and Epilogue from The Staple of News


65 From Lucan's Pharsalia. To My Chosen Friend ... Thomas May, Esquire


66 From Michael Drayton, The Battle of Agincourt. The Vision of Ben Jonson


on the Muses of his Friend Michael Drayton


67 [Song. Death and Love Paralleled]


68 Prologue, Song and Epilogues from The New Inn


69 Ode to Himself


70 Epitaph on Katherine, Lady Ogle


71 From Sir John Beaumont, Bosworth Field. On the Honoured Poems


of His Honoured Friend, Sir John Beaumont, Baronet


72 From Edward Filmer, French Court Airs. To My Worthy Friend,


Master Edward Filmer, On His Work Published


73 Euclia's Hymn. From Love's Triumph Through Callipolis


74 Song from Chloridia


75 An Expostulation with Inigo Jones


76 To Inigo, Marquis Would-Be: A Corollary


77 To A Friend: An Epigram of Him


78.1 Epigram. To my kind friend Mr Ben: Johnson upon his epigram to the Lord Treasurer


78.2 To My Detractor


79 From The Northern Lass. To My Old Faithful Servant ... The Author


of this Work, Master Richard Brome


80.1 Mr Gil to Mr Ben: Johnson upon the occasion of his Magnetic Lady


80.2 [An Answer to Alexander Gil]


81 [A Song of Welcome to King Charles]


82 [A Song of the Moon]


83 Songs from The King's Entertainment at Welbeck


84 From Alice Sutcliffe, Meditations of Man's Mortality.


To Mistress Alice Sutcliffe, on Her Divine Meditations


85 From Joseph Rutter, The Shepherd's Holiday.


To My Dear Son and Right Learned Friend, Master Joseph Rutter


86 From Annalia Dubrensia. An Epigram to My Jovial Good Friend


Master Robert Dover





THE UNDERWOOD


TO THE READER


1.1 The Sinner's Sacrifice to the Holy Trinity


1.2 A Hymn to God the Father


1.3 A Hymn on the Nativity of My Saviour


2 A Celebration of Charis in Ten Lyric Pieces


2.1 His Excuse for Loving


2.2 How He Saw Her


2.3 What He Suffered


2.4 Her Triumph


2.5 His Discourse with Cupid


2.6 Claiming a Second Kiss by Desert


2.7 Begging Another, on Colour of Mending the Former


2.8 Urging Her of a Promise


2.9 Her Man Described by Her Own Dictamen


2.10 Another Lady's Exception, Present at the Hearing


3 The Musical Strife, in a Pastoral Dialogue


4 A Song


5 In the Person of Womankind: A Song Apologetic


6 Another: In Defence of their Inconstancy: A Song


7 A Nymph's Passion


8 The Hourglass


9 My Picture Left in Scotland


10 Against Jealousy


11 The Dream


12
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About Tom Cain

Tom Cain is Emeritus Professor of Early Modern Literature at Newcastle University. He has worked on Ben Jonson for many years, but has also written a study of Tolstoy (1977), edited Nicholas Hilliard's Art of Limning (1981), an anthology of Jacobean and Caroline Poetry (1981) and several collections of essays on the early modern period. In 2001 he published an edition of the large collection of manuscript poems left by Robert Herrick's patron, Mildmay Fane, Earl of Westmorland, and in 2013, with Ruth Connolly, he edited The Complete Poetry of Robert Herrick. He has written essays on Donne and Jonson, and edited Jonson's Poetaster for the Revels Plays (1995), and Sejanus for the Cambridge Works of Ben Jonson.


Ruth Connolly is Senior Lecturer in Seventeenth Century Literature at Newcastle University. She has written essays on the circulation of Stuart lyric poetry in manuscript, and on early modern women's writing and intellectual cultures, and on the poetry of Hester Pulter, Richard Lovelace, and of Jonson. In 2011 she edited with Tom Cain a collection of essays, 'Lords of Wine and Oile': Community and Conviviality in the Poetry of Robert Herrick, with Christopher Burlinson a special issue of Studies in English Literature 1500-1900 (Winter, 2012) on editing Stuart poetry. This was followed in 2013 by an edition with Tom Cain of The Complete Poetry of Robert Herrick, and special issues of The Seventeenth Century on Cavalier writing (2018), and (with Naomi McAreavey) of Literature Compass on the literatures of early modern Ireland (2019).
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