Wide World of Quotes > Samuel Johnson Quotes

Ben Jonson
English dramatist and poet
(c. 1573 - 1637)

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Come my Celia, let us prove,
While we can, the sports of love;
Time will not be ours forever,
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.
-- "Song, To Celia", lines 1-10.

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 honoring 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.
-- "Song, To Celia", lines 1-16.

Soul of the age!
The applause, delight, the wonder of our stage!
My Shakespeare, rise; I will not lodge thee by
Chaucer or Spenser, or bid Beaumont lie
A little further, to make thee a room;
Thou art a monument, without a tomb,
And art alive still, while thy book doth live,
And we have wits to read, and praise to give.
-- "To the Memory of My Beloved, the Author, Mr. William Shakespeare" (1618), lines 17-24

He was not of an age, but for all time!
-- "To the Memory of My Beloved, the Author, Mr. William Shakespeare" (1618), line 43

Art hath an enemy call'd ignorance.
-- "Every Man out of His Humour" (1598), Act I, scene 1.

Calumnies are answered best with silence.
-- Volpone (1606), Act II, scene ii.

Thou look'st like Antichrist in that lewd hat.
-- The Alchemist (1610), Act IV, scene vii.

I now think, Love is rather deaf, than blind,
For else it could not be,
That she,
Whom I adore so much, should so slight me,
And cast my love behind.
-- Underwoods, IX, "My Picture Left in Scotland", lines 1-5.

Where dost thou careless lie,
Buried in ease and sloth?
Knowledge that sleeps, doth die;
And this security,
It is the common moth,
That eats on wits and arts, and oft destroys them both.
-- Underwoods, XXIII, "An Ode, to Himself", lines 1-6.

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The selection of the above quotes and the writing of the accompanying notes was performed by the author David Paul Wagner.

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