Ben Jonson

11 June 1572 – 6 August 1637 / London / England

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,
’Tis a virtue should not save her.
Thus, nor her delicates would cloy me,
Neither her peevishness annoy me.
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