Ben Jonson

11 June 1572 – 6 August 1637 / London / England

To My Book

It will be looked for, book, when some but see
 Thy title,
, and named of me,
Thou should'st be bold, licentious, full of gall,
 Wormwood and sulphur, sharp and toothed withal,
Become a petulant thing, hurl ink and wit
 As madmen stones, not caring whom they hit.
Deceive their malice who could wish it so,
 And by thy wiser temper let men know
Thou art not covetous of least self-fame
 Made from the hazard of another's shame-
Much less with lewd, profane, and beastly phrase
 To catch the world's loose laughter or vain gaze.
He that departs with his own honesty
 For vulgar praise, doth it too dearly buy.
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