Verse > Anthologies > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of English Verse
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Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. 1919. The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.
  
Ben Jonson. 1573–1637
  
190. A Farewell to the World
  
FALSE world, good night! since thou hast brought 
  That hour upon my morn of age; 
Henceforth I quit thee from my thought, 
  My part is ended on thy stage. 
 
Yes, threaten, do. Alas! I fear         5
  As little as I hope from thee: 
I know thou canst not show nor bear 
  More hatred than thou hast to me. 
 
My tender, first, and simple years 
  Thou didst abuse and then betray;  10
Since stir'd'st up jealousies and fears, 
  When all the causes were away. 
 
Then in a soil hast planted me 
  Where breathe the basest of thy fools; 
Where envious arts professèd be,  15
  And pride and ignorance the schools; 
 
Where nothing is examined, weigh'd, 
  But as 'tis rumour'd, so believed; 
Where every freedom is betray'd, 
  And every goodness tax'd or grieved.  20
 
But what we're born for, we must bear: 
  Our frail condition it is such 
That what to all may happen here, 
  If 't chance to me, I must not grutch. 
 
Else I my state should much mistake  25
  To harbour a divided thought 
From all my kind—that, for my sake, 
  There should a miracle be wrought. 
 
No, I do know that I was born 
  To age, misfortune, sickness, grief:  30
But I will bear these with that scorn 
  As shall not need thy false relief. 
 
Nor for my peace will I go far, 
  As wanderers do, that still do roam; 
But make my strengths, such as they are,  35
  Here in my bosom, and at home. 
 
 
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