Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Elizabethan Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Elizabethan Verse.  1907.
 
A Farewell to the World
By Ben Jonson (1572–1637)
 
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 ’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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