Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. II. Ben Jonson to Dryden
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. II. The Seventeenth Century: Ben Jonson to Dryden
 
Song: ‘Still to be neat, still to be drest’ (from Epicæne)
By Ben Jonson (1572–1637)
 
[From Epicæne; or, The Silent Woman, Act I, Sc. 1; 1609.]

STILL 1 to be neat, still to be drest,
As you were going to a feast;
Still to be powdered, still perfumed:
Lady, it is to be presumed,
Though art’s hid causes are not found,        5
All is not sweet, all is not sound.
 
Give me a look, give me a face,
That makes simplicity a grace;
Robes loosely flowing, hair as free:
Such sweet neglect more taketh me        10
Than all the adulteries of art:
They strike mine eyes, but not my heart.
 
Note 1. A translation from the Latin of Bonnefonius (Jean Bonnefons). [back]
 
 
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