Verse > Anthologies > Harvard Classics > English Poetry I: From Chaucer to Gray
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   English Poetry I: From Chaucer to Gray.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
152. The Noble Nature
 
Ben Jonson (1573–1637)
 
 
IT is not growing like a tree
In bulk, doth make Man better be;
Or standing long an oak, three hundred year,
To fall a log at last, dry, bald, and sere:
      A lily of a day        5
      Is fairer far in May,
  Although it fall and die that night—
  It was the plant and flower of Light
In small proportions we just beauties see;
And in short measures life may perfect be.        10
 

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