Collected Poems
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BEN JONSON ENTERTAINS A MAN FROM STRATFORD
Had left no roads and there are none, for him;
He doesn ' t see them, even with those eyes,
And that ' s a pity, or I say it is.
Accordingly we have him as we have him
Going his way, the way that he goes best,
A pleasant animal with no great noise
Or nonsense anywhere to set him off
Save only divers and inclement devils ,
Have made of late his heart their dwelling place. ' *
A flame half ready to fly out sometimes
At some annoyance may be fanned up in him,
But soon it falls, and when it falls goes out;
He knows how little room there is in there
For crude and futile animosities,
And how much for the joy of being whole,
And how much for long sorrow and old pain.
On our side there are some who may be given
To grow old wondering what he thinks of us
And some above us, who are, in his eyes,
Above himself, and that ' s quite right and English.
Yet here we smile, or disappoint the gods
Who made it so : the gods have always eyes
To see men scratch ; and they see one down here
Who itches, manor-bitten to the bone,
Albeit he knows himself yes, yes, he knows
The lord of more than England and of more
Than all the seas of England in all time
Shall ever wash. D ' ye wonder that I laugh?
He sees me, and he doesn ' t seem to care;
And why the devil should he ? I can ' t tell you.
I ' ll meet him out alone of a bright Sunday,
Trim, rather spruce, and quite the gentleman.
" What ho, my lord! " say I. He doesn ' t hear me;
Wherefore I have to pause and look at him.
He ' s not enormous, but one looks at him.
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