Benjamin Jonson

To Lucy, Countess of Bedford, with John Donne's Satires

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Lucy, you brightness of our sphere, who are
Life of the Muses' day, their morning star!
If works, not th' author's, their own grace should look,
Whose poems would not wish to be your book?
But these, desir'd by you, the maker's ends
Crown with their own. Rare poems ask rare friends.
Yet satires, since the most of mankind be
Their unavoided subject, fewest see;
For none e'er took that pleasure in sin's sense
But, when they heard it tax'd, took more offence.
They, then, that living where the matter is bred,
Dare for these poems, yet, both ask and read
And like them too, must needfully, though few,
Be of the best; and 'mongst those best are you,
Lucy, you brightness of our sphere, who are
The Muses' evening, as their morning star.

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