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Editor's Selection of Poems
To My Book

by Ben Jonson

It will be looked for, book, when some but see
    Thy title, Epigrams, and named of me,
Thou should'st be bold, licentious, full of gall,
    Wormwood and sulphur, sharp, and toothed withal ;
Become a petulant thing, hurl ink and wit
    As madmen stones, not caring whom they hit.
Deceive their malice, who could wish it so.
    And by thy wiser temper, let men know
Thou art not so covetous of least self-fame
    Made from the hazard of another's shame ;
Much less, with lewd, profane, and beastly phrase,
    To catch the world's loose laughter, or vain gaze.
He that departs with his own honesty
    For vulgar praise, doth it too dearly buy.
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