by Ben Jonson (1572 - 1637)

Though I am young and cannot tell
Language: English 
Though I am young and cannot tell
Either what love or death is well,
Yet I have heard they both bear darts,
And both do aim at human hearts;
And then again I have been told,
Love wounds with heat, and death with cold;
So that I fear they do but bring
[Extreams]1 to touch, and mean one thing.

As in a ruin, we it call
One thing to be blown up, or fall;
Or to our end, like way [we]2 have,
By [a]3 flash of lightning, or a wave;
So love's inflamed shaft or brand,
May kill as soon as death's cold hand;
Except love's fires the virtue have
To fright the frost out of the grave.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 modernized to "Extremes"
2 Lanier: "may"
3 omitted by Gurney.

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Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive):


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 16
Word count: 118