Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Elizabethan Verse
William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Elizabethan Verse.  1907.
Love and Death
By Ben Jonson (1572–1637)
THOUGH I am young and cannot tell
Either what Death or Love is well,
Yet I have heard they both bear darts,
And both do aim at human hearts;
And then again, I have been told,        5
Love wounds with heat, as Death with cold;
So that I fear they do but bring
Extremes to touch, and mean one thing.
As in a ruin we it call
One thing to be blown up, or fall;        10
Or to our end like way may have
By a flash of lightning, or a wave:
So Love’s inflamèd shaft or brand,
May kill as soon as Death’s cold hand;
Except Love’s fires the virtue have        15
To fright the frost out of the grave.

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