In the Person of Womankind

A Song Apologetic

by Ben Jonson

Men, if you love us, play no more
   The fools or tyrants with your friends,
To make us still sing o'er and o'er
   Our own false praises, for your ends:
      We have both wits and fancies too,
      And, if we must, let's sing of you.

Nor do we doubt but that we can,
   If we would search with care and pain,
Find some one good in some one man;
   So going thorough all your strain,
      We shall, at last, of parcels make
      One good enough for a song's sake.

And as a cunning painter takes,
   In any curious piece you see,
More pleasure while the thing he makes,
   Than when 'tis made—why so will we.
      And having pleased our art, we'll try
      To make a new, and hang that by.

Monadnock Valley Press > Jonson