I now think love is rather deaf, than blind, For else it could not be, That she, Whom I adore so much, should so slight me, And cast my love behind: I'm sure my language was as sweet, And every close did meet In sentence of as subtle feet As hath the youngest he, That sits in shadow of Apollo's tree. Oh, but my conscious fears, That fly my thoughts between, Tell me that she hath seen My hundreds of gray hairs, Told seven and forty years, Read so much waist, as she cannot embrace My mountain belly and my rock face, As all these, through her eyes, have stopt her ears.
Ben Jonson - 1572-1637
His Excuse for Loving
Let it not your wonder move, Less your laughter, that I love. Though I now write fifty years, I have had, and have, my peers. Poets, though divine, are men; Some have loved as old again. And it is not always face, Clothes, or fortune gives the grace, Or the feature, or the youth; But the language and the truth, With the ardor and the passion, Gives the lover weight and fashion. If you then would hear the story, First, prepare you to be sorry That you never knew till now Either whom to love or how; But be glad as soon with me When you hear that this is she Of whose beauty it was sung, She shall make the old man young, Keep the middle age at stay, And let nothing hide decay, Till she be the reason why All the world for love may die.