To Lucy, Countess of Bedford, with John Donne's Satires by Ben Jonson
Lucy, you brightness of our sphere, who are Life of the Muses' day, their morning star! If works, not th' author's, their own grace should look, Whose poems would not wish to be your book? But these, desir'd by you, the maker's ends Crown with their own. Rare poems ask rare friends. Yet satires, since the most of mankind be Their unavoided subject, fewest see; For none e'er took that pleasure in sin's sense But, when they heard it tax'd, took more offence. They, then, that living where the matter is bred, Dare for these poems, yet, both ask and read And like them too, must needfully, though few, Be of the best; and 'mongst those best are you, Lucy, you brightness of our sphere, who are The Muses' evening, as their morning star.