Home  »  library  »  poem  »  The Noble Nature

C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

The Noble Nature

By Ben Jonson (1572–1637)

IT is not growing like a tree

In bulk doth make man better be;

Or standing long an oak, three hundred year,

To fall a log at last, dry, bald, and sere;

A lily of a day

Is fairer far in May,

Although it fall and die that night:

It was the plant and flower of Light,

In small proportions we just beauties see;

And in short measures life may perfect be.