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Song: to celia,

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Hank Allison

on 17 April 2014

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Transcript of Song: to celia,

The title suggests that it is a song.
Song: to celia, Ben Jonson
Drink to me, only with your eyes,
And I will pledge with mine;
Or leave a kiss in the cup,
And I won't look for wine.

The thirst that comes from the soul does rise.
And asks for a divine drink.
But if I drink of Jove's nectar,
I would not trade you for it.

I sent you a late rosy wreath.
Not as honoring to you
As giving it hope, that there
it could not be withered.

But you only breathed on it
And sent it back to me,
Since when it grows, and smells, I swear,
Not of itself, but you.

Rhyme Scheme
Iambic Foot
The attitude is romantic and desperate. The poet is in love and is trying to convince his lover to express her love to him and prove that she can commit.
Song: To Celia
Drink to me only with thine eyes,
And I will pledge with mine;
Or leave a kiss but in the cup,
And I’ll not look for wine.
The thirst that from the soul doth rise
Doth ask a drink divine;
But might I of Jove’s nectar sup,
I would not change for thine.

I sent thee late a rosy wreath,
Not so much honouring thee
As giving it a hope, that there
It could not withered be.
But thou thereon didst only breathe,
And sent’st it back to me;
Since when it grows, and smells, I swear,
Not of itself, but thee.
Allusion & Metaphor
The poem is in a way a mini love song. The poet is so in love that he thinks the woman is so special she can keep a rosy wreath alive, but the poem also shows how love can sometimes let us down due to too high of expectations.
(Shmoop Editorial Team, 2008)
The poet uses the rosy wreath as a symbol of the high expectations and disapointment that often come with love.
"I sent thee late a rosy wreath,
Not so much honouring thee
As giving it a hope, that there
It could not withered be." (9-12)
He is so in love with her that he beleives she can keep the rosy wreath alive.
Rhyme Scheme
(Fineman, 2009)
In the first stanza the poet is using metaphors to allude that he needs his lover to commit acts of love to show that she is committed to him. (1-8)
Imploring & Solemn
Iambic Foot
taDUM taDUM taDUM (Fineman, 2009)
List of Sources Cited

Fineman K. R. April 24, 2009. Song: To Celia By Ben Johnson.
Writing and Ruminating.
Retrieved from
Jokinen, A. (2003) Life of Ben Jonson.
March 31, Retreived from
Shmoop Editorial Team. (2008, November 11).
Song to Celia
Drink to me only with thine eyes
Theme of Love.
Retrieved from
The shift comes after the first stanza.
It shifts from talking about love to talkingabout disappointment. It almost seems angry frustrated.
Analysis of "Song: to Celia" By Ben Jonson

AICE English Literature 1
Mrs. Beth Williams
Period 3
April 2, 2014
Author Background
Ben Jonsnon-
Born 1572
Son of Clergyman
Left for army served in Flanders, and returned when to England and got married to Anne Lewis.
Started with theatrical company of Philip Henslowe around 1597
Every Man in His Humour,
was performed in 1598 with William Shakespeare in the cast.
Same year he was arrested for
Isle of The Dogs
(Fleet Prison)
Tried for murder of a fellow actor the next year. He was released for benefit of clergy.
Song: To Celia
was first published in 1616
Died in 1673 at 65 years old. (Jokinen 2003)
The Poem
The poem is a love song
First published in 1616
Married to Anne Lewis in late 1590's
Poem was first put to music 1770
Full transcript