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On My First Daughter
Transcript of On My First Daughter
by Ben Jonson
The Author: Ben Jonson
English poet and playright of seventeenth century.
Meter and Rhyming
Uses epitaphic meter.
Feeling Behind It
Feeling of grief that slowly turns to calmness.
"Here lies, to each her parents’ ruth,
Mary, the daughter of their youth;
Yet all heaven’s gifts being heaven’s due,
It makes the father less to rue."
"At six months’ end she parted hence
With safety of her innocence;
Whose soul heaven’s queen, whose name she bears,
In comfort of her mother’s tears,"
"Hath placed amongst her virgin-train:
Where, while that severed doth remain,
This grave partakes the fleshly birth;
Which cover lightly, gentle earth!"
Birth: June 11, 1572
Death: August 6, 1637
Best known for his satirical plays.
Classical education in the English Renaissance.
Attended Cambridge to become a better reader.
Went to Westminster and learned to be a devout Protestant in childhood.
Had numerous strokes before dying in of one.
Has iambic tetrameter couplets.
Uses punctuation at the end of each of his couplets to display the effect of the poem.
Stressed sylable at the end of each line.
Rhyming is masculine, but the poem is feminine in subject.
Rhymes last syllable of each couplet.
Iambic tetrameter with acception of one line in iambic pentameter.
Couplets give off the melancholy state of th poem.
Sounds blunt, displaying the sadder mood of the poem.
Fatherly absence is present in the first line with "Here Lies." Usually found on gravestones.
Jonson feels that a part of him is missing when he loses his daughter.
Poem turns calm when the author realizes that his daughter is a gift from Heaven.
Here lies Mary (reading gravestone), she was born when her parents were really young, she was a gift from Heaven and has returned there, Jonson has regret that he couldn't save her.
The baby was 6 months old when she died, her innocence secures her spot in Heaven, she has the name of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, her safety comforts the mourning of her mother.
Mary was a virgin when she died like the Mother of Jesus, the death of Jonson's first-born daughter still cuts deep after she's gone, she has been taken to Heaven but her parents must stay on Earth, they place the body in a grave and ask the dirt to cover her with care.
Mojtaba. "Ben Johnson, On My First Daughter." Scribd.com. Scribd, 13 May 2012. Web. 19 May 2014.
On My First Daughter vs. On My First Son. Blogspot.com, 4 Mar. 2008. Web. 19 May 2014.
Wilkerson, Ben D.B. "Responses to Jonson, Wroth, and Herbert." Essays of a Young Philologist. Wordpress.com, 8 Mar. 2011. Web. 19 May 2014.