LibriVox volunteers bring you 12 recordings of To Celia by Ben Jonson (1573-1637). This was the Weekly Poetry project for March 6th – March 13th, 2011.
Benjamin Jonson was an English Renaissance dramatist, poet and actor. A contemporary of William Shakespeare, he is best known for his satirical plays, particularly Volpone, The Alchemist, and Bartholomew Fair, which are considered his best, and his lyric poems. A man of vast reading and a seemingly insatiable appetite for controversy, Jonson had an unparalleled breadth of influence on Jacobean and Caroline playwrights and poets.
To Celia is a poem first published after March 1616 by Ben Jonson. It was set to music after 1770, in the form of the song Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes, the poem’s first line.(summary by Wikipedia)
http://www.archive.org/download/to_celia_1103_librivox/tocelia_jonson_rn_64kb.mp3″Running time=1m 12s (mp3@64kb)
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.
This week’s poem can be found here.