Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Never Like Too Much

I wondered yesterday if I was a hard-hearted soul for pitying a mother's loss rather than the loss of life of her child, (if a baby penguin can be classed as a child - is 'child' purely applicable to humans? Discuss). I've since rationalised myself into believing that I was just taking the Ben Jonson view - ie that it's misery for a parent to lose a child, but for the child itself, death means they have 'so soon 'scap'd world's and flesh's rage':

Farewell, thou child of my right hand, and joy;
My sin was too much hope of thee, lov'd boy.
Seven years tho' wert lent to me, and I thee pay,
Exacted by thy fate, on the just day.
O, could I lose all father now! For why
Will man lament the state he should envy?
To have so soon 'scap'd world's and flesh's rage,
And if no other misery, yet age?
Rest in soft peace, and, ask'd, say, "Here doth lie
Ben Jonson his best piece of poetry."
For whose sake henceforth all his vows be such,
As what he loves may never like too much.

Within what is a truly beautiful and very moving poem, the phrase 'Rest in soft peace' has always particularly touched me.

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