On My First Daughter

A poem by Ben Jonson

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.

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