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Background to the Poem
and Poet
·Born on the 11th June 1572, Died on the 6th
August 1637.
·Born in Westminster, London, attended St.
Martin's parish school and Westminster School.
Eldest daughter Mary died in November, 1593 ­six
months old and his eldest son Benjamin died of the
plague ten years after…read more

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An elegy - a poem of sorrow about a father's grief for his
dead son.
On my first Sonne
The poem is about the
death of the poet's
son, Benjamin, age 7
In 1603 Jonson left London to
stay at a country house.
Their was a plague which broke
out in London and Jonson's wife
wrote to tell him his son had died.…read more

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"Thou" second person singular pronoun used
here rather than "you' to express closeness of
Son addressed "Benjamin" linked to
directly, saying Hebrew words ` right
goodbye hand'
Farewell, thou child of my right hand, and joy;
My sinne was too much hope of thee, lov'd boy
Error or mistake but with religious What is the poet
significance suggesting?…read more

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What does he mean "lent to
me"? What is the poet
Seven yeeres thou wert lent to me, and I thee pay,
Exacted by thy fate, on the just day
Demanded or
fined Has to be paid back ­ `just'
could mean the correct or
exact time. What else
could it mean?…read more

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The poet is suggesting
that he wants to stop
being a father.
O, could I loose all father, now. For why
Will man lament the state he should envie?
What does
"lament" mean? Death as a relief from all the
problems of life, being at one
with God…read more

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