19 March 2013
There and Gone
One who is to read this story can interpret it in two ways. One way is that Ben Jonson has had his son’s life taken from him at the age of seven years old and his name was Benjamin. We are able to figure this out when he puts it in a Hebrew context and says “child of my right hand;” this is the Hebrew translation for the name Benjamin. Now his father is writing a poem about his son and is grieving over it and all the wrong he felt he did in just the little amount of time he was given with his son. No parent should have to go through the loss of a child especially with them being so young. Or it can be looked at in the way of God and Jesus’ relationship: Jesus, when he was old enough, gave his life to God and was able to perform the works of God for Seven years until one day he was caught and condemned to death. Now God is saying you have served at my right hand as it is said “thou child of my right hand,” (457). He was given these years here on earth and now the time has come, all the joy and love you have brought to mankind now on earth.
Benjamin died on his birthday, the exact day he was born, at that, which makes the matter even worse because when the child’s birthday comes up, if you chose to keep celebrating, you would also have to mourn his death. It seems almost impossible to imagine, to be in a parent’s position as Ben Jonson writes “Will man lament the state he should envy,” (458). What he is saying he hopes that no man or woman should envy the position that he is in. For losing a child is something that every good parent fears of happening. The way that he ends it seems just bit epic to a reader who is understands this poem when Jonson says “Rest in soft peace, and asked, 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,” (458) What he means by this is if anyone is to ask...
Cited: Jonson, Ben, “On My First Son.” Literature: A portable Anothlogy Janet E. Gardner, Beverly Lawn, Jack Ridl, and Peter Shackel, eds. 3rd ed. Boston: Bedford/St.Martins, 2013. N. pag. 457-458 Print.
Horton, Ronald H. " 'On My First Son ' Analysis." British Literature (2010): 1+. Web. 21 Mar. 2013. <http://n8a0m8i.blogspot.com/2010/11/on-my-first-son-analysis.html>.
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