“On My First Daughter” Ben Jonson


“On My First Daughter” is written by Ben Jonson. This poem was first posted in Jonson’s 1616 folio, however, it was most possibly written in 1593. In his poetry, the writer exposes his grief over his toddler daughter’s early death and tries to find consolation in the belief of Christian about heaven.


Here lies, much to the sorrow of Mary’s parents. Her parents had whilst they were young. The information that Mary’s birth becomes a gift from heaven and that heaven’s gifts must eventually be returned to heaven makes Mary’s father sense a little less sad. She died whilst she changed into the handiest six months old after having been baptized, so now she is secure in heaven.

Mary, the virgin mother of Jesus and the Queen of Heaven, has helped to consolation the toddler Mary’s mother via cautiously placing the child amongst her protected series of souls in heaven. Up in heaven, while the toddler Mary’s body stays buried below, her soul is born anew from her earthly grave. The dirt of her grave, please cover the infant’s body gently!



Religion as Comfort

In “On My First Daughter,” the speaker laments the loss of his toddler daughter. Throughout the poem, the speaker’s religious beliefs approximately a heavenly afterlife act as a shape of consolation. The poem, then, ultimately indicates the power of religion to consolation human beings in instances of great loss.

He then goes on to be aware that knowing that his daughter’s soul is at peace “makes the fatherless to rue.” In different words, he feels “much less” grief with the understanding that his daughter’s soul is in heaven. Though he really nevertheless feels ache, religion has softened its edges.

His daughter’s soul lives with different harmless souls underneath the watchful gaze of a loving heavenly mother, despite the fact that the child Mary can be out of sight of her earthly mother and father.

The speaker of “On My First Daughter” hence makes a strong argument that the heavenly grace surrounding his deceased daughter’s soul should lift the spirits of her dad and mom again on earth. In fact, this turn toward religious teachings would possibly even recommend that he need not best prevent grieving, but in truth be grateful that his daughter is in a higher place. However, it’s doubtful how successful the speaker genuinely is at convincing himself of this consolation.

The Persistence of Grief

The poem illustrates the nature of grief and indicates that the ache caused by a baby’s death. Some grief, the poem implies, is clearly too incredible even for spiritual beliefs about heaven and the afterlife to completely relieve.

The beginning of the poem establishes the chronic grief of the speaker and his wife. The beginning words, “Here lies,” remind readers of an inscription on a tombstone. Speaker is going on to give an explanation for that his daughter Mary died at simply six months antique. Naturally, the dying of a baby will usually be tragic. But,  the speaker’s attention on how early her demise turned into. The concept of “ruth,” which is an archaic phrase to explain grief or sorrow.

Even after presenting sure spiritual ideals as a shape of comfort, the speaker keeps an emotional and almost sour tone.

The speaker appears to relate heaven to a bank with his daughter as an economic transaction to a human being. He seems to preserve some resentment toward God for his daughter’s demise. Despite the fact that he announces he must owe God thank you for her birth within the first place.

The speaker of “On My First Daughter” makes a robust argument that the heavenly grace surrounding. His deceased daughter’s soul ought to elevate the spirits of her dad and mom again on earth. However, his feedback exhibits his grief anyway. The speaker shows that religious beliefs can be a source of consolation. He determined experiences something as tragic as the lack of a baby, it’s miles hard to see beyond second-to-second sorrow.



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