There is no greater love than that of a parent's for their child. Created by their own flesh and blood is their young, which whom the parents cares for from the time of the child's birth to the parents last dying days. So when a parent loses a child, pain and sorrow sweeps over the parent like a giant ocean wave as they passionately grieve. This passionate love for one's child is displayed in the poem On My First Son by Ben Jonson. The significance of the poem's sorrowful grievance tone is exemplified and apparent through Jonson's use of irony, metaphor, and word choice.
Jonson's sorrowful tone in the poem is expressed in the irony of the line, "my sin was too much hope of thee, loved boy." One senses Jonson's acceptance of the death, despite the state of grievance, he realizes that his son was only on loan to him and his death was therefore inevitable. Even though Jonson knew that his son's life would be short he loved him no lesser then he would a child who would live a fuller life. All the time and energy he exerted in the child's seven years of life seemed wasted, which fueled his anger of death because it seemed as though fate picked a day for his child to die and he could do nothing to stop it. Hinting that he might have known about the child's early fate and questioned his ability to still have a special bond with the child, Jonson seemed almost surprised. There lies the irony in Jonson's poem, which exemplifies the sorrowful tone in his grievance for his child by making the reader realize the irony of his situation and making them share his pain. .
Further exemplifying Jonson's tone of sorrowful grievance over his son is his use of metaphor when the boy is described as his fathers "best piece of poetry". Comparing his child to a poem, Jonson signifies in his own way that his son was the best thing in his life and his best creation, high above any poem he had ever written and more fulfilling and rewarding then any accolade he has ever received.