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The Complete Poetry and Selected Prose of John Donne,9780375757341

The Complete Poetry and Selected Prose of John Donne

by
Format: Trade Paper
Pub. Date: 8/14/2001
Publisher(s): Modern Library
Availability: This title is currently not available.

Summary

This Modern Library edition contains all of John Donne's great metaphysical love poetry. Here are such well-known songs and sonnets as "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning," "The Extasie," and "A Nocturnall Upon S. Lucies Day," along with the love elegies "Jealosie," "His Parting From Her," and "To His Mistris Going to Bed." Presented as well are Donne's satires, epigrams, verse letters, and holy sonnets, along with his most ambitious and important poems, the Anniversaries. In addition, there is a generous sampling of Donne's prose, including many of his private letters;Ignatius His Conclave,a satiric onslaught on the Jesuits; excerpts fromBiathanatos,his celebrated defense of suicide; and his most famous sermons, concluding with the final "Death's Duell." "We have only to read [Donne]," wrote Virginia Woolf, "to submit to the sound of that passionate and penetrating voice, and his figure rises again across the waste of the years more erect, more imperious, more inscrutable than any of his time."

Author Biography

Denis Donoghue is University Professor and Henry James Chair of English and American Letters at New York University. He is the author of more than a dozen books, including, most recently, <b>Words Alone: The Poet T.S. Eliot</b> (Yale University Press).

Table of Contents

Biographical Note v
Introduction xxi
Denis Donoghue
POETRY
The Printer to the Understanders
3(2)
Hexastichon Bibliopolx
4(1)
Hexastichon ad Bibliopolam
4(1)
Dedication to the Edition of 1650
5(3)
To John Donne
6(1)
To Lucy, Countesse of Bedford, with M. Donnes Satyres
6(1)
To John Donne
7(1)
Songs and Sonets
8(48)
The Good-Morrow
8(1)
Song. ``Goe, and catche a falling starre''
8(1)
Womans Constancy
9(1)
The Undertaking
10(1)
The Sunne Rising
11(1)
The Indifferent
11(1)
Loves Usury
12(1)
The Canonization
13(1)
The Triple Foole
14(1)
Lovers Infinitenesse
15(1)
Song. ``Sweetest love, I do not goe''
16(1)
The Legacie
17(1)
A feaver
18(1)
Aire and Angels
19(1)
Breake of Day
19(1)
The Anniversarie
20(1)
A Valediction: Of My Name, in the Window
21(2)
Twicknam Garden
23(1)
A Valediction: Of the Booke
24(2)
Communitie
26(1)
Loves Growth
26(1)
Loves Exchange
27(1)
Confined Love
28(1)
The Dreame
29(1)
A Valediction: Of Weeping
30(1)
Loves Alchymie
31(1)
The Flea
31(1)
The Curse
32(1)
The Message
33(1)
A Nocturnall Upon S. Lucies Day, Being the Shortest Day
34(1)
Witchcraft by a Picture
35(1)
The Baite
36(1)
The Apparition
36(1)
The Broken Heart
37(1)
A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning
38(1)
The Extasie
39(2)
Loves Deitie
41(1)
Loves Diet
42(1)
The Will
43(1)
The Funerall
44(1)
The Blossome
45(1)
The Primrose, Being at Montgomery Castle, Upon the Hill, on Which It Is Situate
46(1)
The Relique
47(1)
The Dampe
48(1)
The Dissolution
49(1)
A Jeat Ring Sent
49(1)
Negative Love
50(1)
The Prohibition
50(1)
The Expiration
51(1)
The Computation
51(1)
The Paradox
52(1)
Farewell to Love
52(1)
A Lecture Upon the Shadow
53(1)
Sonnet. The Token
54(1)
Selfe Love
55(1)
Elegies and Heroicall Epistle
56(34)
Elegie I. Jealosie
56(1)
Elegie II. The Anagram
57(1)
Elegie III. Change
58(1)
Elegie IV. The Perfume
59(2)
Elegie V. His Picture
61(1)
Elegie VI. Oh, let mee not serve so
62(1)
Elegie VII. Natures lay Ideot
63(1)
Elegie VIII. The Comparison
64(1)
Elegie IX. The Autumbnall
65(2)
Elegie X. The Dreame
67(1)
Elegie XI. The Bracelet
68(3)
Elegie XII. His Parting from Her
71(2)
Elegie XIII. Julia
73(1)
Elegie XIV. A Tale of a Citizen and His Wife
74(2)
Elegie XV. The Expostulation
76(2)
Elegie XVI. On His Mistris
78(2)
Elegie XVII. Variety
80(2)
Elegie XVIII. Loves Progress
82(3)
Elegie XIX. To His Mistris Going to Bed
85(1)
Elegie XX. Loves Warre
86(1)
Heroicall Epistle. Sapho to Philnis
87(3)
Epigrams
90(4)
Hero And Leander
90(1)
Pyramus and Thisbe
90(1)
Niobe
90(1)
A Burnt Ship
90(1)
Fall of a Wall
90(1)
A Lame Begger
91(1)
Cales and Guyana
91(1)
Sir John Wingefield
91(1)
A Selfe Accuser
91(1)
A Licentious Person
91(1)
Antiquary
91(1)
Disinherited
91(1)
Phryne
92(1)
An Obscure Writer
92(1)
Klockius
92(1)
Raderus
92(1)
Mercurius Gallo-Belgicus
92(1)
Ralphius
92(1)
The Lier
93(1)
Satyres
94(20)
Satyre I. Away thou fondling motley humorist
94(3)
Satyre II. Sir; though (I thanke God for it) I do hate
97(3)
Satyre III. Kinde pitty chokes my spleene
100(3)
Satyre IV. Well; I may now receive, and die
103(6)
Satyre V. Thou shalt not laugh in this leafe, Muse
109(2)
Upon Mr. Thomas Coryats Crudities
111(2)
In Eundem Macaronicon
113(1)
Infinitati Sacrum (Metempsychosis)
114(18)
Epistle
114(1)
The Progresse of the Soule
115(17)
Verse Letters to Severall Personages
132(43)
The Storme. To Mr. Christopher Brooke
132(2)
The Calme
134(1)
To Sir Henry Wotton. ``Sir, more than kisses''
135(2)
To Sir Henry Wootton. ``Here's no more newes, than vertue''
137(1)
Henrico Wottoni In Hibernia Belligeranti. ``Went you to conquer?''
138(1)
To Mr. T. W. [Thomas Woodward?] ``All haile sweet Poet''
139(1)
To Mr. T. W. [Thomas Woodward] ``Haste thee harsh verse''
140(1)
To Mr. T. W. [Thomas Woodward] ``Pregnant again with th'old twins Hope, and Feare''
140(1)
To Mr. T. W. [Thomas Woodward] ``At once, from hence''
140(1)
To Mr. R. W. [Rowland Woodward] ``Zealously my Muse''
141(1)
To Mr. R. W. [Rowland Woodward] ``Muse not that by thy Mind''
141(1)
To Mr. C. B. [Christopher Brooke] ``Thy friend, Whom thy deserts''
142(1)
To Mr. E. G. [Edward Guilpin?] ``Even as lame things thirst''
142(1)
To Mr. R. W. [Rowland Woodward] ``If, a mine is, thy life a slumber be''
143(1)
To Mr. R. W. [Rowland Woodward] ``Kindly I envy thy songs perfection''
144(1)
To Mr. S. B. [Samuel Brooke] ``O thou which to search out the secret parts''
144(1)
To Mr. I. L. ``Of that short Roll of friends''
144(1)
To Mr. I. L. ``Blest are your North parts''
145(1)
To Mr. B. B. ``Is not thy sacred hunger of Science''
146(1)
To the Countesse of Huntingdon. ``That unripe side of earth''
146(4)
To Sir H[enry] W [otton] At His Going Ambassador to Venice. ``After those reverend papers''
150(1)
To Mrs. M. H. [Magdalen Herbert] ``Mad paper stay''
151(2)
To Sir Henry Goodyere. ``Who makes the Past''
153(1)
To Mr. Rowland Woodward. ``Like one who' in her third widdowhood''
154(1)
To the Countesse of Bedford. ``Reason is our Soules left hand''
155(1)
To the Countesse of Bedford. ``You have refin'd mee''
156(2)
To Sir Edward Herbert at Julyers. ``Man is a lumpe, where all beasts kneaded bee''
158(2)
To the Countesse of Bedford. ``T'have written then, when you writ''
160(2)
To the Countesse of Bedford. On New-yeares day. ``This twilight of two yeares''
162(2)
To the Lady Bedford. ``You that are she''
164(1)
To the Countesse of Bedford. ``Honour is so sublime perfection''
165(2)
To the Countesse of Bedford. Begun in France but never Perfected. ``Though I be dead, and buried''
167(1)
A Letter to the Lady Carey and Mrs. Essex Riche, From Amyens. ``Here where by All All Saints Invoked are''
168(2)
To the Countesse of Huntingdon. ``Man to Gods image, Eve, to mans was made''
170(2)
To the Countesse of Salisbury. August, 1614. ``Faire, great, and good''
172(3)
Epithalamions, or Marriage Songs
175(14)
Epithalamion Made at Lincolnes Inne
175(2)
An Epithalamion, or Mariage Song on the Lady Elizabeth, and Count Palatine Being married on St. Valentines Day
177(4)
Ecclogue. 1613. December 26
181(3)
Epithalamion
184(5)
A Funerall Elegie and the First and Second Anniversaries
189(32)
A Funerall Elegie
189(3)
To the Praise of the Dead, and the Anatomie
192(1)
An Anatomie of the World---The First Anniversary
193(13)
The Harbinger to the Progresse
206(1)
Of the Progresse of the Soule---The Second Anniversary
207(14)
Epicedes and Obsequies Upon the Deaths of Sundry Personages and Epitaphs
221(18)
Elegie on the L. C. [Lord Chamberlain]
221(1)
Elegie on the Lady Marckham
222(1)
Elegie on Mistris Boulstred
223(2)
Elegie. Death
225(2)
Elegie on the Untimely Death of the Incomparable Prince Henry
227(3)
Obsequies to the Lord Harrington, Brother to the Lady Lucy, Countesse of Bedford
230(7)
An Hymne to the Saints, and to Marquesse Hamylton
237(2)
Epitaphs
239(2)
Epitaph on Himselfe
239(1)
Omnibus
239(2)
Divine Poems
241(43)
To E. of D. [The Earl of Dorset?] With Six Holy Sonnets
241(1)
To the Lady Magdalen Herbert: Of St. Mary Magdalen
241(1)
Holy Sonnets
242(3)
La Corona
242(1)
Annunciation
242(1)
Nativitie
243(1)
Temple
243(1)
Crucifying
244(1)
Resurrection
244(1)
Ascention
245(1)
The Crosse
245(2)
Resurrection, Imperfect
247(1)
Upon the Annuntiation and Passion Falling upon One Day. 1608
247(2)
The Litanie
249(8)
Goodfriday, 1613. Riding Westward
257(1)
Holy Sonnets
258(8)
Thou hast made me, And shall thy worke decay?
258(1)
As due by many titles I resigne
259(1)
O might those sighes and teares returne againe
259(1)
Oh my blacke Soule!
260(1)
I am a little world made cunningly
260(1)
This is my playes last scene
261(1)
At the round earths imagin'd corners
261(1)
If faithfull soules
261(1)
If poysonous mineralls
262(1)
Death be not proud
262(1)
Spit in my face you Jewes
263(1)
Why are wee by all creatures waited on?
263(1)
What if this present were the worlds last night?
263(1)
Batter my heart, three person'd God
264(1)
Wilt thou love God, as he thee?
264(1)
Father, part of his double interest
265(1)
Since she whom I lov'd hath payd
265(1)
Show me deare Christ, thy Spouse
265(1)
Oh, to vex me, contraryes meet in one
266(1)
Upon the Translation of the Psalmes By Sir Philip Sydney, and the Countesse of Pembroke His Sister
266(2)
To Mr. Tilman After He Had Taken Orders
268(1)
A Hymne to Christ, at the Authors Last Going Into Germany
269(1)
The Lamentations of Jeremy, for the Most Part According to Tremelius
270(12)
A Hymne to God the Father
282(1)
Hymne to God My God, in My Sicknesse
282(2)
Latin Poems and Translations
284(4)
De Libro Cum Mutuaretur Impresso ...
284(1)
Epigramma
284(1)
Amicissimo, Et Meritissimo Ben. Jonson
285(1)
To Mr. George Herbert, With One of My Seals, of the Anchor and Christ
285(1)
Translated Out of Gazus
286(2)
From Elegies Upon the Author
288(7)
An Elegie Upon Dr. Donne
288(2)
Izaak Walton
An Elegie Upon the Death of the Deane Of Pauls, Dr. John Donne
290(5)
Thomas Carew
PROSE
From Juvenilia: or Certaine Paradoxes, and Problems
295(1)
Paradoxes
295(11)
A Defence of Womens Inconstancy
295(2)
That Women Ought to Paint
297(1)
That Good Is More Common Than Evil
298(1)
That It Is Possible to Finde Some Vertue in Some Women
299(1)
That Nature Is Our Worst Guide
299(2)
That a Wise Man Is Known by Much Laughing
301(1)
That the Gifts of the Body Are Better Than Those of the Minde
302(1)
That Virginity Is a Vertue
303(3)
Problemes
306(4)
Why Puritans Make Long Sermons?
306(1)
Why Doe Young Lay-Men So Much Studie Divinity
306(1)
Why Hath the Common Opinion Afforded Women Soules?
307(1)
Why Venus-Starre Onely Doth Cast a Shadow?
307(1)
Why Is Venus-Star Multinominous, Called Both Hesperus and Vesper?
308(1)
Why Doth the Poxe Soe Much Affect to Undermine the Nose?
309(1)
Why Are Courtiers Sooner Atheists Than Men of Other Conditions?
310(1)
Characters, Essay, and Conceited Newes
310(22)
The Character of a Scot at the First Sight
310(1)
The True Character of a Dunce
311(1)
An Essay of Valour
312(3)
Newes from the Very Countrey
315(2)
From BIAΘANATOΣ
317(7)
From PSEUDO-MARTYR
324(8)
Ignatius His Conclave
332(39)
From Essayes in Divinity
371(6)
Five Prayers
371(6)
From Letters
377(44)
[To---?]
377(1)
[To Sir Henry Wotton?]
377(1)
[To Sir Henry Wotton?]
378(2)
To Sir George More
380(2)
To Sir Thomas Egerton
382(1)
To Sir [Henry Goodyer]
383(1)
To Sir H[enry]. G[oodyer]
384(1)
To Sir H[enry]. G[oodyer]
385(2)
To Sir H[enry]. Goodere
387(2)
A V[uestra] Merced [To Sir Henry Goodyer?]
389(1)
To Sir H[enry]. G[oodyer]
390(1)
[To the Countess of Bedford?]
391(1)
To the Prince [of Wales]
392(1)
To My Honoured Friend G[eorge]. G[arrard]. Esquire
393(1)
In Kindnesse Sent to an Absent Friend [To George Garrard?]
394(1)
To the Honorable Kt. Sir Edward Herbert
394(1)
With a Kind of Labour'd Complement, to a Friend of His
395(1)
To My Very True and Very Good Friend Sir Henry Goodere
396(2)
To Sir Robert Carre Now Earle of Ankerum, With My Book Biathanatos at My Going into Germany
398(1)
To His Mother: Comforting Her After the Death of Her Daughter
398(2)
To Sir H. [Goodyer?]
400(1)
To the R: Honorable Sir Thomas Roe, Ambassador for His Majestie of Great Britaine to the Grand Seignor
401(2)
To the Most Honourable and My Most Honored Lord, the Marquis of Buckingham
403(1)
To the Honourable Knight, Sir Robert Care
404(1)
To a Lord, Upon Presenting of Some of His Work to Him
405(1)
To Sir Robert Carre Knight, When he was in Spain; about severall matters
405(1)
To the Honourable Lady the Lady Kingsmel Upon the Death of Her Husband
406(2)
To the Honourable Kt and My Most Honoured Friend Sir Henry Wotton, Provost of Eton
408(1)
To [Sir Thomas Roe?]
408(3)
To the Right Honourable Sir Robert Karre, At Court
411(1)
To Mrs. Cockaine, Occasioned by the Report of His Death
412(1)
[To Mrs. Cokain]
413(1)
[To Mrs. Cokain]
414(2)
To My Honoured Friend G[eorge]. G[arrard]. Esquire
416(1)
[To George Garrard]
416(1)
To My Noble Friend Mistress Cokain At Ashburne
417(1)
[To Mrs. Cokain]
418(3)
From Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions
421(41)
From The Sermons and Death's Duell
462(129)
Preached On All-Saints Day
462(1)
Preached upon the Penitentiall Psalmes (Ps. xxxii)
463(1)
Preached upon the Penitentiall Psalmes (Ps. xxxii)
463(4)
Preached at St. Paul's
467(1)
Preached at Whitehall
468(1)
Lincolns Inne
469(3)
Lincolns Inne
472(1)
Lincolns Inne
473(1)
Preached to the Nobility
473(1)
Preached Upon the Penitentiall Psalmes
473(3)
To the Lords upon Easter Day at the Communion
476(1)
The Hague
477(2)
Preached At Whitehall
479(1)
Whitehall. Before the King
480(1)
Preached at Whitehall
481(1)
Lincoln's Inn. Sunday After Trinity
482(1)
St. Pauls. Christmas-day
483(4)
At Whitehall. 1st Friday in Lent
487(3)
St. Paul's. Easter Day
490(1)
Preached at the Spital
490(3)
Preached ``At Hanworth, to my Lord of Carlile, and his Company, being the Earles of Northumberland, and Buckingham, etc.''
493(1)
St. Pauls
494(1)
Preached ``To the Earle of Carlile, and his Company, at Sion.''
495(2)
Candlemas Day
497(3)
St. Paul's. Easter day in the evening
500(1)
St. Paul's. Christmas Day in the evening
501(2)
St. Paul's. The Sunday after the Conversion of S. Paul
503(2)
Preached to the King's Majestie at Whitehall
505(4)
``Denmark house, some few days before the body of King James was removed from thence, to his buriall''
509(5)
St. Paul's ``The first of the Prebend of Cheswick's five Psalmes''
514(1)
St. Paul's Whitsunday
515(1)
St. Dunstan's ``The First Sermon after Our Dispersion by the Sickness''
516(1)
St. Paul's. ``The second of my Prebend Sermons upon my five Psalmes''
517(2)
St. Paul's Easter Day in the Evening
519(1)
``Preached to the King in my Ordinary Wayting at Whitehall''
520(2)
St. Paul's. ``In Vesperis.'' ``The third of my Prebend Sermons upon my five Psalmes''
522(1)
``Preached at the funeral of Sir William Cokayne, Knight, Alderman of London''
523(9)
To the King at White--Hall. The first Sunday in Lent
532(4)
St. Paul's. Easter Day
536(1)
To the King at Whitehall
537(2)
A Sermon of Commemoration of the Lady Danvers, Late Wife of Sir John Danvers
539(11)
At the Earl of Bridgewaters house in London at the marriage of his daughter
550(1)
St. Paul's. ``The fifth of my Prebend Sermons upon my five Psalmes''
551(2)
St. Paul's. Christmas Day
553(1)
Preached at Whitehall
553(5)
St. Paul's. Easter Day
558(1)
Preached at Whitehall
559(1)
St. Paul's. In the Evening
560(1)
St. Paul's. In the evening. Upon the day of St. Paul's Conversion
560(2)
Preached to the King at the Court
562(2)
Preached at St. Paul's Crosse
564(3)
St. Paul's. Christmas Day
567(4)
St. Paul's. Conversion of St. Paul
571(2)
Whitehall. To the King
573(1)
Death's Duell
573(18)
Notes 591(92)
Index of Poetry Titles 683(6)
Index of Poetry First Lines 689(6)
A Note on the Text 695

Excerpts

Poetry

THE PRINTER TO THE UNDERSTANDERS

For this time I must speake only to you: at another, Readers may perchance serve my turne; and I thinke this a way very free from exception, in hope that very few will have a minde to confesse themselves ignorant.

If you looke for an Epistle, as you have before ordinary publications, I am sory that I must deceive you; but you will not lay it to my charge, when you shall consider that this is not ordinary, for if I should say it were the best in this kinde, that ever this Kingdome hath yet seene; he that would doubt of it must goe out of the Kingdome to enforme himselfe, for the best judgments, within it, take it for granted.

You may imagine (if it please you) that I could endeare it unto you, by saying, that importunity drew it on; that had it not beene presented here, it would have come to us from beyond the Seas; (which perhaps is true enough), That my charge and paines in procuring of it hath beene such, and such. I could adde hereto, a promise of more correctnesse, or enlargement in the next Edition, if you shall in the meane time content you with this. But these things are so common, as that I should profane this Peece by applying them to it; A Peece which who so takes not as he findes it, in what manner soever, he is unworthy of it, sith a scattered limbe of this Author, hath more amiablenesse in it, in the eye of a discerner, than a whole body of some other; Or (to expresse him best by himselfe),

                —A hand, or eye,In the By Hilyard drawne, is worth a historyStorme By a worse Painter made;—

If any man (thinking I speake this to enflame him for the vent of the Impression) be of another opinion, I shall as willingly spare his money as his judgement. I cannot lose so much by him as hee will by himselfe. For I shall satisfie my selfe with the conscience of well doing, in making so much good common.

Howsoever it may appeare to you. it shall suffice mee to enforme you, that it hath the best warrant that can bee, publique authority, and private friends.

There is one thing more wherein I will make you of my counsell, and that is, That whereas it hath pleased some, who had studyed and did admire him, to offer to the memory of the Author, not long after his decease, I have thought I should do you service in presenting them unto you now; onely whereas, had I placed them in the beginning, they might have serv’d for so many Encomiums of the Author (as is usuall in other workes, where perhaps there is need of it, to prepare men to digest such stuffe as follows after), you shall here finde them in the end, for whosoever reades the rest so farre, shall perceive that there is no occasion to use them to that purpose; yet there they are, as an attestation for their sakes that knew not so much before, to let them see how much honour was attributed to this worthy man, by those that are capable to give it. Farewell. [1633]

HEXASTICHON BIBLIOPOLAE I see in his last preach’d, and printed Booke, His Picture in a sheet; in Pauls I looke, And see his Statue in a sheete of stone, And sure his body in the grave hath one: Those sheetes present him dead, these if you buy, You have him living to Eternity. Jo[hn] Mar[riot] [1633]

HEXASTICHON AD BIBLIOPOLAM incerti In thy Impression of Donnes Poems rare, For his Eternitie thou hast ta’ne care: ’Twas well, and pious; And for ever may He live: Yet shew I thee a better way; Print but his Sermons, and if those we buy, He, We, and Thou shall live t’Eternity. [1635]

DEDICATION TO THE EDITION OF 1650 To the Right Honourable William Lord Craven Baron of Hamsted-Marsham

My Lord,

Many of these Poems have, for severall impressions, wandred up and down trusting (as well they might) upon the Authors reputation; neither do they now complain of any injury but what may proceed either from the kindnesse of the Printer, or the curtesie of the Reader; the one by adding something too much, lest any spark of this sacred fire might perish undiscerned, the other by putting such an estimation upon the wit & fancy they find here, that they are content to use it as their own: as if a man should dig out the stones of a royall Amphitheatre to build a stage for a countrey show. Amongst all the monsters this unlucky age has teemed with, I finde none so prodigious, as the Poets of these later times, wherein men as if they would level understandings too as well as estates, acknowledging no inequality of parts and Judgements, pretend as indifferently to the chaire of wit as to the Pulpit, & conceive themselves no lesse inspired with the spirit of Poetry than with that of Religion: so it is not onely the noise of Drums and Trumpets which have drowned the Muses harmony, or the feare that the Churches ruine wil destroy their Priests likewise, that now frights them from this Countrey, where they have been so ingenuously received, but these rude pretenders to excellencies they unjustly own who profanely rushing into Minervaes Temple, with noysome Ayres blast the lawrell which thunder cannot hurt. In this sad condition these learned sisters are fled over to beg your Lordships protection, who have been so certain a patron both to arts and armes, and who in this generall confusion have so intirely preserved your Honour, that in your Lordship we may still read a most perfect character of what England was in all her pompe and greatnesse, so that although these poems were formerly written upon severall occasions, and to severall persons, they now unite themselves, and are become one pyramid to set your Lordships statue upon, where you may stand like Armed Apollo the defendor of the Muses, encouraging the Poets now alive to celebrate your great Acts by affording your countenance to his poems that wanted onely so noble a subject.       My Lord,               Your most humble servant [1650]John Donne [the Younger]

TO JOHN DONNE

Donne, the delight of Phoebus, and each Muse, Who, to thy one, all other braines refuse; Whose every work, of thy most early wit, Came forth example, and remaines so, yet: Longer a knowing, than most wits doe live; And which no’n affection praise enough can give! To it, thy language, letters, arts, best life, Which might with halfe mankind maintain a strife; All which I mean[t] to praise, and, yet, I would; But leave, because I cannot as I should! B[en] Jons[on] [1650. From Jonson’s Works, 1616]

TO LUCY, COUNTESSE OF BEDFORD, WITH M. DONNES SATYRES

Lucy, you brightnesse of our Spheare, who are Life of the Muses day, their morning Starre! If works (not th’Authors) their own grace should look Whose poems would not wish to be your book? But these, desir’d by you, the makers ends Crown with their own. Rare Poems ask rare friends. Yet, Satyres, since the most of mankind bee Their unavoided subject, fewest see: For none ere took that pleasure in sins sense, But, when they heard it tax’d, took more offence. They, then, that living where the matter is bred, Dare for these Poems, yet, both ask, and read, And like them too; must needfully, though few, Be of the best: and ’mongst those best are you; Lucy, you brightnesse of our Spheare, who are The Muses evening, as their morning-Starre. B[en] Jons[on] [1650. From Jonson’s Works, 1616]

TO JOHN DONNE

Who shall doubt, Donne, where I a Poet bee When I dare send my Epigrammes to thee? That so alone canst judge, so’alone do’st make: And, in thy censures, evenly, dost take As free simplicity, to dis-avow, As thou hast best authority, t’allow. Read all I send: and, if I finde but one Mark’d by thy hand, and with the better stone, My title’s seal’d. Those that for claps doe write, Let pu[i’]nees, porters, players praise delight, And, till they burst, their backs, like asses load: A man should seek great glory, and not broad. B[en] Jon[son] [1650. From Jonson’s Works, 1616]

Excerpted from The Complete Poetry and Selected Prose of John Donne by John Donne
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