Poems, by J.D. VVith elegies on the authors death
Donne, John, 1572-1631.
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Elegies upon the Author.
TO THE MEMORIE OF MY EVER DESIRED FRIEND Dr. DONNE:
TO have liv'd eminent, in a degree
Beyond our lofty'st flights, that is, like Thee,
Or t'have had too much merit, is not safe;
For, such excesses finde no Epitaph.
At common graves we have Poetique eyes
Can melt themselves in easie Elegies,
Each quill can drop his tributary verse,
And pin it, like the Hatchments, to the Hearse:
But at Thine, Poeme, or Inscription
(Rich soule of wit, and language) we have none.
Indeed a silence does that tombe befit,
Where is no Herald left to blazon it.
Widow'd invention justly doth forbeare
To come abroad, knowing Thou art not here,
Late her great Patron; Whose Prerogative
Maintain'd, and cloth'd her so, as none alive
Must now presume, to keepe her at thy rate,
Though he the Indies for her dowre estate.
Page 374 Or else that awfull fire, which once did burne
In thy cleare Braine, now falne into thy Urne
Lives there, to fright rude Empiricks from thence,
Which might prophane thee by their Ignorance.
Who ever writes of Thee, and in a stile
Unworthy such a Theme, does but revile
Thy precious Dust, and wake a learned Spirit
Which may revenge his Rapes upon thy Merit.
For, all a low pitch't phansie can devise,
Will prove, at best, but Hallow'd Injuries.
Thou, like the dying Swanne, didst lately sing
Thy Mournfull Dirge, in audience of the King;
When pale lookes, and faint accents of thy breath,
Presented so, to life, that peece of death,
That it was fear'd, and prophesi'd by all,
Thou thither cam'st to preach thy Funerall.
O! had'st Thou in an Elegiacke Knell
Rung out unto the world thine owne farewell,
And in thy High Victorious Numbers beate
The solemne measure of thy griev'd Retreat;
Thou might'st the Poets service now have mist
As well, as then thou did'st prevent the Priest;
And never to the world beholding bee
So much, as for an Epitaph for thee.
I doe not like the office. Nor is 't fit
Thou, who did'st lend our Age such summes of wit,
Should'st now re-borrow from her bankrupt Mine,
That Ore to Bury Thee, which once was Thine.
Rather still leave us in thy debt; And know
(Exalted Soule) more glory 't is to owe
Page 375 Unto thy Hearse, what we can never pay,
Then, with embased Coine those Rites defray.
Commit we then Thee to Thy selfe: Nor blame
Our drooping loves, which thus to thy owne Fame
Leave Thee Executour. Since, but thine owne,
No pen could doe Thee Justice, nor Bayes Crowne
Thy vast desert; Save that, wee nothing can
Depute, to be thy Ashes Guardian.
So Jewellers no Art, or Metall trust
To forme the Diamond, but the Diamonds dust,
To the deceased Author, Upon the Promiscuous printing of his Poems, the Looser sort, with the Religious.
WHen thy Loose raptures, Donne, shall meet with Those
That doe confine
Tuning, unto the Duller line,
And sing not, but in Sanctified Prose;
How will they, with sharper eyes,
The Fore-skinne of thy phansie circumcise?
And feare, thy wantonnesse should now, begin
Example, that hath ceased to be Sin?
And that Feare fannes their Heat; whilst knowing eyes
Will not admire
At this Strange Fire,
That here is mingled with thy Sacrifice:
But dare reade even thy Wanton Story,
As thy Confession, not thy Glory.
And will so envie Both to future times,
That they would buy thy Goodnesse, with thy Crimes.
On the death of Dr DONNE.
I Cannot blame those men, that knew thee well,
Yet dare not helpe the world, to ring thy knell
In tunefull Elegies; there's not language knowne
Fit for thy mention, but 'twas first thy owne;
The Epitaphs thou writst, have so bereft
Our tongue of wit, there is not phansie left
Enough to weepe thee; what henceforth we see
Of Art or Nature, must result from thee.
There may perchance some busie gathering friend
Steale from thy owne workes, and that, varied, lend,
Which thou bestow'st on others, to thy Hearse,
And so thou shalt live still in thine owne verse;
Hee that shall venture farther, may commit
A pitied errour, shew his zeale, not wit.
Fate hath done mankinde wrong; vertue may aime
Reward of conscience, never can, of fame,
Since her great trumpet's broke, could onely give
Faith to the world, command it to beleeve;
Hee then must write, that world define thy parts:
Here lyes the best Divinitie, All the Arts.
On Doctor Donne, By Dr C. B. of O.
HEe that would write an Epitaph for thee,
And do it well, must first beginne to be
Such as thou wert; for, none can truly know
Thy worth, thy life, but he that hath liv'd so;
He must have wit to spare and to hurle downe:
Enough, to keepe the gallants of the towne.
He must have learning plenty; both the Lawes,
Civill, and Common, to judge any cause;
Divinity great store, above the rest;
Not of the last Edition, but the best.
Hee must have language, travaile, all the Arts;
Judgement to use; or else he wants thy parts.
He must have friends the highest, able to do;
Such as Mecoenas, and Augustus too.
He must have such a sicknesse, such a death;
Or else his vaine descriptions come beneath;
Who then shall write an Epitaph for thee▪
He must be dead first, let'it alone for mee.
An Elegie upon the incomparable Dr DONNE.
ALl is not well when such a one as I
Dare peepe abroad, and write an Elegie;
When smaller Starres appeare, and give their light,
Phoebus is gone to bed: Were it not night,
And the world witlesse now that DONNE is dead,
You sooner should have broke, then seene my head.
Dead did I say? Forgive this Injury
I doe him, and his worthes Infinity,
To say he is but dead; I dare averre
It better may be term'd a Massacre,
Then Sleepe or Death; See how the Muses mourne
Upon their oaten Reeds, and from his Vrne
Threaten the World with this Calamity,
They shall have Ballads, but no Poetry.
Language lyes speechlesse; and Divinity,
Lost such a Trump as even to Extasie
Could charme the Soule, and had an Influence
To teach best judgements, and please dullest Sense.
The Court, the Church, the Vniversitie,
Lost Chaplaine, Deane, and Doctor, All these, Three.
Page 380 It was his Merit, that his Funerall
Could cause a losse so great and generall.
If there be any Spirit can answer give
Of such as hence depart, to such as live:
Speake, Doth his body there vermiculate,
Crumble to dust, and feele the lawes of Fate?
Me thinkes, Corruption, Wormes, what else is foule
Should spare the Temple of so faire a Soule.
I could beleeve they doe; but that I know
What inconvenience might hereafter grow:
Succeeding ages would Idolatrize,
And as his Numbers, so his Reliques prize.
If that Philosopher, which did avow
The world to be but Mores, was living now:
He would affirme that th'Atomes of his mould
Were they in severall bodies blended, would
Produce new worlds of Travellers, Divines,
Of Linguists, Poets: sith these severall Lines
In him concentred were, and flowing thence
Might fill againe the worlds Circumference.
I could beleeve this too; and yet my faith
Not want a President: The Phoenix hath
(And such was He) a power to animate
Her ashes, and herselfe perpetuate.
But, busie Soule, thou dost not well to pry
Into these Secrets; Griefe, and Iealousie,
The more they know, the further still advance,
Page 381 And finde no way so safe as Ignorance.
Let this suffice thee, that his Soule which flew
A pitch of all admir'd, known but of few,
(Save those of purer mould) is now translated
From Earth to Heavên, and there Constellated.
For, if each Priest of God shine as a Starre,
His Glory is as his Gifts, 'bove others farre.
An Elegie upon Dr Donne.
IS Donne, great Donne deceas'd? then England say
Thou'hast lost a man where language chose to stay
And shew it's gracefull power. I would not praise
That and his vast wit (which in these vaine dayes
Make many proud) but as they serv'd to unlock
That Cabinet, his minde: where such a stock
Of knoweledge was repos'd, as all lament
(Or should) this generall cause of discontent.
And I rejoyce I am not so severe,
But (as I write a line) to weepe a teare
For his decease; Such sad extremities
May make such men as I write Elegies.
And wonder not; for, when a generall losse
Falls on a nation, and they slight the crosse,
God hath rais'd Prophets to awaken them
From stupifaction; witnesse my milde pen,
Not us'd to upbraid the world, though now it must
Freely and boldly, for, the cause is just.
Dull age, Oh I would spare thee, but th'art worse,
Thou art not onely dull, but hast a curse
Of black ingratitude; if not, couldst thou
Part with miraculous Donne, and make no vow
For thee and thine, successively to pay
A sad remembrance to his dying day?
Did his youth scatter Poetrie, wherein
Was all Philosophie? Was every sinne,
Page 383 Character'd in his Satyres? made so foule
That some have fear'd their shapes, & kept their soule
Freer by reading verse? Did he give dayes
Past marble monuments, to those, whose praise
He would perpetuate? Did hee (I feare
The dull will doubt:) these at his twentieth yeare?
But, more matur'd: Did his full soule conceive,
And in harmonious-holy-numbers weave
A Crowme of sacred sonets,* fit to adorne
A dying Martyrs brow: or, to be worne
On that blest head of Mary Magdalen:
After she wip'd Christs feet, but not till then?
Did hee (fit for such penitents as shee
And hee to use) leave us a Litany?
Which all devout men love, and sure, it shall,
As times grow better, grow more classicall.
Did he write Hymnes, for piety and wit
Equall to those great grave Prudentius writ?
Spake he all Languages? knew he all Lawes?
The grounds and use of Physicke; but because
'Twas mercenary wav'd it? Went to see
That blessed place of Christs nativity?
Did he returne and preach him? preach him so
As none but hee did, or could do? They know
(Such as were blest to heare him know) 'tis truth.
Did he confirme thy age? convert thy youth?
Did he these wonders? And is this deare losse
Mourn'd by so few? (few for so great a crosse.)
But sure the silent are ambitious all
To be Close Mourners at his Funerall;
Page 384 If not; In common pitty they forbare
By repetitions to renew our care;
Or, knowing, griefe conceiv'd, conceal'd, consumes
Man irreparably, (as poyson'd fumes
Do waste the braine) make silence a fafe way
To'inlarge the Soule from these walls, mud and clay,
(Materialls of this body) to remaine
With Donne in heaven, where no promiscuous paine
Lessens the joy wee have, for, with him, all
Are satisfyed with joyes essentiall.
My thoughts, Dwell on this Ioy, and do not call
Griefe backe, by thinking of his Funerall;
Forget he lov'd mee; Waste not my sad yeares;
(Which haste to Davids seventy) fill'd with feares
And sorrow for his death;) Forget his parts,
Which finde a living grave in good mens hearts;
And, (for, my first is daily paid for sinne)
Forget to pay my second sigh for him:
Forget his powerfull preaching; and forget
I am his Convert. Oh my frailtie! let
My flesh be no more heard, it will obtrude
This lethargie: so should my gratitude,
My vowes of gratitude should so be broke;
Which can no more be, then Donnes vertues spoke
By any but himselfe; for which cause, I
Write no Encomium, but an Elegie.
An Elegie upon the death of the Deane of Pauls, Dr. Iohn Donne: By Mr. Tho: Carie.
CAn we not force from widdowed Poetry,
Now thou art dead (Great DONNE) one Elegie
To crowne thy Hearse? Why yet dare we not trust
Though with unkneaded dowe-bak't prose thy dust,
Such as the uncisor'd Churchman from the flower
Of fading Rhetorique, short liv'd as his houre,
Dry as the sand that measures it, should lay
Upon thy Ashes, on the funerall day?
Have we no voice, no tune? Did'st thou dispense
Through all our language, both the words and sense?
'Tis a sad truth; The Pulpit may her plaine,
And sober Christian precepts still retaine,
Doctrines it may, and wholesome Uses frame,
Grave Homilies, and Lectures, But the flame
Of thy brave Soule, that shot such heat and light,
As burnt our earth, and made our darknesse bright,
Committed holy Rapes upon our Will,
Did through the eye the melting heart distill;
And the deepe knowledge of darke truths so teach,
As sense might judge, what phansie could not reach;
Page 386 Must be desir'd for ever. So the fire,
That fills with spirit and heat the Delphique quire,
Which kindled first by thy Promethean breath,
Glow'd here a while, lies quench't now in thy death;
The Muses garden with Pedantique weedes
O'rspred, was purg'd by thee; The lazie seeds
Of servile imitation throwne away;
And fresh invention planted, Thou didst pay
The debts of our penurious bankrupt age;
Licentious thefts, that make poëtique rage
A Mimique fury, when our soules must bee
Possest, or with Anacreons Extasie,
Or Pindars, not their owne; The subtle cheat
Of slie Exchanges, and the jugling feat
Of two-edg'd words, or whatsoever wrong
By ours was done the Greeke, or Latine tongue,
Thou hast redeem'd, and open'd Us a Mine
Of rich and pregnant phansie, drawne a line
Of masculine expression, which had good
Old Orpheus seene, Or all the ancient Brood
Our superstitious fooles admire, and hold
Their lead more precious, then thy burnish't Gold,
Thou hadst beene their Exchequer, and no more
They each in others dust, had rak'd for Ore.
Thou shalt yield no precedence, but of time,
And the blinde fate of language, whose tun'd chime
More charmes the outward sense; Yet thou maist claime
From so great disadvantage greater fame,
Since to the awe of thy imperious wit
Our stubborne language bends, made only fit
Page 387 With her tough-thick-rib'd hoopes to gird about
Thy Giant phansie, which had prov'd too stout
For their soft melting Phrases. As in time
They had the start, so did they cull the prime
Buds of invention many a hundred yeare,
And left the rifled fields, besides the feare
To touch their Harvest, yet from those bare lands
Of what is purely thine, thy only hands
(And that thy smallest worke) have gleaned more
Then all those times, and tongues could reape before;
But thou art gone, and thy strict lawes will be
Too hard for Libertines in Poetrie.
They will repeale the goodly exil'd traine
Of gods and goddesses, which in thy just raigne
Were banish'd nobler Poems, now, with these
The silenc'd tales o'th'Metamorphoses
Shall stuffe their lines, and swell the windy Page,
Till Verse refin'd by thee, in this last Age,
Turne ballad rime, Or those old Idolls bee
Ador'd againe, with new apostasie;
Oh, pardon mee, that breake with untun'd verse
The reverend silence that attends thy herse,
Whose awfull solemne murmures were to thee
More then these faint lines, A loud Elegie,
That did proclaime in a dumbe eloquence
The death of all the Arts, whose influence
Growne feeble, in these panting numbers lies
Gasping short winded Accents, and so dies:
So doth the swiftly turning wheele not stand
In th'instant we withdraw the moving hand,
Page 388 But some small time maintaine a faint weake course
By vertue of the first impulsive force:
And so whil'st I cast on thy funerall pile
Thy crowne of Bayes, Oh, let it crack a while,
And spit disdaine, till the devouring flashes
Suck all the moysture up, then turne to ashes.
I will not draw the envy to engrosse
All thy perfections, or weepe all our losse;
Those are too numerous for an Elegie,
And this too great, to be express'd by mee.
Though every pen should share a distinct part,
Yet art thou Theme enough to tyre all Art;
Let others carve the rest, it shall suffice
I on thy Tombe this Epitaph incise.
Here lies a King, that rul'd as hee thought fit
The universall Monarchy of wit;
Here lie two Flamens, and both those, the best,
Apollo's first, at last, the true Gods Priest.
An Elegie on Dr. DONNE: By Sir Lucius Carie.
POets attend, the Elegie I sing
Both of a doubly-named Priest, and King:
In stead of Coates, and Pennons, bring your Verse,
For you must bee chiefe mourners at his Hearse,
A Tombe your Muse must to his Fame supply,
No other Monuments can never die;
And as he was a two-fold Priest; in youth,
Apollo's; afterwards, the voice of Truth,
Gods Conduit-pipe for grace, who chose him for
His extraordinary Embassador,
So let his Liegiers with the Poets joyne,
Both having shares, both must in griefe combine:
Whil'st Johnson forceth with his Elegie
Teares from a griefe-unknowing Scythians eye,
(Like Moses at whose stroke the waters gusht
From forth the Rock, and like a Torrent rusht.)
Let Lawd his funerall Sermon preach, and shew
Those vertues, dull eyes were not apt to know,
Nor leave that Piercing Theme, till it appeares
To be good friday, by the Churches Teares;
Yet make not griefe too long oppresse our Powers,
Least that his funerall Sermon should prove ours.
Nor yet forget that heavenly Eloquence,
With which he did the bread of life dispense,
Page 390 Preacher and Orator discharg'd both parts
With pleasure for our sense, health for our hearts,
And the first such (Though a long studied Art
Tell us our soule is all in every part,)
None was so marble, but whil'st him he heares,
His Soule so long dwelt only in his eares.
And from thence (with the fiercenesse of a flood
Bearing downe vice) victual'd with that blest food
Their hearts; His seed in none could faile to grow,
Fertile he found them all, or made them so:
No Druggist of the Soule bestow'd on all
So Catholiquely a curing Cordiall.
Nor only in the Pulpit dwelt his store,
His words work'd much, but his example more,
That preach't on worky dayes, His Poetrie
It selfe was oftentimes divinity,
Those Anthemes (almost second Psalmes) he writ
To make us know the Crosse, and value it,
(Although we owe that reverence to that name
Wee should not need warmth from an under flame.)
Creates a fire in us, so neare extreme
That we would die, for, and upon this theme.
Next, his so pious Litany, which none can
But count Divine, except a Puritan,
And that but for the name, nor this, nor those
Want any thing of Sermons, but the prose.
Experience makes us see, that many a one
Owes to his Countrey his Religion;
And in another, would as strongly grow,
Had but his Nurse and Mother taught him so,
Page 391 Not hee the ballast on his Judgement hung;
Nor did his preconceit doe either wrong;
He labour'd to exclude what ever sinne
By time or carelessenesse had entred in;
Winnow'd the chaffe from wheat, but yet was loath
A too hot zeale should force him, burne them both;
Nor would allow of that so ignorant gall,
Which to save blotting often would blot all;
Nor did those barbarous opinions owne,
To thinke the Organs sinne, and faction, none;
Nor was there expectation to gaine grace
From forth his Sermons only, but his face;
So Primitive a looke, such gravitie
With humblenesse, and both with Pietie;
So milde was Moses countenance, when he prai'd
For them whose Satanisme his power gain said;
And such his gravitie, when all Gods band
Receiv' his word (through him) at second hand;
Which joyn'd, did flames of more devotion move
Then ever Argive Hellens could of love.
Now to conclude, I must my reason bring,
Where fore I call'd him in his title King,
That Kingdome the Philosophers beleev'd
To excell Alexanders, nor were griev'd
By feare of losse (that being such a Prey
No stronger then ones selfe can force away)
The Kingdome of ones selfe, this he enjoy'd,
And his authoritie so well employ'd,
That never any could before become
So Great a Monarch, in so small a roome;
Page 392 He conquer'd rebell passions, rul'd them so,
As under-spheares by the first Mover goe,
Banish't so farre their working, that we can
But know he had some, for we knew him man.
Then let his last excuse his first extremes,
His age saw visions, though his youth dream'd dreams.
On Dr. DONNES death: By Mr. Mayne of Christ-Church in Oxford.
WHo shall presume to mourn thee, Donne, unlesse
He could his teares in thy expressions dresse,
And teach his griefe that reverence of thy Hearse,
To weepe lines, learned, as thy Anniverse,
A Poëme of that worth, whose every teare
Deserves the title of a severall yeare.
Indeed so farre above its Reader, good,
That wee are thought wits, when 'tis understood,
There that blest maid to die, who now should grieve?
After thy sorrow, 'twere her losse to live;
And her faire vertues in anothers line,
Would faintly dawn, which are made Saints in thine.
Hadst thou beene shallower, and not writ so high,
Or left some new way for our pennes, or eye,
To shed a funerall teare, perchance thy Tombe
Had not beene speechlesse, or our Muses dumbe;
But now wee dare not write, but must conceale
Thy Epitaph, lest we be thought to steale,
Page 394 For, who hath read thee, and discernes thy worth,
That will not say, thy carelesse houres brought forth
Fancies beyond our studies, and thy play
Was happier, then our serious time of day?
So learned was thy chance; thy haste had wit,
And matter from thy pen flow'd rashly fit,
What was thy recreation turnes our braine,
Our rack and palenesse, is thy weakest straine.
And when we most come neere thee, 'tis our blisse
To imitate thee, where thou dost amisse,
Here light your muse, you that do onely thinke,
And write, and are just Poëts, as you drinke,
In whose weake fancies wit doth ebbe and flow,
Just as your recknings rise, that wee may know
In your whole carriage of your worke, that here
This flash you wrote in Wine, and this in Beere,
This is to tap your Muse, which running long
Writes flat, and takes our eare not halfe so strong;
Poore Suburbe wits, who, if you want your cup,
Or if a Lord recover, are blowne up.
Could you but reach this height, you should not need
To make, each meale, a project ere you feed,
Nor walke in reliques, clothes so old and bare,
As if left off to you from Ennius were,
Nor should your love, in verse, call Mistresse, those,
Who are mine hostesse, or your whores in prose;
From this Muse learne to Court, whose power could move
A Cloystred coldnesse, or a Vestall love,
And would convey such errands to their eare,
Page 395 That Ladies knew no oddes to grant and heare;
But I do wrong thee, Donne, and this low praise
Is written onely for thy yonger dayes.
I am not growne up, for thy riper parts,
Then should I praise thee, through the Tongues, and Arts,
And have that deepe Divinity, to know,
What mysteries did from thy preaching flow,
Who with thy words could charme thy audience,
That at thy sermons, eare was all our sense;
Yet have I seene thee in the pulpit stand,
Where wee might take notes, from thy looke, and hand;
And from thy speaking action beare away
More Sermon, then some teachers use to say.
Such was thy carriage, and thy gesture such,
As could divide the heart, and conscience touch.
Thy motion did confute, and wee might see
An errour vanquish'd by delivery.
Not like our Sonnes of Zeale, who to reforme
Their hearers, fiercely at the Pulpit storme,
And beate the cushion into worse estate,
Then if they did conclude it reprobate,
Who can out pray the glasse, then lay about
Till all Predestination be runne out.
And from the point such tedious uses draw,
Their repetitions would make Gospell, Law.
No, In such temper would thy Sermons flow,
So well did Doctrine, and thy language show,
And had that holy feare, as, hearing thee,
The Court would mend, and a good Christian bee.
Page 396 And Ladies though unhansome, out of grace,
Would heare thee, in their unbought lookes, & face▪
More I could write, but let this crowne thine Urne,
Wee cannot hope the like, till thou returne.
Ʋpon Mr J. Donne, and his Poems.
VVHo dares say thou art dead, when he doth see
(Unburied yet) this living part of thee?
This part that to thy beeing gives fresh flame,
And though th'art Donne, yet will preserve thy name.
Thy flesh (whose channels left their crimsen hew,
And whey-like ranne at last in a pale blew)
May shew thee mortall, a dead palsie may
Seise on't, and quickly turne it into clay;
Which like the Indian earth, shall rise refin'd:
But this great Spirit thou hast left behinde,
This Soule of Verse (in it's first pure estate)
Shall live, for all the World to imitate▪
But not come neer, for in thy Fancies flight
Thou dost not stoope unto the vulgar sight,
But, hovering highly in the aire of Wit,
Hold'st such a pitch, that few can follow it;
Admire they may. Each object that the Spring
(Or a more piercing influence) doth bring
Page 398 T'adorne Earths face, thou sweetly did'st contrive
To beauties elements, and thence derive
Unspotted Lillies white; which thou did'st set
Hand in hand, with the veine-like Violet,
Making them soft, and warme, and by thy power,
Could'st give both life, and sense, unto a flower.
The Cheries thou hast made to speake, will bee
Sweeter unto the taste, then from the tree.
And (spight of winter stormes) amidst the snow
Thou oft hast made the blushing Rose to grow.
The Sea-nimphs, that the watry cavernes keepe,
Have sent their Pearles and Rubies from the deepe
To deck thy love, and plac'd by thee, they drew
More lustre to them, then where first they grew.
All minerals (that Earths full wombe doth hold
Promiscuously) thou couldst convert to gold,
And with thy flaming raptures so refine,
That it was much more pure then in the Mine.
The lights that guild the night, if thou did'st say,
They looke like eyes, those did out-shine the day;
For there would be more vertue in such spells,
Then in Meridians, or crosse Parallels:
What ever was of worth in this great Frame,
That Art could comprehend, or Wit could name,
It was thy theme for Beauty; thou didst see,
Woman, was this faire Worlds Epitomie.
Thy nimble Satyres too, and every straine
(With nervy strength) that issued from thy brain,
Will lose the glory of their owne cleare bayes,
Page 399 If they admit of any others praise.
But thy diviner Poëms (whose cleare fire
Purges all drosse away) shall by a Quire
Of Cherubims, with heavenly Notes be set
(Where flesh and blood could ne'r attaine to yet)
There purest Spirits sing such sacred Layes,
In Panegyrique Alleluiaes.
In memory of Doctor Donne: By Mr R. B.
DOnne dead? 'Tis here reported true, though I
Ne'r yet so much desir'd to heare a lye,
'Tis too too true, for so wee finde it still,
Good newes are often false, but seldome, ill:
But must poore fame tell us his fatall day,
And shall we know his death, the common way,
Mee thinkes some Comet bright should have foretold
The death of such a man, for though of old
'Tis held, that Comets Princes death foretell,
Why should not his, have needed one as well?
Who was the Prince of wits, 'mongst whom he reign'd,
High as a Prince, and as great State maintain'd?
Yet wants he not his signe, for wee have seene
A dearth, the like to which hath never beene,
Treading on harvests heeles, which doth presage
The death of wit and learning, which this age
Shall finde, now he is gone; for though there bee
Much graine in shew, none brought it forth as he,
Or men are misers; or if true want raises
The dearth, then more that dearth Donnes plenty praises.
Of learning, languages, of eloquence,
And Poësie, (past rauishing of sense,)
He had a magazine, wherein such store
Was laid up, as might hundreds serve of poore.
Page 401 But he is gone, O how will his desire
Torture all those that warm'd them by his fire?
Mee thinkes I see him in the pulpit standing,
Not eares, or eyes, but all mens hearts commanding,
Where wee that heard him, to our selves did faine
Golden Chrysostome was alive againe;
And never were we weari'd, till we saw
His houre (and but an houre) to end did draw.
How did he shame the doctrine-men, and use,
With helps to boot, for men to beare th'abuse
Of their tir'd patience, and endure th'expence
Of time, O spent in hearkning to non-sense,
With markes also, enough whereby to know,
The speaker is a zealous dunce, or so.
'Tis true, they quitted him, to their poore power,
They humm'd against him; And with face most sowre:
Call'd him a strong lin'd man, a Macaroon,
And no way fit to speake to clouted shoone,
As fine words [truly] as you would desire,
But [verily,] but a bad edifier.
Thus did these beetles slight in him that good,
They could not see, and much lesse understood.
But we may say, when we compare the stuffe
Both brought; He was a candle, they the snuffe.
Well, Wisedome's of her children justifi'd,
Let therefore these poore fellowes stand aside;
Nor, though of learning he deserv'd so highly,
Would I his booke should save him; Rather slily
I should advise his Clergie not to pray,
Though of the learn'dst sort; Me thinkes that they
Page 402 Of the same trade, are Judges not so fit,
There's no such emulation as of wit.
Of such, the Envy might as much perchance
Wrong him, and more, then th'others ignorance.
It was his Fate (I know't) to be envy'd
As much by Clerkes, as lay men magnifi'd;
And why? but 'cause he came late in the day,
And yet his Penny earn'd, and had as they.
No more of this, least some should say, that I
Am strai'd to Satyre, meaning Elegie.
No, no, had DONNE need to be judg'd or try'd,
A Jury I would summon on his side,
That had no sides, nor factions, past the touch
Of all exceptions, freed from Passion, such
As nor to feare nor fratter, e'r were bred,
These would I bring, though called from the dead:
Southampton, Hambleton, Pēbrooke, Dorsets Earles,
Huntingdon, Bedfords Countesses (the Pearles
Once of each sexe.) If these suffice not, I
Ten decem tales have of Standers by:
All which, for DONNE, would such a verdict give,
As can belong to none, that now doth live.
But what doe I? A diminution 'tis
To speake of him in verse, so short of his,
Whereof he was the master; All indeed
Compar'd with him, pip'd on an Oaten reed.
O that you had but one 'mongst all your brothers
Could write for him, as he hath done for others:
(Poets I speake to) When I see't, I'll say,
My eye-sight betters, as my yeares decay,
Page 403 Meane time a quarrell I shall ever have
Against these doughty keepers from the grave,
Who use, it seemes their old Authoritie,
When (Verses men immortall make) they cry:
Which had it been a Recipe true tri'd,
Probatum esset, DONNE had never dy'd.
For mee, if e'r I had least sparke at all
Of that which they Poetique fire doe call,
Here I confesse it fetched from his hearth,
Which is gone out, now he is gone to earth.
This only a poore flash, a lightning is
Before my Muses death, as after his.
Farewell (faire soule) and deigne receive from mee
This Type of that devotion I owe thee,
From whom (while living) as by voice and penne
I learned more, then from a thousand men:
So by thy death, am of one doubt releas'd,
And now beleeve that miracles are ceas'd.
HEere lies Deane Donne; Enough; Those words
Shew him as fully, as if all the stone
His Church of Pauls contains, were through inscrib'd alone
Or all the walkers there, to speake him, brib'd.
None can mistake him, for one such as Hee
DONNE, Deane, or Man, more none shall ever see.
Page 404 Not man? No, though unto a Sunne each eye
Were turn'd, the whole earth so to overspie,
A bold brave word; Yet such brave Spirits as knew
His Spirit, will say, it is lesse bold then true.
Epitaph upon Dr. DONNE, By Endy: Porter.
THis decent Urne a sad inscription weares,
Of Donnes departure from us, to the spheares;
And the dumbe stone with silence seemes to tell
The changes of this life, wherein is well
Exprest, A cause to make all joy to cease,
And never let our sorrowes more take ease;
For now it is impossible to finde
One fraught with vertues, to inrich a minde;
But why should death, with a promiscuous hand
At one rude stroke impoverish a land?
Thou strict Attorney, unto stricter Fate,
Didst thou confiscate his life out of hate
To his rare Parts? Or didst thou throw thy dart,
With envious hand, at some Plebeyan heart;
And he with pious vertue stept betweene
To save that stroke, and so was kill'd unseene
By thee? O 'twas his goodnesse so to doe,
Which humane kindnesse never reacht unto.
Thus the hard lawes of death were satisfi'd,
And he left us like Orphan friends, and di'de.
Now from the Pulpit to the peoples eares,
Whose speech shall send repentant sighes, and teares?
Or tell mee, if a purer Virgin die,
Who shall hereafter write her Elegie?
Page 406 Poets be silent, let your numbers sleepe,
For he is gone that did all phansie keepe;
Time hath no Soule, but his exalted verse;
Which with amazements, we may now reherse.