Poems, by J.D. VVith elegies on the authors death
Donne, John, 1572-1631.
FAther of Heaven, and him, by whom
It, and us for it, and all else, for us
Thou madest, and govern'st ever, come
And re-create mee, now growne ruinous:
My heart is by dejection, clay,
And by selfe-murder, red.
From this red earth, O Father, purge away
All vicious tinctures, that new fashioned
I may rise up from death, before I'am dead.
O Sonne of God, who seeing two things,
Sinne, and death crept in, which were never made,
By bearing one, tryed'st with what stings
The other could thine heritage invade;
O be thou nail'd unto my heart,
And crucified againe,
Part not from it, though it from thee would part,
But let it be by applying so thy paine,
Drown'd in thy blood, and in thy passion slaine.
Page 173III.The HOLY GHOST.
O Holy Ghost, whose temple I
Am, but of mudde walls, and condensed dust,
And being sacrilegiously
Halfe wasted with youths fires, of pride and lust,
Must with new stormes be weatherbeat;
Double in my heart thy flame,
Which let devout sad teares intend; and let
(Though this glasse lanthorne, flesh, do suffer maime)
Fire, Sacrifice, Priest, Altar be the same.
O Blessed glorious Trinity,
Bones to Philosophy, but milke to faith,
Which, as wise serpents diversly
Most slipperinesse, yet most entanglings hath,
As you distinguish'd undistinct
By power, love, knowledge bee,
Give mee a such selfe different instinct
Of these let all mee elemented bee,
Of power, to love, to know, you unnumbred three.
Page 174V.The Virgin MARY.
For that faire blessed Mother-maid,
Whose flesh redeem'd us; That she-Cherubin,
Which unlock'd Paradise, and made
One claime for innocence, and disseiz'd sinne,
Whose wombe was a strange heav'n, for there
God cloath'd himselfe, and grew,
Our zealous thankes wee poure. As her deeds were
Our helpes, so are her prayers; nor can she sue
In vaine, who hath such titles unto you.
And since this life our nonage is,
And wee in Wardship to thine Angels be,
Native in heavens faire Palaces
Where we shall be but denizen'd by thee,
As th'earth conceiving by the Sunne,
Yeelds faire diversitie,
Yet never knowes which course that light doth run,
So let mee study, that mine actions bee
Worthy their sight, though blinde in how they see.
Page 175VII.The Patriarches.
And let thy Patriarches Desire
(Those great Grandfathers, of thy Church, which saw
More in the cloud, then wee in fire,
Whom Nature clear'd more, then us grace and law,
And now in Heaven still pray, that wee
May use our new helpes right,)
Be sanctified, and fructifie in mee;
Let not my minde be blinder by more light
Nor Faith by Reason added, lose her sight.
Thy Eagle-sighted Prophets too,
Which were thy Churches Organs, and did sound
That harmony, which made of two
One law, and did unite, but not confound;
Those heavenly Poëts which did see
Thy will, and it expresse
In rythmique feet, in common pray for mee,
That I by them excuse not my excesse
In seeking secrets, or Poëtiquenesse.
Page 176IX.The Apostles.
And thy illustrious Zodiacke
Of twelve Apostles, which ingirt this All,
From whom whosoever do not take
Their light, to darke deep pits, throw downe, and fall,
As through their prayers, thou'hast let mee know
That their bookes are divine;
May they pray still, and be heard, that I goe
Th'old broad way in applying; O decline
Mee, when my comment would make thy word mine.
And since thou so desirously
Did'st long to die, that long before thou could'st,
And long since thou no more couldst dye,
Thou in thy scatter'd mystique body wouldst
In Abel dye, and ever since
In thine, let their blood come
To begge for us, a discreet patience
Of death, or of worse life: for Oh, to some
Not to be Martyrs, is a martyrdome.
Page 177XI.The Confessors.
Therefore with thee triumpheth there
A Virgin Squadron of white Confessors,
Whose bloods betroth'd, not marryed were;
Tender'd, not taken by those Ravishers:
They know, and pray, that wee may know,
In every Christian
Hourly tempestuous persecutions grow,
Tentations martyr us alive; A man
Is to himselfe a Dioclesian.
The cold white snowie Nunnery,
Which, as thy mother, their high Abbesse, sent
Their bodies backe againe to thee,
As thou hadst lent them, cleane and innocent,
Though they have not obtain'd of thee,
That or thy Church, or I,
Should keep, as they, our first integrity;
Divorce thou sinne in us, or bid it die,
And call chast widowhead Virginitie.
Page 178XIII.The Doctors.
Thy sacred Academie above
Of Doctors, whose paines have unclasp'd, and taught
Both bookes of life to us (for love
To know thy Scriptures tells us, we are wrought
In thy other booke) pray for us there
That what they have misdone
Or mis-said, wee to that may not adhere,
Their zeale may be our sinne. Lord let us runne
Meane waies, and call them stars, but not the Sunne.
And whil'st this universall Quire,
That Church in triumph, this in warfare here,
Warm'd with one all-partaking fire
Of love, that none be lost, which cost thee deare,
Prayes ceaslesly, 'and thou hearken too
(Since to be gratious
Our taske is treble, to pray, beare, and doe)
Heare this prayer Lord, O Lord deliver us
Frō trusting in those prayers, though powr'd out thus.
From being anxious, or secure,
Dead clods of sadnesse, or light squibs of mirth,
From thinking, that great courts immure
All, or no h•ppinesse, or that this earth
Is only for our prison fram'd,
Or that thou art covetous
To them whom thou lovest, or that they are maim'd
From reaching this worlds sweet, who seek thee thus,
With all their might, Good Lord deliver us.
From needing danger, to bee good,
From owing thee yesterdaies teares to day,
From trusting so much to thy blood,
That in that hope, wee wound our soule away,
From bribing thee with Almes, to excuse
Some sinne more burdenous,
From light affecting, in religion, newes,
From thinking us all soule, neglecting thus
Our mutuall duties, Lord deliver us.
From tempting Satan to tempt us,
By our connivence, or slack companie,
From measuring ill by vitious,
Neglecting to choake sins spawne, Vanitie,
From indiscreet humilitie,
Which might be scandalous,
And cast reproach on Christianitie,
From being spies, or to spies pervious,
From thirst, or scorne of flame, deliver us.
Deliver us for thy descent
Into the Virgin, whose wombe was a place
Of midle kind▪ and thou being sent
To'ungratious us, staid'st at her full of grace,
And through thy poore birth, where first thou
And yet soone after riches didst allow,
By accepting Kings gifts in the Epiphanie,
Deliver, and make us, to both waies free.
And though that bitter agonie,
Which is still the agonie of pious wits,
Disputing what distorted thee,
And interrupted evennesse, with fits,
And through thy free confession
Though thereby they were then
Made blind, so that thou might'st from thē have gone,
Good Lord deliver us, and teach us when
Wee may not, and we may blinde unjust men.
Through thy submitting all, to blowes
Thy face, thy clothes to spoile; thy fame to scorne,
All waies, which rage, or Justice knowes,
And by which thou could'st shew, that thou wast born,
And through thy gallant humblenesse
Which thou in death did'st shew,
Dying before thy soule they could expresse,
Deliver us from death, by dying so,
To this world, ere this world doe bid us goe.
When senses, which thy souldiers are,
Wee arme against thee, and they fight for sinne,
When want, sent but to tame, doth warre
And worke despaire a breach to enter in,
When plenty, Gods image, and seale
Makes us Idolatrous,
And love it, not him, whom it should reveale,
When wee are mov'd to seeme religious
Only to vent wit, Lord deliver us.
In Churches, when the'infirmitie
Of him which speakes, diminishes the Word,
When Magistrates doe mis-apply
To us, as we judge, lay or ghostly sword,
When plague, which is thine Angell, raignes,
Or wars, thy Champions, swaie,
When Heresie, thy second deluge, gaines;
In th'houre of death, the'Eve of last judgement day,
Deliver us from the sinister way.
Heare us, O heare us Lord; to thee
A sinner is more musique, when he prayes,
Then spheares, or Angels praises bee,
In Panegyrique Allelujaes,
Heare us, for till thou heare us, Lord
We know not what to say.
Thine eare to'our sighes, teares, thoughts gives voice and word.
O Thou who Satan heard'st in Jobs sicke day,
Heare thy selfe now, for thou in us dost pray.
That wee may change to evennesse
This intermitting aguish Pietie,
That snatching cramps of wickednesse
And Apoplexies of fast sin, may die;
That musique of thy promises,
Not threats in Thunder may
Awaken us to our just offices,
What in thy booke, thou dost, or creatures say,
That we may heare, Lord heare us, when wee pray.
That our eares sicknesse wee may cure,
And rectifie those Labyrinths aright,
That wee by harkning, not procure
Our praise, nor others dispraise so invite,
That wee get not a slipperinesse,
And senslesly decline,
From hearing bold wits jeast at Kings excesse,
To'admit the like of majestie divine,
That we may locke our eares, Lord open thine.
That living law, the Magistrate,
Which to give us, and make us physicke, doth
Our vices often aggravate,
That Preachers taxing sinne, before her growth,
That Satan, and invenom'd men
Which well, if we starve, dine,
When they doe most accuse us, may see then
Us, to amendment, heare them; thee decline;
That we may open our eares, Lord lock thine.
That learning, thine Ambassador,
From thine allegeance wee never tempt,
That beauty, paradises flower
For physicke made, from poyson be exempt,
That wit, borne apt, high good to doe
By dwelling lazily
On Natures nothing, be not nothing too,
That our affections kill us not, nor dye,
Heare us, weake ecchoes, O thou eare, and cry.
Sonne of God heare us, and since thou
By taking our blood, owest it us againe
Gaine to thy selfe, or us allow;
And let not both us and thy selfe be slaine;
O lambe of God, which took'st our sinne
Which could not stick to thee,
O let it not returne to us againe,
But Patient and Physition being free,
As sinne is nothing, let it no where be.