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A lover, burnt up by his affection, is compared to Egypt.

The fate of Egypt I sustain,

And never feel the dew of rain

From clouds which in the head appear;

But all my too much moisture owe
To overflowings of the heart below.


The lover supposes his lady acquainted with the ancient laws of augury and rites of


And yet this death of mine, I fear,
Will ominous to her appear:

When, sound in every other part,

Her sacrifice is found without an heart.

For the last tempest of my death

Shall sigh out that too, with my breath.


That the chaos was harmonised, has been recited of old; but whence the different sounds arose remained for a modern to discover.

Th' ungovern'd parts no correspondence knew,
An artless war from thwarting motions grew,
Till they to number and fixt rules were brought.
Water and air he for the tenor chose,

Earth made the base, the treble flame arose.

On a round ball

A workman, that hath copies by, can lay
An Europe, Afric, and an Asia,

The tears of lovers are always of great poetical account; but Donne has extended them into worlds. If the lines are not easily understood, they may be read


And quickly make that, which was nothing, all:

So doth each tear,


Which thee doth wear,

A globe, yea world, by that impression grow,

Till thy tears, mixt with mine, do overflow

This world, by waters sent from thee my heaven dissolved so.

On reading the following lines, the reader may perhaps cry out-Confusion worse confounded.

Here lies a she Sun, and a he Moon here,
She gives the best light to his sphere,

Or each is both, and all, and so

They unto one another nothing owe.

Who but Donne would have thought, that a good man is a telescope?

Though God be our true glass, through which we see

All, since the being of all things is he ;

Yet are the trunks, which do to us derive
Things in proportion, fit by perspective,
Deeds of good men ; for by their living here,

Virtues, indeed remote, seem to be near.

Who would imagine it possible, that in a very few lines so many remote ideas could be brought together?


Since 'tis my doom, Love's undershrieve,

Why this reprieve?

Why doth my she Advowson fly


To sell thyself dost thou intend
By candle's end,

And hold the contrast thus in doubt,

Life's taper out?

Think but how soon the market fails,
Your sex lives faster than the males;

And if to measure age's span,

The sober Julian were th' account of man,

Whilst you live by the fleet Gregorian.


Of enormous and disgusting hyperboles, these may be examples:

By every wind that comes this way,

Send me at least a sigh or two,

Such and so many I'll repay

As shall themselves make winds to get to you.

In tears I'll waste these eyes,

By love so vainly fed;

So lust of old the Deluge punished.

All arm'd in brass, the richest dress of war,
(A dismal glorious sight!) he shone afar.
The Sun himself started with sudden fright,
To see his beams return so dismal bright,





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Here spouts a V, and there a T,

And all the flourishing letters stand in rows.




Upon a paper written with the juice of lemon, and read by the fire:

Nothing yet in thee is seen,

But when a genial heat warms thee within,

A new-born wood of various lines there grows;

Here buds an L, and there a B,


As they sought only for novelty, they did not much inquire whether their allusions were to things high or low, clegant or gross: whether they compared the little to the great, or the great to the little.

Physic and Chirurgery for a Lover.
Gently, ah gently, madam, touch

The wound, which you yourself have made;

That pain must needs be very much,
Which makes me of your hand afraid.

Cordials of pity give me now,
For I too weak of purgings grow.

The World and a Clock.
Mahol th' inferior world's fantastic face

Through all the turns of matter's maze did trace;
Great Nature's well-set clock in pieces took;

On all the springs and smallest wheels did look
Of life and motion, and with equal art
Made up the whole again of every part.

No family
E'er rigg'd a soul for Heaven's discovery,
With whom more venturers might boldly dare
Venture their stakes, with him in joy to share.



A coal-pit has not often found its poet: but, that it may not want its due honour, Cleiveland has paralleled it with the Sun :

The moderate value of our guiltless ore
Makes no man atheist, and no woman whore;
Yet why should hallow'd vestal's sacred shrine
Deserve more honour than a flaming mine?
These pregnant wombs of heat would fitter be,
Than a few embers, for a deity.

Had he our pits, the Persian would admire
No sun, but warm's devotion at our fire:
He'd leave the trotting whipster, and prefer
Our profound Vulcan 'bove that waggoner.
For wants he heat, or light? or would have store,
Or both? 'tis here: and what can suns give more?
Nay, what's the Sun, but, in a different name,
A coal-pit rampant, or a mine on flame!
Then let this truth reciprocally run,
The Sun's Heaven's coalery, and coals our sun.
Death, a Voyage:

Fool to resume her broken chain,

And row her galley here again!

Fool, to that body to return

Where it condemn'd and de tin'd is to burn!


Their thoughts and expressions were sometimes grossly absurd, and such as no figure or licence can reconcile to the understanding.

A Lover neither dead nor alive:
Then down I laid my head

Down on cold earth; and for a while was dead,
And my freed soul to a strange somewhere fled;
Ah, sottish soul, said I,

When back to its cage again I saw it fly;

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Thou in my fancy dost much higher stand,
Than woman can be plac'd by Nature's hand;
And I must recds, I'm sure, a loser be,
To change thee as thou'rt there, for very thee.

They were in very little care to clothe their notions with elegance of dress, and therefore miss the notice and the praise which are often gained by those who think less, but are more diligent to adorn their thoughts.

That a Mistress beloved is fairer in idea than in reality, is by Cowley thus expressed:


That prayer and labour should co-operate, are thus taught by Donne:

In none but us are such mix'd engines found,

As hands of double office; for the ground

We till with them; and them to Heaven we raise;

Who prayerless labours, or, without this, prays,
Doth but one half, that's none.

-That which I should have begun

In my youth's morning, now late must be done;

And I, as giddy travellers must do,

By the same author, a common topic, the danger of procrastination, is thus


Which stray or seep all day, and having lost

Light and strength, dark and tir'd, must then ride post.

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