1605 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir Henry Goodere

John Donne, "To Sir Henry Goodyere" 1605 ca.; Donne, Poems (1633) 72-74.



Who makes the Past, a patterne for next yeare,
Turnes no new lease, but still the same things reads,
Seene things, he sees againe, heard things doth heare,
And makes his life, but like a paire of beads.

A Palace, when 'tis that, which it should be,
Leaves growing, and stands such, or else decayes,
But hee which dwels there, is not so; for hee
Strives to urge upward, and his fortune raise;

So had your body her morning, hath her noone,
And shall not better; her next change is night:
But her faire larger guest, to whom Sun and Moone
Are sparkes, and short liv'd, claimes another right.

The noble Soule by age growes lustier,
Her appetite, and her digestion mend,
Wee must not sterve, nor hope to pamper her
With womens milke, and pappe unto the end.

Provide you manlyer dyet, you have seene
All libraries, which are Schools, Camps, and Courts;
But aske your Garners if you have not beene
In harvests, too indulgent to your sports.

Would you redeeme it? then your selfe transplant
A while from hence, Perchance outlandish ground
Beares no more wit, then ours, but yet more scant
Are those diversions there, which here abound.

To be a stranger hath that benefit,
Wee can beginnings, but not habits choke.
Goe, whither? hence; you get, if you forget;
New faults, till they prescribe in us, are smoake.

Our soule, whose country is heaven, and God her father,
Into this world, corruptions sinke, is sent,
Yet, so much in her travaile she doth garner,
That she returnes home, wiser then she went;

It payes you wall, if it teach you to spare,
And make you asham'd, to make your hawks praise, yours,
Which when herselfe she lessens in the aire,
You then first say, that high enough she toures.

However, keepe the lively tast you hold
Of God, love him as now, but feare him more,
And in your afternoones thinke what you told
And promis'd him, at morning prayer before.

Let falshood like a discord anger you,
Else be not froward; But why doe I touch
Things, of which none is in your practise new,
And Tables, or fruit-trenchers teach as much;

But thus I make you keepe your promise Sir,
Riding I had you, though you still staid there,
And in these thoughts, although you never stirre,
You came with mee to Micham, and are here.