1640 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. John Donne

Thomas Beedome, "To the Memory of his honoured Friend Master John Donne, an Eversary" Beedome, Poems (1641) sigs G7-G8v.



Blest dust, and better soule, to you alone,
I raise this structure, not in Jet or Stone,
Whose frailety in its luster onely can,
Tell us below, there lyes a frayler man.
But heightned by those severall glories which
Does equally your better selfe inrich,
In those rude lines, if such poore things can live,
I would a memory to your being give.
Burst ope thy Cell, blest shade, and rise, that we
May doe some homage to thy excellency.
Or that thy great example may invite,
Us to a wish of everlasting night,
In which thy Sun of vertue shall appeare,
So full, as if earth had no darknesse there.
Oh happy spring of thine, whose seede and flower
Was sowed and bloom'd, and witherd in an hower,
For if long age be counted but a span,
Thy inch of time scarce measur'd halfe a man.
But sleepe, sleepe best of spirits, why should I
Disturbe thy ashes? tis a misery,
To know thou wert, and art not, for so men,
Mourne, Jewels they once had, but lost agen,
So he, whose bitter fate is forc't to prove,
The misery of a memorable Love,
Remembring what it was, and since no more
He may enjoy it as he did before,
Weepes the sad consequence, and prints thereby
His sorrowes, offerd to the Readers eye.
But I must leave thee thus, and thinke of thee,
To the mad world, a just Antipathy.
Thou wert not of those men whose gowne and hood,
Must plead a wisdome, though not understood.
Nor of the tribe of such as easily can,
Drop jests, or vapours upon any man.
These are the Indians, that doe friske and run,
To the false rayes of each supposed Sunne:
Simple Americans that doe ingrosse
The toyes of every noble genius,
Nor were you such whose cunning had the skill,
To murder a friend closely, nor to kill
With a pretence of safety; your just Endes
Depended not on liking of your friends.
But if the opposites of vice may be,
Exprest by any contrariety,
Let all men know, what all men wish, which is
But a content on earth, and after blisse,
Which thou art crownd with, thus some stones are set
At greater rate, then some whole Cabinet,
When thy triumphant spirit once did inne,
At the poore cottage of thy frayler skinne,
Though every thought was payment of a rent,
To high, and worthy such a tenement,
Yet as it had a knowledge did dispaire,
Because thou wouldst not tarry longer there.
It droopes and ruinates it selfe, and falls,
In every glory of its principalls.
So Princes in a journey having beene
The honoured guests of some poore village Inne
Are mourn'd at their departure, and now more
Grieves the sad host, then he was glad before.
Come Virgins, you whose innocency can
Embalme the memory of a divine man;
You whose unspotted glories as your faces
Preserve your fame and multiply its graces:
Whose easie goodnesse never did affect
To wound obedient spirits with neglect,
Nor triumph in the fall of former lovers,
Come, come, blest Virgins bring your peacefull Doves,
And at the Altar of his sacred shrine,
Present them and your zeale, as I doe mine.
That to the world hereafter may be read,
Here innocency by Virgins wound lyes dead.