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MANY of these poems have, for several impressions, wandered up and down, trusting (as well as they might) upon the author's reputation: neither do they now complain of any injury, but what may proceed either from the kindness of the printer, or the courtesy of the reader; the one, by adding something too much, lest any spark of this sacred fire might perish undiscerned; the other, by putting such an estimation upon the wit and fancy they find here, that they are content to use it as their own; as if a man should dig out the stones of a royal amphitheatre, to build a stage for a country show. Amongst all the monsters this unlucky age has teemed with, I find none so prodigious as the poets of these later times, wherein men, as if they would level understandings too, as well as estates, acknowledging no inequality of parts and judgments, pretend as indifferently to the chair of wit as to the pulpit, and conceive themselves no less inspired with the spirit of poetry, than with that of religion: so it is not only the noise of drums and trumpets which have drowned the Muse's harmony, or the fear that the church's ruin will destroy the priests' likewise, that now frights them from this country, where they have been so ingeniously received; but these rude pretenders to excellencies they unjustly own, who, profanely rushing into Minerva's temple, with noisome airs blast the laurel, which thunder cannot hurt. In this sad condition, these learned sisters are fled over to beg your lordship's protection, who have been so certain a patron both to arts and arms, and who, in this general confusion, have so entirely preserved your honour, that in your lordship we may still read a most perfect character of what England was in all her pomp and greatness. So that although these poems were formerly written upon several occasions to several persons, they now unite themselves, and are become one pyramid to set your lordship's statue upon; where you may stand, like armed Apollo, the defender of the Muses, encouraging the poets now alive to celebrate your great acts, by affording your countenance to his poems, that wanted only so noble a subject.

My Lord,

your most humble servant,



I SEE in his last preach'd and printed book,
His picture in a sheet; in Paul's I look,
And see his statue in a sheet of stone;
And sure his body in the grave hath one :

Those sheets present him dead, these if you buy,
You have him living to eternity.




IN thy impression of Donne's poems rare,
For his eternity thou hast ta'en care:
"T was well and pious; and for ever may
He live: yet I show thee a better way;
Print but his sermons, and if those we buy,
He, we,
and thou, shall live t'eternity.


DONNE, the delight of Phoebus, and each Muse,
Who, to thy one, all other brains refuse;
Whose ev'ry work of thy most early wit,

Came forth example, and remain so yet:
Longer a knowing, than most wits do live;

And which no' affection praise enough can give!

To it thy language, letters, arts, best life,

Which might with half mankind maintain a strife;
All which I mean to praise, and yet I would;
But leave, because I cannot as I should!






ARK but this flea, and mark in this,

M thou me,

Me it suck'd first, and now sucks thee,
And in this flea our two bloods mingled be;
Confess it. This cannot be said

A sin, or shame, or loss of maidenhead,
Yet this enjoys, before it woo,

And pamper'd swells with one blood made of two,
And this, alas! is more than we could do.

Oh stay, three lives in one flea spare,
Where we almost, nay more than marry'd are.
This flea is you and I, and this

Our marriage bed and marriage temple is ;
Though parents grudge, and you, w' are met,
And cloister'd in these living walls of jet.
Though use make you apt to kill me,
Let not to that self-murder added be,
And sacrilege, three sins in killing three.

Cruel and sudden, hast thou since
Purpled thy nail in blood of innocence ?
Wherein could this flea guilty be,

Except in that blood, which it suck'd from thee?
Yet thou triumph'st, and say'st that thou
Find'st not thyself nor me the weaker now;
'T is true; then learn how false fears be:
Just so much honour, when thou yield'st to mee,
Will waste, as this flea's death took life from thee.


I WONDER, by my troth, what thou and I
Did, till we lov'd? were we not wean'd till then,
But suck'd on childish pleasures sillily?
Or slumbred we in the seven-sleepers den ?
'Twas so; but as all pleasures fancies be,
If ever any beauty I did see,

Which I desir'd, and got, 't was but a dream of thee.

And now good-morrow to our waking souls,
Which watch not one another out of fear;
For love all love of other sights controls,
And makes one an every-where.
Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone,
Let maps to other worlds our world have shown,
Let us possess one world; each hath one, and is one.

My face in thine eye, thine in mine appears,
And true plain hearts do in the faces rest;
Where can we find two fitter hemispheres
Without sharp north, without declining west?
Whatever dies, was not mix'd equally;

If our two loves be one, both thou and I
Love just alike in all, none of these loves can die.

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Or say, that now

We are not just those persons, which we were?
Or, that oaths, made in reverential fear
Of Love and his wrath, any may forswear?
Or, as true deaths true marriages untie,
So lovers' contracts, images of those,
Bind but till sleep, death's image, them unloose?
Or, your own end to justify

For having purpos'd change and falsehood, you
Can have no way but falsehood to be true?
Vain lunatic, against these scapes I could

Dispute, and conquer, if I would;
Which I abstain to doe,

For by to morrow I may think so too.

Busy old fool, unruly Sun,

Why dost thou thus,

Through windows and through curtains, look on us? Must to thy motions lovers' seasons run?

Sawcy pedantic wretch, go, chide

Late school-boys, or sour 'prentices,

Go tell court-huntsmen, that the king will ride,
Call country ants to harvest offices;

Love, all alike, no season knows nor clime,

Nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time.

Thy beams, so reverend and strong,

Dost thou not think

I could eclipse, and cloud them with a wink,
But that I would not lose her sight so long?
If her eyes have not blinded thine,
Look, and to morrow late tell me,
Whether both th' Indias of spice and mine
Be where thou left them, or lie here with me;
Ask for those kings, whom thou saw'st yesterday,
And thou shalt hear, All here in one bed lay.

She's all states, and all princes I,
Nothing else is.

Princes do but play us; compar'd to this,
All honour's mimic; all wealth alchymy;
Thou Sun art half as happy' as we,

In that the world 's contracted thus.
Thine age asks ease, and since thy duties be
To warm the world, that 's done in warming us.
Shine here to us, and thou art every where ;
This bed thy centre is, these walls thy sphere.

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CAN love both fair and brown;

Her whom abundance melts, and her whom want [plays;


Her who loves loneness best, and her who sports and Her whom the country form'd, and whom the town; Her who believes, and her who tries;

Her who still weeps with spungy eyes,

And her who is dry cork, and never cries;

I can love her, and her, and you, and you,

I can love any, so she be not true.

Will no other vice content you?

Will it not serve your turn to do, as did your mothers? Or have you all old vices worn, and now would find out others?

Or doth a fear, that men are true, torment you? .
Oh, we are not, be not you so;

Let me; and do you twenty know.
Rob me, but bind me not, and let me go;
Must I, who came to travail thorough you,
Grow your fix'd subject, because you are true?”

Venus heard me sing this song,

And by love's sweetest sweet, variety, she swore,
She heard not this till now; it should be so no more.
She went, examin'd, and return'd ere long,
And said, "Alas! some two or three
Poor heretics in love there be,

Which think to stablish dangerous constancy,
But I have told them, since you will be true,
You shall be true to them, who 're false to you."

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FOR God's sake hold your tongue, and let me love,
Or chide my palsy, or my gout,
My five grey hairs, or ruin'd fortunes flout;
With wealth your state, your mind with arts improve,
Take you a course, get you a place,
Observe his honour or his grace,

Or the king's real or his stampted face
Contemplate; what you will, approve,
So you will let me love.

Alas, alas! who's injur'd by my love?

What merchant's ships have my sighs drown'd?
Who says my tears have overflow'd his ground?
When did my colds a forward spring remove?
When did the heats, which my reins fill,
Add one more to the plaguy bill?

Soldiers find wars, and lawyers find out still
Litigious men, whom quarrels move,
Though she and I do love.

Call's what you will, we are made such by love;
Call her one, me another fly;

W' are tapers too, and at our own cost die;
And we in us find th' eagle and the dove;
The phenix riddle hath more wit
By us, we two being one, are it:
So to one neutral thing both sexes fit.
We die and rise the same, and prove
Mysterious by this love.

We can die by it, if not live by love.
And if unfit for tomb or hearse
Our legend be, it will be fit for verse ;
And if no piece of chronicle we prove,

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I AM two fools, I know,

For loving, and for saying so

In whining poetry;

But where's that wise man, that would not be I, If she would not deny?

Then as th' Earth's inward narrow crooked lanes Do purge sea water's fretful salt away,

I thought, if I could draw my pains
Through rhyme's vexation, I should them allay.
Grief brought to number cannot be so fierce,
For he tames it, that fetters it in verse.
But when I have done so,

Some man, his art or voice to show,
Doth set and sing my pain,
And, by delighting many, frees again

Grief, which verse did restrain.
To love and grief tribute of verse belongs,
But not of such as pleases, when 't is read,
Both are increased by such songs:
For both their triumphs so are published,
And I, which was two fools, do so grow three:
Who are a little wise, the best fools be.


Ir yet I have not all thy love,
Dear, I shall never have it all,

I cannot breathe one other sigh, to move;
Nor can entreat one other tear to fall;
And all my treasure, which should purchase thee,
Sighs, tears, and oaths, and letters I have spent ;
Yet no more can be due to me,

Than at the bargain made was meant:

If then thy gift of love was partial,

That some for me, some should to others fall,

Dear, I shall never have it all.

Or, if then thou giv'st me all,

All was but all, which thou hadst then:

But if in thy heart since there be, or shall

New love created be by other men,

Which have their stocks entire, and can in tears,
In sighs, in oaths, in letters outbid me,

This new love may beget new fears,
For this love was not vow'd by thee.
And yet it was thy gift being general;

The ground, thy heart, is mine, whatever shall
Grow there, dear, I should have it all.


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