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TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE
WILLIAM LORD CRAVEN,
BARON OF HAMSTED-MARSHAM.
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.
your most humble servant,
I SEE in his last preach'd and printed book,
Those sheets present him dead, these if you buy,
HEXASTICON AD BIBLIOPOLAM,
IN thy impression of Donne's poems rare,
TO JOHN DONNE.
DONNE, the delight of Phoebus, and each Muse,
Came forth example, and remain so yet:
And which no' affection praise enough can give!
To it thy language, letters, arts, best life,
Which might with half mankind maintain a strife;
JOHN DONNE, D.D.
ARK but this flea, and mark in this,
M thou me,
Me it suck'd first, and now sucks thee,
A sin, or shame, or loss of maidenhead,
And pamper'd swells with one blood made of two,
Oh stay, three lives in one flea spare,
Our marriage bed and marriage temple is ;
Cruel and sudden, hast thou since
Except in that blood, which it suck'd from thee?
I WONDER, by my troth, what thou and I
Which I desir'd, and got, 't was but a dream of thee.
And now good-morrow to our waking souls,
My face in thine eye, thine in mine appears,
If our two loves be one, both thou and I
Or say, that now
We are not just those persons, which we were?
For having purpos'd change and falsehood, you
Dispute, and conquer, if I would;
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,
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,
She's all states, and all princes I,
Princes do but play us; compar'd to this,
In that the world 's contracted thus.
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? .
Let me; and do you twenty know.
Venus heard me sing this song,
And by love's sweetest sweet, variety, she swore,
Which think to stablish dangerous constancy,
FOR God's sake hold your tongue, and let me love,
Or the king's real or his stampted face
Alas, alas! who's injur'd by my love?
What merchant's ships have my sighs drown'd?
Soldiers find wars, and lawyers find out still
Call's what you will, we are made such by love;
W' are tapers too, and at our own cost die;
We can die by it, if not live by love.
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
Some man, his art or voice to show,
Grief, which verse did restrain.
Ir yet I have not all thy love,
I cannot breathe one other sigh, to move;
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,
This new love may beget new fears,
The ground, thy heart, is mine, whatever shall