Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ELEGIE ON D.D., by SIDNEY GODOLPHIN



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ELEGIE ON D.D., by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Now, by one yeare, time and our frailtie have
Last Line: Of what you were, then what you are, expresse.
Subject(s): Donne, John (1572-1631); Poetry & Poets


Now, by one yeare, time and our frailtie have
Lessened our first confusion, since the Grave
Clos'd thy deare Ashes, and the teares which flow
In these, have no springs, but of solid woe:
Or they are drops, which cold amazement froze
At thy decease, and will not thaw in Prose:
All streames of Verse which shall lament that day,
Doe truly to the Ocean tribute pay;
But they have lost their saltnesse, which the eye
In recompence of wit, strives to supply:
Passions excesse for thee wee need not feare,
Since first by thee our passions hallowed were;
Thou mad'st our sorrowes, which before had bin
Onely for the Successe, sorrowes for sinne,
We owe thee all those teares, now thou art dead,
Which we shed not, which for our selves we shed.
Nor didst thou onely consecrate our teares,
Give a religious tincture to our feares;
But even our joyes had learn'd an innocence,
Thou didst from gladnesse separate offence:
All mindes at once suckt grace from thee, as where
(The curse revok'd) the Nations had one eare.
Pious dissector: thy one houre did treate
The thousand mazes of the hearts deceipt;
Thou didst pursue our lov'd and subtill sinne,
Through all the foldings wee had wrapt it in,
And in thine owne large minde finding the way
By which our selves we from our selves convey,
Didst in us, narrow models, know the same
Angles, though darker, in our meaner frame.
How short of praise is this? My Muse, alas,
Climbes weakly to that truth which none can passe,
Hee that writes best, may onely hope to leave
A Character of all he could conceive
But none of thee, and with mee must confesse,
That fansie findes some checke, from an excesse
Of merit; most, of nothing, it hath spun,
And truth, as reasons task and theame, doth shunne.
She makes a fairer flight in emptinesse,
Than when a bodied truth doth her oppresse.
Reason againe denies her scales, because
Hers are but scales, shee judges by the lawes
Of weake comparison, thy vertue sleights
Her feeble Beame, and her unequall Weights.
What prodigie of wit and pietie
Hath she else knowne, by which to measure thee?
Great soule: we can no more the worthinesse
Of what you were, then what you are, expresse.





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