Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A VALEDICTION: OF THE BOOKE, by JOHN DONNE



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A VALEDICTION: OF THE BOOKE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I'll tell thee now (deare love) what thou shalt do
Last Line: But to marke when, and where the darke eclipses bee?
Subject(s): Books; Reading


I'll tell thee now (deare Love) what thou shalt doe
To anger destiny, as she doth us,
How I shall stay, though she Esloygne me thus,
And how posterity shall know it too;
How thine may out-endure
Sybills glory, and obscure
Her who from Pindar could allure,
And her, through whose helpe Lucan is not lame,
And her, whose booke (they say) Homer did finde, and name.

Study our manuscripts, those Myriades
Of letters, which have past twixt thee and mee,
Thence write our Annals, and in them will bee
To all whom loves subliming fire invades,
Rule and example found;
There, the faith of any ground
No schismatique will dare to wound,
That sees, how Love this grace to us affords,
To make, to keep, to use, to be these his Records.

This Booke, as long-liv'd as the elements,
Or as the worlds forme, this all-graved tome
In cypher writ, or new made Idiome,
Wee for loves clergie only'are instruments:
When this booke is made thus,
Should againe the ravenous
Vandals and Goths inundate us,
Learning were safe; in this our Universe
Schooles might learne Sciences, Spheares Musick, Angels Verse.

Here Loves Divines, (since all Divinity
Is love or wonder) may finde all they seeke,
Whether abstract spirituall love they like,
Their Soules exhal'd with what they do not see,
Or, loth so to amuze
Faiths infirmitie, they chuse
Something which they may see and use;
For, though minde be the heaven, where love doth sit,
Beauty a convenient type may be to figure it.

Here more then in their bookes may Lawyers finde,
Both by what titles Mistresses are ours,
And how prerogative these states devours,
Transferr'd from Love himselfe, to womankinde,
Who though from heart, and eyes,
They exact great subsidies,
Forsake him who on them relies,
And for the cause, honour, or conscience give,
Chimeraes, vaine as they, or their prerogative.

Here Statesmen, (or of them, they which can reade,)
May of their occupation finde the grounds:
Love and their art alike it deadly wounds,
If to consider what 'tis, one proceed,
In both they doe excell
Who the present governe well,
Whose weaknesse none doth, or dares tell;
In this thy booke, such will their nothing see,
As in the Bible some can finde out Alchimy.

Thus vent thy thoughts; abroad I'll studie thee,
As he removes farre off, that great heights takes;
How great love is, presence best tryall makes,
But absence tryes how long this love will bee;
To take a latitude
Sun, or starres, are fitliest view'd
At their brightest, but to conclude
Of longitudes, what other way have wee,
But to marke when, and where the darke eclipses bee?





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