Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, AN ELEGIE ON DR. DONNE, by LUCIUS CARIE

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

AN ELEGIE ON DR. DONNE, by                 Poet's Biography
First Line: Poets attend, the elegie I sing
Last Line: His age saw visions, though his youth dream'd dreams.
Subject(s): Donne, John (1572-1631); Poetry & Poets

Poets attend, the Elegie I sing
Both of a doubly-named Priest, and King:
In stead of Coates, and Pennons, bring your Verse,
For you must bee chiefe mourners at his Hearse,
A Tombe your Muse must to his Fame supply,
No other Monuments can never die;
And as he was a two-fold Priest; in youth,
Apollo's; afterwards, the voice of Truth,
Gods Conduit-pipe for grace, who chose him for
His extraordinary Embassador,
So let his Liegiers with the Poets joyne,
Both having shares, both must in griefe combine:
Whil'st Johnson forceth with his Elegie
Teares from a griefe-unknowing Scythians eye,
(Like Moses at whose stroke the waters gusht
From forth the Rock, and like a Torrent rusht.)
Let Lawd his funerall Sermon preach, and shew
Those vertues, dull eyes were not apt to know,
Nor leave that Piercing Theme, till it appeares
To be goodfriday, by the Churches Teares;
Yet make not griefe too long oppresse our Powers,
Least that his funerall Sermon should prove ours.
Nor yet forget that heavenly Eloquence,
With which he did the bread of life dispense,
Preacher and Orator discharg'd both parts
With pleasure for our sense, health for our hearts,
And the first such (Though a long studied Art
Tell us our soule is all in every part,)
None was so marble, but whil'st him he heares,
His Soule so long dwelt only in his eares.
And from thence (with the fiercenesse of a flood
Bearing downe vice) victual'd with that blest food
Their hearts; His seed in none could faile to grow,
Fertile he found them all, or made them so:
No Druggist of the Soule bestow'd on all
So Catholiquely a curing Cordiall.
Nor only in the Pulpit dwelt his store,
His words work'd much, but his example more,
That preach't on worky dayes, His Poetrie
It selfe was oftentimes divinity,
Those Anthemes (almost second Psalmes) he writ
To make us know the Crosse, and value it,
(Although we owe that reverence to that name
Wee should not need warmth from an under flame.)
Creates a fire in us, so neare extreme
That we would die, for, and upon this theme.
Next, his so pious Litany, which none can
But count Divine, except a Puritan,
And that but for the name, nor this, nor those
Want any thing of Sermons, but the prose.
Experience makes us see, that many a one
Owes to his Countrey his Religion;
And in another, would as strongly grow,
Had but his Nurse and Mother taught him so.
Not hee the ballast on his Judgement hung;
Nor did his preconceit doe either wrong.
He labour'd to exclude what ever sinne
By time or carelessenesse had entred in;
Winnow'd the chaffe from wheat, but yet was loath
A too hot zeale should force him burne them both;
Nor would allow of that so ignorant gall,
Which to save blotting often would blot all;
Nor did those barbarous opinions owne,
To thinke the Organs sinne, and faction, none;
Nor was there expectation to gaine grace
From forth his Sermons only, but his face;
So Primitive a looke, such gravitie
With humblenesse, and both with Pietie;
So milde was Moses countenance, when he prai'd
For them whose Satanisme his power gainsaid;
And such his gravitie, when all Gods band
Receiv'd his word (through him) at second hand,
Which joyn'd, did flames of more devotion move
Then ever Argive Hellens could of love.
Now to conclude, I must my reason bring,
Wherefore I call'd him in his title King;
That Kingdome the Philosophers beleev'd
To excell Alexanders, nor were griev'd
By feare of losse (that being such a Prey
No stronger then ones selfe can force away)
The Kingdome of ones selfe, this he enjoy'd,
And his authoritie so well employ'd,
That never any could before become
So Great a Monarch, in so small a roome;
He conquer'd rebell passions, rul'd them so,
As under-spheares by the first Mover goe,
Banish't so farre their working, that we can
But know he had some, for we knew him man.
Then let his last excuse his first extremes,
His age saw visions, though his youth dream'd dreams.

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