Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ON DR. JOHN DONNE, LATE DEANE OF S. PAULES, LONDON, by I. CHUDLEIGH



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ON DR. JOHN DONNE, LATE DEANE OF S. PAULES, LONDON, by            
First Line: Long since this taske of teares from you was due
Last Line: Must weep here if he have ambition.
Subject(s): Donne, John (1572-1631); Poetry & Poets


Long since this taske of teares from you was due,
Long since, o Poets, he did die to you,
Or left you dead, when wit and he tooke flight
On divine wings, and soard out of your sight.
Preachers, 'tis you must weep; The wit he taught
You doe enjoy; the Rebels which he brought
From ancient discord, Giants faculties,
And now no more religions enemies;
Honest to knowing, unto vertuous sweet,
Witty to good, and learned to discreet,
He reconcil'd, and bid the Vsurper goe;
Dulnesse to vice, religion ought to flow;
He kept his loves, but not his objects; wit
Hee did not banish, but transplanted it,
Taught it his place and use, and brought it home
To Pietie, which it doth best become;
He shew'd us how for sinnes we ought to sigh,
And how to sing Christs Epithalamy:
The Altars had his fires, and there hee spoke
Incense of loves, and fansies holy smoake:
Religion thus enrich'd, the people train'd,
And God from dull vice had the fashion gain'd.
The first effects sprung in the giddy minde
Of flashy youth, and thirst of woman-kinde,
By colours lead, and drawne to a pursuit,
Now once againe by beautie of the fruit,
As if their longings too must set us free,
And tempt us now to the commanded tree.
Tell me, had ever pleasure such a dresse,
Have you knowne crimes so shap'd? or lovelinesse
Such as his lips did cloth religion in?
Had not reproofe a beauty passing sinne?
Corrupted nature sorrow'd when she stood
So neare the danger of becomming good,
And wish'd our so inconstant eares exempt
From piety that had such power to tempt:
Did not his sacred flattery beguile
Man to amendment? The law, taught to smile,
Pension'd our vanitie, and man grew well
Through the same frailtie by which he fell.
O the sick state of man, health does not please
Our tasts, but in the shape of the disease.
Thriftlesse is charitie, coward patience,
Justice is cruell, mercy want of sense.
What meanes our Nature to barre vertue place,
If shee doe come in her owne cloathes and face?
Is good a pill, we dare not chaw to know?
Sense the soules servant, doth it keep us so
As we might starve for good, unlesse it first
Doe leave a pawne of relish in the gust?
Or have we to salvation no tie
At all, but that of our infirmitie?
Who treats with us must our affections move
To th' good we flie by those sweets which we love,
Must seeke our palats, and with their delight
To gaine our deeds, must bribe our appetite.
These traines he knew, and laying nets to save,
Temptingly sugred all the health hee gave.
But, where is now that chime? that harmony
Hath left the world, now the loud organ may
Appeare, the better voyce is fled to have
A thousand times the sweetnesse which it gave.
I cannot say how many thousand spirits
The single happinesse this soule inherits,
Damnes in the other world, soules whom no crosse
O'th sense afflicts, but onely of the losse,
Whom ignorance would halfe save, all whose paine
Is not in what they feele, but others gaine,
Selfe executing wretched spirits, who
Carrying their guilt, transport their envy too:
But those high joyes which his wits youngest flame
Would hurt to chuse, shall not we hurt to name?
Verse statues are all robbers, all we make
Of monument, thus doth not give but take
As Sailes which Seamen to a forewinde fit,
By a resistance, goe along with it,
So pens grow while they lessen fame so left;
A weake assistance is a kinde of theft.
Who hath not love to ground his teares upon,
Must weep here if he have ambition.





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