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Love was with thy life entwin'd,
In the following verses we have an allusion to a Rabbinical opinion concerning Manna:
Variety I ask not: give me one
Thus Donne Thews his medicinal knowledge in some encomiastick verses :
In every thing there naturally grows A Balsamum to keep it fresh and new,
If 'twere not injur'd by extrinsique blows; Your youth and beauty are this balm in you.
But, you of learning and religion, And virtue and such ingredients, have made
A mithridate, whole operation Keeps off, or cures what can be done or said,
Though the following lines of Donne, on the last night of the year, have something in them too icholastick, they are not inelegant : This twilight of two years, not past nor next,
Some emblen is of me, or I of this, Who meteor-like, of stuff and form perplext,
Whose what and where, in disputation is,
If I should call me any thing, thould miss. I sum the years and me, and find me not Debtor to th’old, nor creditor to th' new,
That cannot say, my thanks I have forgot,
Nor trust I this with hopes; and yet scarce This bravery is, since these times shew'd me you.
Yet more abstruse and profound is Donne's
Something to answer in some proportion
F thoughts so far-fetched, as to be not only unexpected, but unnatural, all their books are full.
To a Lady, who wrote poesies for rings.
They, who above do various circles find,
When heaven shall be adorn'd by thee,
'Tis thou must write the poesy there, For it wanteth one as yet,
Tho' the sun pass through't twice a year, The sun, which is esteem'd the god of Wit.
The difficulties which have been raised about identity in philosophy, are by Cowley with still more perplexity applied to Love :
E Y. Five years ago (says story) I lov'd you, For which you call me most inconstant
now; Pardon me, madam, you mistake the man: For I am not the same that I was then ; No flesh is now the same 'twas then in me, And that my mind is chang’d yourself may
see. The same thoughts to retain still, and in
tents Were more inconstant far; for accidents Must of all things most strangely inconstant
prove, If from one subject they t'another move: My members then, the father members
were From whence these take their birth, which
now are here. If then this body love what th other did, ”Twere incest, which by nature is forbid.
The love of different women is, in geographical poetry, compared to travel through different countries :
Hast thou not found, each woman's breast (The lands where thou hast travelled) Èither by savages possest,
Or wild, and uninhabited ?
What joy could'st take, or what repose In countries so uncivilis'd as thofe ? Lust, the scorching dog-star, here
Rages with immoderate heat ; Whilst Pride, the rugged Northern Bear,
In others makes the cold too great.
. And where these are temp’rate known, The soil's all barren sand, or rocky stone.
A lover, burnt up by his affection, is compared to Egypt:
The fate of Egypt I sustain,
And never feel the dew of rain, From clouds which in the head appear;
But all my too much moisture owe, To overflowings of the heart below.
The lover fupposes his lady acquainted with the ancient laws of augury and rites of sacrifice :
And yet this death of mine, I fear,
When found in every other part,
death Shall sigh out that too, with my breath.
That the chaos was harmonised has been recited of old; but whence the different sounds arose, remained for a modern to discover:
Th’ungovern’d parts no correspondence
knew, An artless war from thwarting motions
grew ; Till they to number and fixt rules were
Water and air he for the tenor chose, Earth made the Base, the Treble fame arose.
The tears of lovers are always of great poetical account; but Donne has extended them into worlds. If the lines are not easily understood, they may be read again.
On a round ball A workman, that hath copies by, can lay An Europe, Afric, and an Asia, And quickly make that, which was nothing, all.
So doth each tear,
Which thee doth wear, A globe, yea world, by that impression grow, Till thy tears mixt with mine do overflow This world, by waters sent from thee
heaven dissolved so. On reading the following lines the reader may perhaps cry out-Confusion worse confounded.
Here lies a she sun, and a he moon here,
She gives the best light to his sphere,
Or each is both, and all, and so
Who but Donne would have thought that a good man is a telescope? Tho' God be our true glass, thro' which we
see All, since the being of all things is he,