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But you, of learning and religion,
And virtue and such engredients, have made

A mithridate, whose 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 scholastick, they are not inelegant:

This twilight of two years, not past nor next,

Some einblem is of nie, or I of this,
Who, mere r like, of stuff and form perplext,

Whose what and where in disputation is,

If I thould call me any thing, Tould 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 : have forgot,
Nor trust I this with hopes ; and yet scarce true
This bravery is, since these times shew'd me you.


Yet more abstruse and profound is Donne's reflection upon Man as a Microcosm :

If men be worlds, there is in every one
Something to answer in some proportion;
All the world's riches : and in good men, this
Virtue, our form's form, and our soul's soul, is.

OF thoughts so far-fatched, 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,
Say, like a ring, th’equator Heaven does bind.
When Heaven shall be adorn’d by thee,
(Which then more Heaven than 'uis will be)

'Tis thou must write the poesy there,
For it wanteth one as yet,
Then the sun pass through't twice a year,
The fun, which is esteem'd the god of wit.

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The difficulties which have been raised about identity in philosophy, are by Cowley with still more perplexity applied to Love :

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 sec.?
The same thoughts to retain still, and intents,
Were more inconstant far: for accidents
Must of all things most ftrangely 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 arc

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 travels through different countries : Hast thou not found each woman's breast

(The land where thou hast travelled) Either by savages possest,

Or wild, and uninhabited ?
What joy could'st take, or what repose,
In countries so unciviliz'd as those?

Luft, 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 temperate 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 fuftain,

And never feel the dew of rain
· From clouds which in the head appear;

But all my too much moisture owe
To overdowings of the heart below.


The lover supposes his lady acquainted with the ancient laws of augury and rites of sacrifice :

And yet this death of mine, I fear,
Will ominous to her appear:

When found in every other part,
Her sacrifice is found without an heart.

For the last tempest of my death
Shall sigh out that too, with my breath.

That the chaos was harmonised, has been recited ofold; 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 brought.
Water and air he for the Tenor chose,
Earth made the Base; the Treble, flame 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 my heaven

dissolved so.

On reading the following lines, the reader may perhaps cry out-Confufion worfe confounded, Here lies a lhe sun, and a he moon here,

She gives the best light to his sphere,
Or each is both, and all, and so
They unto one another nothing owe.


'Who but Donne would have thought that a good man is a telescope ?

Though God be our true glass through which we see
All, since the being of all things is he,
Yet are the trunks, which do to us derive
Things in proportion fit, by perspective
Deeds of good men ; for by their living here,
Virtues, indeed remote, seem to be near.


Who would imagine it possible that in a very few lines so many remote ideas could be brought together! . Since 'tis my doom, Love's undershrieve,

Why this reprieve ?
Why doth my lhe advowson fly

To sell thyself dost thou intend

By candles end,
And hold the contrast thus in doubt,

Life's taper out?
Think but how soon the market fails,
Your sex lives faster than the males;
And if to measure age's span,
The sober Julian were th' account of man,
Whilst you live by the fleet Gregorian.


OF enormous and disgusting hyperboles, these may be examples : By every wind that comes this way,

Send me at least a sigh or two,
Such and so many l'll repay
As shall themselves make winds' to get to you.


In tears l'll waste these eyes,

By Love so vainly fed ; · So luft of old the Deluge punished.



All arm'd in brass, the richest dress of war,
(A difinal glorious fight!) he shone afar.
The sun himself started with sudden fright,
To see bis beams return so difinal bright.



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