Helen Gardner (ed.), John Donne: The Elegies and The Songs and Sonnets
- 1Sweetest love, I do not goe,
- 2For wearinesse of thee,
- 3Nor in hope the world can show
- Critical Apparatus4 A fitter Love for mee;
- 5 But since that I
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus6Must dye at last, 'tis best,
- 7To use my selfe in jest
- Critical Apparatus8 Thus by fain'd deaths to dye.
- 9Yesternight the Sunne went hence,
- 10 And yet is here to day,
- 11He hath no desire nor sense,
- 12 Nor halfe so short a way:
- 13 Then feare not mee,
- 14But beleeve that I shall make
- Critical Apparatus15Speedier journeyes, since I take
- 16 More wings and spurres then hee.
- 17O how feeble is mans power,
- 18 That if good fortune fall,
- 19Cannot adde another houre,
- Critical Apparatus20 Nor a lost houre recall!
- Editor’s Note21 But come bad chance,
- Critical Apparatus22And wee joyne to it our strength,
- 23And wee teach it art and length,
- 24 It selfe o'r us to'advance.
- pg 32Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus25When thou sigh'st, thou sigh'st not winde,
- 26 But sigh'st my soule away,
- 27When thou weep'st, unkindly kinde,
- 28 My lifes blood doth decay.
- 29 It cannot bee
- 30That thou lov'st mee, as thou say'st,
- 31If in thine my life thou waste,
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus32 Thou art the best of mee.
Song. L 74, Cy omit. Title from 1633. The first four lines of each stanza appear as two long lines in H 40, C 57, H 49, TC, A 25, B, JC; the sixth and seventh also appear as one long line in H 40, C 57, H 49, TC,B
4 mee;] mee, 1633
6–8 At the last must part tis best/Thus to vse my selfe in iest/ By fayned deaths to dye O'F
ll.6–8. The reading of Lut, O'F is a good example of intelligent editing in Lut, since it makes the first stanza correspond to the others. 1633 adopted this reading from O'F, but 1669 reverted to the reading of 1633.
8 deaths] death H 40, S 96, HK 2, P, JC, S
dye.] dye; 1633
15 journeyes, since I] returne, since I do Dob, S 96: journeys and do JC
20 recall!] recall? 1633
ll. 21–24. 'But if misfortune come we side with it and teach it how to protract itself, so that it triumphs over us.'
22 joyne] add O'F, HK 2, A 25, JC
to it] to'it 1633
25–32 Omit TCD
ll. 25–32. In both Greek and Latin the same word ('psyche' or 'anima') means either 'breath' or 'soul', so that the notion of the soul being breathed out in sighs is natural in classical poets. That sighs 'waste life' is an old belief, sometimes found in the form that each sigh costs a drop of blood; cf. 'blood-consuming sighs', 'blood-drinking sighs', and 'blood-sucking sighs' (2 Henry VI, III. ii. 61 and 63, and 3 Henry VI, IV. iv. 22).
32 Thou] That Dob, O'F, B
l. 32. the best of mee: my life, my soul.
36 fulfill]; fulfill, 1633