Helen Gardner (ed.), John Donne: The Elegies and The Songs and Sonnets

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The Baite

  • 1Come live with mee, and bee my love,
  • 2And we will some new pleasures prove
  • Critical Apparatus3Of golden sands, and christall brookes,
  • 4With silken lines, and silver hookes.
  • 5There will the river whispering runne
  • Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus6Warm'd by thine eyes, more then the Sunne.
  • 7And there the'inamor'd fish will stay,
  • 8Begging themselves they may betray.
  • 9When thou wilt swimme in that live bath,
  • 10Each fish, which every channell hath,
  • Critical Apparatus11Will amorously to thee swimme,
  • 12Gladder to catch thee, then thou him.
  • pg 3313If thou, to be so seene, beest loath,
  • 14By Sunne, or Moone, thou darknest both,
  • Critical Apparatus15And if my selfe have leave to see,
  • 16I need not their light, having thee.
  • 17Let others freeze with angling reeds,
  • Critical Apparatus18And cut their legges, with shells and weeds,
  • 19Or treacherously poore fish beset,
  • 20With strangling snare, or windowie net:
  • Critical Apparatus25For thee, thou needst no such deceit,
  • 26For thou thy selfe art thine owne bait,
  • Critical Apparatus27That fish, that is not catch'd threby,
  • 28Alas, is wiser farre then I.

Notes Settings


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The Baite. L 74, Dob, A 25, B, S omit. First printed in William Corkine's Second Book of Ayres, 1612. Title from 1635.
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3 brookes,] brookes: 1633
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6 thine TCD, O'F, HK 2: thy 1633 Σ, Gr
Editor’s Note
l. 6. In spite of poor manuscript authority I adopt 'thine' as it is in accordance with Donne's practice to avoid the hiatus in 'thy eye'.
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11 to] unto O'F, HK 2, Cy, P, JC
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15 selfe] heart TC
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18 with MSS.: which 1633
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21–24 Omit S 96
Editor’s Note
l. 22. out-wrest: drag out.
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23 sleave-silke Σ: with silke Cy, P: sleavesicke 1633
Editor’s Note
l. 23. curious: exquisitely made.
sleave-silke: silk capable of being 'sleaved', that is, divided into fine filaments to make artificial flies.
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25 thou needst] there needs H 40, C 57, H 49, S 96,HK 2,JC
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27 catch'd] caught TC, S 96, HK 2, Cy, P
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