Helen Gardner (ed.), John Donne: The Elegies and The Songs and Sonnets
- Editor’s Note1 I wonder by my troth, what thou, and I
- Critical Apparatus2 Did, till we lov'd? were we not wean'd till then?
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus3 But suck'd on countrey pleasures, childishly?
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus4 Or snorted we i'the seaven sleepers den?
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus5 Twas so; But this, all pleasures fancies bee.
- Editor’s Note6 If ever any beauy I did see,
- 7Which I desir'd, and got, 'twas but a dreame of thee.
- 8 And now good morrow to our waking soules,
- 9 Which watch not one another out of feare;
- Critical Apparatus10 For love, all love of other sights controules,
- Critical Apparatus11 And makes one little roome, an every where.
- Editor’s Note12 Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone,
- Critical Apparatus13 Let Maps to others, worlds on worlds have showne,
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus14Let us possesse our world, each hath one, and is one.
- 15 My face in thine eye, thine in mine appeares,
- Critical Apparatus16 And true plaine hearts doe in the faces rest,
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus17 Where can we finde two better hemispheares
- 18 Without sharpe North, without declining West?
- pg 71Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus19 What ever dyes, was not mixt equally;
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus20 If our two loves be one, or, thou and I
- Editor’s Note21Love so alike, that none doe slacken, none can die.
The Good-morrow. Cy omits. Title from 1633, TC
ll. 1–3. As in 'His Picture', ll. 17–20, Donne has borrowed from devotional literature the Pauline contrast between milk for babes and meat for grown men.
2 lov'd?] lov'd, 163
3 countrey … childishly 1633, H 40, C 57, H 49; childish … seelily Σ see note
l. 3. suck'don countrey pleasures, childishly. This reading(1633, H 40,I) is so much stronger than the weakly repetitive 'childish pleasures seelily' that it must be either the original of which the other is a corruption or an improvement made by the author. I incline to the second explanation because corruption does not seem a sufficient explanation either here or in l. 21 for transposition as well as alteration of words.
countrey pleasures: rustic, hence unrefined pleasures. Cf. 'country grasse', 'Love's Usury', l. 14, also 'To Sir Henry Wotton' (Grierson, i. 180–2), l. 61: 'A dramme of Countries dulnesse.' There may be a hint of what Hamlet intends in his riposte to Ophelia: 'Do you think I meant country matters?' If so, the lady, as well as her lover, has enjoyed such pleasures.
4 snortec slumbred L 74, TC, HK 2, P, A 25, JC: l. 4 missing in B
i'the] in the 1633
l. 4. snorted; snored. This reading (1663, H 40,I, III) is again far more vivid than 'slumbred' (L 74, II, &c).
the seaven sleepers den. Under the persecution of Decius seven noble youths took refuge in a cave where their pursuers walled them up to starve to death. A miraculous slumber fell upon them which lasted 187 years. See the close of chapter xxxiii of Gibbon's Decline and Fall for the sources of this 'memorable fable'.
5 and 'Twas … 'twas] T'was … t'was 1633
l. 5. But this: except for this.
ll. 6–7. If ever any beauty I did see, &c. Cf. Shakespeare, Sonnet xxxi, 'Thy bosom is endeared with all hearts'. Professor Praz cited a parallel from Tasso, Rime, i. xlii:
- L'altre bellezze, ove m'insidia amore,
- Sono imagini vostre e vostri raggi.
10 For] But L 74, TC, HK 2, P,A 25 B, S
11 one] a L 74, TC, HK 2, P, A 25, B
ll. 12–14. Let sea-discoverers, &c. This, again, is a commonplace of Elizabethan poetry; cf. Spenser, Amoretti xv: 'Ye tradefull Merchants, that with weary toyle.'
maps: probably 'maps' of the heavens showing new spheres. Cf. Holy Sonnet, 'I am a little world made cunningly':
- You which beyond that heaven which was most high
- Have found new sphears, and of new lands can write. …
13 to others, worlds on world Σ: to other … 1633, Gr: to other worlds, one world JC, P,S:in studies, worlds … A 25
14 our Σ: one 1633, C 57, H 49, JC, Gr: see note
l. 14. Let us possesse our world, each hath one, and is one. I do not doubt that the reading of 1633 ('one world') reproduces an error in Group I. The 'world' of each is the other. Since they are 'one' they possess one world which is 'ours', but there are also four worlds, since each 'hath one and is one'; see note to 'The Ecstasy',1. 36 (p. 185).
16 true plaine] plaine true L 74 TC, HK 2, P,A 25,B
17 better 1633, H 40, C 57, H 49, JC: fitter Σ
l. 17. two better hemispheares Presumably, as Grierson says, looking in each other's eyes each beholds only a hemisphere, since the whole world cannot be at once visible.
19 was] is L 74, TC, HK 2,P, A 25, B
l.19. What ever dyes, was not mixt equally. Grierson cites Aquinas:
Non invenitur corruptio nisi ubi invenitur contrarietas; generationes enim et corruptiones ex contrariis et in contraria sunt (S.T., Ia pars, q. lxxv, art. 6).
20 If our two] If both our L 74, TC, HK 2, A 25,B: If our both P
or] as H 40: and S: both O'F, HK 2, P, JC; see note
ll. 20–21. 'If our two loves are wholly united in one love, or, if they are always alike and at the same pitch, neither can perish.'
As in l. 3 it seems impossible to explain the variants in these two lines on any other theory than that of the poet's rewriting an unsatisfactory line. Neither version provides a close worthy of the poem's opening. Conditional clauses must always suggest an element of doubt.
21 Love … die 1633, H 40, C 57, H 49: Love just alike in all; none of these loves can die Σ see note