John Donne

Herbert J. C. Grierson (ed.), The Poems of John Donne, Vol. 1: The Text of the Poems with Appendixes

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To the Counteſſe of Huntingdon.


  • Critical Apparatus1MAn to Gods image; Eve, to mans was made,
  • 2    Nor finde wee that God breath'd a ſoule in her,
  • 3Canons will not Church functions you invade,
  • 4  Nor lawes to civill office you preferre.
  • 5Who vagrant tranſitory Comets ſees,
  • 6  Wonders, becauſe they'are rare; But a new ſtarre
  • 7Whoſe motion with the firmament agrees,
  • 8  Is miracle; for, there no new things are;
  • Critical Apparatus9In woman ſo perchance milde innocence
  • 10  A ſeldome comet is, but active good
  • 11A miracle, which reaſon ſcapes, and ſenſe;
  • 12  For, Art and Nature this in them withſtood.
  • 17If the worlds age, and death be argued well
  • 18  By the Sunnes fall, which now towards earth doth bend,
  • 19Then we might feare that vertue, ſince ſhe fell
  • 20  So low as woman, ſhould be neare her end.
  • pg 20221But ſhe's not ſtoop'd, but rais'd; exil'd by men
  • Critical Apparatus22  She fled to heaven, that's heavenly things, that's you;
  • 23She was in all men, thinly ſcatter'd then,
  • Critical Apparatus24  But now amaſs'd, contracted in a few.
  • Critical Apparatus25She guilded us: But you are gold, and Shee;
  • 26  Us ſhe inform'd, but tranſubſtantiates you;
  • 27Soft diſpoſitions which ductile bee,
  • 28  Elixarlike, ſhe makes not cleane, but new.
  • 29Though you a wifes and mothers name retaine,
  • 30  'Tis not as woman, for all are not ſoe,
  • 31But vertue having made you vertue,'is faine
  • 32  T'adhere in theſe names, her and you to ſhow,
  • Critical Apparatus33Elſe, being alike pure, wee ſhould neither ſee;
  • 34  As, water being into ayre rarify'd,
  • 35Neither appeare, till in one cloud they bee,
  • 36  So, for our ſakes you do low names abide;
  • Critical Apparatus37Taught by great conſtellations, which being fram'd,
  • 38  Of the moſt ſtarres, take low names, Crab, and Bull,
  • 39When ſingle planets by the Gods are nam'd,
  • 40  You covet not great names, of great things full.
  • 41So you, as woman, one doth comprehend,
  • Critical Apparatus42  And in the vaile of kindred others ſee;
  • Critical Apparatus43To ſome ye are reveal'd, as in a friend,
  • 44  And as a vertuous Prince farre off, to mee.
  • 45To whom, becauſe from you all vertues flow,
  • 46  And 'tis not none, to dare contemplate you,
  • Critical Apparatus47I, which doe so, as your true ſubject owe
  • Critical Apparatus48  Some tribute for that, ſo theſe lines are due.
  • pg 20349If you can thinke theſe flatteries, they are,
  • 50  For then your judgement is below my praiſe,
  • 51If they were ſo, oft, flatteries worke as farre,
  • 52  As Counſels, and as farre th'endeavour raiſe.
  • 53So my ill reaching you might there grow good,
  • 54  But I remaine a poyſon'd fountaine ſtill;
  • Critical Apparatus55But not your beauty, vertue, knowledge, blood
  • 56  Are more above all flattery, then my will.
  • 57And if I flatter any,'tis not you
  • 58  But my owne judgement, who did long agoe
  • 59Pronounce, that all theſe praiſes ſhould be true,
  • 60  And vertue ſhould your beauty,'and birth outgrow.
  • 61Now that my propheſies are all fulfill'd,
  • 62  Rather then God ſhould not be honour'd too,
  • 63And all theſe gifts confeſs'd, which hee inſtill'd,
  • Critical Apparatus64  Your ſelfe were bound to ſay that which I doe.
  • 65So I, but your Recorder am in this,
  • Critical Apparatus66  Or mouth, or Speaker of the univerſe,
  • Critical Apparatus67A miniſteriall Notary, for'tis
  • 68  Not I, but you and fame, that make this verſe;
  • 69I was your Prophet in your yonger dayes,
  • 70And now your Chaplaine, God in you to praiſe.

Notes Settings


Critical Apparatus
To the &c. 1633–69, O'F: To the C. of H. N, TCD
Critical Apparatus
1 image;] image, 1633
mans] man 1650–69
Critical Apparatus
9 woman] women 1669
Critical Apparatus
13 the] which 1633
Magi] Magis N, O'F, TCD: compare p. 243, l. 390
Critical Apparatus
14 below: Ed: below. 1633–69
Critical Apparatus
15 beames by … you, 1633 : beames (by … you) 1635–69
Critical Apparatus
16 may, Ed: may 1633–69
Critical Apparatus
22 you; Ed: you, 1633–69
Critical Apparatus
24 amaſs'd, 1633, O'F: a maſſe 1635–69, N, TCD
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25–6 But you are gold, and Shee; … tranſubſtantiates you; Ed: But you are gold, and ſhee, … tranſubſtantiates you, 1633 : but you are gold; and she,
Informed us, but tranſubſtantiates you, 1635–69, Chambers (but no comma after and ſhe and colon or full stop after you 1650–69, Chambers)
Critical Apparatus
33 ſee; Ed: ſee, 1633–69
Critical Apparatus
37–9 ( which being … are nam'd ) 1635–69
Critical Apparatus
42 vaile] vale 1669
Critical Apparatus
43 ye 1633 : you 1635–69
Critical Apparatus
47 doe so, 1635–69, O'F: doe N, TCD: to you 1633
Critical Apparatus
48 due.] due, 1633
Critical Apparatus
55 But 1633, N, O'F, TCD: And 1633–69, Chambers
Critical Apparatus
64 that] thar 1633
Critical Apparatus
66 or Speaker 1633 : and Speaker 1635–69
Critical Apparatus
67 Notary,] notary, 1633
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