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

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The broken heart.

  • 1HE is ſtarke mad, who ever ſayes,
  • 2      That he hath beene in love an houre,
  • 3Yet not that love ſo ſoone decayes,
  • 4  But that it can tenne in leſſe ſpace devour;
  • 5Who will beleeve mee, if I ſweare
  • 6That I have had the plague a yeare?
  • 7  Who would not laugh at mee, if I ſhould ſay,
  • Critical Apparatus8  I ſaw a flaske of powder burne a day?
  • 9Ah, what a triſle is a heart,
  • Critical Apparatus10  If once into loves hands it come!
  • 11All other griefes allow a part
  • Critical Apparatus12  To other griefes, and aske themſelves but ſome;
  • pg 4913They come to us, but us Love draws,
  • 14Hee ſwallows us, and never chawes:
  • Critical Apparatus15  By him, as by chain'd ſhot, whole rankes doe dye,
  • Critical Apparatus16  He is the tyran Pike, our hearts the Frye.
  • Critical Apparatus17If 'twere not ſo, what did become
  • 18  Of my heart, when I firſt ſaw thee?
  • 19I brought a heart into the roome,
  • Critical Apparatus20  But from the roome, I carried none with mee:
  • 21If it had gone to thee, I know
  • 22Mine would have taught thine heart to ſhow
  • Critical Apparatus23  More pitty unto mee: but Love, alas,
  • Critical Apparatus24  At one firſt blow did ſhiver it as glaſſe.
  • 25Yet nothing can to nothing fall,
  • 26  Nor any place be empty quite,
  • 27Therefore I thinke my breast hath all
  • 28  Thoſe peeces ſtill, though they be not unite;
  • 29And now as broken glaſſes ſhow
  • Critical Apparatus30A hundred lesser faces, ſo
  • 31  My ragges of heart can like, wiſh, and adore,
  • 32  But after one ſuch love, can love no more.

Notes Settings


Critical Apparatus
The broken heart. 1633–69: Broken Heart. L74: Song, or no title, A18, A25, B, Cy, D, H49, JC, Lec, N, O'F, S, TCC, TCD: Elegie. P, S96
Critical Apparatus
8 flaske 1633, A25, B, C, Cy, D, H40, Lec, O'F (corrected from flaſh), P, S: flaſh 1635–69, A18, H49, N, TC
Critical Apparatus
10 come! Ed: come? 1633–69
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12 ſome; Ed: ſome, 1633–69
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15 chain'd ſhot] chain-ſhott A18, A25, N, TC
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16 tyran] Tyrant 1669
our hearts] and we 1669
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17 did]could A18, A25, B, C, L74, O'F, N, TC: would B, Cy, M, S
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20 mee: 1650–69 : mee; 1633–39
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23 alas,] alas 1633
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24 firſt] fierce A18, B, N, TC
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30 hundred] thouſand A18, A25, B, Cy, L74, M, N, P, S, TC
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