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

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pg 414To Ben. Iohnſon, 6 Ian. 1603.

  • 1THe State and mens affaires are the beſt playes
  • Critical Apparatus2    Next yours; 'Tis nor more nor leſſe than due praiſe.
  • 3Write, but touch not the much deſcending race
  • 4Of Lords houſes, ſo ſettled in worths place,
  • Critical Apparatus5As but themſelves none thinke them uſurpers.
  • 6It is no fault in thee to ſuffer theirs.
  • 7If the Queene Maſque, or King a hunting goe,
  • 8Though all the Court ſollow, Let them. We know
  • 9Like them in goodneſſe that Court ne'r will be,
  • 10For that were vertue, and not ſlatterie.
  • Critical Apparatus11Forget we were thruſt out; It is but thus,
  • 12God threatens Kings, Kings Lords, as Lords doe us.
  • 13Iudge of ſtrangers, Truſt and believe your friend,
  • 14And ſo me; And when I true friendſhip end,
  • Critical Apparatus15With guilty conſcience let me be worſe stonge,
  • 16Then with Pophams ſentence theeves, or Cookes tongue
  • 17Traitors are. Friends are our ſelves. This I thee tell
  • Critical Apparatus18As to my friend, and to my ſelfe as Counſell;
  • 19Let for a while the times unthrifty rout
  • 20Contemne learning, and all your ſtudies ſlout.
  • 21Let them ſcorne Hell, they will a Sergeant feare,
  • Critical Apparatus22More then wee that, ere long God may forbeare,
  • 23But Creditors will not. Let them increaſe
  • Critical Apparatus24In riot and exceſſe as their meanes ceaſe;
  • 25Let them ſcorne him that made them, and ſtill ſhun
  • 26His Grace, but love the whore who hath undone
  • 27Them and their ſoules. But; that they that allow
  • pg 415Critical Apparatus28But one God, ſhould have religions enow
  • Critical Apparatus29For the Queens Maſque, and their husbands, far more
  • Critical Apparatus30Then all the Gentiles knew, or Atlas bore!
  • 31Well, let all paſſe, and truſt him who nor cracks
  • 32The bruiſed Reed, nor quencheth ſmoaking ſlaxe.

Notes Settings


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To Ben. Iohnſon, 6 Ian. 1603. 1635–69, O'F: To Ben Johnſon 6 Jan: 1603 T.R. B: An Epiſtle to Ben Johnſon. Sr J: R: H40: An Epiſtle to Beniamin Johnſon. RP31: An Epiſtle: To Mr Ben. Johnſon. Ja: 6: 1603 L74: To Mr Ben Johnſon.S
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2 yours; Ed: yours, 1635–69
nor more] noe more L74
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5 none thinke] none can thinke 1669
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11 out; Ed: out. 1635–69
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15 ſtonge, L74 : spelt stũg, 1635
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18 as Counſell;] is Counſell: 1635–54
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22 More then wee that; Ed: More then wee that H40, L74: More then wee them; that, 1635–69 (them inital. l635–54)
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24 ceaſe; Ed: ceaſe, 1635–69
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28 enow H40, L74: enough 1635–69
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29 far L74: for 1635–69, H40
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30 bore! Ed: bore? H40: bore. 1635–69, L74
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