- 1Salute the last and everlasting day,
- Critical Apparatus2Joy at th'uprising of this Sunne, and Sonne,
- Critical Apparatus3Yee whose just teares, or tribulation
- Critical Apparatus4Have purely washt, or burnt your drossie clay;
- 5Behold the Highest, parting hence away,
- 6Lightens the darke clouds, which hee treads upon,
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus7Nor doth hee by ascending, show alone,
- Critical Apparatus8But first hee, and hee first enters the way.
- Editor’s Note9O strong Ramme, which hast batter'd heaven for mee,
- Critical Apparatus10Mild lambe, which with thy blood, hast mark'd the path;
- Critical Apparatus11Bright torch, which shin'st, that I the way may see,
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus12Oh, with thine owne blood quench thine owne just wrath,
- 13And if thy holy Spirit, my Muse did raise,
- 14Deigne at my hands this crowne of prayer and praise.
2 th'] the 1633
3 just] true Dob, O'F, W
4 Have] Hath Dob, O'F, W
ll. 7–8. Nor doth hee by ascending, show alone, &c. Cf. Col. ii. 15: 'And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it' (Vulgate: 'palam triumphans illos in semetipso'). Christ does not triumph, or make display of himself, alone; he enters heaven at the head of his army. But he is not only first, as leader; he is also the first that ever passed this way.
8 way.] way, 1633
ll. 9–10. O strong Ramme, &c. Cf. Mic. ii. 13: 'The breaker is come up before them: they have broken up, and have passed through the gate … and their king shall pass before them, and the Lord on the head of them.' Cf. also Sermons, iv. 357, where Donne applies this text to the Resurrection. Although the ram in the thicket (Gen. xxii. 13) is interpreted as Christ on the Cross, and the ram is the sacrificial victim elsewhere in the Pentateuch, in other places 'ram' is glossed as 'priest'; see Gloss on Prov. xxx. 31 and Ps. xxviii. I. Rabanus Maurus (Migne, P.L. cxi. 202) explains that rams lead the flock and break down what bars the way. Christ enters Heaven as Victor and Victim, Priest and Offering: the 'strong Ramme,' and the 'mild lambe'.
10 lambe,] lambe 1633
11 the way] thy wayes Dob, O'F (b.c), W
12 thine … thine TCD, Dob,O'F, W: thy … thy 1633, C 57, H 49, Gr
l. 12. thine … thine.These readings have been adopted on the authority of Group II and W, supported by Dob, Lut, O'F. There are four occasions in the Divine Poems when Group III reads 'thy' before a vowel and 1633, with all the other MSS., reads 'thine': 'Holy Sonnets' (1633), 1. 7, 5. 10, 'A Litany', ll. 13, 47. These four examples look like deliberate correction by the poet of what he had come to regard as an unpleasing hiatus. The position is different here; but the reading adopted agrees with what seems to be Donne's later practice.