John Donne

Helen Gardner (ed.), John Donne: The Divine Poems (Second Edition)

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pg 57. Ascention

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Notes

Critical Apparatus
2 th'] the 1633
Critical Apparatus
3 just] true Dob, O'F, W
Critical Apparatus
4 Have] Hath Dob, O'F, W
Critical Apparatus
7. Ascention.
Editor’s Note
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.
Critical Apparatus
8 way.] way, 1633
Editor’s Note
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'.
Critical Apparatus
10 lambe,] lambe 1633
Critical Apparatus
11 the way] thy wayes Dob, O'F (b.c), W
Critical Apparatus
12 thine … thine TCD, Dob,O'F, W: thy … thy 1633, C 57, H 49, Gr
Editor’s Note
l. 12. thinethine.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.
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