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Helen Gardner (ed.), John Donne: The Elegies and The Songs and Sonnets

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The Message

  • 1Send home my long strayd eyes to mee,
  • 2Which (Oh) too long have dwelt on thee,
  • Critical Apparatus3Yet since there they'have learn'd such ill,
  • 4    Such forc'd fashions,
  • 5    And false passions,
  • 6         That they be
  • 7         Made by thee
  • 8Fit for no good sight, keep them still.
  • 9Send home my harmlesse heart againe,
  • 10Which no unworthy thought could staine,
  • Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus11Which if it be taught by thine
  • 12    To make jestings
  • 13    Of protestings,
  • Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus14         And crosse both
  • 15         Word and oath,
  • 16Keepe it, for then 'tis none of mine.
  • 17Yet send me back my heart and eyes,
  • 18That I may know, and see thy lyes,
  • Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus19And may laugh and joy, when thou
  • 20    Art in anguish
  • 21    And dost languish
  • pg 3122         For some one
  • 23         That will none,
  • 24Or prove as false as thou art now.

Notes Settings


Critical Apparatus
The Message. H 40, L 74 omit. Title from 1635. This and the following two poems occur in TC under the heading 'Songs wch were made to certaine Aires wch were made before'.
Critical Apparatus
3 they'have] they have 1633
Critical Apparatus
11 Which if it be taught] But if … O'F, Gr: Yet since there 'tis taught HK 2, A 25: Yet since it hath learn't P, B, JC; see note
Editor’s Note
l.11. Which if it be taught by thine. I retain, against Grierson, the reading of 1633 (I, II, Dob, S 96, Cy, S). Grierson adopted the reading of Lut, O'F, 'But if … '. He refused to believe that Donne could have written 'Which', and declared roundly: 'If "But" is not Donne's own reading or emendation it ought to be, and I am loath to spoil a charming poem by pedantic adherence to authority in so small a point.' It is impossible, having regard to the agreement of I, II, Dob, S 96, to regard 'But' as anything but an emendation in Lut to avoid the repetition that Grierson disliked. The remaining manuscripts rewrite the line to make it conform to l. 3, HK 2 and A 25 showing a first stage in a process completed in P, B, JC.
Critical Apparatus
14 crosse MSS.: breake 1633
Editor’s Note
l. 14. crosse. I agree with Grierson in adopting the reading of all the manuscripts for 'breake' (1633). Possibly the editor misguidedly took 'crosse' as having some religious significance and played for safety in substituting 'breake'.
Critical Apparatus
19 laugh and joy, when thou] ioy and laugh … O'F, A 25: lie and laugh … HK 2: laugh when that thou C 57, H 49, Dob, S 96, Cy, S
Editor’s Note
l. 19. laugh and joy, when. 1633 here adopts the reading of Group II, supported by P, B, JC. It is certainly preferable to the lame reading of Group I, Dob, S 96, Cy, S: 'laugh when that thou'. Lut, O'F read 'joy and laugh' and HK 2 has an attractive but obviously unauthoritative reading 'lie and laugh'. It would seem that all manuscripts outside Group II, P, B, JC depend upon an exemplar in which 'and joy' had been dropped or was illegible. Lut, O'F supply the words but transpose the verbs, HK 2 makes a brilliant shot, while Group I makes a weak patch.
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