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W. Milgate (ed.), John Donne: The Epithalamions, Anniversaries and Epicedes
The Harbinger to the Progres
- 1 Two soules move here, and mine (a third) must move
- 2 Paces of admiration, and of love;
- 3Thy soule (Deare Virgin) whose this tribute is,
- 4 Mov'd from this mortall sphere to lively blisse;
- 5 And yet moves still, and still aspires to see
- Editor’s Note6The worlds last day, thy glories full degree:
- Editor’s Note7Like as those starres which thou ore-lookest farre,
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus8Are in their place, and yet still moved are:
- 9 No soule (whiles with the lugage of this clay
- 10 It clogged is) can follow thee halfe way;
- 11 Or see thy fight; which doth our thoughts outgoe
- 12So fast, that now the lightning moves but slow:
- 13 But now thou art as high in heaven flowne
- 14 As heav'ns from us; what soule besides thine owne
- Critical Apparatus15 Can tell thy joyes, or say he can relate
- Editor’s Note16 Thy glorious Journals in that blessed state?
- 17I envie thee (Rich soule) I envy thee,
- 18Although I cannot yet thy glory see:
- 19 And thou (Great spirit) which her's follow'd hast
- 20 So fast, as none can follow thine so fast;
- 21So farre as none can follow thine so farre,
- pg 40 22 (And if this flesh did not the passage barre
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus23 Had'st raught her) let me wonder at thy flight
- 24 Which long agone had'st lost the vulgar sight
- 25 And now mak'st proud the better eyes, that thay
- 26 Can see thee less'ned in thine aery way;
- Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus27 So while thou mak'st her soules Hy progresse knowne
- Critical Apparatus28Thou mak'st a noble progresse of thine owne,
- 29 From this worlds carcasse having mounted hie
- 30 To that pure life of Immortalitie;
- 31 Since thine aspiring thoughts themselves so raise
- 32That more may not beseeme a creatures praise,
- 33 Yet still thou vow'st her more; and every yeare
- 34 mak'st a new progresse, while thou wandrest here;
- Critical Apparatus35 Still upwards mount; and let thy makers praise
- Editor’s Note36Honor thy Laura, and adorne thy laies.
- 37 And since thy Muse her head in heaven shrouds
- 38Oh let her never stoope below the clouds:
- Editor’s Note39 And if those glorious sainted soules may know
- 40Or what we doe, or what we sing below,
- 41 Those acts, those songs shall still content them best
- 42Which praise those awfull powers that make them blest.
l. 6. The worlds last day, thy glories full degree: the general resurrection, when even bodies will be glorified, and the saved will enter fully into eternal bliss. Cf. ll. 491–4 below.
l. 7. ore-lookest: lookest down upon (from her place in heaven).
8 are:] are 1612
l. 8. in their place, and yet still moved. The stars (as distinct from the planets) are fixed in their sphere (the eighth in the Ptolemaic system), which itself, however, moves around the earth.
15 relate 1621–1633: re-relate 1612
l. 16. Journals: records of the events of your daily life, or of your daily journeys (O.E.D., 'journal', B. 4, 7).
23 raught] caught 1621–1633, Gr
l. 23. raught: reached.
27 soules Hy 1612 errata: soules by 1612: soule by 1621–1633, Gr
l. 27. Hy: a spelling found occasionally elsewhere in Hall's verse (see A. Davenport's edition of his Poems, p. 275).
28 owne,] owne. 1612
35 upwards] upward 1621–1633, Gr
l. 36. Laura: adored and praised in verse by Petrarch.
ll. 39–40. It was a matter of debate whether the separated souls of the dead knew what happened on earth. As Manley notes, Augustine thought that they did not (Migne, P. L. xl. 604–5), Gregory that they did (ibid. lxxv. 999); Aquinas eventually agreed with Gregory (S. T. Ia pars, q. lxxxix, art. 8).