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THOMAS PESTELL, c. 1633 52
The late Copernicus in Poëtrie,
That rappt the whole Earth round, and gave it sence,
Of Love, to move by his Intelligence….
(v) An extract from a commendatory poem ‘For the Author, Truly
Heroick, by Bloud, Virtue, Learning’ in Preface to Benlowe’s
…But, Sir, as though HEAV’NS Straits discover’d were,
By Science of your Card, UNKNOWNS appear:
Sail then with Prince of Wits, illustrious Dunne,
Who rapt Earth round with Love, and was its Sun.
23. George Garrard
Garrard was one of Donne’s closest friends and most frequent
correspondents from the time they shared lodgings between 1607
and 1611; Donne treated him as his literary confidant. He was
the second son of Sir William Garrard and came of wealthy
merchant stock on both sides. In late life he entered the service of
the Percy family, with whom Donne too had close connections,
and then became Master of the Charterhouse, of which Donne
had been a governor.
He mentioned Donne’s poems in a letter to Viscount Wentworth
(later Earl of Strafford) written 1 November 1634, several years
after Donne’s death (The Earl of Strafford’s Letters and
Dispatches, ed. W.Knowler, 1739, i, p. 338).
I send your Lordship Verses made in the Progress. I that never had
Patience in all my life to transcribe Poems, except they were very
transcendent, such as Dean Donn writ in his younger Days, did these
with some Pain,
24. The second collected edition of
The 1635 edition of Donne’s poems was again ‘Printed by M.F.
for John Marriot’ and edited anonymously. This unknown editor
didn’t just follow his predecessor but added about a dozen poems
by Donne (as well as a number of spurious ones), and gave three
fresh elegies on the author. It is in this edition that the poems
first appear in their familiar groups under such headings as Songs
and Sonets, Epicedes and Obsequies, Divine Poems. Here, too,
some poems are given the titles by which we know them.
Poems added in 1635 include ‘Farewell to Love’, ‘A Lecture upon
the Shadow’ (called ‘Song’), four of the Elegies which had been
excluded from 1633, several funeral elegies, and several Divine
Poems, among them the ‘Hymn to God my God, in my Sicknesse’.
25. John Chudleigh and Sidney Godolphin
Funeral elegies on Donne by ‘I. Chudleigh’ and Sidney Godolphin
were added to the body of Elegies upon the Author in the 1635
edition of Donne’s poems and given in the subsequent seventeenthcentury editions of the poems. John Chudleigh (?1606–?1634) is
known for a few poems in manuscript collections. Godolphin
(1610–43), M.P. for Helston, was a poet of note among the Court
wits of the 1630s and friend of the great men of the day; he
fought on the royalist side in the Civil War and fell in a skirmish
(i) Extracts from Chudleigh’s elegy:
On Dr John Donne, late Deane of S.Paules, London.
Long since this taske of teares from you was due,
Long since, ô Poëts, he did die to you,
Or left you dead, when wit and he tooke flight
On divine wings, and soard out of your sight.
Preachers, ’tis you must weep; The wit he taught
You doe enjoy; the Rebels which he brought
From ancient discord, Giants faculties,
And now no more religions enemies;
Honest to knowing, unto vertuous sweet,
Witty to good, and learned to discreet,
He reconcil’d, and bid the Vsurper goe;
Dulnesse to vice, religion ought to flow;
He kept his loves, but not his objects; wit
Hee did not banish, but transplanted it,
Taught it his place and use, and brought it home
To Pietie, which it doth best become;
He shew’d us how for sinnes we ought to sigh,
And how to sing Christs Epithalamy:
The Altars had his fires, and there hee spoke
Incense of loves, and fansies holy smoake:
Religion thus enrich’d, the people train’d,
And God from dull vice had the fashion gain’d.
The first effects sprung in the giddy minde
Of flashy youth, and thirst of woman-kinde,
By colours lead, and drawne to a pursuit,
Now once againe by beautie of the fruit,
As if their longings too must set us free,
And tempt us now to the commanded tree.
Tell me, had ever pleasure such a dresse,
Have you knowne crimes so shap’d? or lovelinesse
Such as his lips did cloth religion in?
Had not reproofe a beauty passing sinne?
Corrupted nature sorrow’d when she stood
So neare the danger of becomming good,
And wish’d our so inconstant eares exempt
From piety that had such power to tempt:
Did not his sacred flattery beguile
Man to amendment? The law, taught to smile,
Pension’d our vanitie, and man grew well
Through the same frailtie by which he fell….
Who treats with us must our affections move
To th’ good we flie by those sweets which we love,
Must seeke our palats, and with their delight
To gaine our deeds, must bribe our appetite.
These traines he knew, and laying nets to save,
Temptingly sugred all the health hee gave.
But, where is now that chime? that harmony
Hath left the world, now the loud organ may
Appeare, the better voyce is fled to have
A thousand times the sweetnesse which it gave.
(ii) Godolphin’s elegy:
Elegie on D. D.
Now, by one yeare, time and our frailtie have
Lessened our first confusion, since the Grave
Clos’d thy deare Ashes, and the teares which flow
THE CRITICAL HERITAGE
In these, have no springs, but of solid woe:
Or they are drops, which cold amazement froze
At thy decease, and will not thaw in Prose:
All streames of Verse which shall lament that day,
Doe truly to the Ocean tribute pay;
But they have lost their saltnesse, which the eye
In recompence of wit, strives to supply:
Passions excesse for thee wee need not feare,
Since first by thee our passions hallowed were;
Thou mad’st our sorrowes, which before had bin
Onely for the Successe, sorrowes for sinne,
We owe thee all those teares, now thou art dead,
Which we shed not, which for our selves we shed.
Nor didst thou onely consecrate our teares,
Give a religious tincture to our feares;
But even our joyes had learn’d an innocence,
Thou didst from gladness separate offence:
All mindes at once suckt grace from thee, as where
(The curse revok’d) the Nations had one eare.
Pious dissector: thy one houre did treate
The thousand mazes of the hearts deceipt;
Thou didst pursue our lov’d and subtill sinne,
Through all the foldings wee had wrapt it in,
And in thine owne large minde finding the way
By which our selves we from our selves convey,
Didst in us, narrow models, know the same
Angles, though darker, in our meaner frame.
How short of praise is this? My Muse, alas,
Climbes weakly to that truth which none can passe,
Hee that writes best, may onely hope to leave
A Character of all he could conceive
But none of thee, and with mee must confesse,
That fansie findes some checke, from an excesse
Of merit most, of nothing, it hath spun,
And truth, as reasons task and theame, doth shunne.
She makes a fairer flight in emptinesse,
Than when a bodied truth doth her oppresse.
Reason againe denies her scales, because
Hers are but scales, shee judges by the lawes
Of weake comparison, thy vertue sleights
Her feeble Beame, and her unequall Weights.
What prodigie of wit and pietie
Hath she else knowne, by which to measure thee?
Great soule: we can no more the worthinesse
Of what you were, then what you are, expresse.
26. Anon., Wit’s Triumvirate
An anonymous comedy called Wit’s Triumvirate, or The
Philosopher, which was presented at Court in 1635 (but never
published), has several allusions to the literary fashions then
current. (British Museum Add. MS. 45865. See S.Schoenbaum,
‘Wit’s Triumvirate: A Caroline Comedy Recovered’, SEL, I, IV,
winter 1964, pp. 227–37.)
(i) In Act I, Scene 4, one Clyster remarks to Sir Cupid Phantsy, a
rhyming lover, that verse which hobbles and is rough ‘is the fashion
now’. Sir Phantsy replies, ‘I Sr, for those that can make no better.’
(ii) Later in the same scene Phantsy bursts out against orthodox love
In whineing Poetry to weepe, sigh, groane;
And say thy Hart’s hard Flint, or Marblestone,
A frozen Statue of cold Ice, or snowe;
I hate these equally, I’ll not say soe.
Prythee as I then scorne these wittless Things,
Wee’l fly a higher pitch, wth unimp’t wings;
And see what Stuff doth make the bright hott Sun.
And in our Similies damne Doctor Dunne.
The name ‘Dunne’ has been scored through in the manuscript.
27. Izaac Walton
Walton (1593–1683), author of The Compleat Angler, was also
the first biographer of Donne and Herbert among others. He
was Donne’s parishioner in the 1620s and, he claimed, his convert;
certainly he was one of the privileged visitors at Donne’s deathbed. The brilliant Life and Death of Dr Donne, first published
with Donne’s LXXX Sermons in 1640, has peculiar value as the
unique testimony of a friend though it cannot be taken for an
accurate record of facts. Walton is chiefly concerned with the
pattern of Donne’s life and priesthood, but his admiration of
Donne’s poetry breaks out in occasional quotations and in the
comments which are given below.
The Life of Donne was reissued separately in 1658, and then
given as the first of the Lives from 1670 on. Walton revised it for
each new issue and the revisions that bear upon Donne’s poetry
(i) As well as the funeral elegy on Donne first printed in the
1633 edition of Donne’s poems (see No. 18(iv) (f)), Walton
wrote an epigram which was printed underneath the engraved
portrait of Donne, to which it refers, in the second edition of
the poems, 1635:
This was for youth, Strength, Mirth, and wit that Time
Most count their golden Age; but t’was not thine.
Thine was thy later yeares, so much refind
From youths Drosse, Mirth, and wit; as thy pure mind
Thought (like the Angels) nothing but the Praise
Of thy Creator, in those last, best Dayes.
Witnes this Booke, (thy Embleme) which begins
With Love; but endes, with Sighes, and Teares for sins.