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To a Lady, who wrote poesies for rings.
They, who above do various circles find,
The difficulties which have been raised about identity in philosophy, are by Cowley with still more perplexity applied to Love:
Five years ago (says story) I lov’d you,
If then this body love what th' other did,
The love of different women is, in geographical poetry, compared to travels through different countries:
Hast thou not found each woman's breast
A lover burnt up by his affection is compared to Egypt:
The fate of Egypt I sustain, And never feel the dew of rain From clouds which in the head appear; But all my too much moisture owe To overflowings of the heart below. - CowLEY. WOL. I. E
The lover supposes his lady acquainted with the ancient laws of augury and rites of sacrifice: And yet this death of mine, I fear, Will ominous to her appear: When sound in every other part, Her sacrifice is found without an heart. For the last tempest of my death Shall sigh out that too, with my breath.
That the chaos was harmonised, has been recited of old; but whence the different sounds arose remained for a modern to discover :
Th’ ungovern'd parts no correspondence knew ;
The tears of lovers are always of great poetical account; but Donne has extended them into worlds. If the lines are not easily understood, they may be read again:
On a round ball
So doth each tear, Which thee doth wear, A globe, yea world, by that impression grow, Till thy tears mixt with mine do overflow This world, by waters sent from thee my heaven dissolved so.
On reading the following lines, the reader may perhaps cry out—Confusion worse confounded.
Here lies a she sun, and a he moon here,
Who but Donne would have thought that a good man is a telescope 2
Though God be our true glass through which we see
Who would imagine it possible that in a very few lines so many remote ideas could be brought
Since ’tis my doom, Love's undershrieve,
OF enormous and disgusting hyperboles, these may be examples:
By every wind that comes this way, Send me at least a sigh or two, Such and so many I’ll repay As shall themselves make winds to get to you. CowLEY.
In tears I’ll waste these eyes, By Love so vainly fed; So lust of old the Deluge punished. Cowley.