John Donne’s Poetry

Expressed Admiration

What love John spake of for

Two unfortunate parents’ daughter.

Elizabeth was her name.

Great acknowledgement of what she did

Was present within his words

For death had not too taken her fame.


“For since death will proceed to triumph still,

He can finde nothing, after her, to kill,

Except the world it selfe, so great as shee.”*

These words echo much, in my heart,

He made her sound divine,

Yet, he made her sound divine.


“For future vertuous deeds are Legacies,

Which from the gift of her example rise;”

The poet continues later on,

“And ’tis in heav’n part of spirituall mirth,

To see how well the good play her, on earth.”

 Thus accomplishing his song.


How could he hold her in the lofts

Of heavenly speech for who she was?

“What is’t to us, alas if there have beene

An Angell made a Throne, or Cherubin?”

What angle have you taken Donne,

To reason so our hearts be won

To the ways of thought that come from you?

Do you really believe this to be true?

Yet you bold spake, spake even more,

“As when a Temple’s built, Saints emulate

To which of them, it shall be consecrate.

But, as when heaven lookes on us with new eyes,

Those new starres every Artist exercise…

So the world studied whose this peece should be,

Till shee can be no bodies else, nor shee.”

Have my thoughts failed me,

Or hath John suggested she be a saint?

God knows, in truth, I am not irate but

Were thence his words cemented to be fate?

If yes, God bless, if no, God forgive,

If all my conclusions are amiss, O God forbid.

N’ertheless may God’s will be done,

Through the prayers of Mary and her Son,

And the Spirit Sacred present in all things,

Who guides all of us to saintliness.

Verily, saints are present all around,

If God chose Miss Drury, well, one more found!


*Citations taken from “A Funerall Elegie”

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