Elegy I Comparative text

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Elegy I Comparative text by John Donne


Fond woman, which would'ſt have thy huſband die,
And yet complain'ſt of his great jealouſie;
If ſwolne with poyſon, hee lay in his laſt bed,
His body with a ſere-barke covered,
Drawing his breath, as quick and ſhort, as can
The nimbleſt crocheting Muſitian,
Ready with loathſome vomiting to ſpue
His Soule out of one hell, into a new,
Made deafe with his poore kindreds howling cries,
Begging with few feign'd teares great legacies,
Thou would'ſt not weep, but jolly, 'and frolicke bee,
As a ſlave, which to morrow ſhould be free.
Yet weep'ſt thou, when thou ſeeſt him hungerly
Swallow his owne death, hearts-bane jealouſie?
O give him many thanks, he is courteous,
That in ſuſpecting kindly warneth us.
Wee muſt not, as we us'd, flout openly,
In ſcoffing ridles, his deformitie;
Nor at his boord together being fatt,
With words, nor touch, ſcarce lookes, adulterate.
Nor when he ſwolne, and pamper'd with great fare,
Sits downe and ſnorts, cag'd in his basket chaire,
Muſt wee uſurpe his owne bed any more,
Nor kiſſe and play in his houſe, as before.
Now I ſee many dangers; for it is
His realme, his caſtle, and his dioceſſe.
But if, as envious men, which would revile
Their Prince, or coyne his gold, themſelves exile
Into another countrie, 'and doe it there,
Wee play 'in another houſe, what ſhould we feare?
There we will scorn his houſhold policies,
His ſeely plots, and penſionary ſpies,
As the inhabitants of Thames right ſide
Do Londons Major, or Germans the Pope's pride.


Fond woman, which wouldst have thy husband die,
And yet complain'st of his great jealousy;
If, swollen with poison, he lay in his last bed,
His body with a sere bark covered,
Drawing his breath as quick and short as can
The nimblest crocheting musician,
Ready with loathsome vomiting to spew
His soul out of one hell into a new,
Made deaf with his poor kindred's howling cries,
Begging with few feigned tears great legacies,—
Thou wouldst not weep, but jolly, and frolic be,
As a slave, which to-morrow should be free.
Yet weep'st thou, when thou seest him hungerly
Swallow his own death, heart's-bane jealousy?
O give him many thanks, he's courteous,
That in suspecting kindly warneth us.
We must not, as we used, flout openly,
In scoffing riddles, his deformity;
Nor at his board together being sat,
With words, nor touch, scarce looks, adulterate.
Nor when he, swollen and pamper'd with great fare,
Sits down and snorts, caged in his basket chair,
Must we usurp his own bed any more,
Nor kiss and play in his house, as before.
Now I see many dangers; for it is
His realm, his castle, and his diocese.
But if—as envious men, which would revile
Their prince, or coin his gold, themselves exile
Into another country, and do it there—
We play in another house, what should we fear?
Then we will scorn his household policies,
His silly plots, and pensionary spies,
As the inhabitants of Thames' right side
Do London's mayor, or Germans the Pope's pride.