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Those Askaparts,* men big enough to throw
Charing-Cross for a bar, men that do know
No token of worth, but queen’s man, and fine
Living ; barrels of beef, flaggons of wine.
I shook like a spied spie-Preachers which are
Seas of wit and arts, you can, then dare,
Drown the sins of this place, but as for me
Which am but a scant brook, enough shall be
To wash the stains away: Although I yet
(With Maccabees modesty) the known merit
Of my work lessen, yet some wise men shall,
I hope, esteem my writs canonical.


* A giant famous in romances.


Each man an Askapart, of strength to toss
For quoits, both Temple-bar and Charing-cross.
Scared at the grisly forms, I sweat, I fly,
And shake all o'er, like a discover'd spy.

Courts are too much for wits so weak as mine:
Charge them with heaven's artillery, bold divine !
From such alone the great rebukes endure,
Whose satire's sacred, and whose rage secure:
'Tis mine to wash a few light stains, but theirs
To deluge sin, and drown a court in tears. 285
Howe'er what's now Apocrypha, my wit,
In time to come, may pass for holy writ.


Ver. 286. my wit,] The private character of Donne was very amiable and interesting ; particularly so, on account of his secret marriage with the daughter of Sir George More; of the difficulties he underwent on this marriage; of his constant affection to his wife, his affliction at her death, and the sensibility he displayed towards all his friends and relations.

Warton. “He was born,” says Mr. Ellis, “at London in 1573, and educated at home till the eleventh year of his age. His academical residence then became divided between Oxford and Cambridge, and his studies between poetry and law. He accompanied the Earl of Essex in an expedition against Cadiz, was secretary some time to Sir Thomas Egerton, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal; and having taken orders, was promoted to be King's Chaplain, preacher of the Society of Lincoln's Inn, and Dean of St. Paul's. He died in 1631." His life is written by Isaac Walton. Bowles.

The poetic talents of Donne were not confined to satire, but were displayed to equal advantage in lyric poetry. Many of his productions in this department breathe strongly of that poetic spirit which characterizes the age of Shakespear, and in originality and vigour of sentiment are not exceeded by any passages in the foregoing satires.






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