Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. I. Chaucer to Donne
Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. I. Early Poetry: Chaucer to Donne
From Verses to Sir Henry Wootton
By John Donne (1572–1631)
BE then thine own home, and in thyself dwell;
Inn anywhere; continuance maketh Hell.
And seeing the snail, which everywhere doth roam,
Carrying his own house still, is still at home:
Follow (for he ’s easy pac’d) this snail,        5
Be thine own palace, or the world’s thy jail.
But in the world’s sea do not like cork sleep
Upon the water’s face, nor in the deep
Sink like a lead without a line: but as
Fishes glide, leaving no print where they pass,        10
Nor making sound, so closely thy course go;
Let men dispute whether thou breathe or no:
Only in this be no Galenist. To make
Court’s hot ambitions wholesome, do not take
A dram of country’s dulness; do not add        15
Correctives, but as chymics purge the bad.
But, sir, I advise not you, I rather do
Say o’er those lessons which I learn’d of you:
Whom, free from Germany’s schisms, and lightness
Of France, and fair Italie’s faithlessness,        20
Having from these suck’d all they had of worth
And brought home that faith which you carry’d forth,
I throughly love: but if myself I’ve won
To know my rules, I have, and you have, Donne.

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