This was withdrawn from the 1635 edition, and appeared in the 1640 edition of Shakespeares Poems, with the initials W. B. It is also printed in Francis Beaumonts Poems (ed. 1653). It is now universally ascribed to William Basse. See Mr. Warwick Bonds edition of Basses Poetical Works, and Dr. Ingleby and Miss Toulmin Smiths Shakespeares Century of Praise (New Shaks. Soc. 1879).
This is in all the seventeenth-century editions; it is, however, ascribed to Francis Davison in Harl. MSS. 3357 and 6930, and in Rawl. Poet. MS. 61, f. 60, and has been printed as his in Sir H. Nicholas and Sir E. Brydges editions of the Poetical Rhapsody, and in the collection of Translations from the Psalms by Francis and Christopher Davison. In Addl. MS. 25,707, f. 16, it occurs amongst other poems of Donnes, and with the signature J. D., but it should be observed that this signature is quite indistinguishable from F. D. There is an inconclusive discussion on this question in Notes and Queries, 1st Series, vi. 49, 137, 157, 247. I have very little doubt as to Davisons claim. The translation is unsigned in Addl. MS. 27,407, f. 65, but it is there accompanied by a letter from the author in which he speaks of other Psalms which he had translated. This applies to Davison, but not, so far as we know, to Donne.
On this there is the following extract in Ben Jonsons Conversations with William Drummond (ed. Laing, Shakespeare Society, 1842), which sufficiently fixes the authorship: That Sir John Roe loved him, and when they two were ushered by my Lord Suffolk from a Mask, Roe wrote a moral Epistle to him, which began, That next to plays, the Court and the State were the best. God threatneth Kings, Kings Lords, Lords do us. Line 12, as printed in Donnes poems runs, God threatens Kings, Kings Lords, as Lords do us. The poem is anonymous in Lansd. MS. 740, f. 102, but is ascribed to Sir J. R. in Harl. MS. 4064, f. 247.
This is ascribed by several seventeenth-century writers to Queen Elizabeth, e.g., by Fuller in his Holy State (1648), iv. 302, and by Donnes friend, Sir Richard Baker, in his Chronicle (1643), iv. 320. It is said to be an impromptu reply made when she was questioned by her sisters confessor Feckenham as to her belief in transubstantiation. See a long discussion in Notes and Queries, 2nd Series, v. 438, 460; 3rd Series, x. 519; xi. 66, 140, 225, 315; xii. 76; 5th Series, iii. 382, 433, 472, 494; iv. 18; v. 313; vii. 111.
This is found in Harl. MS. 7553, f. 41, amongst a series of Spiritual Sonnets by H. C., which was printed as Henry Constables by Mr. T. Park in Heliconia (1815); on the authorship see D. Main, Treasury of English Sonnets.
III. From F. G. Waldrons A Collection of Miscellaneous Poetry (1802).
(7) An Elegy, entitled by Dr. Grosart, A Lament for his Wife
Is Death so great a gamester, that he throws
Still at the fairest? must I ever lose?
Waldron ascribes this to Donne on the authority of a MS. dated 1625. It is really by William Browne, being included in his autograph MS. of his own poems in Lansd. MS. 777, f. 49. (See Mr. Gordon Goodwins edition of Browne in the Muses Library). It also appears with the initials W. B. in the anthology Le Prince dAmour (1660).
This is found in the Farmer-Chetham MS. (ed. Grosart), with the signature Th. Scotte. Hunter (Chorus Vat. Anglic.) states that Thomas Scott of Utrecht published a poem called The Interpreter in 1622. I cannot, however, find any poetry among his numerous writings or controversial theology, either in the British Museum or the Bodleian, although there is a long verse elegy on him in Addl. MS. 33,998, f. 90.
V. From Dr. A. B. Grosarts Poems of John Donne (Fuller Worthies Library, 1873).
(10) Ten Sonnets to Philomel.
Oft did I hear, our eyes the passage were
By which Love entered to avail our hearts.
These Sonnets, together with a poem entitled A Hymn in Praise of Music, and beginning
Praise, pleasure, profit, is that threefold band
were signed I. D. in the second edition (1608) of Davisons Poetical Rhapsody. In the first edition (1602) they have the signature Melophilus. It is generally admitted that, like the other I. D. poems in the same anthology, they are not by John Donne, but by Sir John Davies. Cf. Mr. A. H. Bullens edition of the Poetical Rhapsody and a letter in the Athenæum for Jan. 29th, 1876.
This was printed by Dr. Grosart from Trin. Coll. Camb. MS. B. 14, 22, where it is signed Dr. Donn. It is really by Fletcher, being a song in Act V. scene i. of Valentinian. It is one of many imitations of Daniels famous Sonnet LIV. to Delia. Cf. Main, Treasury of English Sonnets.
This was printed by Dr. Grosart from the Stephens MS. It is a bad copy of a poem which is ascribed in several MSS. to Sir Robert Aytoun. The version given in Aytouns Poems (ed. Rogers, 1871) is taken from Addl. MS. 10,308, f. 6, where it is in company with others of his poems. It is nine stanzas long, begins
Thou sentst to me a heart was crownd,
and has the title Upon a diamond cut in the form of a Heart, set with a Crown above, and a bloody dart piercing it, sent to the Poet as a New Years Gift. A very similar version is found also among other poems of Aytouns in Addl. MS. 28,622, f. 37. This is headed, Upon a ring Queen Anne sent to Sir Robert Aytoun, a Diamond in form of a heart. Anonymous versions are found in Addl. MS. 15,227, f. 82, Addl. MS. 22,603, f. 49, and Rawl. Poet. MSS. 117, f. 188; 160, f. 107. Another with the title Epigram to his Mistress is printed in Wits Recreations, 1640. It is anonymous.
This is numbered Elegia Vicesima Prima in the Stephens MS. It is unsigned in Rawl. Poet. MS. 160, f. 170. It is so offensive and devoid of humour that it is hardly fair to saddle Donne with it on the authority of a single bad MS.
I may add that Mr. F. G. Fleay in his Biographical Chronicle of the English Drama (vol. i. pp. 326, 328), following a hint of Giffords, asserts that Nos. 37, 38, 57, 59, 60 in Ben Jonsons Underwoods (ed. Cunningham), as well as No. 58 (i.e., Elegy xvi.), are by Donne. This statement appears to be perfectly wanton and gratuitous.