John Donne (15721631). The Poems of John Donne. 1896.
Epicedes and Obsequies upon the Death of Sundry Personages
A Hymn to the Saints, and to Marquis Hamilton
To Sir Robert Carr
SIR, I presume you rather try what you can do in me, than what I can do in verse; you know my uttermost when it was best, and even then I did best when I had least truth for my subjects. In this present case there is so much truth as it defeats all poetry. Call therefore this paper by what name you will, and, if it be not worthy of him, nor of you, nor of me, smother it, and be that the sacrifice.1 If you had commanded me to have waited on his body to Scotland and preached there, I would have embraced the2 obligation with more3 alacrity; but I thank you that you would command me that which I was loth4 to do, for even that hath given a tincture of merit to the obedience of
Your poor friend and servant in Christ Jesus, J. D.