Verse > John Donne > The Poems of John Donne
John Donne (1572–1631).  The Poems of John Donne.  1896.
Appendix F. Lines Introductory to Devotions upon Emergent Occasions
SINCE Appendix B was written, Dr. Grosart has kindly called my attention to another poem, to which Donne seems to have some claim. It is the English version of the Latin lines prefixed to his Devotions upon Emergent Occasions. This book was written after his illness in 1623, and first published in 1624. The English version is written on two blank leaves before the title-page of a copy of the third edition of the Devotions (1627), in Dr. Grosart’s possession, and Dr. Grosart is convinced that they are in Donne’s handwriting. I append both the Latin and the English versions.

Stationes sine Periodi in Morbo, ad quas referuntur Meditationes sequentes.
1. Insultus morbi primus;
        2. Post, actio laesa;
3. Decubitus sequitur tandem;
        4. Medicusque vocatur;
5. Solus adest; 6. Metuit;
        7. Socios sibi iungitur instat;
8. Et rex ipse suum mittit;
        9. Medicamina scribunt;
10. Lente et serpenti satagunt
        occurrere morbo,
11. Nobilibusque trahunt,
        a cincto corde, venenum.
Succis, et gemmis, et quæ
        generosa ministrant
Ars, et Natura, instillant;
        12. Spirante columba
Supposita pedibus, reuocantur
        ad ima vapores;
13. Atque malum genium,
        numeroso stigmate, fassus,
Pellitur ad pectus, morbique
        suburbia, morbus:
14. Idque notant criticis
        medici euenisse diebus.
15. Interea insomnes noctes
        ego duco diesque;
16. Et properare meum clamant
        e turre propinqua
Obstreperae campanae, aliorum
        in funere, funus.
17. Nunc lento sonitu dicunt,
        Morieris. 18. At inde,
Mortuus es, sonitu celeri,
        pulsuque agitato.
19. Oceano tandem emenso,
        aspicienda resurgit
Terra; vident iustis medici,
        iam cocta mederi
Se posse iudiciis, 20. Id agunt
        21. Atque annuit Ille,
Qui per eos clamat, Linquas
        iam Lazare lectum;
22. Sit morbi fomes tibi
        cura; 23. Metusque relabi.
The Stations or Periods in the Disease to which are Referred the Meditations following.
1. Sickness’ first grudge: 2. Senses
        and action fall:
3. We take our bed: 4. And the
        physician call:
5. He comes alone: 6. Fears:
        7. Craves more may unite:
8. The king himself sends his:
        9. They medicines write:
10. They strive my grief as
        slowly to oppose,
As, slowly and insensibly,
        it grows.
11. Still’d juices, and consorted
        pearls; what Art,
Or Nature can, are used,
        to keep the heart
From quick infection: 12.
        By a dying dove
The vapours downward to
        the feet remove—
13. Th’ ingenuous sickness on
        my spotted breast
His kind and his malignity
14. This too, the set days
        Critical discover;
15. Meanwhile I sleepless
        nights and days pass over;
16. And, from the adjoining tower,
        the noise of bells
For others’ funerals
        Mine own foretells:
17. Soft gentle tolling, now, says
        Thou must die;
18. Thou’rt dead, proclaims
        the ringing out, by and bye.
19. At length the earth out of the
        sea doth rise,
And the physicians, from
        just grounds, surmise
They may with drugs fight
        the weak enemy;
20. They purge. 21. He prospers
        who by them doth cry,
Now Lazarus, leave thy bed:
        22. Wisely take care,
Of thy disease’s fuel;
        23. Relapse fear.

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