Verse > John Donne > The Poems of John Donne
John Donne (1572–1631).  The Poems of John Donne.  1896.
An Anatomy of the World
The Second Anniversary
The Harbinger to the Progress
[By Joseph Hall]
Of the Progress of the Soul
  Wherein, by occasion of the religious death of Mistress Elizabeth Drury, the incommodities of the soul in this life, and her exaltation in the next, are contemplated.

TWO souls move here, and mine, a third, must move
Paces of admiration and of love.
Thy soul, dear virgin, whose this tribute is,
Moved from this mortal sphere to lively bliss;
And yet moves still, and still aspires to see        5
The world’s last day, thy glory’s full degree,
Like as those stars which thou o’erlookest far,
Are in their place, and yet still movèd are.
No soul—whiles with the luggage of this clay
It clogged is—can follow thee half-way;        10
Or see thy flight, which doth our thoughts outgo
So fast, as now the lightning moves but slow.
But now thou art as high in heaven flown
As heavens from us, what soul besides thine own
Can tell thy joys, or say he can relate        15
Thy glorious journals in that blessed state?
I envy thee, rich soul, I envy thee,
Although I cannot yet thy glory see.
And thou, great spirit, which hers followed hast
So fast, as none can follow thine so fast;        20
So far, as none can follow thine so far
—And if this flesh did not the passage bar,
Hadst caught her—let me wonder at thy flight,
Which long agone hadst lost the vulgar sight,
And now makest proud the better eyes, that they        25
Can see thee lessened in thine airy way.
So while thou makest her soul by progress known,
Thou makest a noble progress of thine own,
From this world’s carcase having mounted high
To that pure life of immortality;        30
Since thine aspiring thoughts themselves so raise
That more may not beseem a creature’s praise,
Yet still thou vow’st her more, and every year
Makest a new progress, while 1 thou wanderest here,
Still upward mount; and let thy Maker’s praise        35
Honour thy Laura, and adorn thy lays.
And since thy Muse her head in heaven shrouds,
Oh, let her never stoop below the clouds;
And if those glorious sainted souls may know
Or what we do, or what we sing below,        40
Those acts, those songs shall still content them best
Which praise those awful Powers that make them blest.
Note 1. l. 34. 1669, whilst [back]

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