On Donne's Poem "To a Flea"

1Be proud as Spaniards! Leap for pride ye Fleas!
2Henceforth in Nature's mimic World grandees.
3In Phœbus' archives registered are ye,
4And this your patent of Nobility.
7I hail you one and all, sans Pros or Cons,
8Descendants from a noble race of Dons.
9What tho' that great ancestral Flea be gone,


5] skip-Jacks: small bugs, like the spring-beetle that leaps into the air. skip-Johns: Coleridge's neologism, a skip-jack with a less familiar name. Back to Line
6] Anthropophagi: man-eaters, cannibals. Back to Line
10] Donne: John Donne, a Renaissance metaphysical poet. Back to Line
11] gloze: annotation, gloss. Back to Line
12] Bardolph: a drinking companion of Shakespeare's Falstaff. Coleridge refers to the story of Falstaff's death in Shakespeare's Henry V, TLN 862-63:
Hostess, do you remember he saw a flea stand upon Bardolph's nose, and said it was a black soul burning in hell fire?
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Publication Start Year: 
Publication Notes: 
The Complete Poetical Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, ed. Ernest Hartley Coleridge (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1912): II, 980-81. Internet Archive
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: