Elegy V: His Picture

Original Text: 
John Donne, Poems, by J. D. With elegies on the authors death (M. F. for J. Marriot, 1633). MICF no. 556 ROBA. Facs. edn. Menston: Scolar Press, 1969. PR 2245 A2 1633A. STC 7045.
2Thine, in my heart, where my soul dwells, shall dwell.
3'Tis like me now, but I dead, 'twill be more
4When we are shadows both, than 'twas before.
5When weather-beaten I come back, my hand
6Perhaps with rude oars torn, or sun beams tann'd,
7My face and breast of haircloth, and my head
8With care's rash sudden storms being o'erspread,
9My body'a sack of bones, broken within,
10And powder's blue stains scatter'd on my skin;
11If rival fools tax thee to'have lov'd a man
12So foul and coarse as, oh, I may seem then,
13This shall say what I was, and thou shalt say,
14"Do his hurts reach me? doth my worth decay?
15Or do they reach his judging mind, that he
16Should now love less, what he did love to see?
17That which in him was fair and delicate,
18Was but the milk which in love's childish state
19Did nurse it; who now is grown strong enough
20To feed on that, which to disus'd tastes seems tough."


1] Elegy is used with classical connotations, not in the sense of lament. Sidney says the most notable kinds of poetry are the heroic, the tragic, the iambic, and the elegiac. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
N. J. Endicott
RPO Edition: 
3RP 1.179.