Verse > John Donne > The Poems of John Donne
John Donne (1572–1631).  The Poems of John Donne.  1896.
Divine Poems
To the E[arl] of D[oncaster], with Six Holy Sonnets
SEE, sir, how, as the sun’s hot masculine flame
  Begets strange creatures on Nile’s dirty slime,
  In me your fatherly yet lusty rhyme
—For these songs are their fruits—have wrought the same.
But though th’ engend’ring force from which they came        5
  Be strong enough, and Nature doth admit
  Seven to be born at once; I send as yet
But six; they say the seventh hath still some maim.
  I choose your judgment, which the same degree
Doth with her sister, your invention, hold,        10
  As fire these drossy rhymes to purify,
Or as elixir, to change them to gold.
  You are that alchemist, which always had
  Wit, whose one spark could make good things of bad.

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