ALL DONNE UP – an extremely short Metaphysical Elegy to John Donne

Done up you’re Donne round, and done over you’re Donne down
Donne well you’re under-Donne, but Donne down you’re overrun
Yet every way you’re said to say the same thing you’ve just begun
That being not is not the way to know when you’ve just gone astray
Simple is as simple does and all else is not because
You’ve found that you have never been without which except within
Another man by limits made has found his God to slow abrade
Metaphysic in your need, see then, you did accede!
For dun-brown or florid green I think you know the very thing
That Donne right you’re sinister, for minister in verse you were
That perished like the passing spring to recreate the withered thing…


The wonderful thing about being a poet is that you can be completely self-contradictory and still be entirely correct.


I wandered long to tell the tale of heroes in this world
I sang, I feasted, spoke my verse, drank and danced for Earls
In courts and castles did I roam but never kept a’ Count
Of just how many women wooed or knights I did unmount
I traveled nights without a moon in forests deep and dim
While Warlocks of their secret charms I often learned to skim
Monstrous ruins did I scour to find what harm lay tombed
Did I this upon the hour heavy cloaked in gloom
Great Wizards I did put at ease with my flute and lyre
Men at War I roused to fight before the glowing fire
Thieves did think them craftily the cunning criminal
Until I mastered them in guile to leave them stript and dull
Priests befriended, merchant’s aid, the King’s own counselor
Old Keeps razed and Dukes a’scorned by every art of lore
Famous flags and banners raised I fought beneath them all
Yet never did I bend the knee, I kept myself unthralled
Wealth grew great and treasure troves I found within the world
I plundered hoards, took what I wished, the rest I passed to churls
Grim grew I as long I aged, the Winter’s bite took hold
Then laughed again as Spring bloomed new even though I’m old
God High Above, death far below, the things that I have seen
The Barrow Mounds, the Hunting Hounds, the foxes in the lean
I’ve been a Bard, tis true my friend, adventures without end
The Sire of Suits, the Poets Truth, Meander’s only friend
I’m laughing now, you cannot know, delight within my breast
I’d do it all again you see, the minstrel is thrice blest
He lives a man, a dire man, beyond the frontier walls
He sings of it to kings and queens, but does not sing it all
For though the joy is deep in him of everything he speaks
There is a place he never found that still his soul does seek…