DONNE, John Poems, VVith elegies on the authors death.

London, by M[iles]. F[lesher]. for John Marriot, 1635


8vo. [xii], 388, [xxxii] Roman letter, some Italic. Engraved portrait of Donne within oval, verse beneath, floriated woodcut initials, engraved bookplate of Bayfield Hall Library, ‘The Richard Jennings copy in pencil’ ms in pencil, Robert Pirie’s below, front e-ps. waste from a bible in double column, very rare marginal spot or mark. A fine copy, crisp and clean, in contemporary calf, covers bordered with a double blind and single gilt rule, spine gilt ruled in compartments, a.e.r. tiny restoration to lower upper joint, in a sumptuous velvet lined red morocco folding case.

The important second edition, enlarged with many new poems, exceptionally rare in a contemporary binding, the second collected edition of the greatest of all the metaphysical poets and the first edition of seventeen of Donne’s poems. It is the first edition of the poems with the famous engraved portrait of Donne aged 18. “engraved by Marshall; the painting from which the engraving is done is not known. .. His dress is plain, but he is represented with long hair and a large ear-ring in the shape of a cross hanging from his right ear. His right had is grasping the hilt of his sword. .. below are eight lines of verse specially written for this book, beginning: ‘This was for youth, Strength Mirth and wit’, and signed Iz:Wa [Izaak Walton]” Keynes. A fine fresh copy.

Donne considered having some of his poems printed for private circulation at his own expense during his lifetime. However, this was not to be, and the poems continued to circulate in manuscript form, until their posthumous publication in 1633. The poems were collected, from a number of manuscript sources, include a mixture of Holy Sonnets, Epigrams, Elegies, satires and letters to various of Donne’s friends. Donne is the first and most famous of the English metaphysical poets, and his poetry, while sometimes impenetrable to the casual reader, is, by turns, moving, eloquent, charged with a malicious humour, and full of the energy of early love. Donne’s poetry can be broadly divided in two; his earlier poems on the theme of love, and the poems he wrote in his middle years and after, following his entry into the Church, which are more spiritual. Very little of Donne’s work survives in holograph, making the early editions especially important.

“In this edition the pieces have been rearranged and there are some changes in the text; They include all that had appeared in 1633, with the exception of Basse’s Epitaph upon Shakespeare, and Thomas Browne’s elegy on the author. Of the thirty seven pieces that have been added twenty-nine are poems supposed to be by Donne; of these one (no. 17) appears twice and eleven are not accepted as genuine. This edition contains therefore seventeen additional poems by Donne ” Keynes.

The very important second edition, particularly rare in a contemporary binding in a fresh crisp state.

STC 7046. ESTC S1701. Keynes, Donne 79. Not in Pforzheimer (1st and 3rd edns only). Grolier 286. Hayward 54.
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