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it was written in 1603, in the interval between his condemnation and his respite. Although we are not to give a literal meaning to lines 51 and 52, they clearly indicate a certain expectation of a very closely impending execution; and some other lines were evidently written when the indignation roused by Coke's coarse and scurrilous abuse had not yet had time to subside. Raleigh was kept in suspense for at least three weeks after his trial in 1603, during some part of which this piece may have been written.
Some lines in it can scarcely be read without pain; and I would have omitted them, but that I was unwilling to mutilate the Poem. But before we condemn them as irreverent, we should recollect the circumstances under which they were probably composed. At such a period, when the perspective through which we view things must be altogether changed, the familiar distinctions between small and great might be easily neglected, as if they were not real, but only relative to us; and a man of bold and ardent spirit, which had not then been broken down by long imprisonment, might give vent, in strange and startling metaphors, to those strong feelings of mingled confidence and indignation, which could find no outlet in more ordinary language.
The Poem is now reprinted from one of the old editions of Raleigh's Remains (1661, p. 256); with a few corrections, which are noted in the Variations, where the original readings are marked A. The same text (without the alterations) was followed in the main by Birch (ii. 398), from whom Brydges took his copy (=B). In the Oxford edition (viii. 723), many "improvements" are introduced from one of the Rawlinson MSS.; but it will be seen that they bear too many marks of polishing to be genuine (=C). I have added some other variations from a copy in Mr. Pickering's MS. (fol. 82,=D,) where the title is the same with that here given. The readings of the Ashm. MS. (=E) are only quoted in a few cases, to support an occasional alteration.]
IVE me my Scallop-shell of Quiet ;
 My Gown of Glory (Hopes true gage);
Where spring the Nectar Fountains.
There will I kisse the Bowl of Blisse, And drink mine everlasting fill,  Upon every Milken hill.
My Soul will be a-drie before,
Then by that happy blestfull day,
 That have cast off their rags of clay,
At those clear Wells
Where sweetnesse dwells,
Are fill'd with immortalitie,
Sealings of Diamonds, Saphire floors,
No forg'd Accuser bought or sold,
And when the grand twelve million Iury
Thou giv❜st Salvation even for Alms,—
 To him that made Heaven, Earth, & Sea, That, since my flesh must die so soon, And want a Head to dine next noon,
Just at the stroak, when my veins start and spread,
 Then am I ready, like a Palmer fit,
To tread those blest Paths which before I writ.
[VARIATIONS.-In B, lines 7, 8, 9, 10 are arranged as 7, 10, 8, 9. In A C D as above.-7. 'Bodies only Balmer'—A B D.
'only' omitted in C E.-8. 'will here'-C. 'can there'-D.-9. 'like a quiet'-A B D. 'a' omitted in C E.-10. 'Travels to'C D.-11. 'Over all the'-C. 12. 'Where do spring those'—C. In A, 'springs'-. 13. Printed as two lines in B, though not in Birch. So also is line 22. The arrangement is justified by that of lines 24, 25: but I have not altered that of A. In C, line 13 is printed thus :—
'And I there will sweetly kiss
The happy bowl of peaceful bliss'-.
It is I will' in D.-14. 'my'-D. 'Drinking mine eternal fill' -C.-15. 'Flowing on each milky hill'—C.-Lines 16, 17, 22— 26 are omitted in D. In A B, the same seven lines are all placed together, after line 15. In CE they are arranged as above.-18. Before that happy'-D. 'In that happy'-C.-21. 'walk' omitted in D.-22. ' to quench my thirst'—A B. ‘to slake their thirst'-C E.-23. And then taste nectar'-C.-27. 'our bodies'-B. 'Bottle'-D.-29. 'Then those holy paths'—C. "Then the hilly paths'-D. In A B, 'Then the blessed Parts'—. 31. 'Saphire flowers'-A B. 'and Saphire floares'—D.—35, 36, 37, all begin 'Nor' in D.—36. ' Accusers'-D.-39. 'He pleades' -D.-40. And hath ... but not ffees'-D.-41. 'grand twelve' -C. 'twelve grand'-A B D.-42. awfull furye’—D.—43. Against'-D.-45. The latter part of this line, and all the next, are enclosed in brackets in A B.-47. 'Thou would'st'—A B. "That giuest'—D.—49. ‘my'—D. ‘Then this is mine’—C.—51. "Seeing my flesh'-C.-53. 'Just at the stroke of death, my arms being spread'-C. 'iust at the stroake when my veynes spread' -D.-55. 'So shall I ready'-C.-56. 'Tread those bless'd paths shown in thy holy writ'-C. 'best pathes'-D.-The concluding couplet, which is in A B C, and is quoted by Oldys (p. 556), appears to have been placed here by mistake. It is in none of the three MSS.; and Mr. Tytler has doubtless done well in omitting it. The copy he has printed is taken in other respects from C, except that in line 20, he reads, "That have doft their rags of clay'-]
[THIS poem, like many others reprinted in this volume, has been ascribed to various writers; and among the rest, both to Wotton and to Raleigh; nor is it easy to decide which account is the most likely to be true. The case appears to stand as follows:
1. In the earlier editions of the Complete Angler, it is intimated, that its author may have been DR. DONNE.(Piscator is about to recite it, in return for Venator's repetition of the "Description of the Country's Recreations," above, p. 55.) "Come, now drink a glasse to me, and I will requite you with a very good Copie of Verses ;-it is a Farewell to the vanities of the World; and, some say, written by Dr. D. But let them be writ by whom they will, he that writ them had a brave soul, and must needs be possest with happie thoughts at the time of their composure; and I hope he was an Angler."-" Well, Master," says Venator, "these Verses be worthie to keep a room in every mans memorie." (pp. 350-2, ed. 1655.) With this account