John Donne
Medicusque vocatur.
The Phisician is sent for.

IT is too little to call Man a little World; Except God, Man is a diminutive to nothing. Man consistes of more pieces, more parts, than the world; than the world doeth, nay than the world is. And if those pieces were extended, and stretched out in Man, as they in the world, Man would bee the Gyant, and the Worlde the Dwarfe, the World but the Map, and the Man the World. If all the Veines in our bodies, were extended to Rivers, and all the Sinewes, to Vaines of Mines, and all the Muscles, that lye upon one another, to Hilles, and all the Bones to Quarries of stones, and all the other pieces, to the proportion of those which correspond to them in the world, the Aire would be too litle for this Orbe of Man to move in, the firmament would bee but enough for this Starre; for, as the whole world hath nothing, to which something in man doth not answere, so hath man many pieces, of which the whole world hath no representation. Inlarge this Meditation upon this great world, Man, so farr, as to consider the immensitie of the creatures this world produces; our creatures are our thoughts, creatures that are borne Gyants; that reach from East to West, from Earth to Heaven, that doe not onely bestride all the Sea, and Land, but span the Sunnand Firmament at once; My thoughts reach all, comprehend all. Inexplicable mistery; I their Creator am in a close prison, in a sicke bed, any where, and any one of my Creatures, my thoughts, is with the Sunne, and beyond the Sunne, overtakes the Sunne, and overgoes the Sunne in one pace, one steppe, everywhere. And then as the other world produces Serpents, and Vipers, malignant, and venimous creatures, and Wormes, and Caterpillars, that endeavour to devoure that world which produces them, and Monsters compiled and complicated of divers parents, and kinds, so this world, our selves, produces all these in us, in producing diseases, and sicknesses, of all those sort; venimous, and infectious diseases, feeding and consuming diseases, and manifold and entangled diseases, made up of many several ones. And can the other world name so many venimous, so many consuming, so many monstrous creatures, as we can diseases, of all these kindes? O miserable abundance, O beggarly riches! how much doe wee lacke of having remedies for everie disease, when as yet we have not names for them? But wee have a Hercules against these Gyants, these Monsters; that is, the Phisician; hee musters up al the forces of the other world, to succour this; all Nature to relieve Man. We have the Phisician, but we are not the Phisician. Heere we shrinke in our proportion, sink in our dignitie, in respect of verie meane creatures, who are Phisicians to themselves. The Hart that is pursued and wounded, they say, knowes an Herbe, which being eaten, throwes off the arrow: A strange kind of vomit. The dog that pursues it, though hee bee subject to sicknes, even proverbially, knowes his grasse that recovers him. And it may be true, that the Drugger is as neere to Man, as to other creatures, it may be that obvious and present Simples, easie to be had, would cure him; but the Apothecary is not so neere him, nor the Phisician so neere him, as they two are to other creatures; Man hath not that innate instinct, to apply these naturall medicines to his present danger, as those inferiour creatures have; he is not his owne Apothecary, his owne Phisician, as they are. Call back therefore thy Meditation again, and bring it downe; whats become of mans great extent and proportion, when himselfe shrinkes himselfe, and consumes himselfe to a handfull of dust? whats become of his soaring thoughts, his compassing thoughts, when himselfe brings himselfe to the ignorance, to the thoughtlessnesse of the Grave? His diseases are his owne, but the Phisician is not; hee hath them at home, but hee must send for the Phisician

Source :
Donne, John. The Complete Poetry and Selected Prose of John Donne.
Charles M. Coffin, Ed. New York: Modern Library, 1952. 418-420.
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