Donne published very few of his poems and consequently dating most of them and attaching them to the stages of his life is conjectural. It is fairly certain that the Satires were written between 1591 and 1601 while Donne was a student at the Inns of Court and Secretary to Lord Egerton, because Satire 5, which one assumes to be the last written, addresses Egerton and deals with abuses of the law under Elizabeth. The address to the reader prefaced to “The Progress of the Soul: Metempsychosis” is dated 1601. As for the religious poetry, Helen Gardner has argued convincingly that most of the sonnets that make up the Divine Meditations were written during a religious crisis between 1609 and 1611. “A Litany” will belong to the same …
Reid, David. "Poems by John Donne. With elegies on the author's death". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 July 2004; last revised 30 November -1.
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=2752, accessed 18 April 2015.]