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John Donne
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The Canonization
Go and catch a falling star
Wilt you forgive that sin where I begun
The Flea
Holly Sonnets
Finnish 1.Thou hast made me
2.As due by many titles
3.O might those sighs
4.O, my black Soule!
5.I am a little world
6.This is my playes last scene
7.At the round earth's imagin'd corners
8. If faithful soules be alike glorifid
9. If poysonous minerals, and if that tree
10.Death, be not proud
11. Spit in my face you Jewes, and pierce my side
12. Why are wee by all creatures waited on?
13. What if this present were the worlds last night?
14. Batter my heart, three persond God; for you
15. Wilt thou love God, as he thee? Then digest
16. Father? Part of his double interest
17. Since she whom I lovd hath payd her last
18. Show me, dear Christ, thy Spouse
19. Oh, to vex me, contraryes meet in one:




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Loves Alchemy  

Loves Alchemy

Some that have deeper digged loves mine than I,
Say, where his centric happiness doth lie;
I have loved, and got and told,
But should I love, get, tell, till I were old,
I should not find that hidden mystery;
Oh, tis imposture all:
And as no chemic yet the elixir got,
But glorifies his pregnant pot,
If by the way to him befall
Some odoriferous thing, or medicinal,
So lovers dream a rich and long delight,
But get a winter-seeming summers night.

Our ease, our thrift, our honour and our day,
Shall we, for this ain bubble shadow pay?
Ends love on this, that my man,
Can be as happy as I can
Endure the sort scorn of a bridegrooms play?
That loving wretch that swears,
Tis not the bodies marry, but the minds,
Which he in her angelic finds,
Wouldswear as justly, that he hears,
In that days rude hoarse minstrelsy, the spheres.
Hope not for mind in women; at their best
Sweetness and wit, they are but mummy, possessed.


The Canonization

1 For God's sake hold your tongue, and let me love,
2 Or chide my palsy, or my gout,
3 My five grey hairs, or ruin'd fortune flout,
4 With wealth your state, your mind with arts improve,
5 Take you a course, get you a place,
6 Observe his Honour, or his Grace,
7 Or the King's real, or his stamped face
8 Contemplate, what you will, approve,
9 So you will let me love.

10 Alas, alas, who's injur'd by my love?
11 What merchant's ships have my sighs drown'd?
12 Who says my tears have overflow'd his ground?
13 When did my colds a forward spring remove?
14 When did the heats which my veins fill
15 Add one more to the plaguy bill?
16 Soldiers find wars, and lawyers find out still
17 Litigious men, which quarrels move,
18 Though she and I do love.

19 Call us what you will, we are made such by love;
20 Call her one, me another fly,
21 We'are tapers too, and at our own cost die,
22 And we in us find the'eagle and the dove.
23 The ph{oe}nix riddle hath more wit
24 By us; we two being one, are it.
25 So, to one neutral thing both sexes fit,
26 We die and rise the same, and prove
27 Mysterious by this love.

28 We can die by it, if not live by love,
29 And if unfit for tombs and hearse
30 Our legend be, it will be fit for verse;
31 And if no piece of chronicle we prove,
32 We'll build in sonnets pretty rooms;
33 As well a well-wrought urn becomes
34 The greatest ashes, as half-acre tombs,
35 And by these hymns all shall approve
36 Us canoniz'd for love;

37 And thus invoke us: "You, whom reverend love
38 Made one another's hermitage;
39 You, to whom love was peace, that now is rage;
40 Who did the whole world's soul contract, and drove
41 Into the glasses of your eyes
42 (So made such mirrors, and such spies,
43 That they did all to you epitomize)
44 Countries, towns, courts: beg from above
45 A pattern of your love!"


1 Busy old fool, unruly Sun,
2 Why dost thou thus,
3 Through windows, and through curtains, call on us?
4 Must to thy motions lovers' seasons run?
5 Saucy pedantic wretch, go chide
6 Late schoolboys, and sour prentices,
7 Go tell court-huntsmen that the king will ride,
8 Call country ants to harvest offices,
9 Love, all alike, no season knows, nor clime,
10 Nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time.

11 Thy beams, so reverend and strong
12 Why shouldst thou think?
13 I could eclipse and cloud them with a wink,
14 But that I would not lose her sight so long:
15 If her eyes have not blinded thine,
16 Look, and tomorrow late, tell me
17 Whether both the'Indias of spice and mine
18 Be where thou leftst them, or lie here with me.
19 Ask for those kings whom thou saw'st yesterday,
20 And thou shalt hear: "All here in one bed lay."

21 She'is all states, and all princes I,
22 Nothing else is.
23 Princes do but play us; compar'd to this,
24 All honour's mimic, all wealth alchemy.
25 Thou, sun, art half as happy'as we,
26 In that the world's contracted thus;
27 Thine age asks ease, and since thy duties be
28 To warm the world, that's done in warming us.
29 Shine here to us, and thou art everywhere;
30 This bed thy centre is, these walls, thy sphere.


1 Go and catch a falling star,
2 Get with child a mandrake root,
3 Tell me where all past years are,
4 Or who cleft the devil's foot,
5 Teach me to hear mermaids singing,
6 Or to keep off envy's stinging,
7 And find
8 What wind
9 Serves to advance an honest mind.

10 If thou be'st born to strange sights,
11 Things invisible to see,
12 Ride ten thousand days and nights,
13 Till age snow white hairs on thee,
14 Thou, when thou return'st, wilt tell me,
15 All strange wonders that befell thee,
16 And swear,
17 No where
18 Lives a woman true, and fair.

19 If thou find'st one, let me know,
20 Such a pilgrimage were sweet;
21 Yet do not, I would not go,
22 Though at next door we might meet;
23 Though she were true, when you met her,
24 And last, till you write your letter,
25 Yet she
26 Will be
27 False, ere I come, to two, or three.


1 Wilt thou forgive that sin where I begun,
2 Which was my sin, though it were done before?
3 Wilt thou forgive that sin, through which I run,
4 And do run still, though still I do deplore?
5 When thou hast done, thou hast not done,
6 For I have more.

7 Wilt thou forgive that sin which I have won
8 Others to sin, and made my sin their door?
9 Wilt thou forgive that sin which I did shun
10 A year or two, but wallow'd in, a score?
11 When thou hast done, thou hast not done,
12 For I have more.

13 I have a sin of fear, that when I have spun
14 My last thread, I shall perish on the shore;
15 But swear by thyself, that at my death thy Son
16 Shall shine as he shines now, and heretofore;
17 And, having done that, thou hast done;
18 I fear no more.

! !

THOU hast made me, And shall thy worke decay?
Repaire me now, for now mine end doth haste,
I runne to death, and death meets me as fast,
And all my pleasures are like yesterday;
I dare not move my dimme eyes any way,
Despaire behind, and death before doth cast
Such terrour, and my feeble flesh doth waste
By sinne in it, which it t'wards hell doth weigh;
Onely thou art above, and when towards thee
By thy leave I can looke, I rise againe;
But our old subtle foe so tempteth me,
That not one houre my selfe I can sustaine;
Thy Grace may wing me to prevent his art,
And thou like Adamant draw mine iron heart.


As due by many titles I resigne
My selfe to thee, O God, first I was made
By thee, and for thee, and when I was decay'd
Thy blood bought that, the which before was thine;
I am thy sonne, made with thy selfe to shine,
Thy servant, whose paines thou hast still repaid,
Thy sheepe, thine Image, and, till I betray'd
My selfe, a temple of thy Spirit divine;
Why doth the devill then usurpe on mee?
Why doth he steale, nay ravish that's thy right?
Except thou rise and for thine own worke fight,
Oh I shall soone despaire, when I doe see
That thou lov'st mankind well, yet wilt'not chuse me,
And Satan hates mee, yet is loth to lose mee.


O might those sighes and teares returne againe
Into my breast and eyes, which I have spent,
That I might in this holy discontent
Mourne with some fruit, as I have mourn'd in vaine;
In mine Idolatry what showres of raine
Mine eyes did waste? what griefs my heart did rent?
That sufferance was my sinne; now I repent;
'Cause I did sufffer I must suffer paine.
Th'hydroptique drunkard, and night-scouting thiefe,
The itchy Lecher, and selfe-tickling proud
Have the remembrance of past joyes, for reliefe
Of comming ills. To (poore) me is allow'd
No ease; for, long, yet vehement griefe hath beene
Th'effect and cause, the punishment and sinne.


Oh my blacke Soule! now thou art summoned
By sicknesse, deaths herald, and champion;
Thou art like a pilgrim, which abroad hath done
Treason, and durst not turne to whence hee is fled,
Or like a thiefe, which till deaths doome be read,
Wisheth himselfe delivered from prison;
But damn'd and hal'd to execution,
Wisheth that still he might be imprisoned.
Yet grace, if thou repent, thou canst not lacke;
But who shall give thee that grace to beginne?
Oh make thy selfe with holy mourning blacke,
And red with blushing, as thou art with sinne;
Or wash thee in Christs blood, which hath this might
That being red, it dyes red soules to white.


I am a little world made cunningly
Of Elements, and an Angelike spright,
But black sinne hath betraid to endlesse night
My worlds both parts, and (oh) both parts must die.
You which beyond that heaven which was most high
Have found new sphears, and of new lands can write,
Powre new seas in mine eyes, that so I might
Drowne my world with my weeping earnestly,
Or wash it if it must be drown'd no more;
But oh it must be burnt! alas the fire
Of lust and envie have burnt it heretofore,
And made it fouler; Let their flames retire,
And burne me o Lord, with a fiery zeale
Of thee and thy house, which doth in eating heale.

. .

This is my playes last scene, here heavens appoint
My pilgrimages last mile; and my race
Idly, yet quickly runne, hath this last pace,
My spans last inch, my minutes latest point,
And gluttonous death, will instantly unjoynt
My body, and soule, and I shall sleepe a space,
But my'ever-waking part shall see that face,
Whose feare already shakes my every joynt;
Then, as my soule, to'heaven her first seate, takes flight,
And earth-borne body, in the earth shall dwelll,
So, fall my sinnes, that all may have their right,
To where they're bred, and would presse me, to hell.
Impute me righteous, thus purg'd of evill,
For thus I leave the world, the flesh, the devill.


At the round earths imagin'd corners, blow
Your trumpets, Angells, and arise, arise
From death, you numberlesse infinities
Of soules, and to your scattred bodies goe,
All whom the flood did, and fire shall o'erthrow,
All whom warre, dearth, sage, agues, tyrannies,
Despaire, law chance, hath slaine, and you whose eyes,
Shall behold God, and never tast deaths woe.
But let them sleepe, Lord, and mee mourne a space,
For, if above all these, my sinnes abound,
'Tis late to aske abundance of thy grace,
When wee are there; here on this lowly ground,
Teach mee how to repent; for that's as good
As if thou'hadst seal'd my pardon, with thy blood.


If faithfull soules be alike glorifi'd
As Angels, then my fathers soul doth see,
And adds this even to full felecitie,
That valiantly I hels wide mouth o'stride:
But if our mindes to these soules be descry'd
By circumstances, and by signes that be
Apparent in us, not immediately,
How shall my mindes white truth by them be try'd?
They see idolatrous lovers weepe and mourne,
And vile blasphemous Conjurers to call
On Jesus name, and Pharisaicall
Dissemblers feigne devotion. Then turne
O pensive soule, to God, for he knows best
Thy true griefe, for he put it in my breast.

Ҡ 9
, ,

If poysonous mineralls, and if that tree,
Whose fruit threw death on else immortall us,
If lecherous goats, if serpents envious
Cannot be damn'd; Alas; why should I bee?
Why should intent or reason, borne in mee,
Make sinnes, else equall, in mee more heinous?
And mercy being easie, and glorious
To God; in his sterne wrath, why threatens hee?
But who am I , that dare dispute with thee
O God? Oh! of thine onely worthy blood,
And my teares, make a heavenly Lethean flood,
And drowne in it my sinnes black memorie;
That thou remember them, some claime as debt,
I thinke it mercy if thou wilt forget.

, .

Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not soe,
For, those, whom thou think'st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill mee.
From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,
Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell,
And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,
And better than thy stroake; why swell'st thou then?
One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.

, , , !

Spit in my face you Jewes, and pierce my side,
Buffet, and scoffe, scourge, and crucifie mee,
For I have sinn'd, and sinn'd, and onely hee,
Who could do no iniquitie, hath dyed:
But by my death can not be satisfied
My sinnes, which passe the Jewes impiety:
They kill'd once an inglorious man, but I
Crucifie him daily, being now glorified.
Oh let mee then, his strange love still admire:
Kings pardon, but he bore our punishment.
And Jacob came cloth'd in vile harsh attire
But to supplant, and with gainfull intent:
God cloth'd himselfe in vile mans flesh, that so
Hee might be weake enought to suffer woe.

, ,

Why are wee by all creatures waited on?
Why doe the prodigall elements supply
Life and food to mee, being more pure than I,
Simple, and further from corruption?
Why brook'st thou, ignorant horse, subjection?
Why dost thou bull, and bore so seelily
Dissemble weaknesse, and by one mans stroke die,
Whose whole kinde, you might swallow and feed upon?
Weaker I am, woe is mee, and worse than you,
You have not sinn'd, nor need be timorous.
But wonder at a greater wonder, for to us
Created nature doth these things subdue,
But their Creator, whom sin, nor nature tyed,
For us, his Creatures, and his foes, hath dyed.


What if this present were the worlds last night?
Marke in my heart, O Soule, where thou dost dwell,
The picture of Christ crucified, and tell
Whether that countenance can thee affright,
Teares in his eyes quench the amazing light,
Blood fills his frownes, which from his pierc'd head fell.
And can that tongue adjudge thee unto hell,
Which pray'd forgiveness for his foes fierce spight?
No, no; but as in my idolatrie
I said to all my profane mistresses,
Beauty, of pitty, foulnesse onely is
A sign of rigour: so I say to thee,
To wicked spirits are horrid shapes assign'd,
This beauteous forme assures a pitious minde.

, ,

Batter my heart, three person'd God; for, you
As yet but knocke, breathe, shine, and seeke to mend,
That I may rise, and stand, o'erthrow mee, and bend
Your force, to breake, blowe, burn and make me new.
I, like an usurpt towne, to another due,
Labour to admit you, but Oh, to no end,
Reason your viceroy in mee, mee should defend,
But is captiv'd , and proves weake or untrue.
Yet dearely I love you, and would be loved faine,
But am betroth'd unto your enemie:
Divorce mee, untie, or breake that knot againe,
Take mee to you, imprison mee, for I
Except you enthrall mee, never shall be free,
Nor ever chast, except you ravish mee.

, , ?

Wilt thou love God, as he thee? then digest,
My Soule, this wholsome meditation,
How God the Spirit, by Angels waited on
In heaven, doth make his Temple in thy brest.
The Father having begot a Sonne most blest,
And still begetting, (for he ne'r begonne)
Hath deign'd to chuse thee by adoption,
Coheire to his glory, and Sabbaths endlesse rest;
And as a robb'd man, which by search doth finde
His stolne stuffe sold, must lose or buy it againe;
The Sonne of glory came downe, and was slaine,
Us whom he had made, and Satan stolne, to unbinde.
'Twas much, that man was made like God before,
But, that God should be made like man, much more.

, ,

Father, part of his double interest
Unto thy kingdome, thy Sonne gives to mee,
His joynture in the knottie Trinitie
Hee keepes, and gives to me his deaths conquest.
This Lambe, whose death, with life the world hath blest,
Was from the worlds beginning slaine, and he
Hath made two Wills, which with the Legacie
Of his and thy kingdome, doe thy Sonnes invest.
Yet such are thy laws, that men argue yet
Whether a man those statutes can fulfill;
None doth; but all-healing grace and spirit
Revive againe what law and letter kill.
Thy lawes abridgement, and thy last command
Is all but love; Oh let this last Will stand!

, ?

Since she whom I lov'd hath payd her last debt
To Nature, and to hers, and my good is dead,
And her Scule early into heaven ravished,
Wholly on heavenly things my mind is sett.
Here the admyring her my mind did whett
To seeke thee God; so streames do shew their head;
But though I have found thee, and thou my thirst hast fed,
A holy thirsty dropsy melts mee yet.
But why should I begg more Love, when as thou
Dost wooe my soule for hers; offring all thine:
And dost not only feare least I allow
My Love to Saints and Angels things divine,
But in thy tender jealousy dost doubt
Least in the World. Fleshe, yea Devill put thee out.

, , !

Show me deare Christ, thy Spouse, so bright and clear.
What! is it She, which on the other shore
Goes richly painted? or which rob'd and tore
Laments and mournes in Germany and here?
Sleepes she a thousand, then peepes up one yeare?
Is she selfe truth and errs? now new, now outwore?
Doth she, and did she, and shall she evermore
On one, on seaven, or on no hill appeare?
Dwells she with us, or like adventuring knights
First travaile we to seek and then make Love?
Betray kind husband thy spouse to our sights,
And let myne amorous soule court thy mild Dove,
Who is most trew, and pleasing to thee, then
When she is embrac'd and open to most men.

, .

Oh, to vex me, contraryes meet in one:
Inconstancy unnaturally hath begott
A constant habit; that when I would not
I change in vowes, and in devotione.
As humorous is my contritione
As my prophane Love, and as soone forgott:
As ridlingly distemper'd, cold and hott,
As praying, as mute; as infinite, as none.
I durst not view heaven yesterday; and to day
In prayers, and flattering speaches I court God:
To morrow I quake with true feare of his rod.
So my devout fitts come and go away
Like a fantistique Ague: save that here
Those are my best dayes, when I shake with feare.

The Flea

Marke but this flea, and marke in this,
How little that which thou deny'st me is;
It suck'd me first, and now sucks thee,
And in this flea, our two bloods mingled bee;
Thou know'st that this cannot be said
A sinne, nor shame, nor losse of maidenhead,
Yet this enjoyes before it wooe,
And pamper'd swells with one blood made of two,
And this, alas, is more than wee would doe.

Oh stay, three lives in one flea spare,
Where wee almost, yea more than maryed are.
This flea is you and I, and this
Our mariage bed, and mariage temple is;
Though parents grudge, and you, w'are met,
And cloysterd in these living walls of Jet.
Though use make you apt to kill mee,
Let not to that, selfe murder added bee,
And sacrilege, three sinnes in killing three.

Cruell and sodaine, hast thou since
Purpled thy naile, in blood of innocence?
Wherein could this flea guilty bee,
Except in that drop which it suckt from thee?
Yet thou triumph'st, and saist that thou
Find'st not thy selfe, nor mee the weaker now;
'Tis true, then learne how false, feares bee;
Just so much honor, when thou yeeld'st to mee,
Will wast, as this flea's death tooke life from thee.

John Donne

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2000 Elena and Yacov Feldman