Poems by John Donne

Poet and cleric, born in 1572 in London (United Kingdom), died monday march 31, 1631 in London (United Kingdom)
You can find this author also in Quotes & Aphorisms.

A Fever

Oh do not die, for I shall hate
All women so, when thou art gone,
That thee I shall not celebrate,
When I remember, thou wast one.

But yet thou canst not die, I know;
To leave this world behind, is death,
But when thou from this world wilt go,
The whole world vapours with thy breath.

Or if, when thou, the world's soul, go'st,
It stay, 'tis but thy carcase then,
The fairest woman, but thy ghost,
But corrupt worms, the worthiest men.

Oh wrangling schools, that search what fire
Shall burn this world, had none the wit
Unto this knowledge to aspire,
That this her fever might be it?

And yet she cannot waste by this,
Nor long bear this torturing wrong,
For much corruption needful is
To fuel such a fever long.

These burning fits but meteors be,
Whose matter in thee is soon spent.
Thy beauty, and all parts, which are thee,
Are unchangeable firmament.

Yet'twas of my mind, seizing thee,
Though it in thee cannot persever.
For I had rather owner be
Of thee one hour, than all else ever.
John Donne
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    A Jet Ring Sent

    Thou art not so black as my heart,
    Nor half so brittle as her heart, thou art;
    What would'st thou say? shall both our properties by thee be spoke,
    —Nothing more endless, nothing sooner broke?

    Marriage rings are not of this stuff;
    Oh, why should ought less precious, or less tough
    Figure our loves? except in thy name thou have bid it say,
    '—I'm cheap, and nought but fashion; fling me away. '

    Yet stay with me since thou art come,
    Circle this finger's top, which didst her thumb;
    Be justly proud, and gladly safe, that thou dost dwell with me;
    She that, O! broke her faith, would soon break thee.
    John Donne
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      Air And Angels

      Twice or thrice had I loved thee,
      Before I knew thy face or name;
      So in a voice, so in a shapeless flame,
      Angels affect us oft, and worshipped be;
      Still when, to where thou wert, I came,
      Some lovely glorious nothing I did see.
      But since my soul, whose child love is,
      Takes limbs of flesh, and else could nothing do,
      More subtle than the parent is,
      Love must not be, but take a body too;
      And therefore what thou wert, and who,
      I bid love ask, and now
      That it assume thy body I allow,
      And fix itself to thy lip, eye, and brow.

      Whilst thus to ballast love I thought,
      And so more steadily to have gone,
      With wares which would sink admiration,
      I saw I had love's pinnace overfraught
      Every thy hair for love to work upon
      Is much too much, some fitter must be sought;
      For, nor in nothing, nor in things
      Extreme and scatt'ring bright, can love inhere.
      Then as an angel, face and wings
      Of air, not pure as it, yet pure doth wear,
      So thy love may be my love's sphere.
      Just such disparity
      As is'twixt air and angel's purity,
      'Twixt women's love and men's will ever be.
      John Donne
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        A Burnt Ship

        Out of a fired ship, which by no way
        But drowning could be rescued from the flame,
        Some men leap'd forth, and ever as they came
        Near the foes'ships, did by their shot decay;
        So all were lost, which in the ship were found,
        They in the sea being burnt, they in the burnt ship drown'd.
        John Donne
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          A Hymn To God The Father

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

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

          I have a sin of fear, that when I have spun
          My last thread, I shall perish on the shore;
          But swear by thyself, that at my death thy Son
          Shall shine as he shines now, and heretofore;
          And, having done that, thou hast done;
          I fear no more.
          John Donne
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            Posted by: Francesco Pierri
            No man is an island,
            Entire of itself.
            Each is a piece of the continent,
            A part of the main.
            If a clod be washed away by the sea,
            Europe is the less.
            As well as if a promontory were.
            As well as if a manor of thine own
            Or of thine friend's were.
            Each man's death diminishes me,
            For I am involved in mankind.
            Therefore, send not to know
            For whom the bell tolls,
            It tolls for thee.
            John Donne
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