Category Archives: John Donne

“A Hymn To God The Father” by John Donne

“A Hymn To God The Father”
By John Donne, (1573–1631)

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, “A Hymn to God the Father,” in The Complete English Poems (New York: Penguin, 1977), 348-349.

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“Except You enthrall me” by John Donne

Sonnet XIV
By John Donne (1635)

Batter my heart, three-person’d God; for You
As yet but knock; breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise, and stand, o’erthrow me, and bend
Your force, to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp’d town, to another due,
Labour to admit You, but O, to no end.
Reason, Your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captived, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love You, and would be loved fain,
But am betroth’d unto Your enemy;
Divorce me, untie, or break that knot again,
Take me to You, imprison me, for I,
Except You enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except You ravish me.

–John Donne, Holy Sonnets, “XIV” in Poems of John Donne, Vol 1. Ed. E. K. Chambers (London: Lawrence & Bullen, 1896), 165.

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