icewolf: snowy wolf (sunlit mask)
Early Donne, from his wilder, younger days...

"The Sun Rising"
John Donne

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

      Thy beams so reverend, and strong
     Why shouldst thou think ?
I could eclipse and cloud them with a wink,
But that I would not lose her sight so long.
     If her eyes have not blinded thine,
     Look, and to-morrow late tell me,
  Whether both th' Indias of spice and mine
  Be where thou left'st them, or lie here with me.
Ask for those kings whom thou saw'st yesterday,
And thou shalt hear, "All here in one bed lay."

     She's all states, and all princes I ;
     Nothing else is ;
Princes do but play us ; compared to this,
All honour's mimic, all wealth alchemy.
     Thou, Sun, art half as happy as we,
     In that the world's contracted thus ;
  Thine age asks ease, and since thy duties be
  To warm the world, that's done in warming us.
Shine here to us, and thou art everywhere ;
This bed thy center is, these walls thy sphere.
icewolf: snowy wolf (Default)
Still running a day behind...

"Good-Friday, 1613, Riding Westward"
John Donne

LET man's soul be a sphere, and then, in this,
Th' intelligence that moves, devotion is ;
And as the other spheres, by being grown
Subject to foreign motion, lose their own,
And being by others hurried every day,
Scarce in a year their natural form obey ;
Pleasure or business, so, our souls admit
For their first mover, and are whirl'd by it.
Hence is't, that I am carried towards the west,
This day, when my soul's form bends to the East.
There I should see a Sun by rising set,
And by that setting endless day beget.
But that Christ on His cross did rise and fall,
Sin had eternally benighted all.
Yet dare I almost be glad, I do not see
That spectacle of too much weight for me.
Who sees Gods face, that is self-life, must die ;
What a death were it then to see God die ?
It made His own lieutenant, Nature, shrink,
It made His footstool crack, and the sun wink.
Could I behold those hands, which span the poles
And tune all spheres at once, pierced with those holes ?
Could I behold that endless height, which is
Zenith to us and our antipodes,
Humbled below us ? or that blood, which is
The seat of all our soul's, if not of His,
Made dirt of dust, or that flesh which was worn
By God for His apparel, ragg'd and torn ?
If on these things I durst not look, durst I
On His distressed Mother cast mine eye,
Who was God's partner here, and furnish'd thus
Half of that sacrifice which ransom'd us ?
Though these things as I ride be from mine eye,
They're present yet unto my memory,
For that looks towards them ; and Thou look'st towards me,
O Saviour, as Thou hang'st upon the tree.
I turn my back to thee but to receive
Corrections till Thy mercies bid Thee leave.
O think me worth Thine anger, punish me,
Burn off my rust, and my deformity ;
Restore Thine image, so much, by Thy grace,
That Thou mayst know me, and I'll turn my face.
icewolf: snowy wolf (Default)
...though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so
For those, whom thou thinkest thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure, then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones and soul's delivery.
Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke; why swellest thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.


    
icewolf: snowy wolf (cherry blossoms)
A VALEDICTION OF MY NAME, IN THE WINDOW. by John Donne

I.


     MY name engraved herein
Doth contribute my firmness to this glass,
     Which ever since that charm hath been
As hard, as that which graved it was ;
     Thine eye will give it price enough, to mock
The diamonds of either rock.

The Valediction continues )

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icewolf: snowy wolf (Default)
Icewolf

August 2011

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