|Holy Sonnet 1||Holy Sonnet 11|
|Holy Sonnet 2||Holy Sonnet 12|
|Holy Sonnet 3||Holy Sonnet 13|
|Holy Sonnet 4||Holy Sonnet 14|
|Holy Sonnet 5||Holy Sonnet 15|
|Holy Sonnet 6||Holy Sonnet 16|
|Holy Sonnet 7||Holy Sonnet 17|
|Holy Sonnet 8||Holy Sonnet 18|
|Holy Sonnet 9||Holy Sonnet 19|
|Holy Sonnet 10|
Holy Sonnet 1 by John Donne Thou hast made me, and shall Thy work decay? Repair me now, for now mine end doth haste, I run to death, and death meets me as fast, And all my pleasures are like yesterday; I dare not move my dim eyes any way, Despair behind, and death before doth cast Such terror, and my feeble flesh doth waste By sin in it, which it towards hell doth weigh; Only Thou art above, and when towards Thee By Thy leave I can look, I rise again; But our old subtle foe so tempteth me, That not one hour myself I can sustain; Thy Grace may wing me to prevent his art, And thou like Adamant draw mine iron heart.
Holy Sonnet 2 by John Donne As due by many titles I resign My self to Thee, O God; first I was made By Thee, and for Thee, and when I was decayed Thy blood bought that, the which before was Thine; I am Thy son, made with Thy Self to shine, Thy servant, whose pains Thou hast still repaid, Thy sheep, thine image, and, till I betrayed My self, a temple of Thy Spirit divine; Why doth the devil then usurp on me? Why doth he steal, nay ravish that's thy right? Except thou rise and for thine own work fight, Oh I shall soon despair, when I do see That thou lov'st mankind well, yet wilt not choose me, And Satan hates me, yet is loth to lose me.
Holy Sonnet 3 by John Donne O might those sighs and tears return again Into my breast and eyes, which I have spent, That I might in this holy discontent Mourn with some fruit, as I have mourned in vain; In mine Idolatry what showers of rain Mine eyes did waste! what griefs my heart did rent! That sufferance was my sin; now I repent; 'Cause I did suffer I must suffer pain. Th' hydropic drunkard, and night-scouting thief, The itchy lecher, and self-tickling proud Have the remembrance of past joys for relief Of comming ills. To (poor) me is allowed No ease; for long, yet vehement grief hath been Th' effect and cause, the punishment and sin.
Holy Sonnet 4 by John Donne Oh my black soul! now art thou summoned By sickness, death's herald, and champion; Thou art like a pilgrim, which abroad hath done Treason, and durst not turn to whence he is fled; Or like a thief, which till death's doom be read, Wisheth himself delivered from prison, But damned and haled to execution, Wisheth that still he might be imprisoned. Yet grace, if thou repent, thou canst not lack; But who shall give thee that grace to begin? Oh make thy self with holy mourning black, And red with blushing, as thou art with sin; Or wash thee in Christ's blood, which hath this might That being red, it dyes red souls to white.
Holy Sonnet 5 by John Donne I am a little world made cunningly Of elements and an angelic sprite, But black sin hath betray'd to endless night My world's both parts, and oh both parts must die. You which beyond that heaven which was most high Have found new spheres, and of new lands can write, Pour new seas in mine eyes, that so I might Drown 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 envy have burnt it heretofore, And made it fouler; let their flames retire, And burn me O Lord, with a fiery zeal Of thee and thy house, which doth in eating heal.
Holy Sonnet 6 by John Donne This is my play's last scene; here heavens appoint My pilgrimage's last mile; and my race, Idly, yet quickly run, hath this last pace, My span's last inch, my minute's latest point; And gluttonous death will instantly unjoint My body and my soul, and I shall sleep a space; But my'ever-waking part shall see that face Whose fear already shakes my every joint. Then, as my soul to'heaven, her first seat, takes flight, And earth-born body in the earth shall dwell, So fall my sins, that all may have their right, To where they'are bred, and would press me, to hell. Impute me righteous, thus purg'd of evil, For thus I leave the world, the flesh, the devil.
Holy Sonnet 7 by John Donne At the round earth's imagin'd corners, blow Your trumpets, angels, and arise, arise From death, you numberless infinities Of souls, and to your scatter'd bodies go; All whom the flood did, and fire shall o'erthrow, All whom war, dearth, age, agues, tyrannies, Despair, law, chance hath slain, and you whose eyes Shall behold God and never taste death's woe. But let them sleep, Lord, and me mourn a space, For if above all these my sins abound, 'Tis late to ask abundance of thy grace When we are there; here on this lowly ground Teach me how to repent; for that's as good As if thou'hadst seal'd my pardon with thy blood.
Holy Sonnet 8 by John Donne If faithful souls be alike glorified As angels, then my fathers soul doth see, And adds this even to full felicity, That valiantly I hells wide mouth o'erstride: But if our minds to these souls be descried By circumstances, and by signs that be Apparent in us, not immediately, How shall my mind's white truth by them be tried? They see idolatrous lovers weep and mourn, And vile blasphemous conjurers to call On Jesus name, and Pharisaical Dissemblers feigne devotion. Then turn, O pensive soul, to God, for he knows best Thy true grief, for he put it in my breast.
Holy Sonnet 9 by John Donne If poisonous minerals, and if that tree Whose fruit threw death on else immortal us, If lecherous goats, if serpents envious Cannot be damn'd, alas, why should I be? Why should intent or reason, born in me, Make sins, else equal, in me more heinous? And mercy being easy, and glorious To God, in his stern wrath why threatens he? But who am I, that dare dispute with thee, O God? Oh, of thine only worthy blood And my tears, make a heavenly Lethean flood, And drown in it my sins' black memory. That thou remember them, some claim as debt; I think it mercy, if thou wilt forget.
Holy Sonnet 10 by John Donne Death, be not proud, though some have callèd thee Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so; For those whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow Die not, poor death, nor yet canst thou kill me. From rest and sleep, which yet thy pictures be, Much pleasure, then from thee much more, must low 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 swell'st thou then ? One short sleep past, we wake eternally, And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.
Holy Sonnet 11 by John Donne Spit in my face you Jews, and pierce my side, Buffet, and scoff, scourge, and crucify me, For I have sinned, and sinned, and only he Who could do no iniquity hath died: But by my death can not be satisfied My sins, which pass the Jews' impiety: They killed once an inglorious man, but I Crucify him daily, being now glorified. Oh let me, then, his strange love still admire: Kings pardon, but he bore our punishment. And Jacob came clothed in vile harsh attire But to supplant, and with gainful intent: God clothed himself in vile man's flesh, that so He might be weak enough to suffer woe.
Holy Sonnet 12 by John Donne Why are we by all creatures waited on? Why do the prodigal elements supply Life and food to me, 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 weakness, and by one man's stroke die, Whose whole kind you might swallow and feed upon? Weaker I am, woe is me, and worse than you, You have not sinned, 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 tied, For us, His creatures, and His foes, hath died.
Holy Sonnet 13 by John Donne What if this present were the world's last night? Mark in my heart, O soul, where thou dost dwell, The picture of Christ crucified, and tell Whether that countenance can thee affright, Tears in his eyes quench the amazing light, Blood fills his frowns, which from his pierced head fell. And can that tongue adjudge thee unto hell, Which prayed forgiveness for his foes' fierce spite? No, no; but as in my idolatry I said to all my profane mistresses, Beauty, of pity, foulness only is A sign of rigour: so I say to thee, To wicked spirits are horrid shapes assigned, This beauteous form assures a piteous mind.
Holy Sonnet 14 by John Donne Batter my heart, three-personed 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 usurped town, to another due, Labour to admit you, but Oh, 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 betrothed 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.
Holy Sonnet 15 by John Donne Wilt thou love God, as he thee? Then digest, My soul, this wholesome meditation, How God the Spirit, by angels waited on In heaven, doth make his Temple in thy breast. The Father having begot a Son most blest, And still begetting, (for he ne'er be gone) Hath deigned to choose thee by adoption, Co-heir t' his glory, and Sabbath' endless rest. And as a robbed man, which by search doth find His stol'n stuff sold, must lose or buy 't again: The Son of glory came down, and was slain, Us whom he'd made, and Satan stol'n, to unbind. 'Twas much that man was made like God before, But, that God should be made like man, much more.
Holy Sonnet 16 by John Donne Father, part of his double interest Unto thy kingdom, thy Son gives to me, His jointure in the knotty Trinity He keeps, and gives to me his death's conquest. This Lamb, whose death with life the world hath blest, Was from the world's beginning slain, and he Hath made two Wills which with the Legacy Of his and thy kingdom do thy Sons invest. Yet such are thy laws that men argue yet Whether a man those statutes can fulfil; None doth; but all-healing grace and spirit Revive again what law and letter kill. Thy law's abridgement, and thy last command Is all but love; Oh let this last Will stand!
Holy Sonnet 17 by John Donne Since she whom I lov'd hath paid her last debt To nature, and to hers, and my good is dead, And her soul early into heaven ravished, Wholly in heavenly things my mind is set. Here the admiring her my mind did whet To seek thee, God; so streams do show the head; But though I have found thee, and thou my thirst hast fed, A holy thirsty dropsy melts me yet. But why should I beg more love, whenas thou Dost woo my soul, for hers off'ring all thine, And dost not only fear lest I allow My love to saints and angels, things divine, But in thy tender jealousy dost doubt Lest the world, flesh, yea devil put thee out.
Holy Sonnet 18 by John Donne Show me dear Christ, thy spouse so bright and clear. What! is it she which on the other shore Goes richly painted? or which, robb'd and tore, Laments and mourns in Germany and here? Sleeps she a thousand, then peeps up one year? Is she self-truth, and errs? now new, now outwore? Doth she, and did she, and shall she evermore On one, on seven, or on no hill appear? Dwells she with us, or like adventuring knights First travel we to seek, and then make love? Betray, kind husband, thy spouse to our sights, And let mine amorous soul court thy mild Dove, Who is most true and pleasing to thee then When she'is embrac'd and open to most men.
Holy Sonnet 19 by John Donne Oh, to vex me, contraries meet in one: Inconstancy unnaturally hath begot A constant habit; that when I would not I change in vows, and in devotion. As humorous is my contrition As my profane love, and as soon forgot: As riddlingly distempered, cold and hot, As praying, as mute; as infinite, as none. I durst not view heaven yesterday; and today In prayers and flattering speeches I court God: Tomorrow I quake with true fear of his rod. So my devout fits come and go away Like a fantastic ague; save that here Those are my best days, when I shake with feare.