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Good -Morrow, The Analysis

Author: Poetry of John Donne Type: Poetry Views: 7266

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I wonder, by my troth, what thou and I

Did till we loved. Were we not weaned till then,

But sucked on country pleasures, childishly?

Or snorted we in the seven sleepers' den?

'Twas so; but this, all pleasures fancies be.

If ever any beauty I did see,

Which I desired and got, 'twas but a dream of thee.

And now good-morrow to our waking souls,

Which watch not one another out of fear

For love all love of other sights controls

And makes one little room an everywhere.

Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone,

Let maps to others worlds on worlds have shown,

Let us possess one world, each hath one, and is one.

My face in thine eye, thine in mine appears,

And true plain hearts do in the faces rest

Where can we find two better hemispheres

Without sharp North, without declining West?

Whatever dies was not mixed equally;

If our two loves be one, or thou and I

Love so alike that none do slacken, none can die.


Go, and catch a falling star;

Get with child a mandrake root;

Tell me, where all past years are,

Or who cleft the devil's foot.

Teach me to hear mermaids singing

Or to keep off envy's stinging,

And find

What wind

Serves to advance an honest mind.

If thou beest born to strange sights,

Things invisible to see,

Ride ten thousand days and nights

Till age snow white hairs on thee.

Thou, when thou return'st, wilt tell me

All strange wonders that befell thee,

And swear

No where

Lives a woman true, and fair.

If thou find'st one, let me know;

Such a pilgrimage were sweet.

Yet do not, I would not go:

Though at next door we might meet,

Though she were true when you met her,

And last till you write your letter,

Yet she

Will be

False, ere I come, to two, or three.

The Undertaking

I have done one braver thing

Than all the worthies did,

And yet a braver thence doth spring,

Which is to keep that hid.

It were but madness now t'impart

The skill of specular stone,

When he which can have learned the art

To cut it, can find none.

So, if I now should utter this,

Others (because no more

Such stuff to work upon there is)

Would love but as before.

But he who loveliness within

Hath found, all outward loathes,

For he who color loves and skin

Loves but their oldest clothes.

If, as I have, you also do

Virtue attired in woman see,

And dare love that, and say so too,

And forget the he and she;

And if this love, though placèd so,

From profane men you hide,

Which will no faith on this bestow,

Or if they do, deride:

Then you have done a braver thing

Than all the worthies did,

And a braver thence will spring,

Which is to keep that hid.

A Nocturnal upon Saint Lucy's Day

'Tis the year's midnight and it is the day's,

Lucy's, who scarce seven hours herself unmasks;

The sun is spent, and now his flasks

Send forth light squibs, no constant rays;

The world's whole sap is sunk:

The general balm th'hydroptic earth hath drunk,

Whither, as to the bed's feet, life is shrunk,

Dead and interred; yet all these seem to laugh

Compared with me, who am their epitaph.

Study me then, you who shall lovers be

At the next world, that is at the next spring:

For I am every dead thing,

In whom love wrought new alchemy,

For his art did express

A quintessence even from nothingness,

From dull privations and lean emptiness:

He ruined me, and I am rebegot

Of absence, darkness, death; things which are not.

All others from all things draw all that's good,

Life, soul, form, spirit, whence they being have;

I by love's limbecke am the grave

Of all that's nothing. oft a flood

Have we two wept, and so

Drowned the whole world, us two; oft did we grow

To be two chaoses, when we did show

Care to aught else; and often absences

Withdrew our souls and made us carcases.

But I am by her death (which word wrongs her)

Of the first nothing the elixir grown;

Were I a man, that I were one

I needs must know; I should prefer,

If I were any beast,

Some ends, some means; yea, plants, yea, stones detest

And love; all some properties invest;

If I an ordinary nothing were,

As shadow, a light and body must be here.

But I am none; nor will my sun renew.

You lovers, for whose sake the lesser sun

At this time to the goat is run

To fetch new lust and give it you,

Enjoy your summer all;

Since she enjoys her long night's festival

Let me prepare towards her and let me call

This hour her vigil and her eve, since this

Both the year's and the day's deep midnight is.


Sweetest love, I do not go

For weariness of thee,

Nor in hope the world can show

A fitter love for me;

But since that I

Must die at last, 'tis best

To use myself in jest,

Thus by feigned deaths to die;

Yesternight the sun went hence,

And yet is here to-day;

He hath no desire nor sense,

Nor half so short a way:

Then fear not me,

But believe that I shall make

Speedier journeys, since I take

More wings and spurs than he.

O how feeble is man's power,

That if good fortune fall,

Cannot add another hour

Nor a lost hour recall!

But come bad chance,

And we join to it our strength,

And we teach it art and length

Itself o'er us to advance.

When thou sigh'st, thou sigh'st not wind

But sigh'st my soul away;

When thou weep'st, unkindly kind,

My life's blood doth decay.

It cannot be

That thou lov'st me, as thou say'st,

If in thine my life thou waste

That art the best of me.

Let not thy divining heart

Forethink me any ill;

Destiny may take thy part,

And may thy fears fulfil;

But think that we

Are but turned aside to sleep;

They who one another keep

Alive, ne'er parted be.

Death, Be Not Proud

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.

The Bait

Come live with me, and be my love,

And we will some new pleasures prove

Of golden sands, and crystal brooks:

With silken lines, and silver hooks.

There will the river whispering run

Warm'd by thy eyes, more then the Sun.

And there th'inamored fish will stay,

Begging themselves they may betray.

When thou wilt swim in that live bath,

Each fish, which every channel hath,

Will amorously to thee swim,

Gladder to catch thee than thou him.

If thou, to be so seen, beest loth,

By Sun, or Moon, thou darknest both,

And if my self have leave to see,

I need not their light, having thee.

Let others freeze with angling reeds,

And cut their legs with shells and weeds,

Or treacherously poor fish beset,

With strangling snare, or windowy net:

Let coarse bold hands, from slimy nest

The bedded fish in banks out-wrest,

Or curious traitors, sleavesilke flies

Bewitch poor fishes wandering eyes.

For thee, thou needst no such deceit,

For thou thyself art thine own bait;

That fish, that is not catched thereby,

Alas, is wiser far than I.

The Message

Send home my long stray'd eyes to me,

Which O too long have dwelt on thee,

Yet since there they have learn'd such ill,

Such forc'd fashions,

And false passions,

That they be

Made by thee

Fit for no good sight, keep them still.

Send home my worthless heart again,

Which no unworthy thought could stain,

Which if't be taught by thine

To make jestings

Of protestings,

And cross both

Word and oath,

Keep it, for then 'tis none of mine.

Yet send me back my heart and eyes,

That I may know, and see thy lies,

And may laugh and joy, when thou

Art in anguish

And dost languish

For some one

That will non,

Or prove as false as thou art now.

The Primrose

Upon this Primrose hill,

Where, if Heav'n would distill

A shower of rain, each several drop might go

To his own primrose, and grow Manna so;

And where their form, and their infinity

Make a terrestrial galaxy,

As the small stars do in the sky:

I walk to find a true love, and I see

That 'tis not a mere woman, that is she,

But must, or more, or less than woman be.

Yet know I not, which flower

I wish; a six, or four

For should my true-love less than woman be,

She were scarce anything; and then, should she

Be more than woman, she would get above

All thought of sex, and think to move

My heart to study her, and not to love;

Both these were monsters; since there must reside

Falsehood in woman, I could more abide,

She were by art, than Nature falsify'd.

Live Primrose then, and thrive

With thy true number five;

And women, whom this flower doth represent,

With this mysterious number be content'

Ten is the farthest number; if half ten

Belong to each women, then

Each woman may take half us men,

Or if this will not serve their turn, since all

Numbers are odd, or even, and they fall

First into this five, women may take us all.

The Legacy

When I died last, and, Dear, I die

As often as from thee I go,

Though it be but an hour ago,

And Lovers' hours be full eternity,

I can remember yet, that I

Something did say, and something did bestow;

Though I be dead, which sent me, I should be

Mine own executor and legacy.

I heard me say, "Tell her anon,

That myself, that is you, not I,

Did kill me," and when I felt me die,

I bid me send my heart, when I was gone,

But alas could there find none,

When I had ripp'd me, and search'd where hearts should lie;

It kill'd me again, that I who still was true,

In life, in my last will should cozen you.

Yet I found something like a heart,

But colors it, and corners had,

It was not good, it was not bad,

It was intire to none, and few had part.

As good as could be made by art

It seem'd, and therefore for our losses sad,

I meant to send this heart in stead of mine,

But oh, no man could hold it, for 'twas thine.

Elegy: Change

Although thy hand and faith, and good works too,

Have seal'd thy love which nothing should undo,

Yea though thou fall back, that apostasy

Confirm thy love; yet much, much I fear thee.

Women are like the Arts, forc'd unto none,

Open to'all searchers, unpriz'd, if unknown.

If I have caught a bird, and let him fly,

Another fouler using these meanes, as I,

May catch the same bird; and, as these things be,

Women are made for men, not him, nor me.

Foxes and goats; all beasts change when they please,

Shall women, more hot, wily, wild then these,

Be bound to one man, and did Nature then

Idly make them apter to endure than men?

They are our clogges, not their owne; if a man be

Chain'd to a galley, yet the galley is free;

Who hath a plow-land, casts all his seed corn there,

And yet allows his ground more corn should bear;

Though Danuby into the sea must flow,

The sea receives the Rhene, Volga, and Po.

By nature, which gave it, this liberty

Thou lov'st, but Oh! canst thou love it and me?

Likeness glues love: Then if so thou do,

To make us like and love, must I change too?

More than thy hate, I hate it, rather let me

Allow her change, then change as oft as she,

And soe not teach, but force my opinion

To love not any one, nor every one.

To live in one land is captivity,

To run all countries, a wild roguery;

Waters stink soon, if in one place they bide,

And in the vast sea are worse putrified:

But when they kiss one bank, and leaving this

Never look back, but the next bank do kiss,

Then are they purest; Change is the nursery

Of music, joy, life, and eternity.

Elegy: Going to Bed

Come, Madam, come, all rest my powers defy,

Until I labor, I in labor lie.

The foe oft-times having the foe in sight,

Is tir'd with standing though he never fight.

Off with that girdle, like heaven's Zone glittering,

But a far fairer world encompassing.

Unpin that spangled breastplate which you wear,

That th'eyes of busy fools may be stopt there.

Unlace your self, for that harmonious chime,

Tells me from you, that now it is bed time.

Off with that happy busk, which I envie,

That still can be, and still can stand so nigh.

Your gown going off, such beautious state reveals,

As when from flow'ry meads th'hills shadow steals.

Off with that wiry Coronet and show

The hairy diadem which on you doth grow:

Now off with those shoes, and then softly tread

In this, love's hallow'd temple, this soft bed.

In such white robes, heaven's Angels us'd to be

Receiv'd by men: thou Angel bringst with thee

A heaven like Mahomet's Paradice, and though

Ill spirits walk in white, we eas'ly know,

By this these Angels from an evil sprite,

Those set our hairs, but these our flesh upright.

License my roaving hands, and let them go,

Behind, before, above, between, below.

O my America! my new-found-land,

My kingdom, safeliest when with one man man'd,

My mine of precious stones: my emperie,

How blest am I in this discovering thee!

To enter in these bonds, is to be free;

Then where my hand is set, my seal shall be.

Full nakedness! All joys are due to thee,

As souls unbodied, bodies uncloth'd must be,

To taste whole joyes. Gems which you women use

Are like Atlanta's balls, cast in mens views,

That when a fool's eye lighteth on a gem,

His earthly soul may covet theirs, not them:

Like pictures or like books gay coverings made

For lay-men, are all women thus array'd.

Themselves are mystick books, which only wee

(Whom their imputed grace will dignify)

Must see rever'd. Then since that I may know;

As liberally, as to a midwife show

Thyself: cast all, yea, this white linen hence,

There is no penance due to innocence:

To teach thee I am naked first; why than

What needst thou have more covering then a man?

Love's Deity

I long to talk with some old lover's ghost,

Who died before the god of Love was born:

I cannot think that he, who then lov'd most,

Sunk so low, as to love one which did scorn.

But since this god produc'd a destiny,

And that vice-nature, custom, lets it be;

I must love her, that loves not me.

Sure, they which made him god, meant not so much:

Nor he, in his young godhead practic'd it.

But when an even flame two hearts did touch,

His office was indulgently to fit

Actives to passives. Correspondency

Only his subject was; it cannot be

Love, till I love her, that loves me.

But every modern god will now extend

His vast perogative, as far as Jove.

To rage, to lust, to write it, to commend,

All is the purlew of the God of Love.

Oh, were we wakened by this tyranny

To ungod this child again, it could not be

That I should love, who loves not me.

Rebel and Atheist too, why murmur I,

As though I felt the worst that love could do?

Love might make me leave loving, or might try

A deeper plague, to make her love me too,

Which since she loves before, I am loth to see;

Falsehood is worse than hate; and that must be

If she whom I love, should love me.


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

.: :.

lovely! I believe he really caught the emotions of real true love in such a long long poem. But none the less a real classic.
I would have created a greater ending, such as a romantic get away, or forlonged kiss. Yet I am not John Donne so his ways are his thoughts.
Perphaps also for those who dare read the entire poem it would be best to break up a few of the verses. Such as during "Elegy: Going to Bed" and "Loves Deity". This gives the reader a break and allows a great sence of absorbing.

| Posted on 2005-03-23 | by Approved Guest

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