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john donne Quotes

John Donne Quotes

Date of Death: 1631-03-31 (Monday, March 31st, 1631)



    • 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?
    • 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 other, 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? What ever 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.
    • Though Truth and Falsehood be Near twins, yet Truth a little elder is.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • I have done one braver thing Than all the Worthies did; And yet a braver thence doth spring, Which is to keep that hid.
    • But he who loveliness within Hath found, all outward loathes, For he who color loves, and skin, Loves but their oldest clothes.
    • And dare love that, and say so too, And forget the He and She.
    • Busy old fool, unruly Sun, Why dost thou thus, Through windows, and through curtains call on us? Must to thy motions lovers' seasons run?
    • Love, all alike, no season knows, nor clime, Nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time.
    • She is all states, and all princes, I, Nothing else is.
    • For God's sake hold your tongue, and let me love.
    • The Phoenix riddle hath more wit By us, we two being one, are it. So to one neutral thing both sexes fit, We die and rise the same, and prove Mysterious by this love.
    • As well a well-wrought urn becomes The greatest ashes, as half-acre tombs.
    • I am two fools, I know, For loving, and for saying so In whining poetry.
    • Who are a little wise, the best fools be.
    • 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 my self in jest Thus by feigned deaths to die.
    • Yesternight the sun went hence, And yet is here today.
    • But think that we Are but turned aside to sleep.
    • When I died last, and dear, I die As often as from thee I go.
    • Oh do not die, for I shall hate All women so, when thou art gone.
    • Twice and thrice had I loved thee, Before I knew thy face or name.
    • 'Tis true, 'tis day; what though it be? O wilt thou therefore rise from me? Why should we rise, because 'tis light? Did we lie down, because 'twas night? Love which in spite of darkness brought us hither Should in despite of light keep us together.
    • All Kings, and all their favorites, All glory of honors, beauties, wits The sun itself, which makes times, as they pass, Is elder by a year, now, than it was When thou and I first one another saw: All other things, to their destruction draw, Only our love hath no decay; This, no tomorrow hath, nor yesterday, Running, it never runs from us away, But truly keeps his first, last, everlasting day.
    • Send home my long strayed eyes to me, Which (Oh) too long have dwelt on thee.
    • 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.
    • 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 re-begot Of absence, darkness, death; things which are not.
    • 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.
    • Dull sublunary lovers' love (Whose soul is sense) cannot admit Absence, because it doth remove Those things which elemented it.
    • Our two souls therefore which are one, Though I must go, endure not yet A breach, but an expansion, Like gold to airy thinness beat.
    • If they be two, they are two so As stiff twin compasses are two, Thy soul the fixt foot, makes no show To move, but doth, if the other do.
    • Our eye-beams twisted, and did thread Our eyes, upon one double string; So to entergraft our hands, as yet Was all the means to make us one, And pictures in our eyes to get Was all our propagation.
    • That subtle knot which makes us man: So must pure lovers' souls descend T' affections, and to faculties, Which sense may reach and apprehend, Else a great Prince in prison lies.
    • Love's mysteries in souls do grow, But yet the body is his book.
    • I long to talk with some old lover's ghost, Who died before the god of love was born.
    • To rage, to lust, to write to, to commend, All is the purlieu of the god of love.
    • Who ever comes to shroud me, do not harm Nor question much That subtle wreth of hair, which crowns my arm; The mystery, the sign you must not touch, For 'tis my outward soul, Viceroy to that, which then to heaven being gone, Will leave this to control, And keep these limbs, her provinces, from dissolution.
    • A bracelet of bright hair about the bone.
    • Take heed of loving me.
    • So, so, break off this last lamenting kiss, Which sucks two souls, and vapors both away.
    • Ah cannot we As well as cocks and lions jocund be, After such pleasures?
    • Sir, more than kisses, letters mingle souls; For, thus friends absent speak.
    • And new philosophy calls all in doubt, The element of fire is quite put out; The sun is lost, and the earth, and no man's wit, Can well direct him where to look for it. And freely men confess that this world's spent, When in the planets, and the firmament They seek so many new; then see that this Is crumbled out again to his atomies. 'Tis all in pieces, all coherence gone; All just supply, and all relation: Prince, subject, Father, Son, are things forgot.
    • We understood Her by her sight; her pure, and eloquent blood Spoke in her cheeks, and so distinctly wrought, That one might almost say, her body thought.
    • Since I am coming to that holy room, Where, with thy choir of saints forevermore, I shall be made thy music; as I come I tune the instrument here at the door, And what I must do then, think here before.
    • Whilst my physicians by their love are grown Cosmographers, and their map, who lie Flat on this bed.
    • When my mouth shall be filled with dust, and the worm shall feed, and feed sweetly upon me, when the ambitious man shall have no satisfaction if the poorest alive tread upon him, nor the poorest receive any contentment in being made equal to princes, for they shall be equal but in dust.
    • Absence, hear thou my protestation Against thy strength, Distance, and length; Do what thou canst for alteration
    • Love built on beauty, soon as beauty, dies.
    • Nature's lay idiot, I taught thee to love.
    • She, and comparisons are odious.
    • No spring, nor summer beauty hath such grace, As I have seen in one autumnal face.
    • The heavens rejoice in motion, why should I Abjure my so much loved variety.
    • Who ever loves, if he do not propose The right true end of love, he's one that goes To sea for nothing but to make him sick.
    • The Sestos and Abydos of her breasts Not of two lovers, but two loves the nests.
    • Those set our hairs, but these our flesh upright.
    • O my America! my new-found land.
    • Full nakedness! All joys are due to thee, As souls unbodied, bodies unclothed must be, To taste whole joys.
    • Licence my roving hands, and let them go Before, behind, between, above, below. O, my America, my Newfoundland My kingdom, safest when with one man mann'd, My mine of precious stones, my empery; How am I blest in thus discovering thee ! To enter in these bonds, is to be free ; Then, where my hand is set, my soul shall be.'
    • I am a little world made cunningly Of elements, and an angelic sprite.
    • 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 scattred bodies go.
    • All whom war, dearth, age, agues, tyrannies, Despair, law, chance, hath slain.
    • If poisonous minerals, and if that tree, Whose fruit threw death on else immortal us, If lecherous goats, if serpents envious Cannot be damned; alas; why should I be?
    • Death, be not proud, though some have called 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.
    • Thou'rt 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.
    • One short sleep past, we wake eternally, And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.
    • What if this present were the world's last night?
    • Batter my heart, three-personed God; for you As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend.
    • Show me, dear Christ, Thy spouse, so bright and clear.
    • I observe the physician with the same diligence as he the disease.
    • A man that is not afraid of a Lion is afraid of a Cat.
    • Age is a sicknesse, and Youth is an ambush.
    • Let not one bring Learning, another Diligence, another Religion, but every one bring all.
    • I do nothing upon myself, and yet am mine own executioner.
    • The flea, though he kill none, he does all the harm he can.
    • Hee drinkes misery, and he tastes happinesse; he mowes misery, and he gleanes happinesse; he journeys in misery, he does but walke in happinesse.
    • How deepe do we dig, and for how coarse gold?
    • No man is an Iland, intire of it selfe; every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a Clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Mannor of thy friends or of thine own were; any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.
    • What gnashing is not a comfort, what gnawing of the worm is not a tickling, what torment is not a marriage bed to this damnation, to be secluded eternally, eternally, eternally from the sight of God?
    • Now God comes to thee, not as in the dawning of the day, not as in the bud of the spring, but as the sun at noon to illustrate all shadows, as the sheaves in harvest, to fill all penuries, all occasions invite his mercies, and all times are his seasons.
    • I throw myself down in my chamber, and I call in and invite God and his angels thither, and when they are there, I neglect God and his angels, for the noise of a fly, for the rattling of a coach, for the whining of a door.
    • And what is so intricate, so entangling as death? Who ever got out of a winding sheet?
    • Poor intricated soul! Riddling, perplexed, labyrinthical soul!
    • He was the Word, that spake it: He took the bread and brake it; And what that Word did make it, I do believe and take it.
    • john donne

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