Saturday, April 11, 2009

Donne on Easter Saturday

Last year as I was talking about sonnets, I found some John Donne to share. This time around I will share an Easter-ish themed work in progress he never quite completed:

‘To the Countesse of Bedford. Begun in France but never perfected’ (Poems, 1633)

Though I be dead, and buried, yet I have
(Living in you,) Court enough in my grave,
As oft as there I thinke my selfe to bee,
So many resurrections waken mee.
That thankfullnesse your favours have forgot
In mee, embalmes mee; that I doe not rot;
This season as ’tis Easter, as ’tis spring,
Must both to growth and to confession bring
My thoughts dispos’d unto your influence, so,
These verses bud, so these confessions grow;
First I confesse I have to others lent
Your stock, and over prodigally spent
Your treasure, for since I had never knowne
Vertue or beautie, but as they are growne
In you, I should not thinke or say they shine,
(So as I have) in any other Mine;
Next I confesse this my confession,
For, ’tis some fault thus much to touch upon,
Your praise to you, where half rights seeme too much,
And make your minds sincere complexion blush.
Next I confesse my’impenitence, for I
Can scarce repent my first fault, since thereby
Remote low Spirits, which shall ne’r read you,
May in lesse lessons finde enough to doe,
By studying copies, not Originals,
Desunt cætera.

~John Donne

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