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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.

This poem is in the public domain.


John Donne (1572 - 1631) was an English writer and poet. As a Catholic in a time when that denomination was illegal in England, he endured constant prejudice and harassment and was ultimately forced into joining the Anglican church by King James I. Early in his life, John earned a reputation as a playboy and spendthrift, but at 25, he fell in love with Anne More. Despite her father’s scorn, the couple married, had a dozen children, and John became a devoted—if not financially successful—family man. His career forays included law, diplomatic service, and church leadership, but he is best remembered as the founder of a group called the “metaphysical” poets. Popular during his lifetime, then dismissed for many years as inferior because it was so different from other poetry of that time, John’s work is today considered brilliant and his influence on literature legendary.


Post New Comment:
What a man, what a poet! Hard to find his equal today.
Posted 01/07/2013 12:00 PM

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