Jul 7, 2005


(Yes, this is my third post today.)

When I first started at Flagler I took a British Literature class with Dr. Todd Lidh, who is an incredible, fun teacher. Anyway, in that class I discovered that I really enjoy the poetry of John Donne (1572-1631). Ever since then, I have meant to go buy a book of his poetry, especailly since I sold back my Norton Anthology of British Literature. I finally got around to doing that last week before the road trip. I think John Donne is cool because we learned a little about his life in connection with the poems he wrote: his earlier poems are about love and life and death, but all from a very "worldly" perspective. Some even a bit scandelous (sp?). But then he became a Christian and got to know God and became involved with the Church, and it is so evident in his writing. I like his earlier poems, but I especially like the ones after his conversion, mostly the Holy Sonnets. Anyway, for today, here's one of his earlier ones that I like.

Lovers' Infiniteness

If yet I have not all thy love,
Dear, I shall never have it all;
I cannot breathe one other sigh, to move,
Nor can entreat one other tear to fall,
And all my treasure, which should purchase thee,
Sighs, tears, and oaths, and letters I have spent.
Yet no more can be due to me,
Than at the bargain made was meant.
If then thy gift of love were partial,
That some to me, some should to others fall,
Dear, I shall never have thee all.

Or if then thou gavest me all,
All was but all, which thou hadst then;
But if in thy heart, since, there be or shall
New love created be, by other men,
Which have their stocks entire, and can in tears,
In sighs, in oaths, and letters outbid me,
This new love may beget new fears,
For, this love was not vow'd by thee.
And yet it was, thy gift being general,
The ground, thy heart, is mine; whatever shall
Grow there, dear, I should have it all.

Yet I would not have all yet,
He that hath all can have no more,
And since my love doth every day admit
New growth, thou shouldst have new rewards in store;
Thou canst not every day give me thy heart,
If thou canst give it, then thou never gavest it:
Love's riddles are, that though thy heart depart,
It stays at home, and thou with losing savest it:
But we will have a way more liberal,
Than changing hearts, to join them, so we shall
Be one, and one another's all.

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