John Donne's "Hymn to God, my God, in My Sickness"

Status
Not open for further replies.

J.EdwardNewhill

Puritan Board Freshman
The Anglican and poet John Donne is considered one of the greatest English poets. He
wrote some sublime spiritual poetry including "Hymn to God, My God, in My Sickness" which I shall quote at length:

"Since I am coming to that holy room,
Where, with thy choir of saints for evermore,
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."

(The poet prepares himself for death, and examines his life. I take this as the pious examination of the faithful who always have the fear of the Lord before them.)

"I joy, that in these straits I see my west;
For, though their currents yield return to none,
What shall my west hurt me? As west and east
In all flat maps (and I am one) are one,
So death doth touch the resurrection."

(The poet, imagining himself as a map, sees the plotting of the journey of his life going ever westward, that is, to death. However, the poet is sure that as soon as he goes "off the map" he will surely find himself imbued with new ressurection life)

"We think that Paradise and Calvary,
Christ's cross, and Adam's tree, stood in one place;
Look, Lord, and find both Adams met in me;
As the first Adam's sweat surrounds my face,
May the last Adam's blood my soul embrace."

(The poet then points out the spiritual connection between the tree in the garden and the tree at Calvary. The poet surmises that perhaps Christ died in the exact geographical place where Adam sinned. The poet sees hope in this as the first Adam begins to physically perish, and he looks to the sacrifice of the second Adam as his only hope on the death bed.)

"So, in his purple wrapp'd, receive me, Lord;
By these his thorns, give me his other crown;
And as to others' souls I preach'd thy word,
Be this my text, my sermon to mine own:
'Therefore that he may raise, the Lord throws down.'"

(The poet ends by again expressing his hope in the ressurection).

Read the full poem here: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44114/hymn-to-god-my-god-in-my-sickness
 
Last edited:
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top