Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Hymne to God the Father

John Donne (1572 - 1631)

Wilt thou forgive that sinne where I begunne,
    Which was my sin, though it were done before?
Wilt thou forgive that sinne, through which I runne,
    And do run still: though still I do deplore?
        When thou hast done, thou hast not done,
                    For I have more.

Wilt thou forgive that sinne which I have wonne
    Others to sinne? and, made my sinne their doore?
Wilt thou forgive that sinne which I did shunne
    A yeare, or two: but wallowed in, a score?
        When thou hast done, thou hast not done,
                        For I have more.

I have a sinne of feare, that when I have spunne
    My last thred, I shall perish on the shore;
But sweare by thy selfe, that at my death thy sonne
    Shall shine as he shines now, and heretofore;
        And, having done that, Thou hast done,
                        I feare no more.


  1. THIS is sublime. I've heard of Donne, and intended to read him for a long, long time, and I just got done reading your three entries for this week so far, and liked what I saw. But this Hymne to the Father touches me in the way I expected to be touched by Donne, from all I had heard of him . . .


  2. Oh, I do LOVE this one. In high school or college we read "Death be not proud" and "Batter my heart" but this one, when I first came across it four or five years ago absolutely moved me, and still does.

    So far it's my favorite of all his specifically religious ones.

    He wrote it after recovering from an illness that was so bad he was sure he was going to die.


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