by John Donne (1572 - 1631)

Wilt thou forgive that sin where I begun
Language: English 
Wilt thou forgive that sin where I begun,
Which is my sin though it were done before?
Wilt thou forgive [those sins]1, through which I run,
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 sin by which [I've]2 won
Others to sin? And made my sin their door?
Wilt thou forgive that sin which I did [shun]3
A year or two: but wallow'd in, a score?
When thou hast done, thou hast not done, 
For I have more.

I have a sin of fear, that when [I've]4 spun
My last thread, I shall perish on the shore;
But swear by thy self, that at my death thy [Son]5 
shall shine as he shines now, and heretofore;
And having done that, thou hast done, 
I fear no more.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 in some versions of the Donne text: "that sin" (version used by Bachlund)
2 in some versions of the Donne text, "I have" (version used by Bachlund); Emery: "I"
3 Emery: "not shun"
4in some versions of the Donne text, "I have" (version used by Bachlund)
5 sometimes spelled "Sun"

Authorship

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]