Four Divine Poems of John Donne

Song Cycle by Dorian Le Gallienne (1915 - 1963)

Word count: 497

?. At the round earth's imagin'd corners [sung text not yet checked]

At the round earth's imagined corners, blow 
Your trumpets, angels, and arise 
From death, you numberless infinities 
Of souls, and to your scattered bodies go,
All whom the flood did, and fire shall o'erthrow
All whom war, death, age, agues, tyrannies,
Despair, law, chance hath slain; and you whose eyes 
Shall behold God and never taste death's woe,
But let them sleep, Lord, and me mourn a space,
For, if above all these my sins abound,
'Tis late to ask abundance of Thy grace,
When we are there. Here on this lowly ground,
Teach me how to repent, for that's as good
As if [Thou hadst]1 seal'd my pardon with Thy blood.

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Daniel Johannsen) , copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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1 Britten: "Thoud'st"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. Death be not proud [sung text not yet checked]

Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadfull, for thou art not soe,
For those whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poore death, nor [yet canst thou]1 kill mee.
From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do goe,
Rest of their bones, and souls deliverie.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings and desperate men,
And dost with poyson, warre, and sickness dwell,
And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well 
And better than thy stroake; why swell'st thou then?
One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.

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1 Bennett: "nor canst thou yet"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. Batter my heart [sung text not yet checked]

Batter my heart, three person'd God; for you
As yet but knocke, breathe, shine, and seeke to mend;
That I may rise, and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
Your force, to breake, blowe, burn and make me new.
I, like an usurpt towne, to another due,
Labour to admit you, but Oh, to no end,
Reason your viceroy in mee, mee should defend
But is captiv'd, and proves weake or untrue.
Yet dearely I love you, and would be loved faine,
But am betroth'd unto your enemie:
Divorce mee, untie, or breake that knot againe,
Take mee to you, imprison mee, for I
Except you enthrall mee, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish mee.

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Daniel Johannsen) , copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. A Hymn to God the Father [sung text not yet checked]

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.

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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"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]