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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.
About the headline (FAQ)
- by John Donne (1572 - 1631), no title, appears in Holy Sonnets, no. 14 [author's text checked 1 time against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive):
- by Lennox Randal Francis Berkeley, Sir (1903 - 1989), "Batter my heart", published c1962 [ soprano, chorus, oboe, cellos, contrabasses and organ ] [sung text not yet checked]
- by (Edward) Benjamin Britten (1913 - 1976), "Batter my heart", op. 35 no. 2 (1945), published c1946 [ high voice and piano ], from The Holy Sonnets of John Donne, no. 2 [sung text checked 1 time]
- by Geoffrey Burgon (b. 1941), "Batter my heart, three person'd God", 2001? [ voice and piano ], from Heavenly Things, no. 2 [sung text not yet checked]
- by Mervyn Burtch (b. 1929), "Batter my heart", published 1976 [ four-part mixed chorus a cappella ], from Three Sonnets of John Donne [sung text not yet checked]
- by John Eaton (1935 - 2015), "Holy Sonnet no. XIV" [ voice and chamber orchestra ], from Songs of Desperation and Comfort, no. 1 [sung text not yet checked]
- by John Eaton (1935 - 2015), "Batter my heart, three person'd God", op. 1 no. 1, first performed 1957 [ voice and full orchestra ], from Song Cycle on Holy Sonnets of John Donne, no. 1 [sung text not yet checked]
- by Olivier Greif (1950 - 2000), "Holy sonnet", op. 310 no. 5 (1995) [ voice and piano ], from Les chants de l'âme, no. 5 [sung text not yet checked]
- by Juliana Hall (b. 1958), "Batter my heart", 2013, first performed 2014 [ tenor and piano ], from The Holy Sonnets of John Donne - 9 Songs for Tenor and Piano, no. 2 [sung text checked 1 time]
- by Dorian Le Gallienne (1915 - 1963), "Batter my heart", published 1967, from Four Divine Poems of John Donne [sung text not yet checked]
- by Douglas Stuart Moore (1893 - 1969), "Batter my heart", published 1944 [ high voice and piano ], from Three Sonnets of John Donne Set to Music [sung text not yet checked]
- by William Brocklesby Wordsworth (1908 - 1988), "Batter my heart", 1944, published 1946, from Four Sacred Sonnets [sung text not yet checked]
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]
This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 14
Word count: 118
Zerschlag mein Herz, dreifaltiger Gott; mach es wie bisher: nichts als stoßen, atmen, leuchten und danach trachten, es zu bessern; damit ich mich erheben und stehen möge, wirf mich um; richte deine Stärke darauf, mich zu brechen, treiben, verbrennen und neu zu machen. Wie eine besiegte Stadt, die einem anderen zum Tribut verpflichtet ist, mühe ich mich damit, dich anzuerkennen — jedoch, o weh, wie fruchtlos; der Verstand, dein Statthalter in mir, sollte mich verteidigen, ist aber gefangen und erweist sich als schwach oder untreu. Dennoch liebe ich dich innig und wäre gern geliebt, bin aber mit deinem Feind verlobt: Scheide mich, löse oder zerschlag diesen Knoten wieder, nimm mich zu dir, sperr mich ein, denn ich werde niemals frei sein — es sei denn, du unterjochst mich — noch jemals keusch sein — außer, du nimmst mich mit Gewalt.
About the headline (FAQ)Translation of title "Batter my heart" = "Zerschlag mein Herz"
- Translation from English to German (Deutsch) copyright © 2020 by Daniel Johannsen, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.
- a text in English by John Donne (1572 - 1631), no title, appears in Holy Sonnets, no. 14
This text was added to the website: 2020-10-17
Line count: 14
Word count: 140