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.

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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"

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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]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 18
Word count: 144