Oh, to vex me, contraryes meet in one: In constancy unnaturally hath begott A constant habit; that when I would not I change in vowes, and in devotione. As humorous is my contritione As my profane Love and as soone forgott: As ridlingly distemper'd, cold and hott, As praying, as mute; as infinite, as none. I durst not view Heav'n yesterday; and today In prayers, and flatt'ring speeches I court God: Tomorrow I quake with true feare of his rod. So my devout fitts come and go away, Like a fantastique Ague: save that here Those are my best dayes, when I shake with feare.
- by John Donne (1572 - 1631), appears in Holy Sonnets, no. 19 [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 (Edward) Benjamin Britten (1913 - 1976), "Oh, to vex me", op. 35 no. 4 (1945), published 1946 [ high voice and piano ], from The Holy Sonnets of John Donne, no. 4 [sung text checked 1 time]
- by Geoffrey Burgon (b. 1941), "Oh, to vex me", 2001? [ voice and piano ], from Heavenly Things, no. 4 [sung text not yet checked]
- by Juliana Hall (b. 1958), "Oh, to vex me", 2013, first performed 2014 [ tenor and piano ], from The Holy Sonnets of John Donne - 9 Songs for Tenor and Piano, no. 4 [sung text checked 1 time]
Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):
- FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Oh, pour me contrarier", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
- GER German (Deutsch) (Daniel Johannsen) , "Ach, um mich zu plagen", 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: 105