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Friday, April 14, 2006

Good Friday poetry blogging: John Donne

This is an entirely predictable choice, but I do love this poem.

Goodfriday, 1613. Riding Westward

Let man's soul be a sphere, and then, in this,
The intelligence that moves, devotion is,
And as the other spheres, by being grown
Subject to foreign motions, lose their own,
And being by others hurried every day,
Scarce in a year their natural form obey;
Pleasure or business, so, our souls admit
For their first mover, and are whirled by it.
Hence is't that I am carried towards the West
This day, when my soul's form bends towards the East.
There I should see a Sun, by rising, set,
And by that setting endless day beget:
But that Christ on this cross did rise and fall,
Sin had eternally benighted all.
Yet dare I almost be glad I do not see
That spectacle of too much weight for me.
Who sees God's face, that is self life, must die;
What a death were it then to see God die?
It made his owne lieutenant, Nature, shrink,
It made his footstool crack, and the sun wink.
Could I behold those hands which span the poles,
And tune all spheres at once, peirced with those holes?
Could I behold that endless height which is
Zenith to us, and t'our antipodes,
Humbled below us? Or that blood which is
The seat of all our souls, if not of his,
Made dirt of dust, or that flesh which was worn
By God, for his apparel, ragg'd and torn?
If on these things I durst not look, durst I
Upon his miserable mother cast mine eye,
Who was God's partner here, and furnished thus
Half of that sacrifice, which ransomed us?
Though these things, as I ride, be from mine eye,
They are present yet unto my memory,
For that looks towards them, and thou look'st towards me,
O Saviour, as thou hang'st upon the tree.
I turn my back to thee but to receive
Corrections, till thy mercies bid thee leave.
O think me worth thine anger, punish me;
Burn off my rusts and my deformity;
Restore thine image, so much, by thy grace,
That thou may'st know me, and I'll turn my face.


link | posted by La Lecturess at 10:28 AM |


4 Comments:

Blogger Tiruncula commented at 11:57 AM~  

A lovely choice. It may be predictable, but I'm happy to be reminded of it. Have a blessed Triduum!

Blogger Yr. Hmbl. & Obdt. commented at 6:05 PM~  

Yes, it's quite well-chosen. I was going to post "Spit In My Face, Ye Jews," but I feared picketing from the ADL...

Blogger La Lecturess commented at 6:57 PM~  

JD: hee!

(But I wonder what virtual picketing would look like...)

Blogger Dr. Lisa commented at 8:20 PM~  

Donne. Horray. Thank you so much.

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