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Best Famous John Donne Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous John Donne poems. This is a select list of the best famous John Donne poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous John Donne poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of John Donne poems.

Search for the best famous John Donne poems, articles about John Donne poems, poetry blogs, or anything else John Donne poem related using the PoetrySoup search engine at the top of the page.

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Poems are below...


12
Written by John Donne | Create an image from this poem

The Dream

DEAR love for nothing less than thee 
Would I have broke this happy dream; 
It was a theme 
For reason much too strong for fantasy.
Therefore thou waked'st me wisely; yet 5 My dream thou brok'st not but continued'st it.
Thou art so true that thoughts of thee suffice To make dreams truths and fables histories; Enter these arms for since thou thought'st it best Not to dream all my dream let 's act the rest.
10 As lightning or a taper's light Thine eyes and not thy noise waked me; Yet I thought thee¡ª For thou lov'st truth¡ªan angel at first sight; But when I saw thou saw'st my heart 15 And knew'st my thoughts beyond an angel's art When thou knew'st what I dreamt when thou knew'st when Excess of joy would wake me and cam'st then I must confess it could not choose but be Profane to think thee anything but thee.
20 Coming and staying show'd thee thee But rising makes me doubt that now Thou art not thou.
That Love is weak where Fear 's as strong as he; 'Tis not all spirit pure and brave 25 If mixture it of Fear Shame Honour have.
Perchance as torches which must ready be Men light and put out so thou deal'st with me.
Thou cam'st to kindle go'st to come: then I Will dream that hope again but else would die.
30
Written by John Donne | Create an image from this poem

Death Be Not Proud

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee 
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so; 
For those whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow, 
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be, Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow, And soonest our best men with thee do go, Rest of their bones, and soul's delivery.
Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men, And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell; And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well And better than thy stroke; why swell'st thou then? One short sleep past, we wake eternally, And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.
Written by John Donne | Create an image from this poem

The Flea

Mark but this flea, and mark in this,
How little that which thou deniest me is;
Me it sucked first, and now sucks thee,
And in this flea our two bloods mingled be;
Thou know'st that this cannot be said
A sin, nor shame nor loss of maidenhead,
  Yet this enjoys before it woo,
  And pampered swells with one blood made of two,
  And this, alas, is more than we would do.
Oh stay, three lives in one flea spare, Where we almost, yea more than married are.
This flea is you and I, and this Our marriage bed and marriage temple is; Though parents grudge, and you, we are met, And cloistered in these living walls of jet.
Though use make you apt to kill me, Let not to that, self-murder added be, And sacrilege, three sins in killing three.
Curel and sudden, hast thou since Purpled thy nail, in blood of innocence? Wherein could this flea guilty be, Except in that drop which it sucked from thee? Yet thou triumph'st, and say'st that thou Find'st not thy self nor me the weaker now; 'Tis true; then learn how false, fears be; Just so much honor, when thou yield'st to me, Will waste, as this flea's death took life from thee.
Written by John Donne | Create an image from this poem

Daybreak

STAY O sweet and do not rise! 
The light that shines comes from thine eyes; 
The day breaks not: it is my heart  
Because that you and I must part.
Stay! or else my joys will die 5 And perish in their infancy.
Written by John Donne | Create an image from this poem

Death

DEATH be not proud though some have call¨¨d thee 
Mighty and dreadful for thou art not so: 
For those whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow 
Die not poor Death; nor yet canst thou kill me.
From Rest and Sleep which but thy picture be 5 Much pleasure then from thee much more must flow; And soonest our best men with thee do go¡ª Rest of their bones and souls' delivery! Thou'rt slave to fate chance kings and desperate men And dost with poison war and sickness dwell; 10 And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well And better than thy stroke.
Why swell'st thou then? One short sleep past we wake eternally And Death shall be no more: Death thou shalt die!
Written by John Donne | Create an image from this poem

The Funeral

WHOEVER comes to shroud me do not harm 
Nor question much 
That subtle wreath of hair about mine arm; 
The mystery the sign you must not touch  
For 'tis my outward soul 5 
Viceroy to that which unto heav'n being gone  
Will leave this to control 
And keep these limbs her provinces from dissolution.
For if the sinewy thread my brain lets fall Through every part 10 Can tie those parts and make me one of all; Those hairs which upward grew and strength and art Have from a better brain Can better do 't: except she meant that I By this should know my pain 15 As prisoners then are manacled when they're condemn'd to die.
Whate'er she meant by 't bury it with me For since I am Love's martyr it might breed idolatry If into other hands these reliques came.
20 As 'twas humility T' afford to it all that a soul can do So 'tis some bravery That since you would have none of me I bury some of you.
Written by John Donne | Create an image from this poem

A Fever

 Oh do not die, for I shall hate
 All women so, when thou art gone,
That thee I shall not celebrate,
 When I remember, thou wast one.
But yet thou canst not die, I know, To leave this world behind, is death, But when thou from this world wilt go, The whole world vapors with thy breath.
Or if, when thou, the world's soul, goest, It stay, 'tis but thy carcass then, The fairest woman, but thy ghost, But corrupt worms, the worthiest men.
O wrangling schools, that search what fire Shall burn this world, had none the wit Unto this knowledge to aspire, That this her fever might be it? And yet she cannot waste by this, Nor long bear this torturing wrong, For much corruption needful is To fuel such a fever long.
These burning fits but meteors be, Whose matter in thee is soon spent.
Thy beauty, and all parts, which are thee, Are unchangeable firmament.
Yet 'twas of my mind, seizing thee, Though it in thee cannot persever.
For I had rather owner be, Of thee one hour, than all else ever.
Written by John Donne | Create an image from this poem

Self-Love

 He that cannot choose but love,
And strives against it still,
Never shall my fancy move,
For he loves 'gainst his will;
Nor he which is all his own,
And can at pleasure choose,
When I am caught he can be gone,
And when he list refuse.
Nor he that loves none but fair, For such by all are sought; Nor he that can for foul ones care, For his judgement then is nought; Nor he that hath wit, for he Will make me his jest or slave; Nor a fool, for when others.
.
.
, He can neither.
.
.
.
; Nor he that still his Mistress pays, For she is thralled therefore; Nor he that pays not, for he says Within She's worth no more.
Is there then no kind of men Whom I may freely prove? I will vent that humour then In mine own self-love.
Written by John Donne | Create an image from this poem

Elegy I: Jealousy

 Fond woman, which wouldst have thy husband die,
And yet complain'st of his great jealousy;
If swol'n with poison, he lay in his last bed,
His body with a sere-bark covered,
Drawing his breath, as thick and short, as can
The nimblest crocheting musician,
Ready with loathsome vomiting to spew
His soul out of one hell, into a new,
Made deaf with his poor kindred's howling cries,
Begging with few feigned tears, great legacies,
Thou wouldst not weep, but jolly and frolic be,
As a slave, which tomorrow should be free;
Yet weep'st thou, when thou seest him hungerly
Swallow his own death, hearts-bane jealousy.
O give him many thanks, he's courteous, That in suspecting kindly warneth us Wee must not, as we used, flout openly, In scoffing riddles, his deformity; Nor at his board together being sat, With words, nor touch, scarce looks adulterate; Nor when he swol'n, and pampered with great fare Sits down, and snorts, caged in his basket chair, Must we usurp his own bed any more, Nor kiss and play in his house, as before.
Now I see many dangers; for that is His realm, his castle, and his diocese.
But if, as envious men, which would revile Their Prince, or coin his gold, themselves exile Into another country, and do it there, We play in another house, what should we fear? There we will scorn his houshold policies, His seely plots, and pensionary spies, As the inhabitants of Thames' right side Do London's Mayor; or Germans, the Pope's pride.
Written by John Donne | Create an image from this poem

Holy Sonnet XIV: Batter My Heart Three-Personed God

 Batter my heart, three-personed God; for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurped town, to another due, Labor to admit you, but O, to no end; Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend, but is captived, and proves weak or untrue.
yet dearly I love you, and would be loved fain, But am betrothed unto your enemy.
Divorce me, untie or break that knot again; Take me to you, imprison me, for I, Except you enthrall me, never shall be free, Nor even chaste, except you ravish me.
12





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