Get Your Premium Membership

John Donne Poems

A collection of select John Donne famous poems that were written by John Donne or written about the poet by other famous poets. PoetrySoup is a comprehensive educational resource of the greatest poems and poets on history.

Don't forget to view our John Donne home page with links to biographical information, articles, and more poems that may not be listed here.

See also:

by Donne, John
 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...Read More



by Donne, John
 I am unable, yonder beggar cries,
To stand, or move; if he say true, he lies....Read More

by Donne, John
 Twice or thrice had I loved thee,
Before I knew thy face or name,
So in a voice, so in a shapeless flame,
Angels affect us oft, and worship'd be;
Still when, to where thou wert, I came,
Some lovely glorious nothing I did see.
But since my soul, whose child love is,
Takes limbs of flesh, and else could nothing do,
More subtile than the parent...Read More

by Donne, John
 I have a friend who still believes in heaven.
Not a stupid person, yet with all she knows, she literally talks to God.
She thinks someone listens in heaven.
On earth she's unusually competent.
Brave too, able to face unpleasantness.

We found a caterpillar dying in the dirt, greedy ants crawling over it.
I'm always moved by disaster, always eager to oppose vitality
But timid also,...Read More

by Donne, John
 Some man unworthy to be possessor
Of old or new love, himself being false or weak,
Thought his pain and shame would be lesser
If on womankind he might his anger wreak,
And thence a law did grow,
One might but one man know;
But are other creatures so?

Are Sun, Moon, or Stars by law forbidden
To smile where they list, or lend away their light?
Are...Read More



by Donne, John
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. ...Read More

by Donne, John
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...Read More

by Donne, John
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...Read More

by Donne, John
 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...Read More

by Donne, John
 Who ever loves, if he do not propose
The right true end of love, he's one that goes
To sea for nothing but to make him sick.
Love is a bear-whelp born: if we o'erlick
Our love, and force it new strange shapes to take,
We err, and of a lump a monster make.
Were not a calf a monster that were grown
Faced like a...Read More

by Donne, John
 No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manner of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For...Read More

by Donne, John
 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...Read More

by Donne, John
 No Lover saith, I love, nor any other
Can judge a perfect Lover;
Hee thinkes that else none can, nor will agree
That any loves but hee;
I cannot say I'lov'd. for who can say
Hee was kill'd yesterday?
Lover withh excesse of heat, more yong than old,
Death kills with too much cold;
Wee dye but once, and who lov'd last did die,
Hee that saith twice,...Read More

by Donne, John
 I long to talk with some old lover's ghost,
Who died before the God of Love was born:
I cannot think that he, who then loved most,
Sunk so low as to love one which did scorn.
But since this god produced a destiny,
And that vice-nature, Custom, lets it be,
I must love her that loves not me.

Sure, they which made him god meant...Read More

by Donne, John
 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...Read More

by Donne, John
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...Read More

by Donne, John
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,
...Read More

by Donne, John
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...Read More

by Donne, John
 When I died last, and, Dear, I die
 As often as from thee I go,
 Though it be but an hour ago,
And Lovers' hours be full eternity,
I can remember yet, that I
 Something did say, and something did bestow;
Though I be dead, which sent me, I should be
Mine own executor and legacy.

I heard me say, "Tell her anon,
 That...Read More

by Donne, John
 Busy old fool, unruly sun,
Why dost thou thus,
Through windows and through curtains, call on us?
Must to thy motions lovers' seasons run?
Saucy pedantic wretch, go chide
Late schoolboys and sour 'prentices,
Go tell court-huntsmen that the King will ride,
Call country ants to harvest offices;
Love, all alike, no season knows, nor clime,
Nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time.

Thy beams so...Read More