Saturday, October 22, 2011

Donne's Holy Sonnet IV

Holy Sonnet IV
by John Donne

Oh my black soul! now thou art summoned
By sickness, death's herald and champion;
Thou art like a pilgrim, which abroad hath done
Treason, and durst not turn to whence he is fled,
Or like a thief, which till death's doom be read,
Wisheth himself delivered from prison;
But damn'd and hal'd to execution,
Wisheth that still he might be imprisoned.
Yet grace, if thou repent, thou canst not lack;
But who shall give thee that grace to begin?
Oh make thyself with holy mourning black,
And red with blushing, as thou art with sin;
Or wash thee in Christ's blood, which hath this might -
That being red, it dyes red souls to white.

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