I know I am supposed to be focusing on a variety of poets this year - and I've done some of that (Kenyon, Teasdale, Millay...is that it??) - but I simply can not stay away from Donne. Every time I read him, it's as if I am reading with new eyes and I discover another gem...or two...or three...which I had read before, but hadn't really heard. I can only hope that at least one of you falls in love with and is profoundly moved by his work.
Holy Sonnet III
by John Donne
O might those sighs and tears return again
Into my breast and eyes, which I have spent,
That I might in this holy discontent
Mourn with some fruit, as I have mourned in vain;
In mine idolatry what showers of rain
Mine eyes did waste? what griefs my heart did rent?
That sufferance was my sin, now I repent;
'Cause I did suffer I must suffer pain.
Th' hydroptic drunkard, and night-scouting thief,
The itchy lecher, and self-tickling proud
Have the remembrance of past joys for relief
Of coming ills. To poor me is allow'd
No ease; for long yet vehement grief hath been
Th' effect and cause, the punishment and sin.