From “A Valediction of My Name, in the Window”

John Donne
  • John Donne
  • I.
  • My name engraved herein
  • Doth contribute my firmness to this glass,
  • Which ever since that charm hath been
  • As hard, as that which graved it was;
  • Thine eye will give it price enough, to mock
  • The diamonds of either rock.
  • II.
  • ’Tis much that glass should be
  • As all-confessing, and through-shine as I;
  • ’Tis more that it shows thee to thee,
  • And clear reflects thee to thine eye.
  • But all such rules love’s magic can undo;
  • Here you see me, and I am you.
  • III.
  • As no one point, nor dash,
  • Which are but accessories to this name,
  • The showers and tempests can outwash
  • So shall all times find me the same;
  • You this entireness better may fulfill,
  • Who have the pattern with you still.
  • IV.
  • Or if too hard and deep
  • This learning be, for a scratch’d name to teach,
  • It as a given death’s head keep,
  • Lovers’ mortality to preach;
  • Or think this ragged bony name to be
  • My ruinous anatomy.
  • V.
  • Then, as all my souls be
  • Emparadised in you—in whom alone
  • I understand, and grow, and see—
  • The rafters of my body, bone,
  • Being still with you, the muscle, sinew, and vein
  • Which tile this house, will come again.
  • XI.
  • But glass and lines must be
  • No means our firm substantial love to keep;
  • Near death inflicts this lethargy,
  • And this I murmur in my sleep;
  • Inpute this idle talk, to that I go,
  • For dying men talk often so.

John Donne (1572–1631) was an English poet, cleric of the Church of England, and considered the exemplary member of the metaphysical poets of the 17th Century.

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