The Canonization

Original Text: 
John Donne, Poems, by J. D. With elegies on the authors death (M. F. for J. Marriot, 1633). MICF no. 556 ROBA. Facs. edn. Menston: Scolar Press, 1969. PR 2245 A2 1633A. STC 7045.
1For God's sake hold your tongue, and let me love,
3      My five grey hairs, or ruin'd fortune flout,
4With wealth your state, your mind with arts improve,
5           Take you a course, get you a place,
6           Observe his Honour, or his Grace,
8      Contemplate, what you will, approve,
9      So you will let me love.
10Alas, alas, who's injur'd by my love?
11      What merchant's ships have my sighs drown'd?
12      Who says my tears have overflow'd his ground?
13When did my colds a forward spring remove?
14           When did the heats which my veins fill
15           Add one more to the plaguy bill?
16Soldiers find wars, and lawyers find out still
17      Litigious men, which quarrels move,
18      Though she and I do love.
19Call us what you will, we are made such by love;
20      Call her one, me another fly,
21      We'are tapers too, and at our own cost die,
23           The phœnix riddle hath more wit
24           By us; we two being one, are it.
25So, to one neutral thing both sexes fit,
26      We die and rise the same, and prove
27      Mysterious by this love.
28We can die by it, if not live by love,
29      And if unfit for tombs and hearse
30      Our legend be, it will be fit for verse;
31And if no piece of chronicle we prove,
32           We'll build in sonnets pretty rooms;
34The greatest ashes, as half-acre tombs,
35      And by these hymns all shall approve
36      Us canoniz'd for love;
37And thus invoke us: "You, whom reverend love
38      Made one another's hermitage;
39      You, to whom love was peace, that now is rage;
40Who did the whole world's soul contract, and drove
41           Into the glasses of your eyes
42           (So made such mirrors, and such spies,
43That they did all to you epitomize)
45      A pattern of your love!"


2] Or ... or: either ... or. Back to Line
7] stamped face: on coins. Back to Line
22] the' eagle and the dove: symbols of fierceness or strength, and gentleness. Back to Line
33] becomes: suits. Back to Line
44] "The canonized lovers ... are asked to beg from above a pattern of their love for those below" (Grierson). Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
N. J. Endicott
RPO Edition: 
3RP 1.167.