Holy Sonnets: At the round earth's imagin'd corners, blow

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.
2Your trumpets, angels, and arise, arise
3From death, you numberless infinities
4Of souls, and to your scatter'd bodies go;
5All whom the flood did, and fire shall o'erthrow,
6All whom war, dearth, age, agues, tyrannies,
7Despair, law, chance hath slain, and you whose eyes
8Shall behold God and never taste death's woe.
9But let them sleep, Lord, and me mourn a space,
10For if above all these my sins abound,
11'Tis late to ask abundance of thy grace
12When we are there; here on this lowly ground
13Teach me how to repent; for that's as good
14As if thou'hadst seal'd my pardon with thy blood.


1] The problem of the order and date of the nineteen poems called the "Holy Sonnets'' is very complicated. They have usually been numbered in sequence, but the traditional order has been convincingly questioned by Dame Helen Gardner in her edition of Donne's Divine Poems and is here not indicated. The first two in this selection were first published in 1635, the next five in 1633, the final two, entirely unconnected, not until 1894 and 1899 respectively. Most of the sonnets were probably written about 1609, but "Since she whom I lov'd" was written after the death of Donne's wife in 1617, and "Show me dear Christ" perhaps even later.
earth's imagin'd corners: "I saw four angels standing in the four corners of the earth" (Rev. 7:1). Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
N. J. Endicott
RPO Edition: 
3RP 1.192.