Holy Sonnets: Since she whom I lov'd hath paid her last debt

Original Text: 
Edmund Gosse, The Jacobean Poets (New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1894). Reprinted 1970. ERI PR 545 J2 G6.
2To nature, and to hers, and my good is dead,
3And her soul early into heaven ravished,
4Wholly in heavenly things my mind is set.
5Here the admiring her my mind did whet
6To seek thee, God; so streams do show the head;
7But though I have found thee, and thou my thirst hast fed,
8A holy thirsty dropsy melts me yet.
9But why should I beg more love, whenas thou
10Dost woo my soul, for hers off'ring all thine,
11And dost not only fear lest I allow
12My love to saints and angels, things divine,
13But in thy tender jealousy dost doubt
14Lest the world, flesh, yea devil put thee out.


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. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
N. J. Endicott
RPO Edition: 
3RP 1.193.