The Relic

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.
1     When my grave is broke up again
2     Some second guest to entertain,
3     (For graves have learn'd that woman head,
4     To be to more than one a bed)
5           And he that digs it, spies
6A bracelet of bright hair about the bone,
7           Will he not let'us alone,
8And think that there a loving couple lies,
9Who thought that this device might be some way
10To make their souls, at the last busy day,
11Meet at this grave, and make a little stay?
12      If this fall in a time, or land,
13      Where mis-devotion doth command,
14      Then he, that digs us up, will bring
15      Us to the bishop, and the king,
16           To make us relics; then
17Thou shalt be a Mary Magdalen, and I
19All women shall adore us, and some men;
20And since at such time miracles are sought,
21I would have that age by this paper taught
22What miracles we harmless lovers wrought.
23      First, we lov'd well and faithfully,
24      Yet knew not what we lov'd, nor why;
25      Difference of sex no more we knew
26      Than our guardian angels do;
27           Coming and going, we
28Perchance might kiss, but not between those meals;
29           Our hands ne'er touch'd the seals
30Which nature, injur'd by late law, sets free;
31These miracles we did, but now alas,
32All measure, and all language, I should pass,
33Should I tell what a miracle she was.


18] Presumably the bone will be thought that of one of Mary Magdalene's lovers. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
N. J. Endicott
RPO Edition: 
3RP 1.177.