Quotes by John Donne

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John Donne (pronounced "Dun"; 1572 March 31, 1631) was a Jacobean metaphysical poet. His works include sonnets, love poetry, religious poems, Latin translations, epigrams, elegies, songs, and sermons. more

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Take me to you, imprison me, for I, except you enthrall me, never shall be free, nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.

No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.
Love built on beauty, soon as beauty, dies.
When one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language.
As he that fears God hears nothing else, so, he that sees God sees every thing else.
Love was as subtly caught, as a disease; But being got it is a treasure sweet, which to defend is harder than to get: And ought not be profaned on either part, for though 'Tis got by chance, 'Tis kept by art.
Be your own palace, or the world is your jail.
Despair is the damp of hell, as joy is the serenity of heaven.
Death be not proud, though some have called thee Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so. For, those, whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow. Die not, poor death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were: any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.
Busy old fool, unruly Sun, why dost thou thus through windows and through curtains call on us? Must to thy motions lovers seasons run?
Full nakedness! All my joys are due to thee, as souls unbodied, bodies unclothed must be, to taste whole joys.
To be no part of any body, is to be nothing.
But I do nothing upon myself, and yet I am my own executioner.
When I died last, and, Dear, I die as often as from thee I go though it be but an hour ago and lovers hours be full eternity.
God employs several translators; some pieces are translated by age, some by sickness, some by war, some by justice.
Love, all alike, no season knows, nor clime, nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time.
And new Philosophy calls all in doubt, the element of fire is quite put out; the Sun is lost, and the earth, and no mans wit can well direct him where to look for it.
Pleasure is none, if not diversified.
I throw myself down in my chamber, and I call in, and invite God, and his Angels thither, and when they are there, I neglect God and his Angels, for the noise of a fly, for the rattling of a coach, for the whining of a door.
We are all conceived in close prison; in our mothers wombs, we are close prisoners all; when we are born, we are born but to the liberty of the house; prisoners still, though within larger walls; and then all our life is but a going out to the place of execution, to death.
Contemplative and bookish men must of necessity be more quarrelsome than others, because they contend not about matter of fact, nor can determine their controversies by any certain witnesses, nor judges. But as long as they go towards peace, that is Truth, it is no matter which way.
Let me arrest thy thoughts; wonder with me, why plowing, building, ruling and the rest, or most of those arts, whence our lives are blest, by cursed Cain's race invented be, and blest Seth vexed us with Astronomy.
Affliction is a treasure, and scarce any man hath enough of it.
Whenever any affliction assails me, I have the keys of my prison in mine own hand, and no remedy presents it selfe so soone to my heart, as mine own sword. Often meditation of this hath wonne me to a charitable interpretation of their action, who dy so: and provoked me a little to watch and exagitate their reasons, which pronounce so peremptory judgments upon them.
Sir, more than kisses, letters mingle souls. For, thus friends absent speak.
More than kisses letters mingle souls.
Man is not only a contributory creature, but a total creature; he does not only make one, but he is all; he is not a piece of the world, but the world itself; and next to the glory of God, the reason why there is a world.
At most, the greatest persons are but great wens, and excrescences; men of wit and delightful conversation, but as morals for ornament, except they be so incorporated into the body of the world that they contribute something to the sustentation of the whole.
Reason is our soul's left hand, faith her right, by these we reach divinity.
Wicked is not much worse than indiscreet.
I observe the physician with the same diligence as the disease.
As virtuous men pass mildly away, and whisper to their souls to go, whilst some of their sad friends do say, the breath goes now, and some say no.
I would not that death should take me asleep. I would not have him merely seize me, and only declare me to be dead, but win me, and overcome me. When I must shipwreck, I would do it in a sea, where mine impotency might have some excuse; not in a sullen weedy lake, where I could not have so much as exercise for my swimming.
He must pull out his own eyes, and see no creature, before he can say, he sees no God; He must be no man, and quench his reasonable soul, before he can say to himself, there is no God.
Let us love nobly, and live, and add again years and years unto years, till we attain to write threescore: this is the second of our reign.
No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace As I have seen in one autumnal face.
I brought a heart into the room, But from the room I carried none with me: If it had gone to thee, I know Mine would have taught thine heart to show More pity unto me; but Love, alas, At one first blow did shiver it as glass.
Now thou hast loved me one whole day, Tomorrow when thou leav'st, what wilt thou say? Wilt thou then antedate some new-made vow? Or say that now We are not just those persons which we were?
True and false fears let us refrain; Let us love nobly, and live, and add again Years and years unto years, till we attain To write threescore; this is the second of our reign.
We study health, and we deliberate upon our meats and drink and air and exercises, and we hew and we polish every stone that goes to that building; and so our health is a long and regular work. But in a minute a cannon batters all, overthrows all, demolishes all; a sickness unprevented for all our diligence, unsuspected for all our curiosity, nay, undeserved, if we consider only disorder, summons us, seizes us, possesses us, destroys us in an instant.
From needing danger to be good, From owing thee yesterday's tears today, From trusting so much to thy blood That in that hope we wound our souls away, From bribing thee with alms to excuse Some sin more burdenous, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lord, deliver us.

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