Monday, 2 April 2007

The Expiration

John Donne

So, so break off this last lamenting kiss,
Which sucks two souls, and vapours both away,
Turn thou ghost that way, and let me turn this,
And let ourselves benight our happiest day,

We asked none leave to love; nor will we owe any
So cheap a death, as saying, Go;

Go: and if that work have not quite killed thee,
Ease me with death, by bidding me go too.
Oh, if it have, let my word work on me,
And a just office on a murderer do.

Except it be too late, to kill me so,
Being double dead, going, and bidding, go.

John Donne (IPA pronunciation: [dʌn]), 1572March 31, 1631) was a Jacobean poet and preacher, representative of the metaphysical poets of the period. His works, notable for their realistic and sensual style, include sonnets, love poetry, religious poems, Latin translations, epigrams, elegies, songs, satires and sermons. His poetry is noted for its vibrancy of language and immediacy of metaphor, compared with that of his contemporaries.

Donne came from a Roman Catholic family, and so he experienced persecution until his conversion to the Anglican Church. Despite his great education and poetic talents, he lived in poverty for several years, relying heavily on wealthy friends. In 1615 he became an Anglican priest and in 1621 Dean of St Paul's. His literary works reflect these trends, with love poetry and satires from his youth, and religious sermons during his later years.

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