Verse > John Donne > The Poems of John Donne
John Donne (1572–1631).  The Poems of John Donne.  1896.
Divine Poems
Ode: Vengeance will Sit above our Faults
1.  VENGEANCE will sit above our faults; but till
          She there do 1 sit,
  We see her not, nor them. Thus, blind, yet still
  We lead her way; and thus, whilst we do ill,
          We suffer it.        5
2.  Unhappy he whom youth makes not beware
          Of doing ill.
  Enough we labour under age, and care;
  In number, th’ errors of the last place are
          The greatest still.        10
3.  Yet we, that should the ill we now begin
          As soon repent,
  Strange thing! perceive not; our faults are not seen,
  But past us; neither felt, but only in
          The punishment.        15
4.  But we know ourselves least; mere outward shows
          Our minds so store,
  That our souls no more than our eyes disclose
  But form and colour. Only he who knows
          Himself, knows more.        20
Note 1. l. 2. So 1650; 1635, doth [back]

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