Verse > John Donne > The Poems of John Donne
John Donne (1572–1631).  The Poems of John Donne.  1896.
Divine Poems
A Hymn to Christ
At the Author’s Last Going into Germany

IN what torn ship so ever I embark,
That ship shall be my emblem of Thy ark;
What sea soever swallow me, that flood
Shall be to me an emblem of Thy blood;
Though Thou with clouds of anger do disguise        5
Thy face, yet through that mask I know those eyes,
  Which, though they turn away sometimes,
    They never will despise.
I sacrifice this island unto Thee,
And all whom I love there, 1 and who love me;        10
When I have put our seas 2 ’twixt them and me,
Put thou Thy seas 3 betwixt my sins and Thee.
As the tree’s sap doth seek the root below
In winter, in my winter now I go,
  Where none but Thee, the eternal root        15
    Of true love, I may know.
Nor Thou nor Thy religion dost control
The amorousness of an harmonious soul;
But Thou wouldst have that love Thyself; as Thou
Art jealous, Lord, so I am jealous now;        20
Thou lovest not, till from loving more Thou free
My soul; Who ever gives, takes liberty;
  Oh, if Thou carest not whom I love,
    Alas! Thou lovest not me.
Seal then this bill of my divorce to all,        25
On whom those fainter beams of love did fall;
Marry those loves, which in youth scatter’d be
On fame, 4 wit, hopes—false mistresses—to Thee.
Churches are best for prayer, that have least light;
To see God only, I go out of sight;        30
  And to escape stormy days, I choose
    An everlasting night
Note 1. l. 10. 1635, here [back]
Note 2. l. 11. 1635, this flood [back]
Note 3. l. 12. 1635, Thy blood [back]
Note 4. l. 28. 1635, face [back]

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