holy Sonnet 10

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DONNE 'S HOLY SONNET XIV

Batter my heart, three person 'd God; for, you
As yet but knocke, breathe, shine, and seeke to mend;
That I may rise, and stand, o 'erthrow me, 'and bend
Your force, to breake, blowe, burn and make me new.
I, like an usurpt towne, t 'another due,
Labor to 'admit you, but Oh, to no end,
Reason your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captiv 'd, and proves weake or untrue,
Yet dearely 'I love you, and would be lov 'd faine,
But am betroth 'd unto your enemy,
Divorce me, 'untie, or breake that knot againe
Take me to you, imprison me, for I
Except you 'enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.

--John Donne

The analogous language of romantic passion ("I am my
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The tinker 's object is broken and remade, the town is taken, the love affair is irresistibly consummated, even as the paradox of virtue and passion is glowingly resolved.

So the strategy of the poem appears to be that of approaching a dangerous, blasphemous anthropomorphism in the heat of devotion, but deflecting that danger, just in time, by the equation of sensual passion to spiritual virtue; for the concluding couplet declares that true freedom comes when one is imprisoned by God, and that purity of heart comes with God 's ravishment (sexual assault, with the double meaning of "ravish" as "to win the heart of" someone). By the poem 's conclusion, the conceit of the rape which ensures chastity no longer skirts blasphemy. In fact, in Donne 's hands, it even becomes orthodox, an ideal of devotion worthy of emulation.

This resolution of discordant imagery, this stillness after the petitionary storm, is reflected in the poem 's metrical pattern as well. Nominally iambic pentameter, as befits a sonnet, the first twelve lines (with the exceptions of lines 3 and 11) are full of
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