John Donne (pronounced “done” as in “well done, sir”) will be making some regular appearances here at Man Verses Poetry.
He’s old school — 1572-1631 — and a bit of a challenge at times for the modern reader. He’s also known for his love poetry and is considered the founder of the metaphysical school.
Thumbing through my copy of his selected works, I came across this passage that I starred in pencil a long time ago:
“Thy virgin’s girdle now untie,
And in thy nuptial bed (love’s altar) lie
A pleasing sacrifice; now dispossess
Thee of these chains and robes which were put on
T’adorn the day, not thee; for thou, alone,
Like virtue and truth, art best in nakedness;
This bed is only to virginity
A grave, but, to a better state, a cradle;
Till now thou wast but able
To be what now thou art; then that by thee
No more be said, I may be, but I am,
Tonight put on perfection, and a woman’s name.”