PoemA pregnant bank swell'd up to rest
The violet's reclining head,
Sat we two, one another's best.
Our hands were firmly cemented
With a fast balm, which thence did spring;
Our eye-beams twisted, and did thread
Our eyes upon one double string;
So to'intergraft our hands, as yet
Was all the means to make us one,
And pictures in our eyes to get
Was all our propagation.
As 'twixt two equal armies fate
Suspends uncertain victory,
Our souls (which to advance their state
Were gone out) hung 'twixt her and me.
And whilst our souls negotiate there,
We like sepulchral statues lay;
All day, the same our postures were,
And we said nothing, all the day.
If any, so by love refin'd
That he soul's language understood,
And by good love were grown all mind,
Within convenient distance stood,
He (though he knew not which soul spake,
Because both meant, both spake the same)
Might thence a new concoction take
And part far purer than he came.
This ecstasy doth unperplex,
We said, and tell us what we love;
We see by this it was not sex,
We see we saw not what did move;
But as all several souls contain
Mixture of things, they know not what,
Love these mix'd souls doth mix again
And makes both one, each this and that.
A single violet transplant,
The strength, the colour, and the size,
(All which before was poor and scant)
Redoubles still, and multiplies.
When love with one another so
Interinanimates two souls,
That abler soul, which thence doth flow,
Defects of loneliness controls.
We then, who are this new soul, know
Of what we are compos'd and made,
For th' atomies of which we grow
Are souls, whom no change can invade.
But oh alas, so long, so far,
Our bodies why do we forbear?
They'are ours, though they'are not we; we are
The intelligences, they the spheres.
We owe them thanks, because they thus
Did us, to us, at first convey,
Yielded their senses' force to us,
Nor are dross to us, but allay.
On man heaven's influence works not so,
But that it first imprints the air;
So soul into the soul may flow,
Though it to body first repair.
As our blood labors to beget
Spirits, as like souls as it can,
Because such fingers need to knit
That subtle knot which makes us man,
So must pure lovers' souls descend
T' affections, and to faculties,
Which sense may reach and apprehend,
Else a great prince in prison lies.
To'our bodies turn we then, that so
Weak men on love reveal'd may look;
Love's mysteries in souls do grow,
But yet the body is his book.
And if some lover, such as we,
Have heard this dialogue of one,
Let him still mark us, he shall see
Small change, when we'are to bodies gone.
Where, like a pillow on a be
BY JOHN DONNE
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Poems by John Donne are divided into two major categories (1) Secular Poems (Divine Poems) the following poem is derived from the collection of fifty-five lyrics named Songs and Sonnets (Secular Poems). First published by the poet’s son posthumously in 1633.
Here, in this metaphysical poet, John Donne has presented his imagination with the background of lovemaking scene. A couple who is indulged in looking in the eyes of the each other, while sitting at the riverbank, which was a high rose, like a pillow on a bed, as if to provide a place for rest to the reclining heads of violets. Their hands were firmly joined from which emitted a fragrant balm. Their eyes contacted and expressed the same emotions. Images reflected in their eyes were all the broadcast they did. As between two equally matched armies, fate might hold victory in the balance, so their souls held converse out of their bodies, they lay still and motionless like lifeless statues: all day they neither moved nor spoke. If any, so purified by the sincere and exalted love that he understood the language of souls, stood nearby, he might have had remixed the different elements that make up his soul, and depart for purer than he came. Their souls ascended to ecstasy: and it disclosed to them the mystery of love. They have realized that love is no sex experience- they saw what they did not see before that is what love is really a thing of souls not of the body. Souls contain various things of which they were not aware: love mingles two souls and unites them one – each of them becomes a compliment for another. A violet, if it is transplanted, develops in strength, color, and size. As when love joins two souls, they mingle with each other and give birth to a new and finer soul, which removes the pangs of incompleteness. The new reborn soul, made up of their two separate souls, made them know that we are made and compound of substances which grow and improve, which make us what we are, and which are not affected by changes. The bodies are ours, though we are distinct from the bodies. We are spiritual beings, and the bodies are the spheres within which they move. We are indebted to our bodies. They first brought them together and yielded the sense to us. The bodies are not impure matter, but an alloy. They are like metal, when mixed with gold, make it worthier to make jewels. When the souls work on bodies, it first permeates the air, so the soul can join another soul. Nevertheless, it is only through the medium of the body that one soul can contact another, a from our blood issue form spirits which acts as the instrument of the soul.
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