BY JOHN DONNE
Stanza - I
I wonder, by my troth, what thou and I
Did, till we loved? Were we not weaned till then?
But sucked on country pleasures, childishly?
Or snorted we in the Seven Sleepers’ den?
’Twas so; but this, all pleasures fancies be.
If ever any beauty I did see,
Which I desired, and got, ’twas but a dream of thee.
Lines start with first person pronoun, here poet expresses his surprise as to what he and his counterpart did earlier they fell in love. He regards their former pleasures as childish and rustic and their former life as a long sleep in which they were as oblivious to reality of life to expresses this he has used a reference to the Bible of Seven Sleepers who took refuse in a den due to fear of persecution. He thinks that their earlier lives were abstract and there was nothing real. Poet says his past love for old lovers was just a mere reflection of his present beloved.
Seven Sleepers The Seven Christians who took refuse in a cavern because of fear of persecution where they slept and woke up after two hundred years.
Stanza - II
And now good-morrow to our waking souls,
Which watch not one another out of fear;
For love, all love of other sights controls,
And makes one little room an everywhere.
Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone,
Let maps to other, worlds on worlds have shown,
Let us possess one world, each hath one, and is one.
Their life in old days was only an illusion. Now the state of dream is overcome and now there happens a new morning of new love. Now their souls have risen. They feel a new love. At this, time there no ground for doubts or jealousy. They are united now. They no longer wish to see other things. They are complete within one another. They want to explore a new world. Now they sought to encompass their life in different directions. Being united in love, they want to make whole world a single room.
Stanza - III
My face in thine eye, thine in mine appears,
And true plain hearts do in the faces rest;
Where can we find two better hemispheres,
Without sharp north, without declining west?
Whatever dies, was not mixed equally;
If our two loves be one, or, thou and I
Love so alike, that none do slacken, none can die.
In these lines, we see that the couple visualizes each other in their eyes respectively. They can feel honesty and simplicity in their looks. Their two different faces are like two different hemispheres, which together make a complete whole soul body. Now there remains no differences their love has become immortal. Now there in no fear of decay and death this is symbolized with the references of sharp north, and declining west.
Source of (Poem): The Norton Anthology of Poetry Third Edition (1983)