I’ve decided to give in to my John Donne obsession & post some of my favourite Donne poems over the next few weeks – or months, however long it takes!
The Good Morrow is one of the few poems I can recite by heart. We didn’t learn poetry by heart when I was at school so although I know bits & pieces, I know very few complete poems. This is one of the poems I remember studying at school & my appreciation of Donne was increased rather than stifled by the experience.
It’s such a beautifully calm poem. It’s easy to imagine the lovers lazily lying in bed, reluctant to get up & break the spell of their love.
I wonder by my troth, what thou and I
Did, till we loved? were we not wean’d till then?
But suck’d 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.
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.
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 mix’d equally;
If our two loves be one, or thou and I
Love so alike that none can slacken, none can die.