Holy Sonnets: I am a little world made cunningly by John Donne
I am a little world made cunningly
Of elements and an angelic sprite
But black sin hath betray’d to endless night
My world’s both parts, and on both parts must die.
You which beyond that heaven which was most high
Have found new spheres, and of new lands can write,
Pour new seas in mine eyes, that so I might
Drown my world with my weeping earnestly,
Or wash it, if it must be drown’d no more.
But oh it must be burnt; alas the fire
Of lust and envy have burnt it heretofore,
And made it fouler; let their flames retire,
And burn me O Lord, with a fiery zeal
Of thee and thy house, which doth in eating heal.
John Donne (1572-1631), in addition to being arguably England’s chief metaphysical poet, also served as a cleric in the Anglican Church. He was made Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral in 1621, where he spent the last decade of his life preaching and writing.
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