Treasure Island

John Donne

(24 January 1572 - 31 March 1631 / London, England)

Quotations

  • ''On a round ball
    A workman that hath copies by, can lay
    An Europe, Afric, and an Asia,
    And quickly make that, which was nothing, all;
    So doth each tear,
    Which thee doth wear,
    A globe, yea world, by that impression grow,
    Till thy tears mixed with mine do overflow
    This world, by waters sent from thee, my heaven dissolved so.''
    John Donne (1572-1631), British poet. A Valediction: Of Weeping (l. 10-18). . . Oxford Anthology of English Literature, The, Vols. I-II. Frank Kermode and John Hollander, general eds. (1973) Oxford University Press (Also published as six paperback vols.: Medieval English Literature, J. B. Trapp, ed.; The Literature of Renaissance England, John Hollander and Frank Kermode, eds.; The Restoration and the Eighteenth Century, Martin Price, ed.; Romantic Poetry and Prose, Harold Bloom and Lionel Trilling, eds.; Victorian Prose and Poetry, Lionel Trilling and Harold Bloom, eds.; Modern British Literature, Frank Kermode and John Hollander, eds.).
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  • ''Batter my heart, three-personed God;''
    John Donne (1572-1631), British poet. Batter my heart three-personed God (Holy Sonnets). . . The Complete English Poems [John Donne]. A. J. Smith, ed. (1971) Penguin Books.
  • ''Divorce me, untie, or break that knot again,
    Take me to you, imprison me, for I
    Except you enthral me, never shall be free,
    Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.''
    John Donne (1572-1631), British poet. Batter my heart three-personed God (Holy Sonnets). . . The Complete English Poems [John Donne]. A. J. Smith, ed. (1971) Penguin Books.
  • ''Actually, if my business was legitimate, I would deduct a substantial percentage for depreciation of my body.
    Contemplative and bookish men must of necessitie be more quarrelsome than others, because they contend not about matter of fact, nor can determine their controversies by any certain witnesses, nor judges. But as long as they goe towards peace, that is Truth, it is no matter which way.''
    John Donne (c. 1572-1631), British divine, metaphysical poet, Robin Moore, and Yvonne Dunleavy. repr. In Complete Poetry and Selected Prose, ed. John Hayward (1929). Biathanatos, preface (written c. 1608, published 1646).
  • ''Whensoever any affliction assails me, me thinks I have the keyes of my prison in mine owne hand, and no remedy presents it selfe so soone to my heart, as mine own sword. Often meditation of this hath wonne me to a charitable interpretation of their action, who dy so: and provoked me a little to watch and exagitate their reasons, which pronounce so peremptory judgements upon them.''
    John Donne (c. 1572-1631), British divine, metaphysical poet. repr. In Complete Poetry and Selected Prose, ed. John Hayward (1929). Biathanatos, preface (written c. 1608, published 1646).
  • ''Whensoever any affliction assails me, mee thinks I have the keyes of my prison in mine owne hand, and no remedy presents it selfe so soone to my heart, as mine own sword. Often meditation of this hath wonne me to a charitable interpretation of their action, who dy so: and provoked me a little to watch and exagitate their reasons, which pronounce so peremptory judgements upon them.''
    John Donne (c. 1572-1631), British divine, metaphysical poet. repr. In Complete Poetry and Selected Prose, ed. John Hayward (1929). Biathanatos, preface (written c. 1608, published 1646).
  • ''Stay, O sweet, and do not rise;
    The light that shines comes from thine eyes;
    The day breaks not, it is my heart,
    Because that you and I must part.''
    John Donne (1572-1631), British poet. Attributed to John Donne. Break of Day (l. 1-4). . . The Complete English Poems [John Donne]. A. J. Smith, ed. (1971) Penguin Books.
  • ''The reasons why I did not foreacquaint you with it (to deal with the same plainness that I have used) were these. I knew my present estate less than fit for her, I knew (yet I know not why) that I stood not right in your opinion. I knew that to have given any intimation of it had been to impossibilitate the whole matter.''
    John Donne (c. 1572-1631), British divine, metaphysical poet. Letter, February 2, 1602, to Sir George More. Complete Poetry and Selected Prose, ed. John Hayward (1929). Explaining why he had eloped with More's daughter, Anne.
  • ''At most, the greatest persons are but great wens, and excrescences; men of wit and delightfull conversation, but as moales for ornament, except they be so incorporated into the body of the world that they contribute something to the sustentation of the whole.''
    John Donne (c. 1572-1631), British divine, metaphysical poet. letter, Sept. 1608. Complete Poetry and Selected Prose, ed. John Hayward (1929).
  • ''To be no part of any body, is to be nothing.''
    John Donne (c. 1572-1631), British divine, metaphysical poet. letter, Sept. 1608, to Sir Henry Goodyer. Complete Poetry and Selected Prose, ed. John Hayward (1929).

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Elegy IV: The Perfume

Once, and but once found in thy company,
All thy supposed escapes are laid on me;
And as a thief at bar is questioned there
By all the men that have been robed that year,
So am I (by this traiterous means surprized)
By thy hydroptic father catechized.
Though he had wont to search with glazed eyes,
As though he came to kill a cockatrice,
Though he hath oft sworn that he would remove

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