A Sheaf Of Snakes Used Heretofore To Be My Seal, The Crest Of Our Poor Family
ADOPTED in God's family and so
Our old coat lost, unto new arms I go.
The Cross—my seal at baptism—spread below
Does, by that form, into an Anchor grow.
Crosses grow Anchors ; bear, as thou shouldest do
Thy Cross, and that Cross grows an Anchor too.
But He that makes our Crosses Anchors thus,
Is Christ, who there is crucified for us.
Yet may I, with this, my first serpents hold ;
God gives new blessings, and yet leaves the old.
The serpent may, as wise, my pattern be ;
My poison, as he feeds on dust, that's me.
And, as he rounds the earth to murder sure,
My death he is, but on the Cross, my cure.
Crucify nature then, and then implore
All grace from Him, crucified there before ;
Then all is Cross, and that Cross Anchor grown ;
This seal's a catechism, not a seal alone.
Under that little seal great gifts I send,
Works, and prayers, pawns, and fruits of a friend.
And may that saint which rides in our great seal,
To you who bear his name,* great bounties deal !
John Donne's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (A Sheaf Of Snakes Used Heretofore To Be My Seal, The Crest Of Our Poor Family by John Donne )
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
- 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- As I Grew Older, Langston Hughes
- A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
- Alone, Edgar Allan Poe
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
Poem of the Day
- Sun Smiles at morning-glories, What a Fun!, Harindhar Reddy
- Person of the Playful Star: Tanka [there.., Chimako Tada
- Love Desires, Perveiz Ali
- Tick, tick, Aromantic Birds in Love, Harindhar Reddy
- A Spray of Water: Tanka [the round spoon], Chimako Tada
- A Spray of Water: Tanka [the hot water in], Chimako Tada
- Person of the Playful Star: Tanka [I lis.., Chimako Tada
- Love Whips You on Naked Back, Harindhar Reddy
- ~I'm Going Home~, E Nigma
- Smile poem love, Elius Rubby