Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Sun Rising ~ by John Donne

Idylle, 1851, Oil on Canvas, William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Neoclassicism

The Sun Rising

 Busy old fool, unruly Sun, 
        Why dost thou thus,
Through windows, and through curtains, call on us? 
Must to thy motions lovers' seasons run? 
        Saucy pedantic wretch, go chide 
        Late school-boys and sour prentices, 
    Go tell court-huntsmen that the king will ride, 
    Call country ants to harvest offices;
Love, all alike, no season knows nor clime, 
Nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time. 

        Thy beams so reverend, and strong 
        Why shouldst thou think? 
I could eclipse and cloud them with a wink, 
But that I would not lose her sight so long. 
        If her eyes have not blinded thine, 
        Look, and to-morrow late tell me, 
    Whether both th' Indias of spice and mine 
    Be where thou left'st them, or lie here with me. 
Ask for those kings whom thou saw'st yesterday, 
And thou shalt hear, "All here in one bed lay." 

        She's all states, and all princes I;
        Nothing else is; 
Princes do but play us; compared to this, 
All honour's mimic, all wealth alchemy. 
        Thou, Sun, art half as happy as we, 
        In that the world's contracted thus; 
    Thine age asks ease, and since thy duties be 
    To warm the world, that's done in warming us. 
Shine here to us, and thou art everywhere; 
This bed thy center is, these walls thy sphere.


Donne loves to use the sphere in his poetry as he does in this poem... he speaks of the sun, the earth, the eyes, an eclipse, and directly the sphere.... all things to him seem cyclical and love seems to be no exception.  Love is addressed as a metaphysical love staged inside the bedroom as if it was representative of the world because for the lover the whole world is contained in his love when he writes 'To warm the world, that's done in warming us. / Shine here to us, and thou art everywhere;'.  His line, 'no season knows, nor clime, / Nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time' are a testament to his importance on the subject of love as it supersedes all else including kings, the princes, and the universe itself.  

No comments:

Post a Comment