From ‘The Cross’

John Donne 1572 (London) – 1631 (London)

Who can blot out the Cross, which th’instrument  
Of God, dew’d on me in the Sacrament?  
Who can deny me power, and liberty  
To stretch mine arms, and mine own Cross to be?  
Swim, and at every stroke, thou art thy Cross;          
The Mast and yard make one, where seas do toss;  
Look down, thou spiest out Crosses in small things;  
Look up, thou seest birds rais’d on crossed wings;  
All the Globes frame, and spheres, is nothing else  
But the Meridians crossing Parallels.         
Material Crosses then, good physic bee,  
But yet spiritual have chief dignity.  
These for extracted chemic medicine serve,  
And cure much better, and as well preserve;  
Then are you your own physic, or need none,         
When Still’d, or purg’d by tribulation.  
For when that Cross ungrudg’d, unto you sticks,  
Then are you to your self, a Crucifix.  
As perchance, Carvers do not faces make,  
But that away, which hid them there, do take;         
Let Crosses, so, take what hid Christ in thee,  
And be his image, or not his, but he.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on March 30, 2023

53 sec read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic pentameter
Characters 1,033
Words 177
Stanzas 1
Stanza Lengths 22

John Donne

John Donne was an English poet, satirist, lawyer and a cleric in the Church of England. more…

All John Donne poems | John Donne Books

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    "From ‘The Cross’" STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 23 Sep. 2023. <‘the-cross’>.

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