The Relic

John Donne 1572 (London) – 1631 (London)



When my grave is broke up again
    Some second guest to entertain,
    (For graves have learn'd that woman head,
    To be to more than one a bed)
        And he that digs it, spies
A bracelet of bright hair about the bone,
        Will he not let'us alone,
And think that there a loving couple lies,
Who thought that this device might be some way
To make their souls, at the last busy day,
Meet at this grave, and make a little stay?

    If this fall in a time, or land,
    Where mis-devotion doth command,
    Then he, that digs us up, will bring
    Us to the bishop, and the king,
        To make us relics; then
Thou shalt be a Mary Magdalen, and I
        A something else thereby;
All women shall adore us, and some men;
And since at such time miracles are sought,
I would have that age by this paper taught
What miracles we harmless lovers wrought.

    First, we lov'd well and faithfully,
    Yet knew not what we lov'd, nor why;
    Difference of sex no more we knew
    Than our guardian angels do;
        Coming and going, we
Perchance might kiss, but not between those meals;
        Our hands ne'er touch'd the seals
Which nature, injur'd by late law, sets free;
These miracles we did, but now alas,
All measure, and all language, I should pass,
Should I tell what a miracle she was.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on April 11, 2023

1:12 min read
92

Quick analysis:

Scheme AXBBCDDCEEE FFGGAHHAIII JHKKJLLJMMX
Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 1,276
Words 233
Stanzas 3
Stanza Lengths 11, 11, 11

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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