From "La Corona"

"La Corona" is a set of sonnets by 17th-century English poet John Donne. "Corona" means crown, but it also means wreath, the the sonnets are meant to be read in a cycle; the first line of the first sonnet is the same as the last line of the last sonnet. In addition, the last line of every sonnet is the same as the first line of the next, so there is a sense of continuity.

The sonnets work through the life of Christ, ending with the Ascension. Here are the two that are relevant for this weekend:


5. CRUCIFYING.

By miracles exceeding power of man,
He faith in some, envy in some begat,
For, what weak spirits admire, ambitious hate :
In both affections many to Him ran.
But O ! the worst are most, they will and can,
Alas ! and do, unto th' Immaculate,
Whose creature Fate is, now prescribe a fate,
Measuring self-life's infinity to span,
Nay to an inch. Lo ! where condemned He
Bears His own cross, with pain, yet by and by
When it bears him, He must bear more and die.
Now Thou art lifted up, draw me to Thee,
And at Thy death giving such liberal dole,
Moist with one drop of Thy blood my dry soul.


6. RESURRECTION.

Moist with one drop of Thy blood, my dry soul
Shall—though she now be in extreme degree
Too stony hard, and yet too fleshly—be
Freed by that drop, from being starved, hard or foul,
And life by this death abled shall control
Death, whom Thy death slew ; nor shall to me
Fear of first or last death bring misery,
If in thy life-book my name thou enroll.
Flesh in that long sleep is not putrified,
But made that there, of which, and for which it was ;
Nor can by other means be glorified.
May then sin's sleep and death soon from me pass,
That waked from both, I again risen may
Salute the last and everlasting day.

Read the entire set of sonnets here.

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