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My Favorite John Donne Sonnet

Batter my heart, three-person’d God
BY JOHN DONNE

Batter my heart, three-person’d God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;

That I may rise and stand, o’erthrow me, and bend

Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp’d town to another due,
Labor to admit you, but oh, to no end;
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captiv’d, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be lov’d fain,
But am betroth’d unto your enemy;
Divorce me, untie or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.

Rewritten for better understanding:

Batter my heart, three-person’d God!

For you as yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend.

That I may rise and stand: Overthrow me, and bend your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like a usurped town to another due, labor to admit you [into the usurped town, i.e., “me”], but oh, to no end!

Reason—your viceroy in me—should defend me! But instead is captivated and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be loved yes!
But am betrothed unto your enemy!
Divorce me! Untie or break that knot [of betrothal to the enemy] again!
Take me to you, imprison me! For I,
except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.

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3 replies »

  1. Thanks for posting Anne. The Lord has to do the work in us right?
    23Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23-24)

    Like

  2. Intimacy with the Lord today,I ask for a release of the Holy Spirit: Acts 2 like the disciples devoted themselves to constant prayer. Father God fill us anew and afresh. In Jesus” name. I’m asking where I am weak, let you’re great grace be sufficient for every one struggling like me.

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