To The Countess Of Bedford I
Reason is our soul's left hand, faith her right ;
By these we reach divinity, that's you ;
Their loves, who have the blessing of your light,
Grew from their reason ; mine from fair faith grew.
But as, although a squint left-handedness
Be ungracious, yet we cannot want that hand ;
So would I—not to increase, but to express
My faith—as I believe, so understand.
Therefore I study you first in your saints,
Those friends whom your election glorifies ;
Then in your deeds, accesses and restraints,
And what you read, and what yourself devise.
But soon the reasons why you're loved by all,
Grow infinite, and so pass reason's reach ;
Then back again to implicit faith I fall,
And rest on that the Catholic voice doth teach—
That you are good ; and not one heretic
Denies it ; if he did, yet you are so ;
For rocks, which high to sense deep-rooted stick,
Waves wash, not undermine, nor overthrow.
In everything there naturally grows
A balsamum to keep it fresh and new,
If 'twere not inured by extrinsic blows ;
Your birth and beauty are this balm in you.
But you, of learning, and religion,
And virtue, and such ingredients, have made
A mithridate, whose operation
Keeps off, or cures, what can be done or said.
Yet this is not your physic, but your food,
A diet fit for you ; for you are here
The first good angel, since the world's frame stood,
That ever did in woman's shape appear.
Since you are then God's masterpiece, and so
His factor for our loves, do as you do ;
Make your return home gracious, and bestow
This life on that ; so make one life of two.
For, so God help me, I would not miss you there,
For all the good which you can do me here.
John Donne's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (To The Countess Of Bedford I by John Donne )
Did you read them?
- Is it absurd to fall too deep?, Mark Heathcote
- Kindness Begets Kindness, Tony Adah
- कलेजनि अनजालिनिसिम: दोँसे खन्थाय, Bahadur Basumatary
- Deep Within, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- Gleaming Moon Walked With Me,, Aftab Alam
- I choose nature to you, Vidura Prabhath
- [FIVE] - of roses in a decaying memory, Lenny Orlando Camacho
- My Winter Bed, BARRY WYATT JR.
- Forget You Not, Forget You Not, Bijay Kant Dubey
- Love Me, Love Me, You Just Love Me, Bijay Kant Dubey
Poem of the Day
- 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- Invictus, William Ernest Henley
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
- No Man Is An Island, John Donne
- A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
- Heather Burns