John Donne

(24 January 1572 - 31 March 1631 / London, England)

A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning

Poem by John Donne

As virtuous men pass mildly away,
And whisper to their souls, to go,
Whilst some of their sad friends do say,
'The breath goes now,' and some say, 'No:'

So let us melt, and make no noise,
No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move;
'Twere profanation of our joys
To tell the laity our love.

Moving of th' earth brings harms and fears;
Men reckon what it did, and meant;
But trepidation of the spheres,
Though greater far, is innocent.

Dull sublunary lovers' love
(Whose soul is sense) cannot admit
Absence, because it doth remove
Those things which elemented it.

But we by a love so much refin'd,
That ourselves know not what it is,
Inter-assured of the mind,
Care less, eyes, lips, and hands to miss.

Our two souls therefore, which are one,
Though I must go, endure not yet
A breach, but an expansion,
Like gold to airy thinness beat.

If they be two, they are two so
As stiff twin compasses are two;
Thy soul, the fix'd foot, makes no show
To move, but doth, if the' other do.

And though it in the centre sit,
Yet when the other far doth roam,
It leans, and hearkens after it,
And grows erect, as that comes home.

Such wilt thou be to me, who must
Like th' other foot, obliquely run;
Thy firmness makes my circle just,
And makes me end, where I begun.

Comments about A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning by John Donne

  • Sukla (2/20/2019 7:07:00 PM)

    Great love poem(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
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  • Ram Kishore (5/10/2018 12:02:00 PM)

    Irritating voice...(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Gangadharan Nair Pulingat (9/5/2014 11:27:00 PM)

    Marriage between two minds, two individuals is a very important relationship upto the end of life most of the circumstances. Love is important thing for a marriage relation. Here the poet beautifully made a poem of the different aspects of life and even the death situation which it is made so beautiful and at the same time make sad emotions in the mind which is a positiveness of the poem. Making others feel through a poem as if it is a genuine life situation is not so bad. I very much liked the poem as a reader and also felt.(Report)Reply

    10 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Dr Aslam (2/19/2014 5:27:00 AM)

    love is immortal.... ah john donne....grt poet of the world... king of metaphysical poems.....(Report)Reply

    7 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Anastasia Markova (9/5/2013 5:10:00 AM)

    Nice! The style is pretty well.(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
  • Kevin StrawKevin Straw (9/5/2012 11:59:00 AM)

    What Donne elevates in this poem is the marriage of true minds. A relationship based on sensual attraction is vulnerable to absence, but a relationship based on a love which is not dependent on the senses is stronger. What a pity that those who give such a poem low marks cannot be asked to justify themselves.(Report)Reply

    17 person liked.
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  • E Backus (6/4/2012 3:50:00 AM)

    Though the distance away from one another seems surmountable and the speaker - due to the gravity of the beloved - ends where I begun, isn't it sad that carrying out the full conceit means the two lovers will never meet? The speaker relies on the beloved for a reference point, but as a compass, they will act like repelling magnets, influencing each other's movements but never touching.: ((Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
    6 person did not like.
  • Francis X. Burns (4/17/2012 5:44:00 PM)

    One of the masterworks of English poetry, the epitome of the metaphysical style. Period.(Report)Reply

    6 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • Mary Valva (1/15/2012 8:53:00 AM)

    Why can't I print this poem?(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    7 person did not like.
  • Ramesh T ARamesh T A (9/5/2011 4:37:00 PM)

    Metaphysical poems of John Donne are well known in literary circle. The imagery of compass expressing the idea of two lovers in union is wonderful indeed!(Report)Reply

    6 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
  • Kevin StrawKevin Straw (9/5/2009 4:49:00 AM)

    I remember first reading JD and, without understanding fully what I was reading, becoming transfixed by the poetry. My first league poets are Shakespeare, Donne and Blake.(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    6 person did not like.
  • Emily OldhamEmily Oldham (6/21/2009 5:22:00 AM)

    I just love Donne'/s style of writing... this poem is amazing.(Report)Reply

    6 person liked.
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  • Margaret Carruthers (9/5/2008 4:50:00 AM)

    A beautiful, soulful, spiritual poem full of truth that is not often acknowledged. So thought provoking.(Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • Dorothy Healy (9/5/2007 1:07:00 PM)

    I think this beautiful poem is very sad.
    When the spiritual and the physical join,
    that is sustenance, the perfect golden circle.(Report)Reply

    7 person liked.
    7 person did not like.
  • Marina R (1/19/2007 10:17:00 PM)

    This poem is beautifuly written. Donnes idea of love on a spiritual level rather than on a physical one is an idea that I feel should be shared with the world.(Report)Reply

    5 person liked.
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Read poems about / on: sad, home, love, running, fear, friend

Poem Submitted: Monday, May 14, 2001

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