A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning Poem by John Donne

A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning

Rating: 3.2

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.

Kevin Straw 05 September 2012

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.

19 4 Reply
Dorothy Healy 05 September 2007

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

7 7 Reply
Ramesh T A 05 September 2011

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!

6 5 Reply
Emily Oldham 21 June 2009

I just love Donne'/s style of writing... this poem is amazing.

6 5 Reply
E Backus 04 June 2012

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.: (

4 6 Reply
Sukla 20 February 2019

Great love poem

0 0 Reply
Ram Kishore 10 May 2018

Irritating voice...

1 0 Reply
Gangadharan Nair Pulingat 05 September 2014

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.

10 0 Reply
Dr Aslam 19 February 2014

love is immortal.... ah john donne....grt poet of the world... king of metaphysical poems.....

7 1 Reply
Anastasia Markova 05 September 2013

Nice! The style is pretty well.

3 5 Reply
John Donne

John Donne

London, England
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