Annunciation and Nativitie

Posted on December 24, 2009

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Two sonnets of John Donne, from the series of seven entitled ‘La Corona,’ each of which begins with the last line of the previous poem.

Salvation to all that will is nigh;
That All, which alwayes is All every where,
Which cannot sinne, and yet all sinnes must beare,
Which cannot die, yet cannot chuse but die,
Loe, faithfull Virgin, yeelds himselfe to lye
In prison, in thy wombe; and though he there
Can take no sinne, nor thou give, yet he’will weare
Taken from thence, flesh, which deaths force may trie.
Ere by the spheares time was created, thou
Wast in his minde, who is thy Sonne, and Brother;
Whom thou conceiv’st, conceiv’d; yet thou art now
Thy Makers maker, and thy Fathers mother;
Thou’hast light in darke; and shutst in little roome,
Immensity cloysterd in thy deare wombe.

Immensity cloysterd in thy deare wombe,
Now leaves his wellbelov’d imprisonment,
There he hath made himselfe to his intent
Weake enough, now into our world to come;
But Oh, for thee, for him, hath th’Inne no roome?
Yet lay him in this stall, and from the Orient,
Starres, and wisemen will travel to prevent
Th’effect of Herods jealous generall doome.
Seest thou, my Soule, with thy faiths eyes, how he
Which fills all place, yet none holds him, doth lye?
Was not his pity towards thee wondrous high,
That would have need to be pittied by thee?
Kisse him, and with him into Egypt goe,
With his kinde mother, who partakes thy woe.

Happy Christmas to all!

Steve

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