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John Donne Quotes


An English Jacobean poet, preacher and a major representative of the metaphysical poets of the period.
(1572 - 1631)

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Affliction is a treasure, and scarce any man hath enough of it.
 

All kings, and all their favourites, All glory of honours, beauties, wits, The sun itself, which makes time, as they pass, Is elder by a year now than it was When thou and I first one another saw. All other things to their destruction draw, Only our love hath no decay; This no to-morrow hath, nor yesterday; Running it never runs from us away, But truly keeps his first, last, everlasting day.
 

And new Philosophy calls all in doubt, the element of fire is quite put out; the Sun is lost, and the earth, and no mans wit can well direct him where to look for it.
 

Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
 

Art is the most passionate orgy within man's grasp.
[Art]
 

As states subsist in part by keeping their weaknesses from being known, so is it the quiet of families to have their chancery and their parliament within doors, and to compose and determine all emergent differences there.
 

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.
 

Be thine own palace, or the world's thy jail.
[Self Reliance]
 

Between cowardice and despair, valour is gendered.
[Courage]
 

Busy old fool, unruly Sun, why dost thou thus through windows and through curtains call on us? Must to thy motions lovers seasons run?
 

But I do nothing upon myself, and yet I am my own executioner.
 

But let them sleep, Lord, and me mourn a space.
 

Death be not proud, though some have called thee Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so. For, those, whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow. Die not, poor death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
[Art]
 

Despair is the damp of hell, as joy is the serenity of heaven.
[Despair]
 

For God's sake hold your tongue, and let me love.
 

For good and evil in our actions meet; wicked is not much worse than indiscreet.
 

For some not to be martyred is a martyrdom.
 

God employs several translators; some pieces are translated by age, some by sickness, some by war, some by justice.
 

He must pull out his own eyes, and see no creature, before he can say, he sees no God; He must be no man, and quench his reasonable soul, before he can say to himself, there is no God.
 

Humiliation is the beginning of sanctification.
 


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