Resurrection, Imperfect by John Donne


Sleep sleep old sun, thou canst not have repast
As yet, the wound thou took’st on Friday last;
Sleep then, and rest; the world may bear thy stay,
A better Sun rose before thee today,
Who, not content to enlighten all that dwell
On the earth’s face, as thou, enlightened hell,
And made the dark fires languish in that vale,
As, at thy presence here, our fires grow pale.
Whose body having walked on earth, and now
Hasting to heaven, would, that he might allow
Himself unto all stations, and fill all,
For these three days become a mineral;
He was all gold when he lay down but rose
All tincture, and doth not alone dispose
Leaden and iron wills to good, but is
Of power to make even sinful flesh like his.
Had one of those, whose credulous piety
Thought, that a soul one might discern and see
Go from a body, at this sepulcher been,
And, issuing from the sheet, this body seen,
He would have justly thought this body a soul,
If not of any man, yet of the whole.

Desunt cetera


Imperfect in the title means that the poem was never finished, not that Donne thought that Christ’s resurrection was not perfect.

2 thoughts on “Resurrection, Imperfect by John Donne

  1. Reblogged this on Lutheran Ladies Connection and commented:
    I don’t know how many readers will like this, but what can I say? I was an English major in one of my lives! I really like John Donne who was a church of England cleric, and one of the metaphysical poets.


  2. I took imperfect to refer to the verb tense that is used to describe something that began in the past and is still happening.


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