Holy Sonnets: Thou hast made me, and shall thy work decay?

By John Donne 1572–1631 John Donne
Thou hast made me, and shall thy work decay?
Repair me now, for now mine end doth haste,
I run to death, and death meets me as fast,
And all my pleasures are like yesterday;
I dare not move my dim eyes any way,
Despair behind, and death before doth cast
Such terror, and my feebled flesh doth waste
By sin in it, which it towards hell doth weigh.
Only thou art above, and when towards thee
By thy leave I can look, I rise again;
But our old subtle foe so tempteth me,
That not one hour I can myself sustain;
Thy grace may wing me to prevent his art,
And thou like adamant draw mine iron heart.

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet John Donne 1572–1631

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

Subjects God & the Divine, The Body, Christianity, Death, Disappointment & Failure, Living, Religion, Nature, Faith & Doubt

Poetic Terms Sonnet

 John  Donne

Biography

John Donne's standing as a great English poet, and one of the greatest writers of English prose, is now assured. However, it has been confirmed only in the present century. The history of Donne's reputation is the most remarkable of any major writer in English; no other body of great poetry has fallen so far from favor for so long and been generally condemned as inept and crude. In Donne's own day his poetry was highly prized . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT God & the Divine, The Body, Christianity, Death, Disappointment & Failure, Living, Religion, Nature, Faith & Doubt

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

Poetic Terms Sonnet

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.