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  • Kirk Barbera

The Sun Rising by John Donne

Updated: Dec 14, 2019




Have you ever laid in bed with your significant other and just wished you could lay there all day but the cares of the world kept fighting their way into your life? Well, John Donne knows how ya feel and he proposes you do something about it.

As a Metaphysical Poet, witty and conceited, he proposes you start to command the sun, rather than the other way around.

In this episode you will learn a bit about Medieval Cosmology and the Chain of Beings Theory of the universe. And you'll see how a great poet uses language in all its glory to intellectually dissect a powerful emotion we all feel at some time in our lives.

P.S. Guys, there are a few lines in here which might make for a good one-liner to your lady friends (though no guarantees!)



The Rising Sun

By John Donne


Busy old fool, unruly sun,

Why dost thou thus,

Through windows, and through curtains call on us?

Must to thy motions lovers' seasons run?

Saucy pedantic wretch, go chide

Late school boys and sour prentices,

Go tell court huntsmen that the king will ride,

Call country ants to harvest offices,

Love, all alike, no season knows nor clime,

Nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time.


Thy beams, so reverend and strong

Why shouldst thou think?

I could eclipse and cloud them with a wink,

But that I would not lose her sight so long;

If her eyes have not blinded thine,

Look, and tomorrow late, tell me,

Whether both th' Indias of spice and mine

Be where thou leftst them, or lie here with me.

Ask for those kings whom thou saw'st yesterday,

And thou shalt hear, All here in one bed lay.


She's all states, and all princes, I,

Nothing else is.

Princes do but play us; compared to this,

All honor's mimic, all wealth alchemy.

Thou, sun, art half as happy as we,

In that the world's contracted thus.

Thine age asks ease, and since thy duties be

To warm the world, that's done in warming us.

Shine here to us, and thou art everywhere;

This bed thy center is, these walls, thy sphere.