Adnax Publications
< Theme 8: Love and Courtship (xiv) >

 John Donne

Woman undressing painting by John Frederic Schall

 <  To His Mistress Going to Bed 

Poems (1669, d38)

Come, Madam, come, all rest my powers defie, 
Until I labour, I in labour lie. 
The foe oft-times having the foe in sight, 
Is tir’d with standing though they never fight. 
Off with that girdle, like heaven's Zone glistering, 
But a far fairer world incompassing. 
Unpin that spangled breastplate which you wear, 
That th'eyes of busy fools may be stopped there. 
Unlace yourself, for that harmonious chyme 
Tells me from you, that now it is bed time. 
Off with that happy busk, which I envie, 
That still can be, and still can stand so nigh. 
Your gown going off, such beautious state reveals, 
As when from flowery meads th'hills shadow steales. 
Off with that wyerie Coronet and shew 
The haiery Diademe which on you doth grow; 
Now off with those shooes: and then safely tread 
In this love's hallow’d temple, this soft bed. 
In such white robes heaven's Angels us’d to be 
Received by men; Thou Angel bring'st with thee 
A heaven like Mahomet's Paradice; and though 
Ill spirits walk in white, we easly know 
By this these angels from an evil sprite:
Those set our hairs, but these our flesh upright.

Zone: girdle or belt

Licence my roving hands, and let them go 
Before, behind, between, above, below. 
O my America! my new-found-land, 
My kingdome, safeliest when with one man man’d, 
My Myne of precious stones, My Emperie, 
How blest am I in this discovering thee! 
To enter in these bonds, is to be free; 
Then where my hand is set, my seal shall be.

go to index of poems

copyright © Adnax Publications, all rights reserved