Verse > John Donne > The Poems of John Donne
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John Donne (1572–1631).  The Poems of John Donne.  1896.
 
Divine Poems
Holy Sonnets
XIII. “What if this present were the world’s last night?”
 
WHAT if this present were the world’s last night?
Mark in my heart, O soul, where thou dost dwell,
The picture of Christ crucified, and tell
Whether His countenance can thee affright.
Tears in His eyes quench the amazing light;        5
Blood fills his frowns, which from His pierced head fell;
And can that tongue adjudge thee unto hell,
Which pray’d forgiveness for His foes’ fierce spite?
No, no; but as in my idolatry
I said to all my profane mistresses,        10
Beauty of pity, foulness only is
A sign of rigour; so I say to thee,
To wicked spirits are horrid shapes assign’d;
This beauteous form assumes a piteous mind.
 
 
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