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
IX. “If poisonous minerals, and if that tree”
 
IF poisonous 1 minerals, and if that tree,
Whose fruit threw death on (else immortal) us,
If lecherous goats, if serpents envious
Cannot be damn’d, alas! why should I be?
Why should intent or reason, born in me,        5
Make sins, else equal, in me more heinous?
And, mercy being easy, and glorious
To God, in His stern wrath why threatens He?
But who am I, that dare dispute with Thee?
O God, O! of Thine only worthy blood,        10
And my tears, make a heavenly Lethean flood,
And drown in it my sin’s black memory.
That Thou remember them, some claim as debt;
I think it mercy if Thou wilt forget.
 
Note 1. l. 1. So 1633, 1669; 1639, poisons [back]
 
 
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