A Prayer for Sunday (John Donne)

This week marks the anniversary of John Donne’s death (March 31, 1631). Donne was an English poet and priest well-known for his eloquent sermons and deeply theological poetry, though he was also a lawyer and served for a time as a member of parliament. He is best known for his lines “for whom the bell tolls” and “no man is an island.”

Here is one of his prayers for your Sunday reflection. (You can read another of his prayers here.)

Batter my heart, three-personed God, for You
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o’er throw me; and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurped town, to another due,
Labor to admit You, but oh, to no end;
Reason, Your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captive, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love You, and would be loved fain,
But am betrothed unto Your enemy;
Divorce me, untie or break that knot again,
Take me to You, imprison me, for I
Except You enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except You ravish me.

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2 Responses to “A Prayer for Sunday (John Donne)”

  1. Annie April 1, 2012 at 1:34 pm #

    What a treasure. Thanks so much for bringing this prayer to light.

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