Oh, To Vex Me Contraries Meet In One is a sonnet by the English poet, John Donne (1572–1631). It is one of his 19 Holy Sonnets or Divine Meditations which were published posthumously in 1633. It is believed that most of the poems in the collection date from 1609/10, a period in Donne's life in which he experienced a great deal of personal hardship, setbacks, and turmoil. Oh, To Vex Me Contraries Meet In One is one of 3 sonnets from that collection included in the Religious Poetry Appendix for Lent and Easter of the Divine Office (1974). The other poems are: Batter My Heart, Three-Personed God and At the Round Earth's Imagined Corners.
OH, TO VEX ME, CONTRARIES MEET IN ONE by John Donne (Public Domain)
Oh, to vex me, contraries meet in one:
Inconstancy unnaturally hath begot
A constant habit; that when I would not
I change in vows, and in devotion.
As humorous is my contrition
As my profane love, and as soon forgot:
As riddlingly distempered, cold and hot,
As praying, as mute; as infinite, as none.
I durst not view heaven yesterday; and today
In prayers and flattering speeches I court God:
Tomorrow I quake with true fear of his rod.
So my devout fits come and go away
Like a fantastic ague; save that here
Those are my best days, when I shake with fear.