December 24, 2014

Poem: Deign at My Hands

Painting by Jose de Sarabia (1608-1699) - Courtesy of Wikipedia

Deign at My Hands is a poem by the English poet, lawyer, and Anglican Cleric, John Donne (1572-1631). It is the first poem of La Corona - a cycle of seven sonnets written in 1618 about the life of Christ. The first line of this poem ("Deign at my hands this crown of prayer and praise"), also serves as the final line of the last sonnet of the cycle. Deign at My Hands is included in the Poems for Advent and Christmas Appendix of the Divine Office (1974).


Deign at my hands this crown of prayer and praise,
Weav'd in my low devout melancholy,
Thou which of good, hast, yea art treasury,
All changing unchanged Ancient of days,
But do not, with a vile crown of frail bays,
Reward my muse's white sincerity,
But what thy thorny crown gained, that give me,
A crown of Glory, which doth flower always;
The ends crown our works, but thou crown'st our ends,
For at our end begins our endlesse rest,
The first last end, now zealously possest,
With a strong sober thirst, my soul attends.
'Tis time that heart and voice be lifted high,
Salvation to all that will is nigh.

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