Favourite Poets: John Donne, Since she whom I lov’d hath paid her last debt

Since she whom I lov’d hath paid her last debt
To nature, and to hers, and my good is dead,
And her soul early into heaven ravished,
Wholly in heavenly things my mind is set.
Here the admiring her my mind did whet
To seek thee, God; so streams do show the head;
But though I have found thee, and thou my thirst hast fed,
A holy thirsty dropsy melts me yet.
But why should I beg more love, whenas thou
Dost woo my soul, for hers off’ring all thine,
And dost not only fear lest I allow
My love to saints and angels, things divine,
But in thy tender jealousy dost doubt
Lest the world, flesh, yea devil put thee out.
This is a beautiful memorial. It’s as though the heartbreak is palpable, the anger at god seems raging, the bittersweetness of it all is some of the most beautiful imagery. The poet is aware of his own mortality following the death of his wife, it feels like he’s questioning everything from his existence to his belief system. He’s jealous as well, at the thought of god or saints and angels being ‘with’ his departed wife while he cannot be. It’s sad, and sorry, and oh so lovely!

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