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John Donne > Break of Day

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message 1: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Moran | 95 comments Mod
‘Tis true, ‘tis day, what though it be?
O wilt thou therefore rise from me?
Why should we rise because ‘tis light?
Did we lie down because ‘twas night?
Love, which in spite of darkness brought us hither,
Should in despite of light keep us together.

Light hath no tongue, but is all eye;
If it could speak as well as spy,
This were the worst that it could say,
That being well I fain would stay,
And that I loved my heart and honour so,
That I would not from him, that had them, go.

Must business thee from hence remove?
Oh, that’s the worst disease of love,
The poor, the foul, the false, love can
Admit, but not the busied man.
He which hath business, and makes love, doth do
Such wrong, as when a married man doth woo.


message 2: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Moran | 95 comments Mod
The personification of the sun in the second stanza is interesting. It the sun could talk it, the worst thing it would say is that it was going to stay. The speaker does not like the sun here. It interrupted his night of love it seems. Do not poets typically like the sunrise?


message 3: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Tyler (doulton) I don't know if all poets like the sunrise, but Donne, who wrote this in his rakish youth, is bitterly complaining. It's the poetic equivalent of people today hating the alarm clock because it means they have to get up to go to work when they would prefer to "party." Donne remarks that if we want to make love we don't necessarily wait until 11 PM but do it when we want. Why, therefore, do businesses require us at particular times?

The young Donne was full of delicious snark.


message 4: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Moran | 95 comments Mod
It is interesting how his complaint against the sun turns into a complaint against business. It seems this is the speaker's main problem. The rising of the sun, like the aforesaid alarm clock, indicates it's time for work. He then compares his business to a married man wooing. That's an interesting analogy.


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