John Donne on the Trinity

This is only the first part of a litany by John Donne (my English major moment) that  deals with the trinity.

A LITANY.I.

THE FATHER.

FATHER of Heaven, and Him, by whom
It, and us for it, and all else for us,
Thou madest, and govern’st ever, come
And re-create me, now grown ruinous:
My heart is by dejection, clay,
And by self-murder, red.
From this red earth, O Father, purge away
All vicious tinctures, that new-fashioned
I may rise up from death, before I’m dead.

II.THE SON.

O Son of God, who, seeing two things,
Sin and Death, crept in, which were never made,
By bearing one, tried’st with what stings
The other could Thine heritage invade ;
O be Thou nail’d unto my heart,
And crucified again ;
Part not from it, though it from Thee would part,
But let it be by applying so Thy pain,
Drown’d in Thy blood, and in Thy passion slain.

III.

THE HOLY GHOST.

O Holy Ghost, whose temple I
Am, but of mud walls , and condensèd dust,
And being sacrilegiously
Half wasted with youth’s fires of pride and lust,
Must with new storms be weather-beat,
Double in my heart Thy flame,
Which let devout sad tears intend, and let—
Though this glass lanthorn, flesh, do suffer maim—
Fire, sacrifice, priest, altar be the same.

IV.

THE TRINITY.

O blessed glorious Trinity,
Bones to philosophy, but milk to faith,
Which, as wise serpents, diversely
Most slipperiness, yet most entanglings hath,
As you distinguish’d, undistinct,
By power, love, knowledge be,
Give me a such self different instinct,
Of these let all me elemented be,
Of power, to love, to know you unnumbered three.

2 thoughts on “John Donne on the Trinity

  1. 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’erthrow me, and bend

    Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.

    I, like an usurped town, to another due,

    Labour to admit you, but Oh, to no end.

    Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,

    But is captived, 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.

    Like

  2. Pingback: The Trinity | Lutheran Ladies Connection

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