Tuesday, 9 February 2016

For Ash Wednesday - a Hymn to God the Father by John Donne

John Donne was first a profligate, then  a poet, and finally a Priest in the Church of England (and Dean of St. Paul's Cathedral, London) .


Here is his "Hymn to God the Father", entirely suitable for the beginning of Lent.

Please note that his last name "Donne" is pronounced as "Dunne", or "Done",

Hence the word "done" in this poem/hymn is a marvelous pun on his last name.

He struggles with God.  By the end of the third stanza God has 'done", i.e. the loving and eternal God has embraced, loved,and forgiven John Donne


Hymn to God the Father

BY JOHN DONNE
Wilt thou forgive that sin where I begun, 
         Which was my sin, though it were done before?
Wilt thou forgive that sin, through which I run,
         And do run still, though still I do deplore?
                When thou hast done, thou hast not done,
                        For I have more.

Wilt thou forgive that sin which I have won
         Others to sin, and made my sin their door?
Wilt thou forgive that sin which I did shun
         A year or two, but wallow'd in, a score?
                When thou hast done, thou hast not done,
                        For I have more.

I have a sin of fear, that when I have spun
         My last thread, I shall perish on the shore;
But swear by thyself, that at my death thy Son
         Shall shine as he shines now, and heretofore;
                And, having done that, thou hast done;
                        I fear no more.

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