The Annunciation and Passion together

The Annunciation and Passion together

Upon The Annunciation and Passion Falling Upon One Day. (March 25th, 1608) 
by John Donne

Tamely, frail body, abstain to-day; to-day
My soul eats twice, Christ hither and away.

She sees Him man, so like God made in this,
That of them both a circle emblem is,
Whose first and last concur; this doubtful day
Of feast or fast, Christ came, and went away.

She sees Him nothing, twice at once, who’s all;
She sees a Cedar plant itself, and fall;
Her Maker put to making, and the Head
Of life, at once, not yet alive, yet dead.

She sees at once the Virgin Mother stay
Reclused at home, public at Golgotha;
Sad and rejoiced she’s seen at once, and seen
At almost fifty, and at scarce fifteen.

At once a Son is promised her, and gone;
Gabriell gives Christ to her, He her to John;
Not fully a mother, She’s in orbity;
At once receiver and the legacy.

All this, and all between, this day hath shown,
Th’ abridgement of Christ’s story, which makes one—
As in plain maps, the furthest west is east—
Of th’ angels Ave, and Consummatum est.

How well the Church, God’s Court of Faculties
Deals, in sometimes, and seldom joining these!

As by the self-fix’d Pole we never do
Direct our course, but the next star thereto,
Which shows where th’other is, and which we say
—Because it strays not far—doth never stray;
So God by His Church, nearest to Him, we know
And stand firm, if we by her motion go;
His Spirit, as His fiery pillar, doth
Leade, and His Church, as cloud; to one end both.

This Church, by letting those days join, hath shown
Death and conception in mankind is one;
Or ‘twas in Him the same humility,
That He would be a man, and leave to be;
Or as creation He hath made, as God,
With the last judgement, but one period,
His imitating Spouse would join in one
Manhood’s extremes: He shall come, He is gone;
Or as though one blood drop, which thence did fall,
Accepted, would have served, He yet shed all,
So though the least of His pains, deeds, or words,
Would busy a life, she all this day affords;
This treasure then, in gross, my soul, uplay,
And in my life retail it every day.

  • an awesome poem I’d never seen before. Here’s the one I know:

    by John Donne

    LET man’s soul be a sphere, and then, in this,
    Th’ intelligence that moves, devotion is ;
    And as the other spheres, by being grown
    Subject to foreign motion, lose their own,
    And being by others hurried every day,
    Scarce in a year their natural form obey ;
    Pleasure or business, so, our souls admit
    For their first mover, and are whirl’d by it.
    Hence is’t, that I am carried towards the west,
    This day, when my soul’s form bends to the East.
    There I should see a Sun by rising set,
    And by that setting endless day beget.
    But that Christ on His cross did rise and fall,
    Sin had eternally benighted all.
    Yet dare I almost be glad, I do not see
    That spectacle of too much weight for me.
    Who sees Gods face, that is self-life, must die ;
    What a death were it then to see God die ?
    It made His own lieutenant, Nature, shrink,
    It made His footstool crack, and the sun wink.
    Could I behold those hands, which span the poles
    And tune all spheres at once, pierced with those holes ?
    Could I behold that endless height, which is
    Zenith to us and our antipodes,
    Humbled below us ? or that blood, which is
    The seat of all our soul’s, if not of His,
    Made dirt of dust, or that flesh which was worn
    By God for His apparel, ragg’d and torn ?
    If on these things I durst not look, durst I
    On His distressed Mother cast mine eye,
    Who was God’s partner here, and furnish’d thus
    Half of that sacrifice which ransom’d us ?
    Though these things as I ride be from mine eye,
    They’re present yet unto my memory,
    For that looks towards them ; and Thou look’st towards me,
    O Saviour, as Thou hang’st upon the tree.
    I turn my back to thee but to receive
    Corrections till Thy mercies bid Thee leave.
    O think me worth Thine anger, punish me,
    Burn off my rust, and my deformity ;
    Restore Thine image, so much, by Thy grace,
    That Thou mayst know me, and I’ll turn my face.