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John Donne - Top His Mistress Going To Bed
Posted by: Carol D. Smith (198.109.30.---)
Date: June 09, 2004 04:46PM

I need assistance analyzing this poem. I know it is an elegy. What message is Donne conveying in this work?


Re: John Donne - Top His Mistress Going To Bed
Posted by: Pam Adams (134.71.192.---)
Date: June 09, 2004 06:12PM

An elegy? No- he's trying to get her to go to bed with him. Think of it like the Rod Stewart song, Tonight's the Night.


pam

To His Mistress Going to Bed
by John Donne

Come, Madam, come, all rest my powers defy,
Until I labour, I in labour lie.
The foe oft-times having the foe in sight,
Is tired with standing though they never fight.
Off with that girdle, like heaven's zone glistering,
But a far fairer world encompassing.
Unpin that spangled breastplate which you wear,
That th' eyes of busy fools may be stopped there.
Unlace yourself, for that harmonious chime
Tells me from you, that now 'tis your bed time.
Off with that happy busk, which I envy,
That still can be, and still can stand so nigh.
Your gown going off, such beauteous state reveals,
As when from flowery meads th' hill's shadow steals.
Off with that wiry coronet and show
The hairy diadem which on you doth grow;
Now off with those shoes, and then safely tread
In this love's hallowed temple, this soft bed.
In such white robes heaven's angels used to be
Received by men; thou angel bring'st with thee
A heaven like Mahomet's paradise; and though
Ill spirits walk in white, we easily know
By this these angels from an evil sprite,
Those set our hairs, but these our flesh upright.
License my roving hands, and let them go
Before, behind, between, above, below.
O my America, my new found land,
My kingdom, safeliest when with one man manned,
My mine of precious stones, my empery,
How blessed am I in this discovering thee!
To enter in these bonds, is to be free;
Then where my hand is set, my seal shall be.
Full nakedness, all joys are due to thee
As souls unbodied, bodies unclothed must be,
To taste whole joys. Gems which you women use
Are like Atlanta's balls, cast in men's views,
That when a fool's eye lighteth on a gem,
His earthly soul may covet theirs, not them.
Like pictures, or like books' gay coverings made
For laymen, are all women thus arrayed;
Themselves are mystic books, which only we
Whom their imputed grace will dignify
Must see revealed. Then since I may know,
As liberally, as to a midwife, show
Thyself: cast all, yea, this white linen hence,
Here is no penance, much less innocence.
To teach thee, I am naked first, why then
What needst thou have more covering than a man.


Re: John Donne - Top His Mistress Going To Bed
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.denver-03rh15rt.co.dial-access.att.net)
Date: June 09, 2004 07:08PM

Off with that wiry coronet and show
The hairy diadem which on you doth grow;

Oh, heck, I read that as corset the first time through.


Re: John Donne - Top His Mistress Going To Bed
Posted by: Pam Adams (---.bus.csupomona.edu)
Date: June 09, 2004 09:29PM

Maybe it's some sort of chastity belt- after all, she's already got her dress off.

pam


Re: John Donne - Top His Mistress Going To Bed
Posted by: StephenFryer (---.l1.c2.dsl.pol.co.uk)
Date: June 10, 2004 02:41AM

Ah, I'm still giggling at the typo in the title to this thread.

Stephen


Re: John Donne - Top His Mistress Going To Bed
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (---.nycmny83.covad.net)
Date: June 10, 2004 10:32AM

Can't Top THAT !

i do love typos oh so much


Re: John Donne - Top His Mistress Going To Bed
Posted by: Pam Adams (---.bus.csupomona.edu)
Date: June 10, 2004 07:17PM

I must be slow- I didn't catch that until today.

pam




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