Poetry: The Sun Rising By John Donne
I know! I know!!
People don’t like to read anymore, but I just had to bring this poem to you. It’s one of my favourites from John Donne.
Before you go into it, don’t just read what you want to see, because that’s how people read these days. Read like you are reading to get enlightened and become a leader, because readers are leaders.
Busy old fool, unruly sun,
Why dost thou thus,
Through windows, and through curtains call on us?
Must to thy motions lovers’ seasons run?
Saucy pedantic wretch, go chide
Late school boys and sour prentices,
Go tell court huntsmen that the king will ride,
Call country ants to harvest offices,
Love, all alike, no season knows nor clime,
Nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time.
Thy beams, so reverend and strong
Why shouldst thou think?
I could eclipse and cloud them with a wink,
But that I would not lose her sight so long;
If her eyes have not blinded thine,
Look, and tomorrow late, tell me,
Whether both th’ Indias of spice and mine
Be where thou leftst them, or lie here with me.
Ask for those kings whom thou saw’st yesterday,
And thou shalt hear, All here in one bed lay.
She’s all states, and all princes, I,
Nothing else is.
Princes do but play us; compared to this,
All honor’s mimic, all wealth alchemy.
Thou, sun, art half as happy as we,
In that the world’s contracted thus.
Thine age asks ease, and since thy duties be
To warm the world, that’s done in warming us.
Shine here to us, and thou art everywhere;
This bed thy center is, these walls, thy sphere.
Just a brief introduction of the poet:
John Donne (1572-1631) wrote a prose work called Paradoxes and Problems, and his life presents plenty of both: he was born a Catholic, gained notoriety for sacrilegious verse, and later in life became an Anglican priest. Though some of his poems defended libertinism and a lot of casual sex, he destroyed his first career by falling in love, and stayed with the woman he married until her death. His poems picked up a reputation for head-scratchingly bizarre intellectualism—one reason they’re now called metaphysical—but some of them are the most deeply felt poems of romantic love in the language. One such poem is “The Sun Rising.”
Now you know that about the poet, you might want to read the poem again.
What and why will you hate on nature and things you can’t control or prevent? The intoxicating power of love will make you feel like you can though.
Lying in bed with his lover, Donne chides the rising sun, calling it a “busy old fool,” and asking why it must bother them through windows and curtains. Love is not subject to season or to time, he says, and he admonishes the sun—the “Saucy pedantic wretch”—to go and bother late schoolboys and sour apprentices, to tell the court-huntsmen that the King will ride, and to call the country ants to their harvesting. Some may ask why didn’t he just stand up to draw his curtains and continue his sleep with his lover? Continue reading to know why.
Why should the sun think that his beams are strong? Donne says that he could eclipse them simply by closing his eyes, except that he does not want to lose sight of his beloved for even an instant. Neither will he want to get up and walk all the way to the curtain because he didn’t want to leave her for a split second.
He asks the sun—if the sun’s eyes have not been blinded by his lover’s eyes—to tell him by late tomorrow whether the treasures of India are in the same place they occupied yesterday or if they are now in bed with himself (John Donne). He says that if the sun asks about the kings he shined on yesterday, he will learn that they all lie in bed with him. Effortlessly praising his lover by directly comparing the Indian spices and kings with her.
The speaker explains this claim by saying that his beloved is like every country in the world, and he is like every king; nothing else is real. Princes simply play at having countries; compared to what he has, all honor is mimicry and all wealth is alchemy. The sun, Donne says, is half as happy as he and his lover are, for the fact that the world is contracted into their bed makes the sun’s job much easier—in its old age, it desires ease, and now all it has to do is shine on their bed and it shines on the whole world. “This bed thy centre is,” Donne tells the sun, “these walls, thy sphere.” So rather than shine in different places to give light to the world, it came to his bed since the whole world was there with him.
Ladies, how will you feel if your man had to chide the sun just for shinning on you? It’s a great feeling to know that your man sees you as his entire world. All the Kardashians, Arab princes, beautiful things, places and spices all lie within you, his one true love.
This is a beautiful poem that should be on the lips of every romantic man, so that when you wake up in the morning and you run out of gestures to show that you love your woman, you can steal some words from it.
Women want to be appreciated always and what greater way to show this than through well organised heart warming words.