On His Mistress Going to Bed by John Donne's poem summary line by line

On His Mistress Going to Bed by John Donne's poem summary line by line 

On His Mistress Going to Bed by John Donne's poem summary line by line -In John Donne's "On His Mistress Going to Bed," readers are drawn into a provocative exploration of desire, sensuality, and the intricate dynamics of human relationships. Written during the Renaissance era, Donne's poem presents a vivid portrayal of the speaker's intense longing for physical intimacy with his beloved. Through lush imagery and captivating language, Donne delves into themes of passion, mortality, and the intermingling of love and lust.

On His Mistress Going to Bed by John Donne's poem summary line by line

As we immerse ourselves in this poetic masterpiece, we are transported to a realm where desire blazes with fervor, transcending societal norms and conventions.

With masterful artistry, Donne guides us through a journey of profound yearning and anticipation as the speaker fervently urges his mistress to join him in a moment of intimate connection. Through the lens of the speaker's desires, Donne invites contemplation on the fleeting nature of life and the imperative of seizing fleeting moments of pleasure.

On His Mistress Going to Bed by John Donne's poem summary line by line -"On His Mistress Going to Bed" stands as a timeless testament to the enduring potency of desire and the intricacies inherent in human connections. Through its exploration of passion, mortality, and the pursuit of intimacy, Donne's poem continues to enthrall readers with its evocative imagery and profound reflections on the human condition.

On His Mistress Going to Bed Poem Summary line by line

1. "Come, Madam, come, all rest my powers defy": The speaker urges his lover to join him, defying conventional notions of rest and sleep.

2. "Until I labor, I in labor lie": He suggests that he is in a state of labor until he can be with her, emphasizing his desire and anticipation.

3. "The foe ofttimes having the foe in sight": The speaker compares their imminent lovemaking to a battle, where the enemy (sexual desire) is frequently in view.

4. "Is tired with standing though he never fight": Just as a soldier tires from standing in anticipation of battle without actually fighting, so too is the speaker exhausted from waiting for their lovemaking.

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5. "Off with that girdle, like heaven's Zone glistering": The speaker implores his lover to remove her girdle, comparing it to the glittering belt of the heavens, suggesting that her nakedness is like a celestial sight.

6. "But a far fairer world encompassing": He suggests that her naked body is even more beautiful than the heavens themselves.

7. "Unpin that spangled breastplate which you wear": The speaker asks his lover to remove her adorned corset, likening it to a breastplate.

8. "That th'eyes of busy fools may be stopped there": He suggests that her breasts are so enticing that they distract "busy fools" from their foolish pursuits.

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9. "Unlace yourself, for that harmonious chime": The speaker requests his lover to remove her laces, comparing the sound to harmonious music.

10. "Tells me from you that now it is bed time": The sound of her removing her laces signals to him that it is now time for them to go to bed together.

11. "Off with that happy busk, which I envy": He asks her to remove the busk (a piece of stiff material) from her bodice, expressing envy towards it for being close to her body.

12. "That still can be and still can stand so nigh": The speaker envies the busk's proximity to his lover's body and its ability to remain close to her.

13. "Your gown going off, such beauteous state reveals": As she removes her gown, her beauty is revealed in its full glory.

14. "As when from flowery meads th'hills shadow steals": Her undressing is compared to the beauty revealed when shadows move across flowery meadows and hills.

15. "O cunning Love, with tears thou keep'st me blind": The speaker marvels at the cunning of love, which keeps him blind to everything but his lover's beauty.

16. "Lest eyes well-seeing thy foul faults should find": Love blinds him to his lover's faults, ensuring he sees only her beauty.

17. "Stay for a while, then haste thee to be gone": The speaker asks love to linger for a moment before leaving.

18. "What satisfaction canst thou have tonight?": He questions what satisfaction love can find in departing from their intimate encounter.

19. "I am wearied with toil, I will sit down": The speaker expresses weariness from waiting and decides to sit down.

20. "And in the comfort of darkness and close eyes": He finds comfort in the darkness and closes his eyes, anticipating the intimate encounter to come.

21. "Pray thee, let me take thee, and now begin": The speaker implores his lover to allow him to take her and begin their lovemaking.

22. "As if thou wert mine own": He asks her to act as if she belongs to him completely.

23. "At midnight, in the raging flame": The speaker describes the intensity of their passion, comparing it to a raging flame in the darkness of midnight.

24. "Or when the sun is with Calleo's line": Their passion is not limited to a particular time, as it burns brightly regardless of whether it is midnight or daytime.

25. "Or under the equinoctial line": Their passion is not limited by geographic boundaries, as it burns equally fiercely under any latitude.

26. "Thy beauty shall no more be found": The speaker suggests that once they begin their lovemaking, her beauty will be fully appreciated and no longer hidden.

27. "Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound": Her beauty will no longer echo within her tomb after she dies.

28. "My echoing song": The speaker's song of praise and admiration for her beauty will no longer reverberate within her tomb.

29. "Then worms shall try that long-preserved virginity": After her death, worms will attempt to violate her preserved virginity as her body decays.

30. "And your quaint honor turn to dust": Her body's honorable beauty will eventually decay and turn to dust.

31. "And into ashes all my lust": Similarly, the speaker's lustful desires will be reduced to ashes.

32. "The grave's a fine and private place": The speaker ironically suggests that the grave is a desirable and private place.

33. "But none, I think, do there embrace": However, he acknowledges that there is no physical intimacy in the grave.

34. "Now, therefore, while the youthful hue": The speaker urges his lover to seize the moment while they are still young and vibrant.

35. "Sits on thy skin like morning dew": While she still possesses the fresh and youthful appearance of morning dew on her skin.

36. "And while thy willing soul transpires": While her soul is willing and open to their intimate encounter.

37. "At every pore with instant fires": Her desire burns as intensely as fires that ignite instantly.

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38. "Now let us sport us while we may": The speaker encourages them to engage in pleasure and enjoyment while they still have the opportunity.

39. "And now, like amorous birds of prey": He compares them to amorous birds of prey, eager to satisfy their desires.

40. "Rather at once our time devour": They should fully indulge in their time together.

41. "Than languish in his slow-chapped power": Instead of wasting time, they should fully enjoy each moment without hesitation.

42. "Let us roll all our strength and all": The speaker suggests that they should combine all their strength and passion.

43. "Our sweetness up into one ball": Their combined sweetness and passion should be condensed into one entity.

44. "And tear our pleasures with rough strife": They should aggressively seize their pleasures with passion and intensity.

45. "Through the iron gates of life": They should break through the barriers of life's challenges to fully experience pleasure.

46. "Thus, though we cannot make our sun": Although they cannot control time or prevent their eventual mortality.

47. "Stand still, yet we will make him run": They will fully embrace and enjoy the time they have together, making it seem to pass quickly.

On His Mistress Going to Bed  Poem Themes

1. Intense Physical Desire: The poem delves into the speaker's profound longing and anticipation for his lover, highlighting the depth of physical desire between them.

2. Sensuality and Eroticism: Donne employs vivid imagery to depict the sensuality and eroticism inherent in the speaker's attraction to his mistress, celebrating the pleasure derived from physical intimacy.

3. Interplay Between Love and Lust: While the primary drive may be lustful desire, there's also a nuanced exploration of the intersection between love and physical passion, hinting at deeper emotional connections.

4. Reflections on Mortality and Time: The poem touches upon the fleeting nature of human existence and the importance of seizing moments of pleasure before they pass, acknowledging the inevitability of mortality and the swift passage of time.

5. Power Dynamics in Relationships: There's an implicit exploration of power dynamics within intimate relationships, as the speaker asserts his desire and dominance while also acknowledging the mutual consent and desire shared between him and his lover.

6. Challenge to Social Norms: Donne challenges societal conventions by openly discussing and celebrating physical desire, thereby subverting traditional notions of morality and propriety.



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