Given the recent solar activity, I thought a poem on the sun might be appropriate. Donne, whose poetry included sonnets both sacred and secular, was featured in Monday's post. Here, on a different note, is a poem written to the sun. In it, Donne takes the sun down a notch, scoffing that although other lovers may base their activities on his rising, falling, or seasonal affect, Donne and his lady love are quite impervious from this tyranny.
Donne can easily exercise his disdain of the sun - a blink is all that's necessary - but doing so would deprive himself of the source of the only light that matters, the beauty of his beloved. Others may be blinded after gazing upon the celestial sphere, but the poet is concerned lest, enthralled by the beauty of his mistress, that old, unruly Sun might have himself have difficulty in seeing. Perhaps, if he can still manage, the aging orb might take a gander at Donne's lady love to observe if all the splendors of the known world are not found in her. And, as she encompasses the wealth of all states and all countries, the Sun might enjoy a well-deserved vacation, or at least go part-time. Since their bedroom certainly comprises the entire sphere, once they are warmed, the sun can consider himself finished for the day.
The Sun Rising
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 to-morrow late tell me,
Whether both th' Indias of spice and mine
Be where thou left'st 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 honour'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.