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John Donne quotes and quotations

Affliction is a treasure, and scarce any man hath enough of it.
John Donne

But I do nothing upon myself, and yet am mine own executioner.
John Donne

Death be not proud, though some have called thee Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so. For, those, whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow. Die not, poor death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
John Donne

No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face.
John Donne

Contemplative and bookish men must of necessity be more quarrelsome than others, because they contend not about matter of fact, nor can determine their controversies by any certain witnesses, nor judges. But as long as they go towards peace, that is Truth, it is no matter which way.
John Donne

Let us love nobly, and live, and add again years and years unto years, till we attain to write threescore: this is the second of our reign.
John Donne

Despair is the damp of hell, as joy is the serenity of heaven.
John Donne

For God's sake hold your tongue, and let me love.
John Donne

Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
John Donne

But I do nothing upon myself, and yet I am my own executioner.
John Donne

Come live with me, and be my love, And we will some new pleasures prove, Of golden sands, and crystal brooks, With silken lines, and silver hooks.
John Donne

But let them sleep, Lord, and me mourn a space.
John Donne

Running it never runs from us away, but truly keeps his first, last, everlasting day.
John Donne

Nature's great masterpiece, an elephant; the only harmless great thing.
John Donne

For, thus friends absent speak.
John Donne

God employs several translators; some pieces are translated by age, some by sickness, some by war, some by justice.
John Donne

He must pull out his own eyes, and see no creature, before he can say, he sees no God; He must be no man, and quench his reasonable soul, before he can say to himself, there is no God.
John Donne

I am two fools, I know, for loving, and for saying so in whining poetry.
John Donne

Busy old fool, unruly Sun, why dost thou thus through windows and through curtains call on us? Must to thy motions lovers seasons run?
John Donne

And new Philosophy calls all in doubt, the element of fire is quite put out; the Sun is lost, and the earth, and no mans wit can well direct him where to look for it.
John Donne

I observe the physician with the same diligence as the disease.
John Donne

Love built on beauty, soon as beauty, dies.
John Donne

As states subsist in part by keeping their weaknesses from being known, so is it the quiet of families to have their chancery and their parliament within doors, and to compose and determine all emergent differences there.
John Donne

Love is agrowing, to full constant light; and his first minute, after noon, is night.
John Donne

When one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language.
John Donne

Love, all alike, no season knows, nor clime, nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time.
John Donne

More than kisses, letters mingle souls.
John Donne

Art is the most passionate orgy within man's grasp.
John Donne

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent.
John Donne

Pleasure is none, if not diversified.
John Donne

Reason is our soul's left hand, Faith her right.
John Donne

Since you would save none of me, I bury some of you.
John Donne

The day breaks not, it is my heart.
John Donne

Wicked is not much worse than indiscreet.
John Donne

As virtuous men pass mildly away, and whisper to their souls to go, whilst some of their sad friends do say, the breath goes now, and some say no.
John Donne