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O my blacke Soule! now thou art summoned (1945)


Part of a series or song cycle:

The Holy Sonnets of John Donne (Op. 35)


O my blacke Soule! now thou art summoned

Oh my blacke Soule! now thou art summoned
By sicknesse, death's herald, and champion;
Thou art like a pilgrim, which abroad hath done
Treason, and durst not turne to whence hee is fled,
Or like a thiefe, which till death's doome be read,
Wisheth himselfe deliver'd from prison;
But dam'd and hal'd to execution,
Wisheth that still he might be imprisoned.
Yet grace, if thou repent, thou canst not lacke;
But who shall give thee that grace to beginne?
Oh make thyselfe with holy mourning blacke,
And red with blushing, as thou are with sinne;
Or wash thee in Christ's blood, which hath this might
That being red, it dyes red soules to white.

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Composer

Edward Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten (22 November 1913 – 4 December 1976) was an English composer, conductor and pianist. He was a central figure of 20th-century British classical music, with a range of works including opera, other vocal music, orchestral and chamber pieces. His best-known works include the opera Peter Grimes (1945), the War Requiem (1962) and the orchestral showpiece The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra (1945).

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Poet

John Donne was an English poet and cleric in the Church of England. He is considered the pre-eminent representative of the metaphysical poets.

He studied at Hart Hall, Oxford, which is now Hertford College, best known for its iconic Hertford Bridge, or 'Bridge of Sighs'.

You can read more about him here, and read some of his poetry here.


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