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Oh, to vex me, contraryes meet in one (1945)


Part of a series or song cycle:

The Holy Sonnets of John Donne (Op. 35)


Oh, to vex me, contraryes meet in one

Oh, to vex me, contraryes meet in one:
In constancy unnaturally hath begott
A constant habit; that when I would not
I change in vowes, and in devotione.
As humorous is my contritione
As my profane Love and as soone forgott:
As ridlingly distemper'd, cold and hott,
As praying, as mute; as infinite, as none.
I durst not view Heav'n yesterday; and today
In prayers, and flatt'ring speeches I court God:
Tomorrow I quake with true feare of his rod.
So my devout fitts come and go away,
Like a fantastique Ague: save that here
Those are my best dayes, when I shake with feare.

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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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