John Donne: Prayer VI. Metuit

Updated February 28, 2017 | Infoplease Staff


John Donne

O MOST mighty God, and merciful God, the God of all true sorrow, and true joy too, of all fear, and of all hope too, as thou hast given me a repentance, not to be repented of, so give me, O Lord, a fear, of which I may not be afraid. Give me tender and supple and conformable affections, that as I joy with them that joy, and mourn with them that mourn, so I may fear with them that fear.

And since thou hast vouchsafed to discover to me, in his fear whom thou hast admitted to be my assistance in this sickness, that there is danger therein, let me not, O Lord, go about to overcome the sense of that fear, so far as to pretermit the fitting and preparing of myself for the worst that may be feared, the passage out of this life. Many of thy blessed martyrs have passed out of this life without any show of fear; but thy most blessed Son himself did not so. Thy martyrs were known to be but men, and therefore it pleased thee to fill them with thy Spirit and thy power, in that they did more than men; thy Son was declared by thee, and by himself, to be God; and it was requisite that he should declare himself to be man also, in the weaknesses of man.

Let me not therefore, O my God, be ashamed of these fears, but let me feel them to determine where his fear did, in a present submitting of all to thy will. And when thou shalt have inflamed and thawed my former coldnesses and indevotions with these heats, and quenched my former heats with these sweats and inundations, and rectified my former presumptions and negligences with these fears, be pleased, O Lord, as one made so by thee, to think me fit for thee; and whether it be thy pleasure to dispose of this body, this garment, so as to put it to a farther wearing in this world, or to lay it up in the common wardrobe, the grave, for the next, glorify thyself in thy choice now, and glorify it then, with that glory, which thy Son, our Saviour Christ Jesus, hath purchased for them whom thou makest partakers of his resurrection. Amen.