Authors: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A collection of quotations by John Donne on religion, satire, love, sermons, sonnets, marriage, beauty, dreams, poetry, passion, sex, soul and seduction.

73 Top John Donne Quotes

Quick Facts

Famous As: Poet, lawyer, satirist

Born On: January 22, 1572

Died On: March 31, 1631

Born In: London, England

Died At Age: 59

John Donne was an English Christian cleric, politician and poet who lived between 1573 and 1631 and is regarded as one of the most influential poets of his time. Donne studied at what is now known as Hertford College at Oxford University and then went on to study at University of Cambridge but he was not awarded degrees for being a Catholic. Some of the recurring themes in his poems and sonnets are related to love, religion and sexuality and was regarded as a pioneering poet, who also revelled in the use of metaphors in his works. As a matter of fact, it is widely accepted that Donne’s usage of metaphors was far ahead of his time and his contemporaries struggled to match his expertise in the said field. In addition to the expert use of metaphors, Donne’s work is also known for depicting English society as accurately as possible and that was one of the big reasons why his poems became so popular among the people. As should be expected from someone of Donne’s stature, he was a highly articulate man and put forward his views through his works and writings. We have collected sayings and quotations by John Donne which have been excerpted from his poems, writings and sonnets. Presenting John Donne's quotes on religion, satire, love, sermons, sonnets, marriage, beauty, dreams, poetry, passion, sex, soul and seduction.
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Be thine own palace, or the world's thy jail.

John Donne

No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face." [The Autumnal]

John Donne

I am two fools, I know, For loving, and for saying so.

John Donne

And who understands? Not me, because if I did I would forgive it all.

John Donne

More than kisses, letters mingle souls.

John Donne

To know and feel all this and not have the words to express it makes a human a grave of his own thoughts.

John Donne

Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.

John Donne

Death is an ascension to a better library.

John Donne

Licence my roving hands, and let them go Before, behind, between, above, below.

John Donne

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

John Donne

Then love is sin, and let me sinful be.

John Donne

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

John Donne

And to 'scape stormy days, I choose an everlasting night.

John Donne

No man is an island, entire of itself.

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

Love's mysteries in souls do grow, But yet the body is his book.

John Donne

That soul that can reflect upon itself, consider itself, is more than so.

John Donne

Other men's crosses are not my crosses.

John Donne

I am a little world made cunningly.

John Donne

Sir, more than kisses, letters mingle souls; For, thus friends absent speak.

John Donne

Never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.

John Donne

Reason is our soul's left hand, Faith her right, By these we reach divinity

John Donne

True and false fears let us refrain, 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

In Heaven, it is always Autumn".

John Donne

I did best when I had least truth for my subjects.

John Donne

Batter my heart, three-person'd God; for, you As yet but knocke, breathe, shine, and seeke to mend; That I may rise, and stand, o'erthrow mee, 'and bend Your force, to breake, blowe, burn and make me new.

John Donne

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

John Donne

If ever any beauty I did see, Which I desired, and got, 'twas but a dream of thee.

John Donne

That thou remember them, some claim as debt; I think it mercy, if thou wilt forget.

John Donne

If our two loves be one, or, thou and I Love so alike, that none do slacken, none can die.

John Donne

Death, thou shalt die.

John Donne

Teach me to hear mermaids singing,

John Donne

Filled with her love, may I be rather grown Mad with much heart, then idiot with none.

John Donne

Let not thy divining heart Forethink me any ill; Destiny may take thy part, And may thy fears fulfill.

John Donne

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

John Donne

He that desires to print a book, should much more desire, to be a book.

John Donne

This is joy's bonfire, then, where love's strong arts Make of so noble individual parts One fire of four inflaming eyes, and of two loving hearts.

John Donne

I fix mine eye on thine, and there Pity my picture burning in thine eye...

John Donne

Only our love hath no decay; This no tomorrow hath, nor yesterday, Running it never runs from us away, But truly keeps his first, last, everlasting day.

John Donne

To be no part of any body, is to be nothing.

John Donne

Thy firmness makes my circle just, and makes me end where I begun.

John Donne

One short sleep past, we wake eternally, and Death shall be no more: Death, thou shalt die.

John Donne

At one blood labors to beget, Spirits as like as it can, Because such figures need to knit, that subtle knot which makes us man.

John Donne

Death be not proud, though some have called thee mighty and dreadful, for, thou art not so.

John Donne

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

John Donne

All measure, and all language, I should pass, Should I tell what a miracle she was.

John Donne

Doubt wisely; in strange way To stand inquiring right, is not to stray; To sleep, or run wrong, is.

John Donne

My world's both parts, and 'o! Both parts must die.

John Donne

Poor heretics there be, Which think to establish dangerous constancy, But I have told them, ‘Since you will be true, You shall be true to them, who are false to you.

John Donne

BUSY old fool, unruly Sun, Why dost thou thus, Through windows, and through curtains, call on us?

John Donne

Thy sins and hairs may no man equal call, for as thy sins increase, thy hairs do fall.

John Donne

...but come bad chance And wee joyne to it our strength And wee teach it art and length It selfe o'er us to advance.

John Donne

But, O alas! so long, so far, Our bodies why do we forbear?

John Donne

If that be simply perfectest Which can by no way be expresst But negatives, my love is so. To All, which all love, I say no. Negative Love

John Donne

Grief brought to numbers cannot be so fierce, For, he tames it, that fetters it in verse.

John Donne

All other things to their destruction draw, Only our love hath no decay...

John Donne

Stay, O sweet, and do not rise; The light that shines comes from thine eyes; The day breaks not, it is my heart, Because that you and I must part.

John Donne

Hee that hath all can have no more

John Donne

No man is an island.

John Donne

I long to talk with some old lover’s ghost Who died before the god of Love was born.

John Donne

Love is a growing, or full constant light, And his first minute, after noon, is night.

John Donne

I wonder, by my troth, what thou, and I Did, till we lov'd.

John Donne

O! I shall soon despair, when I shall see That Thou lovest mankind well, yet wilt not choose me, And Satan hates me, yet is loth to lose me.

John Donne

Changed loves are but changed sorts of meat, And when he hath the kernel eat, Who doth not fling away the shell?

John Donne

As virtuous men pass mildly away And whisper to their souls, to goe, While some of their friends doe say, The breath goes now, and some say, no: So let us melt, and make no noise...

John Donne

I joy, that in these straits I see my west;

John Donne

Thou, sun, art half as happy as we.

John Donne

It sucked me first, and now sucks thee, And in this flea our two bloods mingled be;

John Donne

Wicked is not much worse than indiscreet.

John Donne

Any man's death diminishes me, for I am involved with mankind.

John Donne

Methinks I lied all winter, when I swore My love was infinite, if spring makes it more.

John Donne

And Jacob came clothed in vile harsh attire, But to supplant, and with gainful intent; God clothed Himself in vile man’s flesh, that so He might be weak enough to suffer woe.

John Donne

I think it mercy if Thou wilt forget.

John Donne