batter my heart

March 26, 2008

Ever since reading this poem in high school English class, it’s sporadically come to haunt me. It’s a pure cry for God’s total overwhelming presence to penetrate the depths of one’s being. It exemplifies the rawness of the struggle to keep faith, and one’s utter submission and dependence on God’s holy presence.

Batter My Heart

Batter my heart, three-person’d God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o’erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp’d town to’another due,
Labor to’admit you, but oh, to no end;
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captiv’d, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly’I love you, and would be lov’d fain,
But am betroth’d unto your enemy;
Divorce me,’untie or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you’enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.

–John Donne

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