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John Donne : The Relique

	When my grave is broke up againe
	Some second ghest to entertaine1,
	(For graves have learn’d that woman-head
	To be to more then one a Bed)
		And he that digs it, spies
A bracelet of bright haire about the bone,
		Will he not let’us alone,
And thinke that there a loving couple lies,
Who thought that this device might be some way
To make their soules, at the last busie day2,
Meet at this grave, and make a little stay?

	If this fall in a time, or land,
	Where mis-devotion doth command,
	Then, he that digges us up, will bring
	Us, to the Bishop, and the King,
		To make us Reliques; then
Thou shalt be a Mary Magdalen3, and I
		A something else thereby;
All women shall adore us, and some men;
And since that at such time, miracles are sought,
I would have that age by this paper taught
What mirades wee harmelesse lovers wrought. 

	First we lov’d well and faithfully,
	Yet knew not what wee lov’d, nor why,
	Difference of sex no more wee knew,
	Then our Guardian Angells doe;
		Comming and going, wee
Perchance might kisse, but not between those meales;
		Our hands ne’r toucht the seales4,
Which nature, injur’d by late law5, sets free:
These miracles wee did; but now alas,
All measure, and all language, I should passe,
Should I tell what a miracle shee was. 

John Donne (1572-1631)	P. 1633

 
FOOTNOTES
1 refers to practise of digging up graves for reuse ; 2 Judgement Day ; 3 Mary Magdalene, out of whom Jesus cast seven demons and who stood by his cross, was depicted by painters as having golden hair ; 4 also suggests the sexual organs ; 5 human and social laws
 

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