John Donne

The Ecstacy




English literature

Full English text



John Donne All the poems > here



The poetry The Ecstasy is one of John Donne’s most popular poems.

In the text of ” The Ecstasy poetry “, John Donne expresses his unique and unconventional ideas about love.

In the text of The Ectasy poem John Donne expounds the theme that pure, spiritual or real love can exist only in the bond of souls established by the bodies.

In The Ecstasy poetry, John Donne agrees with Plato that true love is spiritual. It is a union of the souls. But unlike Plato, John Donne doesn’t ignore the claims of the body. It is the body that brings the lovers together.
Love begins in sensuous apprehension, and spiritual love follows the sensuous. So the claim of the body must not be ignored. Union of bodies is essential to make possible the union of souls.

John Donne in the poetry Ectasy criticizes the platonic lover who excludes the body and emphasizes the soul.

Below, you can find the text of the poetry: ” The Ecstacy ” by John Donne, in the original English language. 

In the top or side menu you can find the text poetry “The Ecstacy” by John Donne translated in other languages: French, Italian, German, Spanish, Chinese, etc.

Enjoy the reading.




John Donne

The ecstacy



English literature

Full English text




Where, like a pillow on a bed,

a pregnant bank swell’d up, to rest

the violet’s reclining head,

sat we two, one another’s best.


Our hands were firmly cemented

By a fast balm, which thence did spring;

Our eye-beams twisted, and did thread

Our eyes upon one double string.


So to engraft our hands, as yet

Was all the means to make us one;

And pictures in our eyes to get

Was all our propagation.


As,’twixt two equal armies, Fate

Suspends uncertain victory,

Our souls —which to advance their state,

Were gone out— hung ‘twixt her and me.


And whilst our souls negotiate there,

We like sepulchral statues lay;

All day, the same our postures were,

And we said nothing, all the day.


If any, so by love refined,

That he soul’s language understood,

And by good love were grown all mind,

Within convenient distance stood,


He —though he knew not which soul spake,

Because both meant, both spake the same—

Might thence a new concoction take,

And part far purer than he came.


This ecstasy doth unperplex

(We said) and tell us what we love;

We see by this, it was not sex;

We see, we saw not, what did move:


But as all several souls contain

Mixture of things they know not what,

Love these mix’d souls doth mix again,

And makes both one, each this, and that.


A single violet transplant,

The strength, the colour, and the size —

All which before was poor and scant—

Redoubles still, and multiplies.


When love with one another so

Interanimates two souls,

That abler soul, which thence doth flow,

Defects of loneliness controls.


We then, who are this new soul, know,

Of what we are composed, and made,

For th’ atomies of which we grow

Are souls, whom no change can invade.


But, O alas! so long, so far,

Our bodies why do we forbear?

They are ours, though not we; we are

Th’ intelligences, they the spheres.


We owe them thanks, because they thus

Did us, to us, at first convey,

Yielded their senses’ force to us,

Nor are dross to us, but allay.


On man heaven’s influence works not so,

But that it first imprints the air;

For soul into the soul may flow,

Though it to body first repair.


As our blood labours to beget

Spirits, as like souls as it can;

Because such fingers need to knit

That subtle knot, which makes us man;


So must pure lovers’ souls descend

To affections, and to faculties,

Which sense may reach and apprehend,

Else a great prince in prison lies.


To our bodies turn we then, that so

Weak men on love reveal’d may look;

Love’s mysteries in souls do grow,

But yet the body is his book.


And if some lover, such as we,

Have heard this dialogue of one,

Let him still mark us, he shall see

Small change when we’re to bodies gone.



John Donne – The Ecstacy

Poem – English literature

Full English text




John Donne All the poems > here




John Donne No man is an island poetry text > here


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