This is My Plays Last Scene by John Donne

This is my play's last scene; here heavens appoint

My pilgrimage's last mile; and my race,

Idly, yet quickly run, hath this last pace,

My span's last inch, my minute's latest point;

And gluttonous death will instantly unjoint

My body and my soul, and I shall sleep a space;

But my'ever-waking part shall see that face

Whose fear already shakes my every joint.

Then, as my soul to'heaven, her first seat, takes flight,

And earth-born body in the earth shall dwell,

So fall my sins, that all may have their right,

To where they'are bred, and would press me, to hell.

Impute me righteous, thus purg'd of evil,

For thus I leave the world, the flesh, the devil. 

A short Note on the Poem:

This is My Plays Last Scene is a beautiful poem by John Donne. It is the third sonnet in the Holy Sonnets. The Fear of damnation and the hope of redemption are realistically expressed in this sonnet.

The sonnet opens with a common metaphor of Elizabethan literature. This metaphor depicts life as a drama and the human beings as players or actors. It is stated that the poet is very close to death. Here the death has been personified as a glutton. Once the soul is liberated from the body, it will be in a position to have God–experience. It is argued that the soul of the poet should not be damned for the sins of the body. God is just and merciful and will fulfil the hopes of the poet.

It is an Italian sonnet remarkable for its two distinct arguments. The octave contains arguments about the fear of damnation and the sestet about what should happen to this body and soul after death. A slow moving rhythm with changes in the iambic makes it a melodious sonnet.


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