John Donne: Poem analysis » The Good-morrow » Themes in The Good-morrow
The central theme in The Good-morrow is the nature and completeness of the lovers' world. Donne takes the everyday idea that lovers live in a world of their own with little sense of reality, and turns it right round, so that it is the outside world that is unreal. The intensity of their love is sufficient to create its own reality. When they watch each other, it is not, as in the outside world, out of fear, but to complete themselves, as each one is half of the world needing the other half.
- Consider the theme of the completeness of the lovers’ world
- How does Donne explore this in the second stanza?
- Explain ‘each hath one, and is one'.
I wonder by my troth, what thou and I
Did, till we loved ? were we not wean'd till then ?
But suck'd on country pleasures, childishly ?
Or snorted we in the Seven Sleepers' den ?
'Twas so ; but this, all pleasures fancies be ;
If ever any beauty I did see,
Which I desired, and got, 'twas but a dream of thee.
And now good-morrow to our waking souls,
Which watch not one another out of fear ;
For love all love of other sights controls,
And makes one little room an everywhere.
Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone ;
Let maps to other, worlds on worlds have shown ;
Let us possess one world ; each hath one, and is one.
My face in thine eye, thine in mine appears,
And true plain hearts do in the faces rest ;
Where can we find two better hemispheres
Without sharp north, without declining west ?
Whatever dies, was not mix'd equally ;
If our two loves be one, or thou and I
Love so alike that none can slacken, none can die.