“The Good Morrow” by John Donne
troth – word of honour
fancies – whims
slacken – loosen
Introduction: The Good-Morrow is an aubade. This is a poem written in the morning, a song of the morning. The poet is addressing a young lady that he has just spent the night with, and whatever has transpired the night before has either been some sensational sexual activity, or one of those life-changing, emotional experiences. Something has occurred between them that has changed the balance of their relationship and in the morning, John Donne addresses her with these words.
Poetry has often been claimed as a product of the heart, that is, an expression of emotions which has very little to do with the intellect. But would it not be wonderful if somebody wrote poems that would strike a balance between the emotion and the intellect? John Donne blends these two faculties and has been acclaimed by T.S Eliot as a poet practising a ‘unified sensibility’. The prescribed poem, “The Good Morrow”, appears in Donne’s collection of poems, Songs and Sonnets (1633). Written at a time when the sonnet form had earned popularity in England, under the patronage of Queen Elizabeth, this poem is often identified as a sonnet. However, it does not observe the traditional sonnet pattern consisting of fourteen lines, since it consists of twenty-one lines (divided into three stanzas).
John Donne’s poetry did not appeal to a large readership at that time because it was a deviation from the existing tradition of Elizabethan poetry tradition that harped mostly on courtly love traditions and unrequited love. It was a blend of wit and levity- a combination that not many readers could appreciate. Moreover, his exclusive use of the ‘metaphysical conceit’ lent his poetry a cerebral dimension that demanded a proper amount of concentration on the reader’s part. Dr Johnson speaks rather sarcastically about the metaphysical conceit, that it is an analogy where, “… most heterogeneous things are yoked by violence together.” However, it is the same conceit that appealed to modernist poets, and T.S. Eliot has made commendable use of this stylistic device in his own poetry.
Summary of the Poem The Good Morrow
This poem in question, “The Good Morrow” deals with a mature theme and hence, it occupies the first place among his other poems in his 1633 collection Songs and Sonnets.
The poem conjures up a vivid image of two lovers waking up to a bright morning and wishing each other ‘good morrow’. It is in the form of an ‘aubade’, a song or a poem recounting the experience of lovers waking up after a night of lovemaking. It encapsulates the lover’s intense feelings for his beloved and his subtle regret at having met each other late in life. He wonders what they had been doing before falling in love.
The speaker creates an idyllic, remote pastoral milieu where he wakes up to a morning, beside his beloved. He says that until falling in love, he and his beloved had merely been wasting their time.
The lover imagines that all this while, they had been ‘sucking’ leisurely at ‘country pleasures’ or the rural bliss, i.e., enjoying unrefined, uncouth pleasures. The image of ‘weaning’ has been adopted to give the reader a feel of childlike innocence that shelters in the minds of the two lovers. It is the process of familiarising to food other than mother’s milk. The allusion to the legend of the ‘Seven Sleepers’ reinforces the idea that all experiences of life before experiencing love were comparable to a long and deep sleep. However, the speaker also confesses that within this time frame, if he had ‘fancied’ anybody, it was his beloved’s dream.
The lovers here seem to wake up from their deep slumber and the first thing they do is to wish their souls ‘good morning’. The speaker acknowledges love as an all-pervasive force that controls other ‘sights’ and exists everywhere. The lovers are so happy and satisfied with one another that for them the little room in which they lie becomes the whole world. All they care for now is one another’s company, and nothing more. The geographical and other metaphors used here go on to develop more force in the next stanza. The accelerated growth of ‘meaning’ or significance is an important feature of Donne’s poetry.
The speaker refers to geographical and climactic dimensions reference that would give the reader an idea of how intense and omnipotent their love is. The face of his beloved becomes his mirror where her eyes reflect him and vice versa. These are the two worlds they possess. There is a comparison of the eyes with hemispheres which clearly delineates the transcendental quality of love.
According to the lover, theirs is a world familiar and calm. In the poem, the words ‘declining west’ possibly refers to the sunset. Then he brings in the subject of mixing elements- a phenomenon in chemistry. He argues that whatever rots was not blended properly, in exact equations, in the first place. But now that they have come together, their love is a perfect blend that would defeat the ravages of time and therefore, would never die.
Analysis of Good Morrow
The poem in question is about a lover waking up to a bright morning and his feelings at seeing his beloved sleeping beside him. The poem is a celebration of spiritual love, which is much above the mundane, physical love, and therefore, such love aspires to transcend boundaries of different ‘hemispheres’ and remain immortal.
Now we’ll do the line-by-line analysis of what John Donne says to the young lady as he wakes up and addresses her first thing in the morning.
Here is the opening line of the poem:
I wonder, by my troth, what thou and I Did, till we loved? Were we not weaned till then?
The poet says, or he is saying, ‘I wonder what you and I did till we fell in love?’ ‘What were you and I doing until we fell in love?’ ‘By my troth’, it’s almost like a marriage ceremony. During a marriage ceremony, you plight your troth to show your honesty. So he’s saying, ‘I want to lay my cards on the table here. I’m really interested in knowing what you and I were doing until we fell in love.’ Now, the implication is that something has happened and that something has recently changed their relationship to change the nature of their love.” I wonder, by my troth, what thou and I Did till we loved? Were we not weaned till then?” he asks. Now ‘weaned’ is what you do to a baby when it is being breast-fed and you want to feed the baby milk, cow milk. So to move the baby from breast milk to cow milk, you wean the baby off, off the mother’s breast. And Donne is using this somewhat as a metaphor for- not somewhat, Donne is using this specifically as a metaphor for ageing. From going from childishness into adulthood.
Now, of course, it’s not a perfect metaphor because you don’t wean a child into it becoming an adult, you wean a baby into it becoming a child. But we can understand what he’s getting at here. He wants to show that previous to this experience that they have had, they were children – unsophisticated, babyish, and now something has happened which has changed them into them being older.
But sucked on country pleasures, childishly?
Or snorted we in the Seven Sleepers’ den? ‘
So whatever the pleasures they have had before this new experience has befallen them, they were children, they weren’t weaned. They hadn’t yet loved. I’ll come back to that line, incidentally. But ‘sucked on country pleasures childishly’. ‘Sucked’ is still alluding to breastfeeding, I think.
We ‘sucked on country pleasures childishly’. Or snorted we in the Seven Sleepers’ den?
The Seven Sleepers’ den’ could be one of the examples of this gratuitous learning that Dr Johnson seems to dislike so much, so heaven knows what he would have made of T.S. Elliot and Ezra Pound. The Seven Sleepers’ den is a Catholic story whereby there are a group of children who are undergoing some persecution and they hide in the Seven Sleepers’ den and then hundreds of years later, they awaken to a new world. The use of this story to Donne here is that they are children, the Seven Sleepers are children when they are in the den, in the Seven Sleepers’ den. And when they awake, when they come out of the den, they awake to a new world. And that’s what he’s looking at here. He and the girl are, he sees, children, or like children. And something has happened to make them awake to a new world. Or snorted we in the Seven Sleepers’ den he says, as well. ‘Snorted’ has the connotation of animals, to me. I always think of pigs when I think of ‘snorted’. And Seven Sleeper’s den- a den is a place where a fox or an animal lives. It’s as if Donne is saying that ‘prior to this moment, we were childish animals. But something has happened to change that.’ And he’s asked these questions.
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.
Four questions, he asks. And then he says, ’twas so’. Meaning he’s asked the four questions, and he’s answered, ‘yes’, we were kids, we were children, we were animalistic children. This is true.’ Twas so. It was so. He’s asked the question and answered it.
‘But this, all pleasures fancies be’, he tells her. ‘But this, all pleasures fancies be.’ Now, what he means by this is that all of the previous pleasures that he has had, they have merely been fancies. ‘Fancies’ being nice, small, but basically insignificant instances. Not something you don’t enjoy, but something that doesn’t really carry any weight. He says, ‘yes, we did do this, but all the pleasure we got from it was mere fancy’. ‘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. So what he means here, and this is a slightly complicated line, with a lot built into it, but not too difficult for us, I think. If ever any beauty I did see, which I desired, and got, ’twas but a dream of thee. So he’s saying, ‘all the beauty that I have seen up to this point
Let’s be specific here. There are two ways of reading this line, and I’ll show you them both. The first is, ‘if ever any beauty I did see’ – and by beauty here, he means – ‘anything beautiful that I’ve ever observed up to this point in my life, like a sunset, all the beauty that I’ve seen up to this point in my life twas but a dream of thee. Everything beautiful I’ve seen was a preparation for the beauty that I see in you now. I was looking at other beauties, and I was dreaming of the beauty that I was going to see when I look at you.’
He was in a sort of pre-cognitive state. So beauty there is world beauties. Anything beautiful. But the other way of looking at it, and the other way I think is more fun and more realistic; though, not specifically more romantic perhaps, he’s basically saying, ‘any beauty that I did see, which I desired and got, so any beautiful woman that I’ve seen up to this point in my life, that I fancied, that I desired and got, I seduced and had sex with, really, all the other women that I’ve known up to this point in my life were but a dream of you. They were insignificant compared to you because there is something about you that is so special that I was looking for it, dreaming of it in every other woman I’ve ever met.’ It’s a lovely sentiment, I’m sure. Whether a woman would actually buy that if she heard it, will be a different matter altogether. Every single other beautiful woman I’ve ever seduced in my life, every woman I’ve ever slept with, really, I was just dreaming of you, as I looked at them because you are so perfect that I was searching for that beauty that you possess when I was with them.
I think the other reference we have to bring into this here is Plato’s allegory of ‘the cave’. And Plato’s cave allegory is that human beings are on the floor of the cave and they cannot see the sun above them, because they can only see a wall of the cave, and they see the sun reflected onto the wall of the cave, and they can see reflections of things which stand before the sun, but not the things themselves. So, the idea is you never see anything perfect. You can merely see reflections of the perfect bodies that are actually there in the light of the sun. And what Donne seems to be – and I’m fairly certain is alluding to here is that he’s seeing the girl as one of the perfect bodies as allegorised by Plato and the cave. And every other girl that he’s ever met is merely the reflection of her on the cave wall.
Whether the young lady is flattered by this display of his learning and eloquence remains to be seen. But that’s one of the things he’s alluding to, and perhaps one of the things that Johnson himself finds rather gratuitous displays of learning. So that’s the first stanza for us
When the poet says ‘other beauties I did see which I desired and got’, it has to be a type of beauty that you can want and get. And a woman fits that bill perfectly as far as the rhetoric of this poem goes.
So we’ll now start the second stanza, which begins with:
And now good-morrow to our waking souls,
Which watch not one another out of fear;
‘Good morrow’ of course means, ‘good morning’. It also means this morning which we have arisen in is good. But essentially, it means good morning.
And now, good morning to this new dimension in our relationship.” So the idea here is that our souls are now awake on this day. Meaning that previously, our souls were asleep. I’m not a big fan of poets using the word ‘souls’, because I think it can be used very loosely, and almost very cheaply to just try and signify that something more significant has happened. A change has happened which has made life more significant. Particularly, if you don’t particularly believe in a soul as something that can be defined.
The poem can take on a quasi-religious element as soon as people start talking about the soul. However, it’s easy for us to understand what Donne is getting at here. Previous to whatever happened last night, we were kids enjoying animalistic, childish pleasures. And now, something has happened which has made our relationship and our love for each other more sophisticated. And now good morrow to our waking souls, Which watch not one another out of fear; Which is a rather strange line.
He’s saying now, we don’t look at each other out of fear. So presumably, previously, they were looking at each other out of fear. And the fear of what? Fear of physical violence to each other? That seems highly unlikely. The only fear that I think fits this is the fear of betrayal or the fear of one person leaving the other. ‘Now good morrow to our waking souls, and now our souls don’t look at each other out of fear.’ ‘There’s now nothing for us to fear in each other’.
And Donne now comes up with one of those beautiful lines, one of those lines that guys should remember to try and impress women with. It’s
For love, all love of other sights controls,
And makes one little room an everywhere.
It’s a beautiful idea. For love all love of other sights controls. It means that somebody in love sees with the eyes of a lover, and the eyes of a lover see things differently from other people. I suppose the easy way, almost clichéd way of saying this would be, a lover sees things through rose-tinted spectacles. Thomas Aquinas has this lovely line where he says something like, ‘what we perceive is not reality, but reality seen through our method of reasoning.’ And the method of reasoning that a lover employs is always to see the world much more highlighted, much more bright, much more interesting. As a place that he can be much more concerned with. And for love, all love of other sights controls And makes one little room an everywhere.
To a lover with the person he or she loves, the little room that they are in is everywhere. Nothing else matters outside of that room. Ezra Pound sums this situation up in one of his poems, ‘The Garrett’, where he says something like ‘I am near my desire, nor has life in it aught better than this moment of clear coolness, this moment of waking together.’
The moment when you wake up next to the person you’re in love with, that’s as good as life gets. And that’s what has just happened to John Donne here. He looks at her, and he looks around the room, and he realizes that all he wants is in that room. He doesn’t need to be anywhere else. And remember, this is written at a time of vast discoveries. Sea voyages to discover, stamp, file, and a number of different countries and cultures. But Donne isn’t concerned with that. And this is an exciting time in Western culture. But Donne isn’t concerned with that, or so he tells the girl. He tells the girl, ‘all we need to be interested in, or all we should be interested in is this room, and each other’.
After the above beautiful lines, he continues with the conceit. He says,
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.
So let the adventurers of our age go and discover new worlds over the seas. Let them make maps of other worlds on worlds. I mean, Donne doesn’t mean worlds as planets here. He means worlds -although astronomy was around- he means worlds as different cultures, different countries. If he’d said ‘places’, it would be easier and more specific for us to understand. ‘Let maps to other places on places have shown’ But that wouldn’t quite work so well as for the final line, where he says – and this is a rather complicated sentiment as well, but not beyond our capabilities to understand – Let us possess one world, each hath one and is one.
So, although the big discoveries of our age are not being made in this room, they are being made by sea-voyages, let us possess one world. That being the room, but I would suggest that ‘let us possess one world, each has one, and is one’, what he is alluding to here is the idea that you are all the world to me. DH Lawrence has an idea somewhere where he says, ‘the soul of one man and one woman makes one angel’. And it’s that kind of thing that Donne is alluding to here, the ‘we two are one. You are one person, I am one person, or you have one world, I have one world, but when we are together, those two worlds become one world.’ Let maps to other, worlds on worlds have shown; Let us possess one world, each hath one and is one. Each has a world of its own, and together, we are a world on our own.
The third stanza begins with another one of these beautiful lines.
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?
It’s the first one of those lines that I think is so good. My face in thine eye, thine in mine appears Now, what you have to imagine is two lovers looking directly into each other’s eyes. And he is seeing his face in her eyeball, and she is seeing her face in his eyeball. My face in thine eye, thine in mine appears. It’s a beautiful line. And he continues with this by saying, And true plain hearts do in those faces rest I’d have to point out, I don’t think this line is as good.
And true plain hearts do in those faces rest He sees his face in her eye. Or she sees her face in his eye. And he says, and true plain hearts do in those faces rest Well, plainly he means, ‘and it’s obvious that we honestly love each other’. That’s the point that he’s getting across. ‘And true hearts’ – good. ‘Plain hearts’ – ‘plain’ is a rather unfortunate word there. ‘Plain’ has a connotation of ordinary. And I don’t think he means to imply that ‘ordinary’, honestly. Ordinary seems out of place, or plain seems out of place in any love poem of this sort, but ‘true plain hearts do in those faces rest’. Yeah, also, as a metaphor, it’s rather dodgy, isn’t it? Because if you take it literally, ‘true plain hearts do in faces rest’, they look in each other’s faces, and they see their hearts in their faces. It’s a gratuitous image. It’d look like something out of Salvador Dali if you take it literally.
And often we have to take the metaphor literally before we look at the metaphorical element of it. When metaphors work very well, they have to work as a literal statement, and then work as a metaphorical statement. And that one doesn’t really.
Where can we find two better hemispheres,
Without sharp north, without declining west?
And well, we know exactly what he means, there’s no real problem for us with it. Where can we find two better hemispheres, he continues. What he means by where can we find two better hemispheres A hemisphere is half a sphere. So the hemispheres which he’s talking about are the hemispheres of their eyes. If you imagine a sphere being cut down the centre, that hemisphere would be the hemisphere of the eye. Of her eyes and his eyes. And of course, the other hemispheres which he could be talking about would be the hemispheres of the planet, the northern hemisphere and the southern hemisphere. The hemispheres of the whole planet aren’t as good as what he sees in her eyes, or her eyes, because what he sees in her eyes is actually him. But she sees herself in his eyes as well. And this oneness connection is showing how close they are, or how close he wants to present them as being to him.
Let us possess one world, each hath one and is one. This whole ‘we two are one’ idea. I think it’s easy to see that as somewhat of a cliché. You and I are one person, and I would understand if someone were to hear that as thinking, ‘well that’s rather a greeting card idea’, and maybe it is, but remember this is, this was written 400 or 500 years ago. It’s pretty difficult for us to read something from that age when we’ve had 500 years more writing done by people who have used those same ideas that John Donne came up with all that time ago. Presumably, when he came up with this idea, it wasn’t quite so clichéd.
The critic James Wood has an interesting statement on clichés in writing, or clichés in similes, whereby he says the reason they become clichés, or the reason clichés become clichés is not because they don’t work, it’s because they do work. The first person who said, ‘this is as cold as snow’, probably thought he was making a very accurate and perceptive comparison. So when Donne says, ‘we two are one, we two are one person’, probably, this was considered to be a very original statement. And nonetheless, it’s a nice statement and we enjoy hearing it. Where can we find two better hemispheres Without sharp north, without declining west? he tells us. The point he’s making here is, he wants to say something derogatory. Well not derogatory, but diminishing about the world, to show why the hemispheres of the two lovers’ eyes are more important than the hemispheres of the planet. And he hits upon the fact that the hemispheres on the planet have a declining west. So the sun rises on the east, goes down on the west, that’s what he means by ‘declining west’. He doesn’t really say anything derogatory about the hemispheres of the planet, but he’s got to come up with something. And ‘sharp north’, presumably, he means the needle on a compass points upright towards the north, and that’s a bit sharp. Perhaps that’s what he means.
But it’s the sharp north and declining west is just there for him to say things that enable him to make the hemispheres of the two lovers’ eyes appear more important than the hemispheres of the whole planet. And he now gives us his final line. 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. And this is slightly complicated. Whatever dies, was not mix’d equally.
There’s nothing more important in the world than us two. I’ll just point out here actually, I didn’t do it earlier but, the line.
Whatever dies, was not mixed equally;
If our two loves be one, or, thou and I
Love so alike, that none do slacken, none can die.
Now, the poem was written at a time when medical practice often believed that death was caused by an imbalance of the senses of humour. And as long as your senses of humour were in balance, you would live. When they were out of balance, you would die. So things die when they’re not balanced properly. Whatever the historical reasoning behind that, it’s easy for us to understand the sentiment that whatever dies, dies because it is not balanced properly. And this sentiment is very useful for Donne in the love poem because he’s saying, ‘our love has to be balanced properly’. He says if our two loves be one, or thou and I Love so alike that none can slacken, none can die. Now, if I paraphrase this, he’s saying, ‘if our two loves be one, if you love me as much as I love you if our two loves be one, and thou and I love so alike that none can slacken, if you love me as much as I love you, and we both continue to love each other as much as I love you at the moment, none can die.’ Now that would either mean, we will live forever. Or it would mean, our love will live forever.
But I think this final line raises a very interesting point which often goes unremarked on in discussion of this poem. That is to do with the response of the girl to what Donne is saying. And we don’t know what that is. Now, obviously, something very powerful, very emotionally changing has occurred to Donne the night before, whatever it may be. For he says at the start of the second stanza, And now good morrow to our waking souls But he’s speaking for both of them there. It’s ‘our waking souls’, not ‘my waking soul’. But how does he really know whether the emotions that he feels are as powerful for the girl as they are for him? And of course, he doesn’t. He’s being rather presumptuous in saying ‘our waking souls’. But of course, to convince the girl that he is in love with her and that something has changed for him, if he just said, ‘and now good morrow to my waking soul’, it wouldn’t sound as good, so he has to rope the girl in with it as well. Now, whenever we hear a beautiful love poem like this, we always think that the guy or the girl writing it deserves to be loved in kind, and she or he is, in fact, speaking for both partners. But there’s no guarantee of that.
For all we know, the girl may hear this and think or say, ‘yeah thanks John, actually it’s a very nice thing to say in the morning, but honestly, last night wasn’t that great for me. Fun, but I’ve had better.’ And John goes away crying. Historically, we don’t know whether that was the case. But remember, this was an address to the girl. He can’t speak for the girl in this. And this idea of him trying to convince the girl to love him as much as he loves her, or he claims to, is very relevant and apparent in the final lines. If our two loves be one. If you love me as much as I love you. Because he doesn’t know how much the girl loves him. He’s pitching this poem to her to – presumably, get her to say so. If our two loves be one, or thou and I Love so alike that none can slacken, none can die. ‘Our love will live forever, or we will live forever if you love me as much as I love you.’ And let’s hope for his sake that she does.
So I’ll just drop back now to that third line, But suck’d on country pleasures childishly What Donne is alluding to here in ‘sucked on country pleasures childishly’ is female genitalia. In ‘country pleasures’, he is playing on the sound of the word ‘cunt’. Shakespeare does the same thing in Hamlet whereby Hamlet lies down in Ophelia’s lap and, Ophelia is somewhat shocked by the fact he’s doing it, and Hamlet says, did you think I meant ‘country matters’, by which he means matters of the cunt. Now as crass as this may sound to a modern audience, we don’t know whether the word had the same shock appeal as it has now. But it is there in the poem. The sound of the word is something that Donne is playing with. And he means, ‘vibrant, sexually-aware pleasures’ presumably’. Specific sexual pleasures. But not spiritually-aware pleasures, I think, would be a way of putting it.
When he says, ‘good morrow to our waking souls’, in this instance their souls are awake, and they are in love. Spiritually in love. That sort of stuff. Prior to this, they had been sexually active, animalistic, childish. And something has happened for his opinion on the girl to have changed. And he’s hoping she shares the same feelings. So, ‘sucked on country pleasures childishly’. For the full meaning of that line, he is referring to female genitalia for the purpose of referring to sexual pleasures, which have now been transcended to the spiritual pleasures of their waking souls. So when we look back to what Dr Johnson said… I read out Johnson’s overall appraisal of the metaphysical poets at the start. One of the complains is that there is a kind of gratuitous display of learning which somehow jumps out at us too much from the metaphysical poets. I’m not sure how much that is true of ‘The Good-Morrow’. Maybe it is true of other metaphysical poets and other poems by John Donne. As far as we could really accuse ‘The Good-Morrow’ of suffering from gratuitous displays of learning, we have the Seven Sleepers’ den, which perhaps we wouldn’t know; Plato’s cave analogy, which perhaps we may not know, but we’re pretty sure it is there; we have the knowledge that sea-discovery is happening around that time, but who at the time when the poem was written would not know that; and also the now out-of-date medical analysis of the senses of humour. ‘Whatever dies was not mixed equally’. So I don’t particularly see this as an unusually high frame of reference for Dr Johnson to get too excited about. So I think Donne in this poem is exempt from the criticisms which Johnson makes.
Questions and Answers
1. To what is the poem’s title referring?
“The Good Morrow” refers to the time after the two lovers in this poem meet. Donne compares meeting his true love to waking up to a new day, which he greets in stanza two with “…good morrow to our waking souls.”
2. What kind of imagery does Donne use in the first stanza to describe life before the two loves met?
Donne uses words like “wean’d,” “suck’d,” and “childishly” to create an image of childhood and ignorance.
3. What is the rhyme scheme and meter of this poem?
The poem’s rhyme scheme is A/B/A/B C/D/C/D E/F/E/F G/G (a Shakespearean or Elizabethan sonnet form). It is written in iambic pentameter.
4. Explain the significance and meaning of lines 6-7.
The speaker is explaining that while he did see and get other beautiful things (women), they were all inferior to his love. The line is significant because it answers the speaker’s own question of what he did before he found his love.
5. Why do you think Donne repeats the words “world” and “worlds” so frequently in lines 12 14?
Donne repeats the words to show their importance to the speaker. He is comparing his love with the world— in size, in importance, and in uses.
6. Line 12 contains an example of what poetic device?
“Whatever dies, was not mix’d equally” is an example of verbal irony, as “dies” is also a homophone for dyes or the mixing of colours. There is also the literal meaning of dying.
7. Choose the correct answer:
a. The legend of the Seven Sleepers is:
i. Pagan ii. Catholic iii. Secular iv. None of the above
b. The speaker in the poem acknowledges the north hemispheres:
i. Benevolent ii. Friendly iii. Cold and hostile iv. Warm
Answer: cold and hostile
8. Name the volume of poetry in which “The Good Morrow” by John Donne is included.
Answer: “The Good Morrow” deals with a mature theme and hence, it occupies the first place among his other poems in his 1633 collection Songs and Sonnets.
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