The Sun Rising By John Donne Summary and Analysis |Line by Line|

John Donne was best known for his metaphysical poetry. The poem revolves around the themes of love and appreciation. Love has never-ending power, and it is not bound to any restrictions of nature.

In ‘The Sun Rising’ he uses different images like sun, windows, curtains, country ants, and so on. The poet maintains his traditional way of putting the first line very striking and ode to capture the attention of readers.  He is addressing directly to the sun. Love and friendship are not bound with the motion of the sun. He praises and accolades the beauty of his beloved.  The poem is divided into three stanzas. Each stanza has ten lines.

First Stanza

Busy old fool, unruly Sun,

Why dost thou thus,

Through windows, and through curtains, call on us?

Must to thy motions lover’s season run?

Saucy pedantic’ wretch, go chide,

Late schoolboys and sour prentices,

Go tell court-huntsman that the king will ride,

Call country ants to harvest offices,

Love, all alike, no season knows, nor clime,

Nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time.

In the first stanza, the tone of the poet is striking and angry. The poet addresses the sun by saying; you are a fool, busy and uncontrollable. When we (lovers) on bed why you disturbed us through your rays and peep into my room. He raises a question here. Do you want lovers to go according to your motions? No, and never, love is not associated with such barriers. Go and wake up late schoolboys, hunts-man, and farmer, to go on work.  Love is bound with climate and neither seasons nor it is connected with the pieces of times hours, days, and months.


Second Stanza

Thy beams, so reverend and strong

Why should thou think?

I could eclipse and cloud them with a wink,

But that I would not lose her sight so long;

If her eyes have not blinded thine,

Look, and tomorrow late, tells me

Whether both the Indias of spice and mine

Be where thou leftest them, or lie here with me.

Ask for those kings whom thou saw’st yesterday,

And thou shalt hear: “All here in one bed lay.”

The second stanza is about the wholehearted appreciation of the beloved. The poet is exaggerating and orders the sun to shine them and no need to go anywhere. He can fade the sun in the cloud in one second by closing his eyes but he does not want to do so. He does not lose sight of his beloved. The poet exaggerated in the fifth line by saying that my beloved eyes are more shiner than you.  He says whether east India or west all the things are laying with me. In order to enjoy it you go and come yesterday.

Third Stanza

She is all states, and all princes I,

Nothing else is,

Princes do but play us; compared to this,

All honors mimic, all wealth alchemy,

Thou, sun art half as happy as we,

In the world’s contracted thus;

Thine age asks ease, and since thy duties be,

To warm the world, that’s done in warming us,

Shine here to us, and thou art everywhere;

This bed thy center is these walls, thy sphere.

In the 3rd stanza, the poet continues the direct addressing toward the sun. He says my beloved is my state and I am the king of that state.  All the princes imitate how to love with honor. The poet argues that we shrink the world and it is easy for you that you do not shine and warm the entire world. All the world and its geographies and beauties are with me. Just shine is the completion of your duty. Our bed is your center and the walls of this room are your spheres.

The poet in short highlights the importance and significance of love. Love is more powerful and brighter than the sun. This is the way John Donne addresses something or someone direct. Although, he was not a romantic poet. His poems can be divided into two groups. Love poems as well as divine or holy poems.

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