Deign at my hands this crown of prayer and praise,
Weaved in my low devout melancholy,
Thou which of good, hast, yea art treasury,
All changing unchanged Ancient of days,
But do not, with a vile crown of frail bays,
Reward my muse’s white sincerity,
But what thy thorny crown gained, that give me,
A crown of glory, which doth flower always;
The ends crown our works, but thou crown’st our ends,
For, at our end begins our endless rest,
This first last end, now zealously possessed
With a strong sober thirst, my soul attends.
‘Tis time that heart and voice be lifted high,
Salvation to all that will is nigh.
Selection take from: John Donne: A Critical Edition of the Major Works, edited by John Carey; Oxford: OUP, 1990