God’s Music: Now and Then

14 Apr 2022 | Glory | 0 comments

Since I am coming to that holy room

Where with thy choir of saints for evermore

I shall be made thy music; as I come

I tune the instrument here at the door,

And what I must do then, think here before.


While my physicians by their love are grown

Cosmographers, and I their map, who lie

Flat on this bed, that by them may be shown

That this is my south-west discovery,

Per fretum febris, by these straits to die.


I joy, that in these straits I see my west;

For, though their currents yield return to none,

What shall my west hurt me? As west and east

In all flat maps (and I am one) are one,

So death doth touch the resurrection ….


We think that Paradise and Calvary,

Christ’s cross, and Adam’s tree, stood in one place;

Look, Lord, and find both Adams met in me;

As the first Adam’s sweat surrounds my face,

May the last Adam’s blood my soul embrace.


So, in his purple wrapped, receive me, Lord;

By these his thorns, give me his other crown;

And as to others’ souls I preached thy word,

Be this my text, my sermon to mine own:

‘Therefore that he may raise, the Lord throws down.’


John Donne (1573-1631), A Hymn to God, my God, in my sickness.

Notes from the Compiler

'per fretum febris': Through the Strait of Fever. A friend gave me this poem and it strikes a chord, as I think of a dearly loved member of my family going through such a 'strait' at this time. But it speaks to me also of Christian 'joy', as we all go 'west'.


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