It’s a long way across Germany

I might have mentioned before that I’m going to Poland tomorrow. We set off early and spend the largest part of the day travelling across Germany. Earlier in the week I cme across the following poem by the great John Donne and thought I would post it here before leaving. Although I do not intend it to be my last trip into Germany, I am not travelling across the sea to get there – just the Rhine – and I do not do G-d.

A Hymn to Christ, at the Author’s last going into Germany.

In what torn ship soever I embark,
That ship shall be my emblem of thy ark;
What sea soever swallow me, that flood
Shall be to me an emblem of thy blood;
Though thou with clouds of anger do disguise
Thy face; yet through that mask I know those eyes,
Which, though they turn away sometimes,
They never will despise.

I sacrifice this Island unto thee,
And all whom I loved there, and who loved me;
When I have put our seas ‘twixt them and me,
Put thou thy sea betwixt my sins and thee.
As the tree’s sap doth seek the root below
In winter, in my winter now I go,
Where none but thee, th’eternal root
Of true love I may know.

Nor thou thy religion dost control,
The amorousness of an harmonious soul,
But thou wouldst have that love thy self: as thou
Art jealous, Lord, so I am jealous now,
Thou lov’st not, till from loving more, thou free
My soul; who ever gives, takes liberty:
O, if thou car’st not whom I love
Alas, thou lov’st not me.

Seal then this bill of my divorce to all,
On whom those fainter beams of love did fall;
Marry those loves, which in youth scattered be
On fame, wit, hopes (false mistresses) to thee.
Churches are best for prayer, that have least light:
To see God only, I go out of sight:
And to ‘scape stormy days, I coose
An everlasting night.

Alternatively there is the take by the Ramones on the matter, one, two, three, four.

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