Elegies and Lust

  • Joe Nutt
Part of the Analysing Texts book series (ANATX)


In this chapter we will look at a number of poems which exhibit an uninhibited, imaginative pursuit of sexual experience. The following elegy, To his Mistris going to Bed, was considered indecent enough to be omitted from the first printed edition of his poetry after his death, but manuscript evidence places it firmly before 1599 so we can ascribe it to Donne’s early twenties. For ease of use as we begin our study, it is quoted in full.


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  1. 1.
    John Carey, John Donne: Life, Mind and Art (London, 1981) p. 190.Google Scholar

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© Joe Nutt 1999

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  • Joe Nutt

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