A valediction forbidding mourning

When gold is melted it does not sputter and is therefore quiet. The speaker and his love should not display their private, intimate love as "tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests moveaE (6). The speaker thinks that it would be a "profanationaE to reveal the sacred love he shares with his lady (7). It would be similar to priests revealing the mysteries of their faith to "the laityaE, that is, to ordinary people (8). The loud display of grief upon separation would therefore desecrate the sacred love the speaker and his lady to the less elevated love of ordinary people.

The second stanza introduces another category of startling comparative images, referring to the motions or changes of the earth and spheres. Donne's contemporaries believed that the heavens were perfect (reflecting the perfection of God). Everything "sublunaryaE-below the moon, on this earth-was imperfect, subject to decay and death. Furthermore, the planets moving in orbit around the earth in the Ptolemaic view of the universe were attached to the heavenly spheres moved or shook(9-12). In line 6, the "tear-floodsaE and "sigh-tempest moveaE refers to the moving of the earth.

In the third stanza, the speaker again refers to the unrefi



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