Dialogue on the Threshold

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Thursday, 26 April 2012

A sodaine dampe

This distemper [Melancholie] would sometimes cast a cloud, and some halfe damps upon her naturall cheerfulnesse, and socialblenesse, and sometimes induce darke and sad apprehensions.

Howling is the noyse of hell, Sadnesse the damp of Hell.

Who hath imprinted terrors in thee? A damp in thine own heart? Who imprinted it? Swear to me now that thou believest not in God, and before midnight, thou wilt tell God, that thou dost; miserable distemper! not to see God in this light, and see him in the dark: not to see him at noon, and see him fearfully at midnight: not to see, where we all see him, in the congregation, and to see him with terror, in the suburbs of despair, in the solitary chamber.

If he neglect his calling now, tomorrow he may forget that he was called today, or remember it with such a terror as shall blow a damp, and a consternation upon his soul, and a lethargy worse than his former sleep. 

John Donne, loca varia

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