At the round earth's imagined corners (Holy Sonnet 7)
by John Donne
At the round earth's imagined corners (Holy Sonnet 7) Justice and Judgment Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (line)
you numberless infinities
Of souls, and to your scattered bodies go, (lines 3-4)
At first, all of the dead souls are lumped together as one group. They have not been separated into the damned and the saved.
All whom the flood did, and fire shall o'erthrow, (lines 5-6)
The Biblical flood was almost like a mini-Apocalypse. God judged humanity and decided that only man (Noah) and his family were worth saving. Afterward, Noah asked God to be more lenient and not come close to wiping out mankind again. According to the Bible, people now have until the end of time to prove themselves. This line refers only to bad people – the ones who get "overthrown."
All whom war, dearth, age, agues, tyrannies,
Despair, law, chance, hath slain, (lines 6-7)
These causes of death make no distinction between good and bad people. Good people are just as likely to die from sickness as bad people. The one interesting group is those killed by "despair" – does the speaker seem to take the stance that suicide leads to damnation?