Summary of “The Sun Rising” by John Donne

The poet lover and his mistress are in their bedroom, making love. They are suddenly disturbed by the beams of the morning Sun, shining through the door and the windows. It is apparent that the mistress feels shy and disturbed. Overtly addressing himself to the Sun the poet lover persuades his mistress of the intense love he bears for her.

Bye, Moon; Hi, Sun | Ain't Complicated

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The poet lover gets annoyed with the Sun. He calls it all sorts of names. He reprimands the Sun for peeping into their bedroom through windows and curtains. He tells the Sun that it is a fool. The Sun brings in change in seasons but it cannot bring about change in lovers. Referring to the routine activities at daybreak the poet lover asks the Sun to go and chide late school-boys to go to school and amateur apprentices to go to work.

The Sun should go to the court huntsmen and tell them the King would ride. It should wake up the peasants for going to harvest offices. Love does not know climates and seasons. It is time transcending. It has nothing to do with the passage of time.


The Sun has no reason to think that its beams are very strong and reverend. The poet lover, if he wished, could eclipse and could them with a wink. He does not do so because he does not want to miss the sight of his mistress so long. His mistresses eyes are much more shining than the eyes of the sun. They could outshine the beams of the Sun.

The poet lover asks the Sun to watch the whole world, come tomorrow and tell him both the Indias of spice and mine are where he left them or lie there with the poet lover. His mistress is all states. She is the world. He is all Princes. All princes only imitate them. Compared to their love all honour is mimic, all wealth, is alchemy. In other words honour and wealth are inferior to love, the love between the poet lover and his mistress. The sun is only half as happy as the lovers. He can be found in only one half of the world at a time. When it is daytime in one hemisphere it is night in the other. But both the Indias lie on the bed of the lovers.

The Sun has been doing duty for millions of years. It must have been grown old and tired. It needs rest. Its job is to warm the world. It can do so by shining there the lovers. Being there the Sun could be everywhere. The bed of the lovers is the centre for the Sun. The walls are its sphere.

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