Batter my heart, three personed God, for You.
As yet but knock, breathe, shine and seek to mend.
That I may rise and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend.
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurped town to another due, .
Labor to admit You, but Oh! To no end.
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,.
But is captive, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love You, and would be loved fain, .
But am betrothed unto Your enemy;.
Divorce me, untie or break that knot again;.
Take me to You, imprison me, for I,.
Except You enthrall me, never shall be free,.
Nor ever chaste, except You ravish me.
John Donnes' Batter my heart, three-personed God, for You the sonnet begins with the speaker asking God (along with Jesus and the Holy Ghost; together, they are the Trinity that makes up the Christian "three-personed God") to attack his heart. The speaker wants God to enter his heart aggressively and violently, instead of gently. Then, in line 5, the speaker explicitly likens himself to a captured town. He tries to let God enter, but has trouble because the speaker's rational side seems to be in control. At the "turn" of the poem, the speaker admits that he loves God, and wants to be loved, but is tied down to God's unspecified "enemy" instead, whom we can think of as Satan, or possibly "reason." The speaker asks God to break the speaker's ties with the enemy, and to bring the speaker to Him, not letting him go free. He then explains why he wants all of this, reasoning with double meanings: he can't really be free unless God enslaves and excites him, and he can't refrain from sin unless God carries him away and delights him.
The first line of "Batter my Heart, three- personed God, for You" begins with "batter my heart, three-personed God, for You as yet but knock, breathe, shine and seek to mend." The word batter denotes in context to this poem, to strike with repeated blows of an instrument or weapon, or with frequent missiles; to beat continuously and violently so as to bruise or shatter.