Virginity: the key to seduction in John Donne's "The Relique".
In John Donne's "The Relique," he uses a metaphysical conceit to explore the vastness of the spiritual love which the speaker shares with a woman, and in the final stanza employs a vast paradox to expand the theme of the poem into a seduction. The speaker first forecasts the future, when he and his lover are dead, and says that the two, when dug up, will be viewed as a phenomenal love, holy and everlasting. After exploring how their spiritual love, without sex, will be the greatest of all miracles, he says that their intercourse would surpass all miracles explainable in words. Donne, in the poem, is trying to get a woman to have sex with him though the theme that sex develops the best of a spiritual relationship into a physical form. .
To start, the literal meaning of "The Relique" begins with the speaker talking about when his grave is reused for another to rest in. He takes this opportunity to make fun of how women often sleep with more than one other. Regardless, he says what might mean that the one digging his grave will find a strand of blonde hair and be intrigued by his belief that it was loving couple's grave. He closes the first stanza by questioning who would have thought that a grave was a place for souls to settle.
Next, the main character explores the possibility that he and his love will be dug up (maybe because of the inadequacies of religious devotion) and brought to the church and king to become great holy artifacts. He says that the two will be looked at as a modern Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalen; he will even have written a bible-esque text concerning how great the miracle of their spiritual love was.
At last, the speaker describes the meaning of their relationship (possibly the text of his document). He says that they loved each other without even knowing that they were different in sex. The two never made love, but had a miracle of a spiritual one nonetheless.