What Is the Poem "The Relic" by John Donne About?

The poem "The Relic" is about a pair of lovers, and it grapples with Donne's ambiguous attitude towards Catholicism and the concept of the miracle. Yet, it is about a couple who loved "well and faithfully."

Donne employs first person plural to create a sense of the lovers as an inseparable unit. Their love is woven into the grammar of the poem. Donne also fixates on the idea of miracles, and the poem ends with the line "Should I tell what a miracle she was." His invocation of the miraculous sets him apart from his contemporaries, however. In many poems of the day, women were romantic ideals as opposed to flesh-and-blood figures. Donne, however, secularizes religious ideas instead of mythologizing his female lover.