A division in Donne's poetry can be drawn between his early, sensual love poetry (often full of Christian imagery but carnal in tone) and his later, largely sacred poetry. There are exceptions, but this is a generally useful distinction. It will be noted that in almost no edition of Donne's works are dates hazarded for most of his poems, and it is difficult in some cases to make even this basic division. Even though publication dates may be available for some poems during Donne's lifetime, it is important to remember that his poems were often circulated for many years in manuscript before publication was sought. Therefore, the dates of printing are meaningless as origination dates except as the latest possible date for any particular poem.