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John donne

John Donne

POEMS
FOLLOWERS
4

I wonder, by my troth, what thou and I
Did, till we loved? Were we not weaned till then?
But sucked on country pleasures, childishly?
Or snorted we in the Seven Sleepers’ den?
’Twas so; but this, all pleasures fancies be.
If ever any beauty I did see,
Which I desired, and got, ’twas but a dream of thee.

And now good-morrow to our waking souls,
Which watch not one another out of fear;
For love, all love of other sights controls,
And makes one little room an everywhere.
Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone,
Let maps to other, worlds on worlds have shown,
Let us possess one world, each hath one, and is one.

My face in thine eye, thine in mine appears,
And true plain hearts do in the faces rest;
Where can we find two better hemispheres,
Without sharp north, without declining west?
Whatever dies, was not mixed equally;
If our two loves be one, or, thou and I
Love so alike, that none do slacken, none can die.

1

SEND me some tokens, that my hope may live
Or that my easeless thoughts may sleep and rest ;
Send me some honey, to make sweet my hive,
That in my passions I may hope the best.
I beg nor ribbon wrought with thine own hands,
To knit our loves in the fantastic strain
Of new—touch’d youth ; nor ring to show the stands
Of our affection, that, as that’s round and plain,
So should our loves meet in simplicity ;
No, nor the corals, which thy wrist enfold,
Laced up together in congruity,
To show our thoughts should rest in the same hold ;
No, nor thy picture, though most gracious,
And most desired, ‘cause ’tis like the best
Nor witty lines, which are most copious,
Within the writings which thou hast address’d.
Send me nor this nor that, to increase my score,
But swear thou think’st I love thee, and no more.

Now thou has loved me one whole day,
Tomorrow when you leav’st, what wilt thou say?
Wilt thou then antedate some new—made vow?
            Or say that now
We are not just those persons which we were?
Or, that oaths made in reverential fear
Of Love, and his wrath, any may forswear?
Or, as true deaths true marriages untie,
So lovers’ contracts, images of those,
Bind but till sleep, death’s image, them unloose?
            Or, your own end to justify,
For having purposed change and falsehood, you
Can have no way but falsehood to be true?
Vain lunatic, against these ‘scapes I could
            Dispute and conquer, if I would,
            Which I abstain to do,
For by tomorrow, I may think so too.

Dear love, for nothing less than thee
Would I have broke this happy dream;
            It was a theme
For reason, much too strong for fantasy,
Therefore thou wak’d’st me wisely; yet
My dream thou brok’st not, but continued’st it.
Thou art so true that thoughts of thee suffice
To make dreams truths, and fables histories;
Enter these arms, for since thou thought’st it best,
Not to dream all my dream, let’s act the rest.

   As lightning, or a taper’s light,
Thine eyes, and not thy noise wak’d me;
            Yet I thought thee
(For thou lovest truth) an angel, at first sight;
But when I saw thou sawest my heart,
And knew’st my thoughts, beyond an angel’s art,
When thou knew’st what I dreamt, when thou knew’st when
Excess of joy would wake me, and cam’st then,
I must confess, it could not choose but be
Profane, to think thee any thing but thee.

   Coming and staying show’d thee, thee,
But rising makes me doubt, that now
            Thou art not thou.
That love is weak where fear’s as strong as he;
'Tis not all spirit, pure and brave,
If mixture it of fear, shame, honour have;
Perchance as torches, which must ready be,
Men light and put out, so thou deal’st with me;
Thou cam’st to kindle, goest to come; then I
Will dream that hope again, but else would die.

Mark but this flea, and mark in this,  
How little that which thou deniest me is;  
Me it sucked first, and now sucks thee,
And in this flea our two bloods mingled be;  
Thou know’st that this cannot be said
A sin, or shame, or loss of maidenhead,
    Yet this enjoys before it woo,
    And pampered swells with one blood made of two,
    And this, alas, is more than we would do.

Oh stay, three lives in one flea spare,
Where we almost, nay more than married are.  
This flea is you and I, and this
Our mariage bed and mariage temple is;  
Though parents grudge, and you, we are met,  
And cloisterd in these living walls of jet.
    Though use make you apt to kill me,
    Let not to that, self—murder added be,
    And sacrilege, three sins in killing three.

Cruel and sudden, hast thou since
Purpled thy nail in blood of innocence?  
Wherein could this flea guilty be,
Except in that drop which it sucked from thee?  
Yet thou triumph’st, and say’st that thou  
Find’st not thy self, nor me the weaker now;
    ’Tis true; then learn how false, fears be:
    Just so much honor, when thou yield’st to me,
    Will waste, as this flea’s death took life from thee.

All Kings, and all their favourites,
         All glory of honours, beauties, wits,
    The sun itself, which makes times, as they pass,
    Is elder by a year now than it was
    When thou and I first one another saw:
    All other things to their destruction draw,
         Only our love hath no decay;
    This no tomorrow hath, nor yesterday,
    Running it never runs from us away,
But truly keeps his first, last, everlasting day.

         Two graves must hide thine and my corse;
         If one might, death were no divorce.
    Alas, as well as other Princes, we
    (Who Prince enough in one another be)
    Must leave at last in death these eyes and ears,
    Oft fed with true oaths, and with sweet salt tears;
         But souls where nothing dwells but love
    (All other thoughts being inmates) then shall prove
    This, or a love increasèd there above,
When bodies to their graves, souls from their graves remove.

         And then we shall be throughly blessed;
         But we no more than all the rest.
    Here upon earth we’re Kings, and none but we
    Can be such Kings, nor of such subjects be;
    Who is so safe as we? where none can do
    Treason to us, except one of us two.
         True and false fears let us refrain,
    Let us love nobly, and live, and add again
    Years and years unto years, till we attain
To write threescore: this is the second of our reign.

Come, Madam, come, all rest my powers defy,
Until I labour, I in labour lie.
The foe oft—times having the foe in sight,
Is tir’d with standing though he never fight.
Off with that girdle, like heaven’s Zone glistering,
But a far fairer world encompassing.
Unpin that spangled breastplate which you wear,
That th’eyes of busy fools may be stopped there.
Unlace yourself, for that harmonious chime,
Tells me from you, that now it is bed time.
Off with that happy busk, which I envy,
That still can be, and still can stand so nigh.
Your gown going off, such beauteous state reveals,
As when from flowery meads th’hill’s shadow steals.
Off with that wiry Coronet and shew  
The hairy Diadem which on you doth grow:
Now off with those shoes, and then safely tread
In this love’s hallow’d temple, this soft bed.
In such white robes, heaven’s Angels used to be
Received by men; Thou Angel bringst with thee
A heaven like Mahomet’s Paradise; and though
Ill spirits walk in white, we easily know,
By this these Angels from an evil sprite,
Those set our hairs, but these our flesh upright.
    Licence my roving hands, and let them go,  
Before, behind, between, above, below.
O my America! my new—found—land,
My kingdom, safeliest when with one man mann’d,
My Mine of precious stones, My Empirie,
How blest am I in this discovering thee!
To enter in these bonds, is to be free;
Then where my hand is set, my seal shall be.
    Full nakedness! All joys are due to thee,
As souls unbodied, bodies uncloth’d must be,
To taste whole joys. Gems which you women use
Are like Atlanta’s balls, cast in men’s views,
That when a fool’s eye lighteth on a Gem,
His earthly soul may covet theirs, not them.
Like pictures, or like books’ gay coverings made
For lay—men, are all women thus array’d;
Themselves are mystic books, which only we  
(Whom their imputed grace will dignify)
Must see reveal’d. Then since that I may know;
As liberally, as to a Midwife, shew
Thy self: cast all, yea, this white linen hence,
There is no penance due to innocence.
    To teach thee, I am naked first; why then
What needst thou have more covering than a man.

1

What if this present were the world’s last night?
Mark in my heart, O soul, where thou dost dwell,
The picture of Christ crucified, and tell
Whether that countenance can thee affright,
Tears in his eyes quench the amazing light,
Blood fills his frowns, which from his pierced head fell.
And can that tongue adjudge thee unto hell,
Which prayed forgiveness for his foes’ fierce spite?
No, no; but as in my idolatry
I said to all my profane mistresses,
Beauty, of pity, foulness only is
A sign of rigour: so I say to thee,
To wicked spirits are horrid shapes assigned,
This beauteous form assures a piteous mind.

So, so breake off this last lamenting kisse,
    Which sucks two soules, and vapours Both away,
Turne thou ghost that way, and let mee turne this,
    And let our selves benight our happiest day,
We ask’d none leave to love; nor will we owe
    Any, so cheape a death, as saying, Goe;

Goe; and if that word have not quite kil’d thee,  
    Ease mee with death, by bidding mee goe too.
Oh, if it have, let my word worke on mee,
    And a just office on a murderer doe.
Except it be too late, to kill me so,
    Being double dead, going, and bidding, goe.

This is my play’s last scene; here heavens appoint
My pilgrimage’s last mile; and my race,
Idly, yet quickly run, hath this last pace,
My span’s last inch, my minute’s latest point;
And gluttonous death will instantly unjoint
My body and my soul, and I shall sleep a space;
But my’ever—waking part shall see that face
Whose fear already shakes my every joint.
Then, as my soul to’heaven, her first seat, takes flight,
And earth—born body in the earth shall dwell,
So fall my sins, that all may have their right,
To where they’are bred, and would press me, to hell.
Impute me righteous, thus purg’d of evil,
For thus I leave the world, the flesh, the devil.

Thou hast made me, and shall thy work decay?
Repair me now, for now mine end doth haste,
I run to death, and death meets me as fast,
And all my pleasures are like yesterday;
I dare not move my dim eyes any way,
Despair behind, and death before doth cast
Such terror, and my feebled flesh doth waste
By sin in it, which it t’wards hell doth weigh.
Only thou art above, and when towards thee
By thy leave I can look, I rise again;
But our old subtle foe so tempteth me,
That not one hour I can myself sustain;
Thy grace may wing me to prevent his art,
And thou like adamant draw mine iron heart.

O might those sighs and tears return again
Into my breast and eyes, which I have spent,
That I might in this holy discontent
Mourn with some fruit, as I have mourned in vain;
In mine Idolatry what showers of rain
Mine eyes did waste! what griefs my heart did rent!
That sufferance was my sin; now I repent;
'Cause I did suffer I must suffer pain.
Th’ hydropic drunkard, and night-scouting thief,
The itchy lecher, and self-tickling proud
Have the remembrance of past joys for relief
Of comming ills. To (poor) me is allowed
No ease; for long, yet vehement grief hath been
Th’ effect and cause, the punishment and sin.