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John Donne
1572 - 1631

NOTE: The words and spelling are 17th century --- "feigned deaths" in this context refers to parting as death.


Sweetest love, I do not go

For weariness of thee,

Nor in hope the world can show

A fitter lover for me;

But since that I

Must die at last, 'tis best

To use myself in jest

Thus by feigned deaths to die.

Yesternight the sun went hence,

And yet is here today;

He hath no desire nor sense,

Nor half so short a way;

Then fear not me,

But believe that I shalL make

Speedier journeys, since I take

More wings and spurs than he.

O how feeble is man's power,

That, if good fortune fall,

Cannot add another hour,

Nor a lost hour recall;

But come bad chance,

And we join to it our strength,

And we teach it art and length,

Itself o'er us to advance.

When thou sigh'st, thou sigh'st not wind,

But sigh'st my soul away;

When thou weep'st, unkindly kind,

My life's blood doth decay:

It cannot be

That thou lovest me at thou say'st.

If in thine my life thou waste,

That art the best of me.

Let not thy divining heart

Forethink me any ill;

Destiny may take thy part

And may thy fears fulfil.

But think that we

Are but turned aside to sleep:

They who one another keep

Alive, ne'er parted be.


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