Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Elizabethan Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Elizabethan Verse.  1907.
 
My Heart
Oxford Music School MS.
 
THOU 1 sent’st to me a heart was sound,
  I took it to be thine:
But when I saw it had a wound,
  I knew that heart was mine.
 
A bounty of a strange conceit,        5
  To send mine own to me,
And send it in a worse estate
  Than when it came to thee.
 
Note 1. From Oxford Music School MS. F., 575. “I seem to have met [these verses],” says Mr. Bullen (More Lyrics from Elizabethan Song-Books), “in print somewhere, but cannot at the moment trace them. For neatness and elegance they are worthy of Ben Jonson.” Dr. Grosart ascribed this poem to Donne, and printed it in his edition of the poet’s Works, vol. ii., p. 254, adding the two following stanzas:

  The heart I sent thee had no stain;
  It was entire and sound;
But thou hast sent it back again
  Sick of a deadly wound.
  
O Heavens, how wouldst thou use a heart
  That should rebellious be,
Since thou hast slain mine with a dart
  That so much honoured thee.
 
 
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