Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. I. Chaucer to Donne
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. I. Early Poetry: Chaucer to Donne
 
Song: ‘Sweetest love, I do not go’
By John Donne (1572–1631)
 
SWEETEST love, I do not go
For weariness of thee,
Nor in hope the world can show
A fitter love for me;
      But since that I        5
Must die at last, ’tis best
Thus to use myself in jest
By feigned deaths to die.
 
Yesternight the Sun went hence
And yet is here to-day,        10
He hath no desire nor sense,
Nor half so short a way;
      Then fear not me,
But believe that I shall make
Hastier journeys, since I take        15
More wings and spurs than he.
 
O how feeble is man’s power,
That if good fortune fall,
Cannot ado another hour,
Nor a lost hour recall!        20
      But come bad chance,
And we join to ’t our strength,
And we teach it art and length,
Itself o’er us t’ advance.
 
When thou sigh’st thou sigh’st not wind,        25
But sigh’st my soul away;
When thou weep’st unkindly kind,
My life’s blood doth decay.
      It cannot be
That thou lov’st me, as thou say’st;        30
If in thine my life thou waste,
Thou art the life of me.
 
Let not thy divining heart
Forethink me any ill,
Destiny may take my part        35
And may thy fears fulfil;
      But think that we
Are but laid aside to sleep:
They who one another keep
Alive, ne’er parted be.        40
 
 
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