Verse > John Donne > The Poems of John Donne
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John Donne (1572–1631).  The Poems of John Donne.  1896.
 
Songs and Sonnets
Song: Sweetest love, I do not go
 
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
At the last must part, ’tis best,
Thus to use myself in jest
  By feigned deaths to die. 1
 
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
Speedier 2 journeys, since I take        15
  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;        20
    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, 3        25
  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 as thou say’st,        30
If in thine my life thou waste,
  That art the best 4 of me.
 
Let not thy divining heart
  Forethink me any ill;
Destiny may take thy part,        35
  And may 5 thy fears fulfil.
    But think that we
Are but turn’d aside 6 to sleep.
They who one another keep
  Alive, ne’er parted be.        40
 
Note 1. ll. 6–8. So 1635;
  1633
Must die at last, ’tis best,
To use myself in jest
Thus by feign’d deaths to die.
1669
Must die at last, ’tis best,
Thus to use myself in jest
By feigned death to die.
 [back]
Note 2. l. 15. 1669, Hastier [back]
Note 3. l. 25. 1635, no wind [back]
Note 4. l. 32. So 1635; 1633, Thou art; 1669, Which art the life [back]
Note 5. l. 36. So 1633, 1669; 1635, make [back]
Note 6. l. 38. 1669, laid aside [back]
 
 
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