Verse > John Donne > The Poems of John Donne
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John Donne (1572–1631).  The Poems of John Donne.  1896.
 
Appendix B. Poems hitherto Uncollected
The Constant Lover
 
I KNOW as well as you she is not fair,
Nor hath she sparkling eyes, nor curling hair,
Nor can she boast of virtue, or of truth,
Nor anything about her, but her youth.
I know she cannot love, or, if she do,        5
Alas, ’twill be but for an hour or two;
For she a woman is; I know in vain
I spend my vows and tears, which down do rain
From my unhappy eyes, and to no end
I know I verses write and letters send;        10
For she hath vow’d my death shall never move her;
Yet for all this I cannot choose but love her.
Yet am I not so blind as some men be,
Who vow and swear they little Cupid see
In their fair mistress’ eyes, and say there dwell        15
Roses about her cheeks that do excell
Rubies and coral, as if love were built
In fading red and white, the body’s gilt;
As if they could not love, unless they tell
Where, how, and in what place their loves do dwell.        20
Vain heretics they are, for I love more
Than ever any did, that told wherefore.
Then do not trouble me, nor ask me why;
’Tis because she is she, and I am I.
 
 
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