Paris Bordone, Venus and Mars with Cupid. 1559-60.
by John Donne
GOOD we must love, and must hate ill,
For ill is ill, and good good still ;
But there are things indifferent,
Which wee may neither hate, nor love,
But one, and then another prove,
As we shall find our fancy bent.
If then at first wise Nature had
Made women either good or bad,
Then some wee might hate, and some choose ;
But since she did them so create,
That we may neither love, nor hate,
Only this rests, all all may use.
If they were good it would be seen ;
Good is as visible as green,
And to all eyes itself betrays.
If they were bad, they could not last ;
Bad doth itself, and others waste ;
So they deserve nor blame, nor praise.
But they are ours as fruits are ours ;
He that but tastes, he that devours,
And he that leaves all, doth as well ;
Changed loves are but changed sorts of meat ;
And when he hath the kernel eat,
Who doth not fling away the shell?
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Donne, John. Poems of John Donne. vol I.
E. K. Chambers, ed.
London: Lawrence & Bullen, 1896. 33.
||to John Donne
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Created by Anniina Jokinenon January 10, 2000. Last updated July 8, 2014.