The Girl with the Wineglass, 1659-60. Jan Vermeer.

by John Donne

FOR every hour that thou wilt spare me now,
            I will allow,
Usurious god of love, twenty to thee,
When with my brown my gray hairs equal be.
Till then, Love, let my body range, and let
Me travel, sojourn, snatch, plot, have, forget,
Resume my last year's relict ; think that yet
            We'd never met.

Let me think any rival's letter mine,
            And at next nine
Keep midnight's promise ; mistake by the way
The maid, and tell the lady of that delay ;
Only let me love none ; no, not the sport
From country grass to confitures of court,
Or city's quelque-choses ; let not report
            My mind transport.

This bargain's good ; if when I'm old, I be
            Inflamed by thee,
If thine own honour, or my shame and pain,
Thou covet most, at that age thou shalt gain.
Do thy will then ; then subject and degree
And fruit of love, Love, I submit to thee.
Spare me till then ; I'll bear it, though she be
            One that love me.

Audio Reading by Anniina Jokinen, ©2003.


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Donne, John. Poems of John Donne. vol I.
E. K. Chambers, ed.
London: Lawrence & Bullen, 1896. 10-11.

to John Donne

Copyright © 1996-2014 Anniina Jokinen. All Rights Reserved.
Created by Anniina Jokinenon May 21, 1996. Last updated July 8, 2014.