by John Donne

WHEN last I died, and, dear, I die
As often as from thee I go,
Though it be but an hour ago
—And lovers' hours be full eternity—
I can remember yet, that I
Something did say, and something did bestow ;
Though I be dead, which sent me, I might be
Mine own executor, and legacy.

I heard me say, "Tell her anon,
That myself," that is you, not I,
" Did kill me," and when I felt me die,
I bid me send my heart, when I was gone ;
But I alas ! could there find none ;
When I had ripp'd, and search'd where hearts should lie,
It kill'd me again, that I who still was true
In life, in my last will should cozen you.

Yet I found something like a heart,
But colours it, and corners had ;
It was not good, it was not bad,
It was entire to none, and few had part ;
As good as could be made by art
It seem'd, and therefore for our loss be sad.
I meant to send that heart instead of mine,
But O ! no man could hold it, for 'twas thine.

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. 18-19.

to John Donne

Copyright © 1996-2014 Anniina Jokinen. All Rights Reserved.
Created by Anniina Jokinenon August 13, 1999. Last updated July 8, 2014.