by John Donne

    SHE's dead ; and all which die
        To their first elements resolve ;
And we were mutual elements to us,
        And made of one another.
    My body then doth hers involve,
And those things whereof I consist hereby
In me abundant grow, and burdenous,
        And nourish not, but smother.
    My fire of passion, sighs of air,
Water of tears, and earthly sad despair,
            Which my materials be,
But near worn out by love's security,
She, to my loss, doth by her death repair.
And I might live long wretched so,
But that my fire doth with my fuel grow.
        Now, as those active kings
    Whose foreign conquest treasure brings,
Receive more, and spend more, and soonest break,
This —which I am amazed that I can speak—
        This death, hath with my store
            My use increased.
And so my soul, more earnestly released,
Will outstrip hers ; as bullets flown before
A latter bullet may o'ertake, the powder being more.

Donne, John. Poems of John Donne. vol I.
E. K. Chambers, ed.
London: Lawrence & Bullen, 1896. 69.

Caravaggio (1573-1610).
The Death of the Virgin.

to Works of John Donne

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