Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, FAREWELL TO LOVE, by JOHN DONNE

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

FAREWELL TO LOVE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Whilst yet to prove
Last Line: And his first minute, after noone, is night.
Subject(s): Love

Whilst yet to prove,
I thought there was some Deitie in love
So did I reverence, and gave
Worship, as Atheists at their dying houre
Call, what they cannot name, an unknowne power,
As ignorantly did I crave:
Thus when
Things not yet knowne are coveted by men,
Our desires give them fashion, and so
As they waxe lesser, fall, as they sise, grow.

But, from late faire
His highnesse sitting in a golden Chaire,
Is not lesse cared for after three dayes
By children, then the thing which lovers so
Blindly admire, and with such worship wooe;
Being had, enjoying it decayes:
And thence,
What before pleas'd them all, takes but one sense,
And that so lamely, as it leaves behinde
A kinde of sorrowing dulnesse to the minde.

Ah cannot wee,
As well as Cocks and Lyons jocund be,
After such pleasures? Unlesse wise
Nature decreed (since each such Act, they say,
Diminisheth the length of life a day)
This, as shee would man should despise
The sport;
Because that other curse of being short,
And onely for a minute made to be,
Eager, desires to raise posterity.

Since so, my minde
Shall not desire what no man else can finde,
I'll no more dote and runne
To pursue things which had indammag'd me.
And when I come where moving beauties be,
As men doe when the summers Sunne
Growes great,
Though I admire their greatnesse, shun their heat;
Each place can afford shadowes. If all faile,
'Tis but applying worme-seed to the Taile.

Along with us, which we our selves produc'd;
But, now the Sunne is just above our head,
We doe those shadowes tread;
And to brave clearnesse all things are reduc'd.
So whilst our infant loves did grow,
Disguises did, and shadowes, flow,
From us, and our cares; but, now 'tis not so.

That love hath not attain'd the high'st degree,
Which is still diligent lest others see.

Except our loves at this noone stay,
We shall new shadowes make the other way.
As the first were made to blinde
Others; these which come behinde
Will worke upon our selves, and blind our eyes.
If our loves faint, and westwardly decline;
To me thou, falsly, thine,
And I to thee mine actions shall disguise.
The morning shadowes weare away,
But these grow longer all the day,
But oh, loves day is short, if love decay.

Love is a growing, or full constant light;
And his first minute, after noone, is night.

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