Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE CURSE, by JOHN DONNE



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THE CURSE, by         Recitation     Poet's Biography
First Line: Whoever guesses, thinks, or dreams he knows
Last Line: Nature before hand hath out-cursed me.
Subject(s): Hate


Whoever guesses, thinks, or dreams he knows
Who is my mistress, wither by this curse;
His only, and only his purse
May some dull heart to love dispose,
And she yield then to all that are his foes;
May he be scorned by one, whom all else scorn,
Forswear to others, what to her he hath sworn,
With fear of missing, shamde of getting, torn:

Madness his sorrow, gout his cramps, may he
Make, by but thinking, who hath made him such:
And may he feel no touch
Of conscience, but of fame, and be
Anguished not that 'twas sin, but that 'twas she:
In early and long scarceness may he rot,
For land which had been his, if he had not
Himself incestuously an heir begot:

May he dream treason, and believe, that he
Meant to perform it, and confess, and die,
And no record tell why:
His sons, which none of his may be,
Inherit nothing but his infamy:
Or may he so long parasites have fed,
That he would fain be theirs, whom he hath bred,
And at the last be circumcised for bread:

The venom of all stepdames, gamesters' gall,
What tyrants, and their subjects interwish,
What plants, mines, beasts, fowl, fish,
Can contribute, all ill which all
Prophets, or poets spake; and all which shall
Be annexed in schedules unto this by me,
Fall on that man; for if it be a she
Nature before hand hath out-cursed me.




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