Verse > Anthologies > Herbert J.C. Grierson, ed. > Metaphysical Lyrics & Poems of the 17th c.
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Herbert J.C. Grierson, ed. (1886–1960). Metaphysical Lyrics & Poems of the 17th C.  1921.
 
John Donne
 
13. A Valediction: forbidding mourning
 
AS virtuous men passe mildly away, 
  And whisper to their soules, to goe, 
Whilst some of their sad friends doe say, 
  The breath goes now, and some say, no: 
  
So let us melt, and make no noise,         5
  No teare-floods, nor sigh-tempests move, 
T'were prophanation of our joyes 
  To tell the layetie our love. 
  
Moving of th'earth brings harmes and feares, 
  Men reckon what it did and meant,  10
But trepidation of the spheares, 
  Though greater farre, is innocent. 
  
Dull sublunary lovers love 
  (Whose soule is sense) cannot admit 
Absence, because it doth remove  15
  Those things which elemented it. 
  
But we by a love, so much refin'd, 
  That our selves know not what it is, 
Inter-assured of the mind, 
  Care lesse, eyes, lips, and hands to misse.  20
  
Our two soules therefore, which are one, 
  Though I must goe, endure not yet 
A breach, but an expansion, 
  Like gold to ayery thinnesse beate. 
  
If they be two, they are two so  25
  As stiffe twin compasses are two, 
Thy soule the fixt foot, makes no show 
  To move, but doth, if the'other doe. 
  
And though it in the center sit, 
  Yet when the other far doth rome,  30
It leanes, and hearkens after it, 
  And growes erect, as that comes home. 
  
Such wilt thou be to mee, who must 
  Like th'other foot, obliquely runne; 
Thy firmnes makes my circle just,  35
  And makes me end, where I begunne. 
 
 
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