Verse > John Donne > The Poems of John Donne
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John Donne (1572–1631).  The Poems of John Donne.  1896.
 
Songs and Sonnets
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GOOD we must love, and must hate ill,
For ill is ill, and good good still;
  But there are 1 things indifferent,
Which we may neither hate, nor love,
But one, and then another prove,        5
  As we shall find our fancy bent.
 
If then at first wise Nature had
Made women either good or bad,
  Then some we might hate, and some choose;
But since she did them so create,        10
That we may neither love, nor hate,
  Only this rests, all all 2 may use.
 
If they were good, it would be seen;
Good is as visible as green,
  And to all eyes itself betrays,        15
If they were bad, they could not last;
Bad doth itself and others waste;
  So they deserve nor blame, nor praise.
 
But they are ours as fruits are ours;
He that but tastes, he that devours,        20
  And he that leaves all, doth as well;
Changed loves are but changed sorts of meat;
And when he hath the kernel eat,
  Who doth not fling away the shell?
 
Note 1. l. 3. So 1635; 1633, these are [back]
Note 2. l. 12. 1669, all men [back]
 
 
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