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
Song: Go and catch a falling star
 
GO and catch a falling star,
  Get with child a mandrake root,
Tell me where all past years 1 are,
  Or who cleft the devil’s foot,
Teach me to hear mermaids singing,        5
Or to keep off envy’s stinging,
        And find
        What wind
Serves to advance an honest mind.
 
If thou be’st born to strange sights,        10
  Things invisible to see, 2
Ride ten thousand days and nights,
  Till age snow white hairs on thee,
Thou, when thou return’st, wilt tell me,
All strange wonders that befell thee,        15
        And swear,
        No where
Lives a woman true and fair.
 
If thou find’st one, let me know;
  Such a pilgrimage were sweet.        20
Yet do not, I would not go,
  Though at next door we might meet.
Though she were true when you met her,
And last till you write your letter,
        Yet she        25
        Will be
False, ere I come, 3 to two or three.
 
Note 1. l. 3. 1669, times past [back]
Note 2. l. 11. 1669, go see [back]
Note 3. l. 27. 1669, ere she come [back]
 
 
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