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
The Apparition
 
WHEN by thy scorn, O murd’ress, I am dead,
And that thou think’st 1 thee free
From all solicitation from me,
Then shall my ghost come to thy bed,
And thee, feign’d vestal, in worse arms shall see:        5
Then thy sick taper will begin to wink,
And he, whose thou art then, 2 being tired before,
Will, if thou stir, or pinch to wake him, think
      Thou call’st for more,
And, in false sleep, will from thee 3 shrink:        10
And then, poor aspen wretch, neglected thou
Bathed in a cold quicksilver sweat wilt lie
      A verier ghost than I.
What I will say, I will not tell thee now,
Lest that preserve thee; and since my love is spent,        15
I’d rather thou shouldst painfully repent,
Than by my threatenings rest still innocent.
 
Note 1. l. 2. 1669, thou shalt think [back]
Note 2. l. 7. 1669 omits then [back]
Note 3. l. 10. 1635, in false sleep, from thee. 1669, in a false sleep, even from thee [back]
 
 
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