Verse > John Donne > The Poems of John Donne
John Donne (1572–1631).  The Poems of John Donne.  1896.
Songs and Sonnets
Negative Love
I NEVER stoop’d so low, as they
Which on an eye, cheek, lip, can prey;
  Seldom to them which soar no higher
  Than virtue, or the mind to admire.
For sense and understanding may        5
  Know what gives fuel to their fire;
My love, though silly, is more brave;
For may I miss, whene’er I crave,
If I know yet what I would have.
If that be simply perfectest,        10
Which can by no way 1 be express’d
  But negatives, my love is so.
  To all, which all love, I say no.
If any who deciphers best,
  What we know not—ourselves—can know,        15
Let him teach me that nothing. This
As yet my ease and comfort is,
Though I speed not, I cannot miss.
Note 1. l. 11. 1669, no means [back]

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