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
Self-love
 
HE that cannot choose but love,
And strives against it still,
Never shall my fancy move,
For he loves against his will;
Nor he which is all his own,        5
And cannot pleasure choose;
When I am caught he can be gone,
And when he list refuse;
Nor he that loves none but fair,
For such by all are sought;        10
Nor he that can for foul ones care,
For his judgment then is nought;
Nor he that hath wit, for he
Will make me his jest or slave;
Nor a fool when others ——        15
He can neither ——
Nor he that still his mistress prays,
For she is thrall’d therefore;
Nor he that pays, not, for he says
Within, she’s worth no more.        20
Is there then no kind of men
Whom I may freely prove?
I will vent that humour then
In mine own self-love.
 
 
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