Verse > John Donne > The Poems of John Donne
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John Donne (1572–1631).  The Poems of John Donne.  1896.
 
Elegies
V. His Picture
 
HERE take my picture; though I bid farewell,
Thine, in my heart, where my soul dwells, shall dwell.
’Tis like me now, but I dead, ’twill be more,
When we are shadows both, than ’twas before.
When weatherbeaten I come back; my hand        5
Perhaps with rude oars torn, or sun-beams tann’d,
My face and breast of haircloth, and my head
With care’s harsh sudden hoariness o’erspread, 1
My body a sack of bones, broken within,
And powder’s blue stains scatter’d on my skin;        10
If rival fools tax thee to have loved a man,
So foul and coarse, as, O! I may seem then,
This shall say what I was; and thou shalt say,
“Do his hurts reach me? doth my worth decay?
Or do they reach his judging mind, that he        15
Should now love less, what he did love to see?
That which in him was fair and delicate,
Was but the milk, which in love’s childish state
Did nurse it; who now is grown strong enough
To feed on that, which to weak tastes 2 seems tough.”        20
 
Note 1. l. 8. So 1635; 1633, With care’s rash sudden storms being o’erspread, [back]
Note 2. l. 20. So 1650; 1633, disused tastes [back]
 
 
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