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
Love’s Usury
 
FOR every hour that thou wilt spare me now,
          I will allow,
Usurious god of love, twenty to thee,
When with my brown my grey hairs equal be.
Till then, Love, let my body range, 1 and let        5
Me travel, sojourn, snatch, plot, have, forget, 2
Resume my last year’s relict; 3 think that yet
          We’d never met.
 
Let me think any rival’s letter mine,
          And at next nine        10
Keep midnight’s promise; mistake by the way
The maid, and tell the lady of that delay; 4
Only let me love none; no, not the sport
From country grass to confitures of court,
Or city’s quelque-choses; let not 5 report        15
          My mind transport.
 
This bargain’s good; if when I’m old, I be
          Inflamed by thee,
If thine own honour, or my shame and pain, 6
Thou covet most, at that age thou shalt gain.        20
Do thy will then; then subject and degree
And fruit of love, Love, I submit to thee.
Spare me till then; I’ll bear it, though she be
          One that love me. 7
 
Note 1. l. 5. So 1635; 1633, raigne [back]
Note 2. l. 6. So 1633, 1669; 1635, match, plot, have, forget [back]
Note 3. l. 7. 1669, relique [back]
Note 4. l. 12. 1669, her delay [back]
Note 5. l. 15. So 1635; 1633, 1669 omit not [back]
Note 6. l. 19. 1669, or pain [back]
Note 7. l. 24. So 1635; 1633, 1669, loves me [back]
 
 
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