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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
A Valediction Forbidding Mourning
By John Donne (1572–1631)
 
AS virtuous men pass mildly away,
  And whisper to their souls to go,
Whilst some of their sad friends do say,
  “The breath goes now,” and some say “No”;
 
So let us melt and make no noise,        5
  No tear-floods nor sigh-tempests move;
’Twere profanation of our joys
  To tell the laity our love.
 
Moving of th’ earth brings harms and fears;
  Men reckon what it did and meant;        10
But trepidation of the spheres,
  Though greater far, is innocent.
 
Dull sublunary lovers’ love
  (Whose soul is sense) cannot admit
Absence, because it doth remove        15
  Those things which elemented it.
 
But we by a love so much refined
  That ourselves know not what it is,
Inter-assurèd of the mind,
  Care less eyes, lips, hands to miss.        20
 
Our two souls, therefore, which are one,
  Though I must go, endure not yet
A breach, but an expansiòn,
  Like gold to airy thinness beat.
 
If they be two, they are two so        25
  As stiff twin compasses are two;
Thy soul, the fixt foot, makes no show
  To move, but doth if the other do,
 
And though it in the centre sit,
  Yet when the other far doth roam,        30
It leans and hearkens after it,
  And grows erect as that comes home.
 
Such wilt thou be to me, who must,
  Like th’ other foot, obliquely run;
Thy firmness makes my circle just,        35
  And makes me end where I begun.
 
 
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