Verse > Anthologies > Herbert J.C. Grierson, ed. > Metaphysical Lyrics & Poems of the 17th c.
Herbert J.C. Grierson, ed. (1886–1960). Metaphysical Lyrics & Poems of the 17th C.  1921.
John Donne
6. Aire and Angels
TWICE or thrice had I loved thee, 
Before I knew thy face or name; 
So in a voice, so in a shapelesse flame, 
Angells affect us oft, and worship'd bee; 
  Still when, to where thou wert, I came,         5
Some lovely glorious nothing I did see. 
  But since my soule, whose child love is, 
Takes limmes of flesh, and else could nothing doe, 
  More subtile then the parent is, 
Love must not be, but take a body too,  10
  And therefore what thou wert, and who, 
      I bid Love aske, and now 
That it assume thy body, I allow, 
And fixe it selfe in thy lip, eye, and brow. 
Whilst thus to ballast love, I thought,  15
And so more steddily to have gone, 
With wares which would sinke admiration, 
I saw, I had loves pinnace overfraught, 
  Ev'ry thy haire for love to worke upon 
Is much too much, some fitter must be sought;  20
  For, nor in nothing, nor in things 
Extreme, and scatt'ring bright, can love inhere; 
  Then as an Angell, face, and wings 
Of aire, not pure as it, yet pure doth weare, 
  So thy love may be my loves spheare;  25
      Just such disparitie 
As is twixt Aire and Angells puritie, 
'Twixt womens love, and mens will ever bee. 

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