Verse > John Donne > The Poems of John Donne
John Donne (1572–1631).  The Poems of John Donne.  1896.
Letters to Several Personages
To M[r]. R[owland] W[oodward]
IF, as mine is, thy life a slumber be,
Seem, when thou read’st these lines, to dream of me.
Never did Morpheus nor his brother wear
Shapes so like those shapes, whom they would appear,
As this my letter is like me, for it        5
Hath my name, words, hand, feet, heart, mind and wit.
It is my deed of gift of me to thee;
It is my will, myself the legacy.
So thy retirings I love, yea envy,
Bred in thee by a wise melancholy,        10
That I rejoice, that unto where thou art,
Though I stay here, I can thus send my heart,
As kindly as any enamour’d patient
His picture to his absent love hath sent.
All news I think sooner reach thee than me;        15
Havens are heavens, and ships wing’d angels be,
The which both gospel and stern threatenings bring.
Guiana’s harvest is nipp’d in the spring,
I fear; and with us, methinks, Fate deals so
As with the Jews’ guide God did; He did show        20
Him the rich land, but barr’d his entry in;
Our slowness is our punishment and sin.
Perchance, these Spanish businesses being done,
Which, as the earth between the moon and sun,
Eclipse the light which Guiana would give,        25
Our discontinued hopes we shall retrieve.
But if—as all th’ All must—hopes smoke away,
Is not almighty virtue an India?
If men be worlds, there is in every one
Something to answer in some proportion        30
All the world’s riches; and in good men this,
Virtue, our form’s form and our soul’s soul, is.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.