Verse > John Donne > The Poems of John Donne
John Donne (1572–1631).  The Poems of John Donne.  1896.
Appendix A. Doubtful Poems
The Lady and her Viol
WHY dost thou, dear, affect thy viol so,
And let thy love forlorn with anguish go?
Thou’lt kindly set him on thy lap, embrace
And almost kiss, while I must void the place.
Thou’lt string him truly, tune him sweetly, when        5
Thou’lt wrest me out of tune and crack me then.
Thou’lt stop his frets, but set no date to mine.
Thou’lt give whate’er he wants, but let me pine.
Thou know’st him hollow-hearted, yet wilt hear
Him thoroughout with an attentive ear;        10
And sing him such a pleasing lullaby,
Would charm hell’s churlish porter’s watchful eye,
Keeping true time with him as true may be,
But find no time to keep thee true to me.
Dear, as the instrument would I were thine,        15
That thou mightst play on me, 1 or thou wert mine.
Note 1. l. 16. The Farmer-Chetham MS. has a variant, That I might play on thee. [back]

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