Verse > John Donne > The Poems of John Donne
John Donne (1572–1631).  The Poems of John Donne.  1896.
Appendix A. Doubtful Poems
If She Deride
GREAT and good if she deride me,
Let me walk, I’ll not despair;
Ere to-morrow I’ll provide me
One as great, less proud, more fair.
    They that seek love to constrain        5
    Have their labour for their pain.
They that strongly can importune,
And will never yield nor tire,
Gain the pay in spite of Fortune;
But such gain I’ll not desire.        10
    Where the prize is shame or sin,
    Winners lose, and losers win.
Look upon the faithful lover;
Grief stands painted in his face;
Groans and sighs and tears discover        15
That they are his only grace.
    He must weep as children do,
    That will in the fashion woo.
I, who fly these idle fancies
Which my dearest rest betray,        20
Warn’d by other’s harmful chances,
Use my freedom as I may.
    When all the world says what it can,
    ’Tis but—O! unconstant man!

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