Verse > John Donne > The Poems of John Donne
John Donne (1572–1631).  The Poems of John Donne.  1896.
Appendix A. Doubtful Poems
Love and Wit
TRUE love finds wit, but he whose wit doth move
Him to love, confesseth he doth not love;
And from his wit passions and true desire
Are forced as hard as from the flint is fire.
My love’s all fire, whose flames my soul doth nurse,        5
Whose smokes are sighs, whose every spark’s a verse.
Doth measure win women? Then I know why
Most of our ladies with the Scots do lie.
A Scot is measured in each syllable, terse
And smooth as a verse, and, like that smooth verse, 1        10
Is shallow, and wants matter cut in bands. 2
And they are rugged. Her state better stands,
Whom dancing measures tempted, not the Scot;
In brief, they’re 3 out of measure, lost, so got.
Green-sickness wenches (not needs must, but) may        15
Look pale, breathe short; at court none so long stay.
Good wit never despair’d there, or “Ah me!” said,
For never wench at court was ravished.
And she but cheats on heaven whom so you win,
Thinking to share the sport, but not the sin.        20
Note 1. l. 10. So Haslewood-Kingsborough MS.; Stephens MS. Smooth as a verse. [back]
Note 2. l. 11. So St. MS.; Hasle.-Kings. MS. writ in ’s hands [back]
Note 3. l. 14. So St. MS.; Hasle.-Kings. MS. She’s [back]

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