Verse > John Donne > The Poems of John Donne
John Donne (1572–1631).  The Poems of John Donne.  1896.
Appendix B. Poems hitherto Uncollected
[An Ideal]
WHEN I do love, my mistress must be fair,
Yet not extremely so, lest I despair.
When I do love, my mistress must be wise,
Yet not a wit; I’ll not be so precise.
When I do love, my mistress chaste must be,        5
Not obstinate, for then she’s not for me.
When I do love, my mistress must be kind,
Yet not before I her by merit bind.
She whom I love need not for to be rich,
For virtue and not wealth doth me bewitch.        10
She whom I love may once have loved before,
For, meeting equal, we can love the more.
    And, to conclude, my mistress must be young,
    And last (that’s hardest) not have too much tongue.

D. DUNN.    

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