Verse > John Donne > The Poems of John Donne
John Donne (1572–1631).  The Poems of John Donne.  1896.
X. The Dream
IMAGE of her whom I love, more than she,
  Whose fair impression in my faithful heart
Makes me her medal, and makes her love me,
  As kings do coins, to which their stamps impart
The value; go, and take my heart from hence,        5
  Which now is grown too great and good for me.
Honours oppress weak spirits, and our sense
  Strong objects dull; the more, the less we see.
When you are gone, and reason gone with you,
  Then fantasy is queen and soul, and all;        10
She can present joys meaner than you do,
  Convenient, and more proportional.
So, if I dream I have you, I have you,
  For all our joys are but fantastical;
And so I ’scape the pain, for pain is true;        15
  And sleep, which locks up sense, doth lock out all.
After a such fruition 1 I shall wake,
  And, but the waking, nothing shall repent;
And shall to love more thankful sonnets make,
  Than if more honour, tears, and pains were spent.        20
But, dearest heart and dearer image, stay;
  Alas! true joys at best are dream 2 enough;
Though you stay here, you pass too fast away,
  For even at first life’s taper is a snuff.
Fill’d with her love, may I be rather grown        25
  Mad with much heart, than idiot with none.
Note 1. l. 17. 1669, such a fruition [back]
Note 2. l. 22. 1669, dreams [back]

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