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Poem by John Donne
Farewell to Love
WHILST yet to prove I thought there was some deity in love, So did I reverence, and gave Worship ; as atheists at their dying hour Call, what they cannot name, an unknown power, As ignorantly did I crave. Thus when Things not yet known are coveted by men, Our desires give them fashion, and so As they wax lesser, fall, as they size, grow. But, from late fair, His highness sitting in a golden chair, Is not less cared for after three days By children, than the thing which lovers so Blindly admire, and with such worship woo ; Being had, enjoying it decays ; And thence, What before pleased them all, takes but one sense, And that so lamely, as it leaves behind A kind of sorrowing dulness to the mind. Ah cannot we, As well as cocks and lions, jocund be After such pleasures, unless wise Nature decreed—since each such act, they say, Diminisheth the length of life a day— This ; as she would man should despise The sport, Because that other curse of being short, And only for a minute made to be Eager, desires to raise posterity. Since so, my mind Shall not desire what no man else can find ; I'll no more dote and run To pursue things which had endamaged me ; And when I come where moving beauties be, As men do when the summer's sun Grows great, Though I admire their greatness, shun their heat. Each place can afford shadows ; if all fail, 'Tis but applying worm-seed to the tail.
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