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Poem by John Donne


The Legacy


When I died last, and, Dear, I die
As often as from thee I go,
Though it be but an hour ago,
And Lovers' hours be full eternity,
I can remember yet, that I
Something did say, and something did bestow;
Though I be dead, which sent me, I should be
Mine own executor and legacy.

I heard me say, "Tell her anon,
That myself, that is you, not I,
Did kill me," and when I felt me die,
I bid me send my heart, when I was gone,
But alas could there find none,
When I had ripp'd me, and search'd where hearts should lie;
It kill'd me again, that I who still was true,
In life, in my last will should cozen you.

Yet I found something like a heart,
But colors it, and corners had,
It was not good, it was not bad,
It was intire to none, and few had part.
As good as could be made by art
It seem'd, and therefore for our losses sad,
I meant to send this heart in stead of mine,
But oh, no man could hold it, for 'twas thine. 



John Donne


John Donne's other poems:
  1. The Will
  2. Temple
  3. Fall of a Wall
  4. Crucifying
  5. Oh My Blacke Soule! Now Thou Art Summoned


Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Thomas Moore The Legacy ("When in death I shall calmly recline")
  • Henry King, Bishop of Chichester The Legacy ("My dearest Love! when thou and I must part")

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