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John Donne : A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning

As virtuous men passe mildly away,
	And whisper to their soules, to goe,
Whilst some of their sad friends doe say,
	The breath goes now, and some say, no:

So let us melt, and make no noise,
	No teare-floods, nor sigh-tempests move,
T’were prophanation of our joyes
	To tell the layetie our love.

Moving of th’earth1 brings harmes and feares,
	Men reckon what it did and meant,
But trepidation of the spheares2,
	Though greater farre, is innocent.

Dull sublunary3 lovers love
	(Whose soule is sense) cannot admit
Absence, because it doth remove
	Those things which elemented it. 

But we by a love, so much refin’d,
	That our selves to know not what it is,
Inter-assured of the mind,
	Care lesse, eyes, lips, and hands to misse.

Our two soules therefore, which are one,
	Though I must goe, endure not yet
A breach, but an expansion,
	Like gold to ayery thinnesse beate. 

If they be two, they are two so
	As stiffe twin compasses4 are two,
Thy soule the fixt foot, makes no show
	To move, but doth, if the’other doe.

And though it in the center sit,
	Yet, when the other far doth rome,
It leanes, and hearkens after it,
	And growes erect, as that comes home.

Such wilt thou be to mee, who must
	Like th’other foot, obliquely runne;
Thy firmnes makes my circle just,
	And makes me end, where I begunne. 

John Donne (1572-1631)	P. 1633

 
FOOTNOTES
1 earthquakes ; 2 the heavenly planets ; 3 beneath the moon, i.e. on the earth ; 4 as in a compass with two feet for drawing circles
 

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