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John Donne : Loves Growth

I scarce beleeve my love to be so pure
	As I had thought it was,
	Because it doth endure
Vicissitude, and season, as the grasse;
Me thinkes I lyed all winter, when I swore,
My love was infinite, if spring make’it more.

But if this medicine, love, which cures all sorrow
With more, not onely bee no quintessence1,
But mixt of all stuffes, paining soule, or sense,
And of the Sunne his working vigour borrow2,
Love’s not so pure, and abstract, as they use
To say, which have no Mistresse but their Muse,
But as all else, being elemented3 too,
Love sometimes would contemplate, sometimes do.

And yet no greater, but more eminent,
	Love by the spring is growne;
	As, in the firmament,
Starres by the Sune are not inlarg’d, but showne.
Gentle love deeds, as blossomes on a bough,
From loves awakened root do bud out now.

If, as in water stir’d more circles bee
Produc’d by one, love such additions take,
Those like so many spheares, but one heaven make,
For, they are all concentrique unto thee;
And though each spring doe adde to love new heate,
As princes doe in times of action get
New taxes, and remit them not in peace,
No winter shall abate the springs encrease. 

John Donne (1572-1631)	P. 1633

1 the “quintessence” was believed to be a fifth element, more pure than earth, water, air and fire, and capable of curing all disease; 2 i.e. in the Spring ; 3 here means “mixed”

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