Verse > Anthologies > Herbert J.C. Grierson, ed. > Metaphysical Lyrics & Poems of the 17th c.
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Herbert J.C. Grierson, ed. (1886–1960). Metaphysical Lyrics & Poems of the 17th C.  1921.
 
John Donne
 
122. Elegie
On his Mistris
 
BY our first strange and fatall interview, 
By all desires which thereof did ensue, 
By our long starving hopes, by that remorse 
Which my words masculine perswasive force 
Begot in thee, and by the memory         5
Of hurts, which spies and rivals threatned me, 
I calmly beg: But by thy fathers wrath, 
By all paines, which want and divorcement hath, 
I conjure thee, and all the oathes which I 
And thou have sworne to seale joynt constancy,  10
Here I unsweare, and overswear them thus, 
Thou shalt not love by wayes so dangerous. 
Temper, ô faire Love, loves impetuous rage, 
Be my true Mistris still, not my faign'd Page; 
I'll goe, and, by thy kinde leave, leave behinde  15
Thee, onely worthy to nurse in my minde 
Thirst to come backe; ô if thou die before, 
My soule from other lands to thee shall soare. 
Thy (else Almighty) beautie cannot move 
Rage from the Seas, nor thy love teach them love,  20
Nor tame wilde Boreas harshnesse; Thou hast reade 
How roughly hee in peeces shivered 
Faire Orithea, whom he swore he lov'd. 
Fall ill or good, 'tis madnesse to have prov'd 
Dangers unurg'd; Feed on this flattery,  25
That absent Lovers one in th'other be. 
Dissemble nothing, not a boy, nor change 
Thy bodies habite, nor mindes; bee not strange 
To thy selfe onely; All will spie in thy face 
A blushing womanly discovering grace;  30
Richly cloath'd Apes, are call'd Apes, and as soone 
Ecclips'd as bright we call the Moone the Moone. 
Men of France, changeable Camelions, 
Spittles of diseases, shops of fashions, 
Loves fuellers, and the rightest company  35
Of Players, which upon the worlds stage be, 
Will quickly know thee, and no lesse, alas! 
Th'indifferent Italian, as we passe 
His warme land, well content to thinke thee Page, 
Will hunt thee with such lust, and hideous rage,  40
As Lots faire guests were vext. But none of these 
Nor spungy hydroptique Dutch shall thee displease, 
If thou stay here. O stay here, for, for thee 
England is onely a worthy Gallerie, 
To walke in expectation, till from thence  45
Our greatest King call thee to his presence. 
When I am gone, dreame me some happinesse, 
Nor let thy lookes our long hid love confesse, 
Nor praise, nor dispraise me, nor blesse nor curse 
Openly loves force, nor in bed fright thy Nurse  50
With midnights startings, crying out, oh, oh 
Nurse, ô my love is slaine, I saw him goe 
O'r the white Alpes alone; I saw him I, 
Assail'd, fight, taken, stabb'd, bleed, fall, and die. 
Augure me better chance, except dread Iove  55
Thinke it enough for me to'have had thy love. 
 
 
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