His Picture

Original Text: 
Donne, John. The Elegies and the Songs and Sonnets of John Donne. Edited by Helen Gardner. London: Oxford University Press, 1965: 25.
1Here take my picture ; though I bid farewell,
2Thine, in my heart, where my soul dwells, shall dwell.
3'Tis like me now, but I dead, 'twill be more,
4When we are shadows both, than 'twas before.
5When weatherbeaten I come back ; my hand
6Perhaps with rude oars torn, or sun-beams tann'd,
7My face and breast of haircloth, and my head
8With care's harsh sudden hoariness o'erspread,
9My body a sack of bones, broken within,
10And powder's blue stains scatter'd on my skin;
11If rival fools tax thee to have loved a man,
12So foul and coarse, as, oh, I may seem then,
13This shall say what I was ; and thou shalt say,
14"Do his hurts reach me? doth my worth decay?
15Or do they reach his judging mind, that he
16Should now love less, what he did love to see?
17That which in him was fair and delicate,
18Was but the milk, which in love's childish state
19Did nurse it ; who now is grown strong enough
20To feed on that, which to weak tastes seems tough."
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire, assisted by Ana Berdinskikh
RPO Edition: 
2009
Rhyme: 
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