[Image and Dream]
Donne, John. The Elegies and the Songs and Sonnets of John Donne. Edited by Helen Gardner. London: Oxford University Press, 1965: 58.
1Image of her whom I love, more than she,
2 Whose fair impression in my faithful heart,
3Makes me her medal, and makes her love me,
4 As kings do coins, to which their stamps impart
5The value: go, and take my heart from hence,
6 Which now is grown too great and good for me:
7Honours oppress weak spirits, and our sense
8 Strong objects dull; the more, the less we see.
9When you are gone, and reason gone with you,
10 Then Fantasy is Queen and soul, and all;
11She can present joys meaner than you do;
12 Convenient, and more proportional.
13So, if I dream I have you, I have you,
14 For, all our joys are but fantastical.
15And so I scape the pain, for pain is true;
16 And sleep which locks up sense, doth lock out all.
17After a such fruition I shall wake,
18 And, but the waking, nothing shall repent;
19And shall to love more thankful sonnets make,
20 Then if more honour, tears, and pains were spent.
21But dearest heart, and dearer image stay;
22 Alas, true joys at best are dream enough;
23Though you stay here you pass too fast away:
24 For even at first life's taper is a snuff.
25Filled with her love, may I be rather grown
26Mad with much heart, then idiot with none.
RPO poem Editors:
Ian Lancashire, assisted by Ana Berdinskikh