Donne, John. The Elegies and the Songs and Sonnets of John Donne. Edited by Helen Gardner. London: Oxford University Press, 1965: 9-10.
1Fond woman, which wouldst have thy husband die,
2And yet complain'st of his great jealousy;
3If, swollen with poison, he lay in his last bed,
4His body with a sere bark covered,
5Drawing his breath as thick and short as can
6The nimblest crocheting musician,
7Ready with loathsome vomiting to spew
8His soul out of one hell into a new,
9Made deaf with his poor kindred's howling cries,
10Begging with few feign'd tears great legacies,
11Thou wouldst not weep, but jolly, and frolic be,
12As a slave, which to-morrow should be free.
13Yet weep'st thou, when thou seest him hungerly
14Swallow his own death, heart's-bane jealousy.
15O give him many thanks, he's courteous,
16That in suspecting kindly warneth us.
17We must not, as we used, flout openly,
18In scoffing riddles, his deformity;
19Nor at his board together being sat,
20With words, nor touch, scarce looks, adulterate.
21Nor when he, swollen and pamper'd with great fare,
22Sits down and snorts, cag'd in his basket chair,
23Must we usurp his own bed any more,
24Nor kiss and play in his house, as before.
25Now I see many dangers; for it is
26His realm, his castle, and his diocese.
27But ifas envious men, which would revile
28Their prince, or coin his gold, themselves exile
29Into another country, and do it there
30We play in another house, what should we fear?
31There we will scorn his household policies,
32His silly plots, and pensionary spies,
33As the inhabitants of Thames' right side
34Do London's mayor, or Germans the Pope's pride.
RPO poem Editors:
Ian Lancashire, assisted by Ana Berdinskikh