A Lecture upon the Shadow

Original Text: 
John Donne, Poems, 2nd edition. (M. F. for J. Marriot, 1635). STC 7046. stc Fisher Rare Book Library (Toronto).
1Stand still, and I will read to thee
2A lecture, love, in love's philosophy.
3      These three hours that we have spent,
4      Walking here, two shadows went
5Along with us, which we ourselves produc'd.
6But, now the sun is just above our head,
7      We do those shadows tread,
9So whilst our infant loves did grow,
10Disguises did, and shadows, flow
11From us, and our cares; but now 'tis not so.
12That love has not attain'd the high'st degree,
13Which is still diligent lest others see.
14Except our loves at this noon stay,
15We shall new shadows make the other way.
16      As the first were made to blind
17      Others, these which come behind
18Will work upon ourselves, and blind our eyes.
19If our loves faint, and westwardly decline,
20      To me thou, falsely, thine,
21      And I to thee mine actions shall disguise.
22The morning shadows wear away,
23But these grow longer all the day;
24But oh, love's day is short, if love decay.
25Love is a growing, or full constant light,
26And his first minute, after noon, is night.

Notes

8] brave: splendid. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1635
RPO poem Editors: 
N. J. Endicott
RPO Edition: 
3RP 1.174.
Rhyme: