The Legacy

Original Text: 
Donne, John. The Elegies and the Songs and Sonnets of John Donne. Edited by Helen Gardner. London: Oxford University Press, 1965: 50.
1When last I died, and, dear, I die
2    As often as from thee I go,
3    Though it be but an hour ago
4And lovers' hours be full eternity,
5I can remember yet, that I
6    Something did say, and something did bestow;
7Though I be dead, which sent me, I might be
8Mine own executor, and legacy.
9I heard me say, "Tell her anon,
10    That myself," that is you, not I,
11    " Did kill me," and when I felt me die,
12I bid me send my heart, when I was gone;
13But I alas ! could there find none,
14    When I had ripp'd, and search'd where hearts should lie,
15It kill'd me again, that I who still was true
16In life, in my last will should cozen you.
17Yet I found something like a heart,
18    But colours it, and corners had ;
19    It was not good, it was not bad,
20It was entire to none, and few had part ;
21As good as could be made by art
22    It seem'd, and therefore for our loss be sad.
23I meant to send that heart instead of mine,
24But oh, no man could hold it, for 'twas thine.
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire, assisted by Ana Berdinskikh
RPO Edition: 
2009
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