Love's Alchemy

Original Text: 
John Donne, Poems, by J. D. With elegies on the authors death (M. F. for J. Marriot, 1633). MICF no. 556 ROBA. Facs. edn. Menston: Scolar Press, 1969. PR 2245 A2 1633A. STC 7045.
1Some that have deeper digg'd love's mine than I,
2Say, where his centric happiness doth lie;
3      I have lov'd, and got, and told,
4But should I love, get, tell, till I were old,
5I should not find that hidden mystery.
6      Oh, 'tis imposture all!
8      But glorifies his pregnant pot
9      If by the way to him befall
10Some odoriferous thing, or medicinal,
11      So, lovers dream a rich and long delight,
12      But get a winter-seeming summer's night.
13Our ease, our thrift, our honour, and our day,
14Shall we for this vain bubble's shadow pay?
15      Ends love in this, that my man
16Can be as happy'as I can, if he can
17Endure the short scorn of a bridegroom's play?
18      That loving wretch that swears
19'Tis not the bodies marry, but the minds,
20      Which he in her angelic finds,
21      Would swear as justly that he hears,
23      Hope not for mind in women; at their best

Notes

7] chemic: alchemist.
elixir: the "philosopher's stone" of alchemy which could transmute base metals to gold; sometimes identified with a "quintessence" which could cure all diseases and indefinitely prolong life. Back to Line
22] the spheres: the music of the spheres. Back to Line
24] mummy: body without mind, but with an ironic ambiguity arising from the popular belief in pieces of mummy, or pretended mummy, as of great medicinal value. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1633
RPO poem Editors: 
N. J. Endicott
RPO Edition: 
3RP 1.178.
Rhyme: