Donne, John. The Elegies and the Songs and Sonnets of John Donne. Edited by Helen Gardner. London: Oxford University Press, 1965: 76-77.
1I scarce believe my love to be so pure
2 As I had thought it was,
3 Because it doth endure
4Vicissitude, and season, as the grass;
5Methinks I lied all winter, when I swore
6My love was infinite, if spring make it more.
7But if this medicine, love, which cures all sorrow
8 With more, not only be no quintessence,
9 But mixed of all stuffs, vexing soul, or sense,
10And of the sun his active vigor borrow,
11Love's not so pure, and abstract, as they use
12To say, which have no mistress but their Muse,
13But as all else, being elemented too,
14Love sometimes would contemplate, sometimes do.
15And yet no greater, but more eminent,
16 Love by the spring is grown;
17 As in the firmament,
18Stars by the sun are not enlarged, but shown.
19Gentle love deeds, as blossoms on a bough,
20From love's awakened root do bud out now.
21If, as in water stirr'd more circles be
22 Produced by one, love such additions take,
23 Those like so many spheres but one heaven make,
24For they are all concentric unto thee;
25And though each spring do add to love new heat,
26As princes do in times of action get
27New taxes, and remit them not in peace,
28No winter shall abate this spring's increase.
RPO poem Editors:
Ian Lancashire, assisted by Ana Berdinskikh