1All kings, and all their favourites,
2 All glory of honours, beauties, wits,
3The sun it self, which makes time, as they pass,
4Is elder by a year now than it was
5When thou and I first one another saw:
6All other things to their destruction draw,
7 Only our love hath no decay;
8This no to-morrow hath, nor yesterday,
9Running it never runs from us away,
10But truly keeps his first, last, everlasting day.
11Two graves must hide thine and my coarse,
12 If one might, death were no divorce.
13Alas, as well as other princes, we
14(Who prince enough in one another be,)
15Must leave at last in death these eyes and ears,
16Oft fed with true oaths, and with sweet salt tears;
17 But souls where nothing dwells but love
18(All other thoughts being inmates) then shall prove
19This or a love increased there above,
20When bodies to their graves, souls from their graves remove.
21And then we shall be throughly blest,
22 But now no more than all the rest.
23Here upon earth we're kings, and none but we
24Can be such kings, nor of such subjects be;
25Who is so safe as we? where none can do
26Treason to us, except one of us two.
27 True and false fears let us refrain,
28Let us love nobly, and live, and add again
29Years and years unto years, till we attain
30To write threescore ; this is the second of our reign.
Donne, John. The Elegies and the Songs and Sonnets of John Donne. Edited by Helen Gardner. London: Oxford University Press, 1965: 71-72.
RPO poem Editors
Ian Lancashire, assisted by Ana Berdinskikh