Donne, John. The Elegies and the Songs and Sonnets of John Donne. Edited by Helen Gardner. London: Oxford University Press, 1965: 33-34.
1Good we must love, and must hate ill,
2For ill is ill, and good good still,
3 But there are things indifferent,
4Which wee may neither hate, nor love,
5But one, and then another prove,
6 As we shall find our fancy bent.
7If then at first wise Nature had
8Made women either good or bad,
9 Then some wee might hate, and some choose,
10But since she did them so create,
11That we may neither love, nor hate,
12 Only this rests, all, all may use.
13If they were good it would be seen ;
14Good is as visible as green,
15 And to all eyes itself betrays:
16If they were bad, they could not last,
17Bad doth itself, and others waste,
18 So they deserve nor blame, nor praise.
19But they are ours as fruits are ours,
20He that but tastes, he that devours,
21 And he that leaves all, doth as well:
22Changed loves are but changed sorts of meat,
23And when he hath the kernel eat,
24 Who doth not fling away the shell?
RPO poem Editors
Ian Lancashire, assisted by Ana Berdinskikh