Love's Usury

Original Text: 
Donne, John. The Elegies and the Songs and Sonnets of John Donne. Edited by Helen Gardner. London: Oxford University Press, 1965: 44.
1For every hour that thou wilt spare me now,
2            I will allow,
3Usurious god of love, twenty to thee,
4When with my brown my gray hairs equal be.
5Till then, Love, let my body range, and let
6Me travel, sojourn, snatch, plot, have, forget,
7Resume my last year's relict; think that yet
8            We'd never met.
9Let me think any rival's letter mine,
10            And at next nine
11Keep midnight's promise; mistake by the way
12The maid, and tell the lady of that delay;
13Only let me love none; no, not the sport
14From country grass to confitures of court,
15Or city's quelque-choses; let not report
16            My mind transport.
17This bargain's good; if when I'm old, I be
18            Inflamed by thee,
19If thine own honour, or my shame and pain,
20Thou covet most, at that age thou shalt gain.
21Do thy will then; then subject and degree
22And fruit of love, Love, I submit to thee.
23Spare me till then; I'll bear it, though she be
24            One that love me.
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire, assisted by Ana Berdinskikh
RPO Edition: