The Prohibition

Original Text: 
Donne, John. The Elegies and the Songs and Sonnets of John Donne. Edited by Helen Gardner. London: Oxford University Press, 1965: 39-40.
1         Take heed of loving me,
2At least remember, I forbade it thee;
3    Not that I shall repair my unthrifty waste
4Of breath and blood, upon thy sighs and tears,
5    By being to thee then what to me thou waste;
6But, so great joy, our life at once outwears,
7    Then, lest thy love, by my death, frustrate be,
8    If thou love me, take heed of loving me.
9         Take heed of hating me,
10Or too much triumph in the victory.
11    Not that I shall be mine own officer,
12And hate with hate again retaliate;
13    But thou wilt lose the style of conqueror,
14If I, thy conquest, perish by thy hate.
15    Then, lest my being nothing lessen thee,
16    If thou hate me, take heed of hating me.
17         Yet love and hate me too,
18So these extremes shall neythers office do;
19    Love me, that I may die the gentler way;
20Hate me, because thy love's too great for me;
21    Or let these two, themselves, not me decay;
22So shall I live thy stage, not triumph be;
23    Then, least thy love, hate and me thou undo,
24    Oh let me live, yet love and hate me too.
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire, assisted by Ana Berdinskikh
RPO Edition: