A Valediction: of Weeping

Original Text: 
John Donne, Poems, by J. D. With elegies on the authors death (M. F. for J. Marriot, 1633). MICF no. 556 ROBA. Facs. edn. Menston: Scolar Press, 1969. PR 2245 A2 1633A. STC 7045.
1      Let me pour forth
2My tears before thy face, whilst I stay here,
3For thy face coins them, and thy stamp they bear,
4And by this mintage they are something worth,
5      For thus they be
6      Pregnant of thee;
7Fruits of much grief they are, emblems of more,
9So thou and I are nothing then, when on a diverse shore.
11A workman that hath copies by, can lay
12An Europe, Afric, and an Asia,
13And quickly make that, which was nothing, all;
14      So doth each tear
16A globe, yea world, by that impression grow,
17Till thy tears mix'd with mine do overflow
19      O more than moon,
21Weep me not dead, in thine arms, but forbear
22To teach the sea what it may do too soon;
23      Let not the wind
24      Example find,
25To do me more harm than it purposeth;
26Since thou and I sigh one another's breath,
27Whoe'er sighs most is cruellest, and hastes the other's death.


8] each tear bears her image; if the lovers are in separate countries and both tear and image are lost, the lovers are then nothing. Back to Line
10] round ball: globe. Back to Line
15] thee doth wear: bears her image. Back to Line
18] This world: the world which his tear has become by bearing her image. Back to Line
20] thy sphere. In the Ptolemaic astronomical system each of the heavenly bodies revolved in its own shell or sphere. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
N. J. Endicott
RPO Edition: 
3RP 1.168.