Home  »  English Poetry I  »  170. Sweetest Love, I do not Go

English Poetry I: From Chaucer to Gray.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

John Donne

170. Sweetest Love, I do not Go

SWEETEST love, I do not go

For weariness of thee,

Nor in hope the world can show

A fitter love for me;

But since that I

Must die at last, ’tis best

Thus to use myself in jest,

By feignèd death to die.

Yesternight the sun went hence,

And yet is here to-day;

He hath no desire nor sense,

Nor half so short a way.

Then fear not me,

But believe that I shall make

Hastier journeys, since I take

More wings and spurs than he.

O how feeble is man’s power,

That, if good fortune fall,

Cannot add another hour,

Nor a lost hour recall.

But come bad chance,

And we join to it our strength,

And we teach it art and length,

Itself o’er us t’ advance.

When thou sigh’st, thou sigh’st no wind,

But sigh’st my soul away;

When thou weep’st, unkindly kind,

My life’s blood doth decay.

It cannot be

That thou lov’st me as thou say’st,

If in thine my life thou waste,

That art the best of me.

Let not thy divining heart

Forethink me any ill.

Destiny may take thy part

And may thy fears fulfil;

But think that we

Are but turned aside to sleep:

They who one another keep

Alive, ne’er parted be.