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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Elizabethan Verse. 1907.

The Blossom

John Donne (1572–1631)

LITTLE think’st thou, poor flower,

Whom I have watched six or seven days,

And seen thy birth, and seen what every hour

Gave to thy growth, thee to this height to raise,

And now dost laugh and triumph on this bough,

—Little think’st thou

That it will freeze anon, and that I shall

To-morrow find thee fall’n, or not at all.

Little think’st thou, poor heart,

That labourest yet to nestle thee,

And think’st by hovering here to get a part

In a forbidden or forbidding tree,

And hop’st her stiffness by long siege to bow,

—Little think’st thou

That thou, to-morrow, ere the sun doth wake,

Must with the sun and me a journey take.

But thou, which lov’st to be

Subtle to plague thyself, wilt say—

“Alas! if you must go, what’s that to me?

Here lies my business, and here will I stay:

You go to friends, whose love and means present

Various content

To your eyes, ears, and taste, and every part:

If then your body go, what need your heart?”

Well, then, stay here: but know

When thou hast said and done thy most,

A naked thinking heart, that makes no show,

Is to a woman but a kind of ghost;

How shall she know my heart? Or, having none,

Know thee for one?

Practice may make her know some other part,

But take my word, she doth not know a heart.

Meet me in London, then,

Twenty days hence, and thou shalt see

Me fresher and more fat, by being with men,

Than if I had stay’d still with her and thee.

For God’s sake, if you can, be you so too:

I will give you

There to another friend, whom you shall find

As glad to have my body as my mind.