John Donne

(24 January 1572 - 31 March 1631 / London, England)

A Lecture Upon The Shadow


Stand still, and I will read to thee
A lecture, love, in love's philosophy.
These three hours that we have spent,
Walking here, two shadows went
Along with us, which we ourselves produc'd.
But, now the sun is just above our head,
We do those shadows tread,
And to brave clearness all things are reduc'd.
So whilst our infant loves did grow,
Disguises did, and shadows, flow
From us, and our cares; but now 'tis not so.
That love has not attain'd the high'st degree,
Which is still diligent lest others see.

Except our loves at this noon stay,
We shall new shadows make the other way.
As the first were made to blind
Others, these which come behind
Will work upon ourselves, and blind our eyes.
If our loves faint, and westwardly decline,
To me thou, falsely, thine,
And I to thee mine actions shall disguise.
The morning shadows wear away,
But these grow longer all the day;
But oh, love's day is short, if love decay.
Love is a growing, or full constant light,
And his first minute, after noon, is night.

Submitted: Monday, May 14, 2001

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Comments about this poem (A Lecture Upon The Shadow by John Donne )

  • Gold Star - 13,881 Points * Sunprincess * (1/28/2014 8:49:00 PM)

    ......these thoughts on shadows lets us know we are mortal and alive....great write.. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 6,230 Points Jayatissa K. Liyanage (10/15/2010 10:24:00 PM)

    This is poetry, no doubt. To enjoy a poem, one doesn't have to read through pages. Few words, running in to many pages in meaning. Great stuff. I like it. (Report) Reply

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