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John Donne

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

The Dream


Dear love, for nothing less than thee
Would I have broke this happy dream;
It was a theme
For reason, much too strong for phantasy:
Therefore thou waked'st me wisely; yet
My dream thou brok'st not, but continued'st it.
Thou art so truth that thoughts of thee suffice
To make dreams truths, and fables histories.
Enter these arms, for since thou thought'st it best
Not to dream all my dream, let's act the rest.

As lightning or a taper's light,
Thine eyes, and not thy noise, waked me;
Yet I thought thee
(For thou lov'st truth) an angel at first sight;
But when I saw thou saw'st my heart,
And knew'st my thoughts, beyond an angels art,
When thou knew'st what I dreamt, when thou knew'st when
Excess of joy would wake me, and cam'st then,
I must confess it could not choose but be
Prophane to think thee anything but thee.

Comming and staying showed thee thee,
But rising makes me doubt, that now
Thou art not thou.
That Love is weak, where fear's as strong as he;
'Tis not all spirit pure and brave
If mixture it of Fear, Shame, Honour, have.
Perchance as torches, which must ready be,
Men light and put out, so thou deal'st with me,
Thou cam'st to kindle, go'st to come; Then I
Will dream that hope again, but else would die.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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