John Donne

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

The Flea


Mark but this flea, and mark in this,
How little that which thou deny'st me is;
It sucked me first, and now sucks thee,
And in this flea, our two bloods mingled be;
Thou knowest that this cannot be said
A sin, nor shame, nor loss of maidenhead.
Yet this enjoys before it woo,
And pampered, swells with one blood made of two,
And this, alas, is more than we would do.

Oh stay, three lives in one flea spare,
Where we almost, yea, more than married are.
This flea is you and I, and this
Our marriage bed, and marriage temple is;
Though parents grudge, and you, we are met
And cloistered in these living walls of jet.
Though use make you apt to kill me,
Let not to that self murder added be,
And sacrilege, three sins in killing three.

Cruel and sudden, hast thou since
Purpled thy nail in blood of innocence?
Wherein could this flea guilty be
Except in that drop which it sucked from thee?
Yet thou triumph'st, and sayest that thou
Find'st not thyself, nor me, the weaker now.
'Tis true, then learn how false fears be;
Just so much honor, when thou yieldst to me,
Will waste, as this flea's death took life from thee.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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  • Somesh Mohapatra (4/13/2008 11:11:00 PM)

    This poem........ my beloved read it out to me and the inert message was sweetly delivered.. I don't think there were more appropriate lines then this one to speak of her heart.......
    This will remain one of our best poems ever............

    Thanks John for giving us our most precious lines of love......... (Report) Reply

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