Ode to Friday: Donne

To what a cumbersome unwieldiness
And burdenous corpulence my love has grown,
But that I did, to make it less,
And keep it in proportion,
Give it a diet, made it feed upon
That which love worst endures, discretion.

Above one sigh a day I allowed him not,
Of which my fortune, and my faults had part;
And if sometimes by stealth he got
A she sigh from my mistress’ heart,
And thought to feast on that, I let him see
‘Twas neither very sound, nor meant to me.

If he wrung from me a tear, I brined it so
With scorn or shame, that him it nourished not;
If he sucked hers, I let him know
‘Twas not a tear, which he had got,
His drink was counterfeit, as was his meat;
For, eyes which roll towards all, weep not, but sweat.

Thus I reclaimed my buzzard love, to fly
At what, and when, and how, and where I choose;
Now negligent of sport I lie,
And now as other falconers use,
I spring a mistress, swear, write, sigh and weep:
And the game killed, or lost, go talk, and sleep.

~ From Love’s Diet, by John Donne (English, b.1572 – d.1631)



11 thoughts on “Ode to Friday: Donne

    • Then you might enjoy another of his, one of the most beautiful and passionate of all love poems: “I wonder by my troth, what thou, and I Did till we loved? were we not weaned till then, But sucked on country pleasures, childishly? …”

      I prefer talk of love on a diet than the neverending bodies on a diet.


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