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Poetry Archives

A continuing selection of classic and contemporary poems.

Negative Love

John Donne

I never stoop’d so low, as they
Which on an eye, cheeke, lip, can prey,
Seldom to them, which soare no higher
Than vertue or the minde to’admire,
For sense, and understanding may
Know, what gives fuell to their fire:
My love, though silly, is more brave,
For may I misse, when ere I crave,
If I know yet, what I would have.

If that be simply perfectest
Which can by no way be exprest
But Negatives, my love is so.
To All, which all love, I say no.
If any who deciphers best,
What we know not, our selves, can know,
Let him teach mee that nothing; This
As yet my ease, and comfort is,
Though I speed not, I cannot misse.
Online text © 1998-2014 Poetry X. All rights reserved.

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