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John Donne



E l e g y  X

The Dream.

Image of her whom I love, more than she,
   Whose fair impression in my faithful heart,
Makes me her medal, and makes her love me,
   As kings do coins, to which their stamps impart
The value: go, and take my heart from hence,
   Which now is grown too great and good for me:
Honours oppress weak spirits, and our sense
   Strong objects dull; the more, the less we see.

When you are gone, and reason gone with you,
   Then fantasy is queen and soul, and all;
She can present joys meaner than you do;
   Convenient, and more proportional.

So, if I dream I have you, I have you,
   For, all our joys are but fantastical.
And so I 'scape the pain, for pain is true;
   And sleep which locks up sense, doth lock out all.

After a such fruition I shall wake,
   And, but the waking, nothing shall repent;
And shall to love more thankful sonnets make
   Than if more honour, tears, and pains were spent.

But dearest heart, and dearer image stay;
   Alas, true joys at best are dream enough;
Though you stay here you pass too fast away:
   For even at first life's taper is a snuff.

Filled with her love, may I be rather grown
Mad with much heart, than idiot with none.
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