The Good-Morrow by John Donne

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 ?
Or snorted we in the Seven Sleepers' den ?
'Twas so ; but this, all pleasures fancies be;
If ever any beauty I did see,
Which I desired, and got, 'twas but a dream of thee.

And now good-morrow to our waking souls,
Which watch not one another out of fear;
For love all love of other sights controls,
And makes one little room an everywhere.
Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone;
Let maps to other, worlds on worlds have shown;
Let us possess one world ; each hath one, and is one.

My face in thine eye, thine in mine appears,
And true plain hearts do in the faces rest;
Where can we find two better hemispheres
Without sharp north, without declining west ?
Whatever dies, was not mixed equally;
If our two loves be one, or thou and I
Love so alike that none can slacken, none can die

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3 Responses Feb 23, 2009

Don't get me wrong. There are good later poets. But when I read people like Wordsworth, for example, as much as I love his work, it doesn't seem as natural as these fold from the 14th century to the Elizabethan era. Shakespeare seems like he's...trying hard...compared to Chaucer.

This is my favorite era. These folk had a wonderful gift, to be able to speak in beautiful rhyme and metre, yet make it seem like plain language, spoken from the heart, about everyday things. I don't feel any other generation ever quite mastered that.

Another of my favorites. You must be reading from my favorite poetry book today, flutter! :-)