A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning

As virtuous men pass mildly away, 

   And whisper to their souls to go, 

Whilst some of their sad friends do say 

   The breath goes now, and some say, No: 

 

So let us melt, and make no noise, 

   No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move; 

'Twere profanation of our joys 

   To tell the laity our love. 

 

Moving of th' earth brings harms and fears, 

   Men reckon what it did, and meant; 

But trepidation of the spheres, 

   Though greater far, is innocent. 

 

Dull sublunary lovers' love 

   (Whose soul is sense) cannot admit 

Absence, because it doth remove 

   Those things which elemented it. 

 

But we by a love so much refined, 

   That our selves know not what it is, 

Inter-assured of the mind, 

   Care less, eyes, lips, and hands to miss. 

 

Our two souls therefore, which are one, 

   Though I must go, endure not yet 

A breach, but an expansion, 

   Like gold to airy thinness beat. 

 

If they be two, they are two so 

   As stiff twin compasses are two; 

Thy soul, the fixed foot, makes no show 

   To move, but doth, if the other do. 

 

And though it in the center sit, 

   Yet when the other far doth roam, 

It leans and hearkens after it, 

   And grows erect, as that comes home. 

 

Such wilt thou be to me, who must, 

   Like th' other foot, obliquely run; 

Thy firmness makes my circle just, 

   And makes me end where I begun

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Recordings

John Donne

John Donne Downloads read by Adam Foulds

1The Sun Rising

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2The Flea

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3The Good-morrow

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4Holy Sonnets 14: Batter my heart three-person'd God

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5Song: 'Sweetest Love I do not go'

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6The Broken Heart

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