John Donne on Fridays

Love’s Usury
For every hour that thou wilt spare me now,

I will allow,

Usurious God of Love, twenty to thee,

When with my brown, my grey hairs equal be;

Till then, Love let my body reign, and let

Me travel, sojourn, snatch, plot, have, forget,

Resume my last year’s relict: think that yet

We had never met.

Let me think any rival’s letter mine,

And at next nine

Keep midnight’s promise; mistake by the way

The maid, and tell the Lady of that delay;

Only let me love none, no, not the sport;

From country grass, to comfitures of Court,

Or city’s quelque-choses, let report

My mind transport.

This bargain’s good; if when I am old, I be

Inflamed by thee,

If thine own honour, or my shame, or pain,

Thou covet, most at that age thou shalt gain.

Do thy will then, then subject and degree,

And fruit of love, Love, I submit to thee,

Spare me till then, I’ll bear it, though she be

One that love me.

Selection take from: John Donne: A Critical Edition of the Major Works,  edited by John Carey; Oxford: OUP, 1990

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