Sweetest love, I do not goe by John Donne
Sweetest love, I do not goe,
For wearinesse of thee,
Nor in the hope the world can show
A fitter Love for mee;
But since that I
Must dye at last, ‘tis best,
To use my selfe in jest
Thus by fain’d deaths to dye;
Yesternight the sunne went hence,
And yet is here to day,
He hath no desire nor sense,
Nor halfe so short a way:
Then feare not mee,
But beleeve that I shall make
Speedier journeys, since I take
More wings and spurres then hee.
O how feeble is mans power,
That if good fortune fall,
Cannot adde another houre,
Nor a lost houre recall!
But come bad chance.
And wee joyne to it our strength,
And wee teach it art and length,
It self o’r us to advance.
When thou sigh’st, thou sigh’st not winde,
But sigh’st my soule away,
When thou weep’st, unkindly kinde,
My lifes blood doth decay.
It cannot bee
That thou lov’st mee, as thou say’st,
If in thine my life thou waste,
Thou art the best of mee.
Let not thy diving heart,
Forethinke me any ill,
Destiny may take thy part,
And may thy feares fulfil;
But thinke that wee
Are but turn’d aside to sleepe;
They who one another keepe
Alive, ne’r parted bee.
The Title of the poem makes it clear that Sweetest love, I do not goe is a beautiful love song. This poem is addressed to poet’s beloved wife, Anne More. The poet’s deep love for his wife is the central theme of the poem. To convince her of his constancy in love the poet presents various arguments. He says that he is not tired of her love. He further says that there is no woman more beautiful than she is. The poet again adds that like all men he will also die but die in love. According to the poet the separation is temporary. So she should not be sad.
A metaphysical conceit is initiated when the poet says that by pining and shedding tears, she will sigh away the soul. The final argument of the poet is that they will never be separated as there is no separation for those who love passionately. The poet expresses that a short absence is nothing more than a short sleep. This song is remarkable for its freshness of diction, melody and intensity.
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