Here you will find the Long Poem Elegy XVI: The Expostulation of poet John Donne
TO make the doubt clear, that no woman's true, Was it my fate to prove it strong in you? Thought I, but one had breathèd purest air ; And must she needs be false, because she's fair? Is it your beauty's mark, or of your youth, Or your perfection, not to study truth? Or think you heaven is deaf, or hath no eyes? Or those it hath smile at your perjuries? Are vows so cheap with women, or the matter Whereof they're made, that they are writ in water, And blown away with wind? Or doth their breath Both hot and cold, at once make life and death? Who could have thought so many accents sweet Form'd into words, so may sighs should meet As from our hearts, so many oaths, and tears Sprinkled among, all sweeten'd by our fears, And the divine impression of stolen kisses, That seal'd the rest, should now prove empty blisses? Did you draw bonds to forfeit? sign to break? Or must we read you quite from what you speak, And find the truth out the wrong way? or must He first desire you false, would wish you just? O ! I profane ! though most of women be This kind of beast, my thoughts shall except thee, My dearest love ; though froward jealousy With circumstance might urge thy inconstancy, Sooner I'll think the sun will cease to cheer The teeming earth, and that forget to bear ; Sooner that rivers will run back, or Thames With ribs of ice in June will bind his streams ; Or nature, by whose strength the world endures, Would change her course, before you alter yours. But O ! that treacherous breast, to whom weak you Did drift our counsels, and we both may rue, Having his falsehood found too late ; 'twas he That made me cast you guilty, and you me ; Whilst he, black wretch, betray'd each simple word We spake, unto the cunning of a third. Cursed may he be, that so our love hath slain, And wander on the earth, wretched as Cain, Wretched as he, and not deserve least pity. In plaguing him, let misery be witty ; Let all eyes shun him, and he shun each eye, Till he be noisome as his infamy ; May he without remorse deny God thrice, And not be trusted more on his soul's price ; And, after all self-torment, when he dies, May wolves tear out his heart, vultures his eyes, Swine eat his bowels, and his falser tongue That utter'd all, be to some raven flung ; And let his carrion corse be a longer feast To the king's dogs, than any other beast. Now have I cursed, let us our love revive ; In me the flame was never more alive. I could begin again to court and praise, And in that pleasure lengthen the short days Of my life's lease ; like painters that do take Delight, not in made work, but whiles they make. I could renew those times, when first I saw Love in your eyes, that gave my tongue the law To like what you liked ; and at masks and plays Commend the self-same actors, the same ways ; Ask how you did, and often with intent Of being officious, be impertinent ; All which were such soft pastimes, as in these Love was as subtly catch'd as a disease. But being got, it is a treasure sweet, Which to defend is harder than to get ; And ought not be profaned, on either part, For though 'tis got by chance, 'tis kept by art.