A Dialogue Between Sir Henry Wotton and Mr. Donne

By John Donne

If her disdain least change in you can move,
        You do not love,
For when that hope gives fuel to the fire,
        You sell desire.
    Love is not love, but given free;
    And so is mine; so should yours be.

Her heart, that weeps to hear of others’ moan,
        To mine is stone.
Her eyes, that weep a stranger’s eyes to see,
        Joy to wound me.
    Yet I so well affect each part,
    As—caused by them—I love my smart.

Say her disdainings justly must be graced
        With name of chaste;
And that she frowns lest longing should exceed,
        And raging breed;
    So her disdains can ne’er offend,
    Unless self-love take private end.

’Tis love breeds love in me, and cold disdain
        Kills that again,
As water causeth fire to fret and fume,
        Till all consume.
    Who can of love more rich gift make,
    Than to Love’s self for love’s own sake?

I’ll never dig in quarry of an heart
        To have no part,
Nor roast in fiery eyes, which always are
    Who this way would a lover prove,
    May show his patience, not his love.

A frown may be sometimes for physic good,
        But not for food;
And for that raging humour there is sure
        A gentler cure.
    Why bar you love of private end,
    Which never should to public tend?


This poem is in the public domain.