Love’s Usury

By John Donne

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 range, and let
Me travel, sojourn, snatch, plot, have, forget,
Resume my last year’s relict; think that yet
          We’d 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 confitures of court,
Or city’s quelque-choses; let not report
          My mind transport.

This bargain’s good; if when I’m old, I be
          Inflamed by thee,
If thine own honour, or my shame and 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.


This poem is in the public domain.