The Damp

By John Donne

When I am dead, and doctors know not why,
        And my friends’ curiosity
Will have me cut up to survey each part,
When they shall find your picture in my heart,
      You think a sudden damp of love
      Will thorough all their senses move,
And work on them as me, and so prefer
Your murder to the name of massacre,

Poor victories; but if you dare be brave,
        And pleasure in your conquest have,
First kill th’ enormous giant, your Disdain;
And let th’ enchantress Honour, next be slain;
      And like a Goth or Vandal rise,
      Deface records and histories
Of your own arts and triumphs over men,
And without such advantage kill me then,

For I could muster up, as well as you,
        My giants, and my witches too,
Which are vast Constancy and Secretness;
But these I neither look for nor profess;
      Kill me as woman, let me die
      As a mere man; do you but try
Your passive valour, and you shall find then,
Naked you have odds enough of any man.


This poem is in the public domain.