The Dissolution

By John Donne

  She’s dead; and all which die
    To their first elements resolve;
And we were mutual elements to us,
    And made of one another.
  My body then doth hers involve,
And those things whereof I consist hereby
In me abundant grow, and burdenous,
    And nourish not, but smother.
  My fire of passion, sighs of air,
Water of tears, and earthy sad despair,
      Which my materials be,
But near worn out by love’s security,
She, to my loss, doth by her death repair.
And I might live long wretched so,
But that my fire doth with my fuel grow.
    Now, as those active kings
  Whose foreign conquest treasure brings,
Receive more, and spend more, and soonest break,
This—which I am amazed that I can speak—
    This death, hath with my store
      My use increased.
And so my soul, more earnestly released,
Will outstrip hers; as bullets flown before
A later bullet may o’ertake, the powder being more.


This poem is in the public domain.