Cordula's Web. NOAA. Cumulus building over Dry Tortugas, near Key West, Florida.
NOAA Photo Library: wea02196. Dry Tortugas, Key West, Florida. Debora Barr. HiRes. Gallery 12
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The Dream

John Donne

Image of her whom I love, more than she,
Whose fair impression in my faithful heart
Makes me her medal, and makes her love me,
As Kings do coins, to which their stamps impart

The value: go, and take my heart from hence,
Which now is grown too great and good for me:
Honours oppress weak spirits, and our sense
Strong objects dull; the more, the less we see.

When you are gone, and Reason gone with you,
Then Fantasy is queen and soul, and all;
She can present joys meaner than you do;
Convenient, and more proportional.

So, if I dream I have you, I have you,
For, all our joys are but fantastical.
And so I 'scape the pain, for pain is true;
And sleep which locks up sense, doth lock out all.

After a such fruition I shall wake,
And, but the waking, nothing shall repent;
And shall to love more thankful sonnets make
Than if more honour, tears, and pains were spent.

But dearest heart, and dearer image, stay;
Alas, true joys at best are dream enough;
Though you stay here you pass too fast away:
For even at first life's taper is a snuff.

Filied with her love, may I be rather grown
Mad with much heart, than idiot with none.

Home :: Poetry :: Ghosts of Pain (2) :: The Dream

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