Jun 272010

As virtuous men pass mildly away,

And whisper to their souls to go,

Whilst some of their sad friends do say

“The breath goes now’, and some say ‘no’.

So let us melt, and make no noise,

No tear-floods nor sigh-tempests move:

‘Twere profanation of our joys

To tell the laity our love.

Moving of the earth brings harms and fears –

Men reckon what it did and meant:

But trepidation of the spheres –

Though greater far – is innocent.

Dull sublunary lovers’ love

(Whose soul is sense) cannot admit

Absence because it doth remove

Those things which elemented it;

But we, by a love so much refined

That we ourselves know not what it is,

Inter-assured of the mind.

Care less eyes,  lips and hands to miss.

Our souls, therefore, which are one,

Though I must go, endure not yet

A breach but an expansion –

Like gold to airy thinness beat.

If they be two, they are two so

As stiff twin compasses are two –

They soul, the fixed foot, makes no show

To move, but doth if th’other do.

And, though it in the centre sit,

Yet, when th’other far doth roam,

It leans, and hearkens after it,

And grows erect as that comes home.

Such wilt thou be to me, who must,

Like th’other foot, obliquely run:

Thy firmness makes my circle just,

And makes me end where I begun

A Valediction: forbidding Mourning, John Donne