Elegie III

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Elegie III
by John Donne
This trancription from the 1633 printing of Poems duplicates the use of the long s as in the original. A modernized edition is availble at Elegy III (1896)

Although thy hand and faith, and good workes too,
Have ſeal'd thy love which nothing ſhould undoe,
Yea though thou fall backe, that apoſtaſie
Confirme thy love; yet much, much I feare thee.
Women, are like the Arts, forc'd unto none,
Open to'all ſearchers, unpriz'd, if unknowne.
If I have caught a bird, and let him flie,
Another fouler uſing theſe meanes, as I,
May catch the ſame bird; and, as theſe things bee,
Women are made for men, not him, nor mee.
Foxes and goats; all beaſts change when they pleaſe,
Shall women, more hot, wily, wild then theſe,
Be bound to one man, and did Naturre then
Idly make them apter to'endure then men?
They'are our clogges, not their owne; if a man bee
Chain'd to a galley, yet the galley'is free;
Who hath a plow-land, caſts all his feed come there,
And yet allowes his ground more corne ſhould beare;
Though Danuby into the ſea muſt flow,
The ſea receives the Rhene, Volga, and Po.
By nature, which gave it, this liberty
Thou lov'ſt, but Oh! canſt thou love it and mee?
Likenſſe glues love: and if that thou ſo doe,
To make us like and love, muſt I change too?
More then thy hate, I hate it, rather let mee
Allow her change, then change as oft as shee,
And ſoe not teach, but force my'opinion
To love not any one, nor every one.
To live in one land, is captivitie,
To runne all countries, a wild roguery;
Waters ſtincke ſoone, if in one place they bide,
And in the vaſt ſea are more putrifi'd:
But when they kiſſe one banke, and leaving this
Never looke backe, but the next banke doe kiſſe,
Then are they pureſt; Change'is the nurſery
Of muſicke, joy, life, and eternity.