Negative Love

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Negative Love
by John Donne

I NEVER stoop'd so low, as they
Which on an eye, cheek, lip, can prey;
 Seldom to them which soar no higher
 Than virtue, or the mind to admire.
For sense and understanding may
 Know what gives fuel to their fire;
My love, though silly, is more brave;
For may I miss, whene'er I crave,
If I know yet what I would have.

If that be simply perfectest,
Which can by no way be express'd
 But negatives, my love is so.
 To all, which all love, I say no.
If any who deciphers best,
 What we know not—ourselves—can know,
Let him teach me that nothing. This
As yet my ease and comfort is,
Though I speed not, I cannot miss.