Home  »  library  »  poem  »  Love’s Growth

C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Love’s Growth

By John Donne (1572–1631)

I SCARCE believe my love to be so pure

As I had thought it was,

Because it doth endure

Vicissitude and season as the grass;

Methinks I lied all winter, when I swore

My love was infinite, if spring make it more.

But if this medicine love, which cures all sorrow

With more, not only be no quintessence

But mixed of all stuffs paining soul or sense,

And of the sun his working vigor borrow,

Love’s not so pure and abstract as they use

To say, which have no mistress but their muse,

But as all else, being elemented too,

Love sometimes would contemplate, sometimes do.

And yet no greater, but more eminent,

Love by the spring is grown;

As in the firmament

Stars by the sun are not enlarged, but shown,

Gentle love-deeds, as blossoms on a bough,

From love’s awakened root do bud out now.

If, as in water stirred, more circles be

Produced by one, love such additions take,

Thou, like so many spheres, but one heaven make,

For they are all concentric unto thee;

And though each spring do add to love new heat,

As princes do in times of action get

New taxes and remit them not in peace,

No winter shall abate the spring’s increase.