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Love's Diet

by John Donne
To what a cumbersome unwieldiness
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Love's Diet

by John Donne
To what a cumbersome unwieldiness
And burdenous corpulence my love had grown,
      But that I did, to make it less,
      And keep it in proportion,
Give it a diet, made it feed upon
That which love worst endures, discretion
Above one sigh a day I allow'd him not,
Of which my fortune, and my faults had part;
      And if sometimes by stealth he got
      A she sigh from my mistress' heart,
And thought to feast upon that, I let him see
'Twas neither very sound, nor meant to me.
If he wrung from me a tear, I brined it so
With scorn and shame, that him it nourish'd not;
      If he suck'd hers, I let him know
      'Twas not a tear which he had got;
His drink was counterfeit, as was his meat;
For eyes, which roll towards all, weep not, but sweat.
Whatever he would dictate I writ that,
But burnt her letters when she writ to me;
      And if that favour made him fat,
      I said, “If any title be
Convey'd by this, ah! what doth it avail,
To be the fortieth name in an entail?
Thus I reclaim'd my buzzard love, to fly
At what, and when, and how, and where I choose.
      Now negligent of sports I lie,
      And now, as other falconers use,
I spring a mistress, swear, write, sigh, and weep;
And the game kill'd, or lost, go talk or sleep.

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