Elegy XVII: On His Mistress
By our first strange and fatal interview,By all desires which thereof did ensue,By our long starving hopes, by that remorseWhich my words masculine persuasive forceBegot in thee, and by the memoryOf hurts, which spies and rivals threaten'd me,I calmly beg. But by thy father's wrath,By all pains, which want and divorcement hath,I conjure thee, and all the oaths which IAnd thou have sworn to seal joint constancy,Here I unswear, and overswear them thus ;Thou shalt not love by ways so dangerous.Temper, O fair love, love's impetuous rage ;Be my true mistress still, not my feign'd page.I'll go, and, by thy kind leave, leave behindThee, only worthy to nurse in my mindThirst to come back ; O ! if thou die before,My soul from other lands to thee shall soar.Thy else almighty beauty cannot moveRage from the seas, nor thy love teach them love,Nor tame wild Boreas' harshness ; thou hast readHow roughly he in pieces shiveredFair Orithea, whom he swore he loved.Fall ill or good, 'tis madness to have provedDangers unurged ; feed on this flattery,That absent lovers one in th' other be.Dissemble nothing, not a boy, nor changeThy body's habit, nor mind ; be not strangeTo thyself only. All will spy in thy faceA blushing womanly discovering grace.Richly clothed apes are call'd apes, and as soonEclipsed as bright, we call the moon the moon.Men of France, changeable chameleons,Spitals of diseases, shops of fashions,Love's fuellers, and the rightest companyOf players, which upon the world's stage be,Will quickly know thee, and no less, alas !Th' indifferent Italian, as we passHis warm land, well content to think thee page,Will hunt thee with such lust, and hideous rage,As Lot's fair guests were vex'd. But none of theseNor spongy hydroptic Dutch shall thee displease,If thou stay here. O stay here, for for theeEngland is only a worthy gallery,To walk in expectation, till from thenceOur greatest king call thee to his presence.When I am gone, dream me some happiness ;Nor let thy looks our long-hid love confess ;Nor praise, nor dispraise me, nor bless nor curseOpenly love's force, nor in bed fright thy nurseWith midnight's startings, crying out, O ! O !Nurse, O ! my love is slain ; I saw him goO'er the white Alps alone ; I saw him, I,Assail'd, fight, taken, stabb'd, bleed, fall, and die.Augur me better chance, except dread JoveThink it enough for me to have had thy love.

The Flea
Mark but this flea, and mark in this,
How little that which thou deniest me is;
It sucked me first, and now sucks thee,
And in this flea our two bloods mingled be;
Thou know'st that this cannot be said
A sin, nor shame, nor loss of maidenhead,
Yet this enjoys before it woo,
And pampered swells with one blood made of two,
And this, alas, is more than we would do.

Oh stay, three lives in one flea spare,
Where we almost, nay more than married are.
This flea is you and I, and this
Our mariage bed, and marriage temple is;
Though parents grudge, and you, w'are met,
And cloistered in these living walls of jet.
Though use make you apt to kill me,
Let not to that, self-murder added be,
And sacrilege, three sins in killing three.

Cruel and sudden, hast thou since
Purpled thy nail, in blood of innocence?
Wherein could this flea guilty be,
Except in that drop which it sucked from thee?
Yet thou triumph'st, and say'st that thou
Find'st not thy self, nor me the weaker now;
'Tis true; then learn how false, fears be:
Just so much honor, when thou yield'st to me,
Will waste, as this flea's death took life from thee.
The Apparition
When by thy scorn, O murd'ress, I am dead
And that thou think'st thee free
From all solicitation from me,
Then shall my ghost come to thy bed,
And thee, feign'd vestal, in worse arms shall see;
Then thy sick taper will begin to wink,
And he, whose thou art then, being tir'd before,
Will, if thou stir, or pinch to wake him, think
Thou call'st for more,
And in false sleep will from thee shrink;
And then, poor aspen wretch, neglected thou