by John Donne (1572-1631)
When last I died, and, dear, I die
As often as from thee I go,
Though it be but an hour ago
—And lovers’ hours be full eternity—
I can remember yet, that I
Something did say, and something did bestow;
Though I be dead, which sent me, I might be
Mine own executor, and legacy.
I heard me say, “Tell her anon,
That myself,” that is you, not I,
“Did kill me,” and when I felt me die,
I bid me send my heart, when I was gone;
But I alas! could there find none;
When I had ripp’d, and search’d where hearts should lie,
It kill’d me again, that I who still was true
In life, in my last will should cozen you.
Yet I found something like a heart,
But colours it, and corners had;
It was not good, it was not bad,
It was entire to none, and few had part;
As good as could be made by art
It seem’d, and therefore for our loss be sad.
I meant to send that heart instead of mine,
But O! no man could hold it, for ’twas thine.