(24 January 1572 - 31 March 1631 / London, England)

Self-Love

He that cannot choose but love,
And strives against it still,
Never shall my fancy move,
For he loves 'gainst his will;
Nor he which is all his own,
And can at pleasure choose,
When I am caught he can be gone,
And when he list refuse.
Nor he that loves none but fair,
For such by all are sought;
Nor he that can for foul ones care,
For his judgement then is nought;
Nor he that hath wit, for he
Will make me his jest or slave;
Nor a fool, for when others...,
He can neither....;
Nor he that still his Mistress pays,
For she is thralled therefore;
Nor he that pays not, for he says
Within She's worth no more.
Is there then no kind of men
Whom I may freely prove?
I will vent that humour then
In mine own self-love.

by John Donne

Comments (2)

Donne points a finger at himself as a lover to make the point that loving another is challenging at best.
Great Poet. Studying Him At The Moment. Very Interesting!