“A Lecture upon the Shadow” by John Donne


A Lecture Upon the Shadow

Stand still, and I will read to thee
A lecture, love, in love’s philosophy.
         These three hours that we have spent,
         Walking here, two shadows went
Along with us, which we ourselves produc’d.
But, now the sun is just above our head,
         We do those shadows tread,
         And to brave clearness all things are reduc’d.
So whilst our infant loves did grow,
Disguises did, and shadows, flow
From us, and our cares; but now ’tis not so.
That love has not attain’d the high’st degree,
Which is still diligent lest others see.
Except our loves at this noon stay,
We shall new shadows make the other way.
         As the first were made to blind
         Others, these which come behind
Will work upon ourselves, and blind our eyes.
If our loves faint, and westwardly decline,
         To me thou, falsely, thine,
         And I to thee mine actions shall disguise.
The morning shadows wear away,
But these grow longer all the day;
But oh, love’s day is short, if love decay.
Love is a growing, or full constant light,
And his first minute, after noon, is night.

– John Donne, A Lecture Upon the Shadow

Related Posts:

– “The Vampire” by Madison Julius Cawein

– “November Night” by Adelaide Crapsey

 “Incantation” by George Parsons Lathrop

Categories: Poetry and Prose

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

7 replies

  1. Ive been anxiously waiting for a new post, and you did not disappoint as usual.
    Growing up where Emily Dickenson lived during the summer months, lets just say poetry is in our blood

  2. Did you know you can sing all Emily Dickinson poems to the tune of “Yellow Rose of Texas”? True story.

  3. Lovely poem. Dr. Donne never disappoints in the dark.


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