A Lecture Upon the Shadow
Donne, John (1573-1631)
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 produced; But, now the sun is just above our head, We do those shadows tread, And to brave clearness all things are reduced. So whilst our infant loves did grow, Disguises did, and shadows, flow From us and our cares; but, now 'tis not so. That love hath not attained the highest 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 westerwardly 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.