Confined Love
Donne, John (1573-1631)

  Some man unworthy to be possessor
Of old or new love, himself being false or weak,
  Thought his pain and shame would be lesser,
If on womankind he might his anger wreak,
    And thence a law did grow,
    One should but one man know;
    But are other creatures so?

  Are sun, moon, or stars by law forbidden,
To smile where they list, or lend away their light?
  Are birds divorced, or are they chidden
If they leave their mate, or lie abroad a-night?
    Beasts do no jointures lose
    Though they new lovers choose,
    But we are made worse than those.

  Who e'er rigged fair ship to lie in harbors
And not to seek new lands, or not to deal withal?
  Or built fair houses, set trees, and arbours,
Only to lock up, or lese to let them fall?
    Good is not good, unless
    A thousand it possess,
    But doth waste with greediness.

The Essential Donne (Amy Clampitt)