The Ecstasy
Donne, John (1573-1631)

Where, like a pillow on a bed,
  A pregnant bank swell'd up, to rest
The violet's reclining head,
  Sat we two, one another's best.

Our hands were firmly cemented
  By a fast balm, which thence did spring;
Our eye-beams twisted, and did thread
  Our eyes upon one double spring;

So t' entergraft our hands, as yet
  Was all the means to make us one;
And pictures in our eyes to get 
  Was all our propagation.

As, 'twixt two equal armies, Fate
  Suspends uncertain victory,
Our souls (which to advance their state
  Were gone out) hung 'twixt her, and me.

And whilst our souls negotiate there,
  We like sepulchral statues lay;
All day, the same our postures were,
  And we said nothing, all the day.

If any, so by love refin'd,
  That he soul's language understood,
And by good love were grown all mind,
  Within convenient distance stood,

He (though he knew not which soul spake,
   Because both meant, both spake the same)
Might thence a new concoction take,
  And part far purer than he came.

This ecstasy doth unperplex
  (We said) and tell us what we love;
We see by this, it was not sex;
  We see, we saw not what did move:

But as all several souls contain
  Mixture of things, thedy know not what,
Love, these mix'd souls, doth mix again,
  And makes both one, each this and that.

A single violet transplant,
   The strength, the colour, and the size,
(All which before was poor and scant)
  Redoubles still, and multiplies.

When love with one another so
  Interinanimates two souls,
That abler soul, which thence doth flow,
  Defects of loneliness controls.

We then, who are this new soul, know
  Of what we are composed, and made,
For the atomies of which we grow
  Are souls, whom no change can invade.

But, O alas! so long, so far
  Our bodies why do we forbear?
They are ours, though they are not we; we are
  The intelligences, they the sphere.

We owe them thanks, because they thus
  Did us, to us, at first convey,
Yielded their forces, sense to us,
  Nor are dross to us, but allay.

On man heaven's influence works not so,
  But that it first imprints the air;
So soul into the soul may flow,
  Though it to body first repair.

As our blood labours to beget
  Spirits, as like souls as it can;
Because such fingers need to knit
  That subtle knot, which makes us man;

So must pure lovers' souls descend
  To affections, and to faculties,
Which sense may reach and apprehend,
  Else a great Prince in prison lies.

To our bodies turn we then, that so
  Weak men on love revealed may look;
Love's mysteries in souls do grow,
  But yet the body is his book.

And if some lover, such as we,
  Have heard this dialogue of one,
Let him still mark us, he shall see
  Small change, when we're to bodies gone.

The New Oxford Book of English Verse (Gardner)