John Donne: The Flea:
How little that which thou deny'st me is;
Me it suck'd first, and now sucks thee,
And in this flea our two bloods mingled bee;
Confesse it, this cannot be said
A sinne, or shame, or losse of maidenhead,
And pamper'd swells with one blood made of two,
And this, alas, is more than wee would doe.
Oh stay, three lives in one flea spare,
When we almost, nay more than maryed are.
This flea is you and I, and this
Our marriage bed, and marriage temple is;
Though parents grudge, and you, w'are met,
And cloysterd in these living walls of Jet.
Let not to this, selfe murder added bee,
And sacrilege, three sinnes in killing three.
Cruell and sodaine, has thou since
Purpled thy naile, in blood of innocence?
In what could this flea guilty bee,
Except in that drop which it suckt from thee?
Yet thou triumph'st, and saist that thou
Find'st not thyself, nor mee the weaker now;
Just so much honor, when thou yeeld'st to mee,
Will wast, as this flea's death tooke life from thee.
BBC Podcast: In Our Time with Melvin Bragg - The Metaphysical Poets