The Bait

 

Come live with me, and be my love,
And we will some new pleasures prove,
Of golden sand, and crystal brooks,
With silken lines and silver hooks.

 
There will the river whispering run,
Warmed by thy eyes more than the sun.
And there the enamoured fish will stay.
Begging themselves they may betray.

 
When wilt thou swim in that live bath,
Each fish, which every channel hath,
Will amorously to thee swim,
Gladder to catch thee, than thou him.

 
If thou, to be so seen, beest loath,
By sun or moon, thou dark’nest both;
And if myself have leave to see,
I need not their light, having thee.

 
Let others freeze with angling reeds,
And cut their legs with shells and weeds,
Or treacherously poor fish beset
With strangling snare, or windowy net.

 
Let course bold hand from slimy nest
The bedded fish in banks out-wrest,
Or curious traitors, sleave-silk flies,
Bewitch poor fishes’ wandering eyes.

 

For thee, thou need’st no such deceit,
For thou thyself are thine own bait;
That fish that is not catched thereby,
Alas, is wiser far than I.

 

 

John Donne

4 comments on “The Bait

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