Skip to main content
By John Donne

Go and catch a falling star,

    Get with child a mandrake root,

Tell me where all past years are,

    Or who cleft the devil’s foot,

Teach me to hear mermaids singing,

Or to keep off envy’s stinging,

            And find

            What wind

Serves to advance an honest mind.


If thou be’st born to strange sights,

    Things invisible to see,

Ride ten thousand days and nights,

    Till age snow white hairs on thee,

Thou, when thou return’st, wilt tell me,

All strange wonders that befell thee,

            And swear,

            No where

Lives a woman true, and fair.


If thou find’st one, let me know,

    Such a pilgrimage were sweet;

Yet do not, I would not go,

    Though at next door we might meet;

Though she were true, when you met her,

And last, till you write your letter,

            Yet she

            Will be

False, ere I come, to two, or three.


Poetry Out Loud Note: In the print anthology, this poem is titled simply “Song.” The student may give either title during the recitation. 


 


  • Love
  • Mythology & Folklore
  • Relationships

Poet Bio

John Donne
There are two John Donnes: the brilliant, pleasure-seeking man-about-town who, in his youth, wrote frank love poems to various women along with satires that jeered his fellow men, and the sober, serious Dean of St. Paul’s, an Anglican reverend famed for his moving sermons and profound “Holy Sonnets.” One of the Metaphysical poets (John Dryden coined the term half a century later), Donne was known for his razor wit and his extended comparisons, also called conceits. See More By This Poet

More By This Poet

More Poems about Love

Browse poems about Love

More Poems about Mythology & Folklore

Browse poems about Mythology & Folklore

More Poems about Relationships

Browse poems about Relationships