The Apparition

By John Donne 1572–1631 John Donne
When by thy scorn, O murd'ress, I am dead
         And that thou think'st thee free
From all solicitation from me,
Then shall my ghost come to thy bed,
And thee, feign'd vestal, in worse arms shall see;
Then thy sick taper will begin to wink,
And he, whose thou art then, being tir'd before,
Will, if thou stir, or pinch to wake him, think
         Thou call'st for more,
And in false sleep will from thee shrink;
And then, poor aspen wretch, neglected thou
Bath'd in a cold quicksilver sweat wilt lie
         A verier ghost than I.
What I will say, I will not tell thee now,
Lest that preserve thee; and since my love is spent,
I'had rather thou shouldst painfully repent,
Than by my threat'nings rest still innocent.

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Poet John Donne 1572–1631

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

Subjects Mythology & Folklore, Ghosts & the Supernatural, Death, Men & Women, Relationships, Horror, Living

Holidays Halloween

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza, Imagery

 John  Donne

Biography

John Donne's standing as a great English poet, and one of the greatest writers of English prose, is now assured. However, it has been confirmed only in the early 20th century. The history of Donne's reputation is the most remarkable of any major writer in English; no other body of great poetry has fallen so far from favor for so long and been generally condemned as inept and crude. In Donne's own day his poetry was highly prized . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Mythology & Folklore, Ghosts & the Supernatural, Death, Men & Women, Relationships, Horror, Living

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza, Imagery

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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