A Lecture Upon The Shadow

by John Donne

Stand still and I will read to thee
A Lecture, Love, in loves philosophy,
These three houres that we have spent,
Walking here, Two shadowes went
Along with us, which we our selves produc’d;
But, now the Sunne is just above our head,
We doe those shadowes tread;
And to brave clearnesse all things are reduc’d.
So whilst our infant loves did grow,
Disguises did, and shadowes, flow,
From us, and our cares; but now ’tis not so.
That love hath not attain’d the high’st degree,
Which is still diligent lest others see.
Except our loves at this noone stay,
We shall new shadowes make the other way.
As the first were made to blinde
Others; these which come behinde
Will worke upon our selves, and blind our eyes.
If our loves faint, and westwardly decline;
To me thou, falsely thine;
And I to thee mine actions shall disguise.
The morning shadowes were away,
But these grow longer all the day,
But oh, loves day is short, if love decay.