Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


The Expiration

So, so, break off this last lamenting kiss,
    Which sucks two souls, and vapours both away;
Turn, thou ghost, that way, and let me turn this,
    And let ourselves benight our happiest day.
We ask none leave to love; nor will we owe
    Any so cheap a death as saying, “Go.”
Go; and if that word have not quite killed thee,
    Ease me with death, by bidding me go too.
Or, if it have, let my word work on me,
    And a just office on a murderer do.
Except it be too late, to kill me so,
    Being double dead, going, and bidding, “Go.”

Credit


The poem is in the public domain.

About this Poem


This version of “The Expiration” was published in Poems of John Donne, Volume 1 (Scribner’s Sons, 1896).

Author


John Donne

The poet John Donne is known as the founder of the Metaphysical Poets, which included George Herbert and Andrew Marvell, among others.

Date Published: 2017-09-17

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/expiration