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The Flea by John Donne : Poem

This poem about a flea was written by the poet, John Donne.

John Donne was born in 1572 and died on the 31st March 1631. John Donne was an English poet and preacher.

John Donne's poem, The Flea is actually a love poem to a potential lover, a form of seduction.


The Flea by John Donne

What does a Flea look like?

flea

Flea

The Flea by John Donne : Poem


THE FLEA.
by John Donne


MARK but this flea, and mark in this,
How little that which thou deniest me is ;
It suck'd me first, and now sucks thee, 
And in this flea our two bloods mingled be.
Thou know'st that this cannot be said
A sin, nor shame, nor loss of maidenhead ;
    Yet this enjoys before it woo,
    And pamper'd swells with one blood made of two ;
    And this, alas ! is more than we would do.

O stay, three lives in one flea spare,
Where we almost, yea, more than married are.
This flea is you and I, and this
Our marriage bed, and marriage temple is.
Though parents grudge, and you, we're met,
And cloister'd in these living walls of jet.
    Though use make you apt to kill me,
    Let not to that self-murder added be,
    And sacrilege, three sins in killing three.

Cruel and sudden, hast thou since
Purpled thy nail in blood of innocence?
Wherein could this flea guilty be,
Except in that drop which it suck'd from thee?
Yet thou triumph'st, and say'st that thou
Find'st not thyself nor me the weaker now.
'Tis true ; then learn how false fears be ;
Just so much honour, when thou yield'st to me,
Will waste, as this flea's death took life from thee.

The Flea by John Donne

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