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    The Broken Heart

    by John Donne
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    He is stark mad, whoever says,
    That he hath been in love an hour,
    Yet not that love so soon decays,
    But that it can ten in less space devour ;
    Who will believe me, if I swear
    That I have had the plague a year?
    Who would not laugh at me, if I should say
    I saw a flash of powder burn a day?

    Ah, what a trifle is a heart,
    If once into love's hands it come !
    All other griefs allow a part
    To other griefs, and ask themselves but some ;
    They come to us, but us love draws ;
    He swallows us and never chaws ;
    By him, as by chain'd shot, whole ranks do die ;
    He is the tyrant pike, our hearts the fry.

    If 'twere not so, what did become
    Of my heart when I first saw thee?
    I brought a heart into the room,
    But from the room I carried none with me.
    If it had gone to thee, I know
    Mine would have taught thine heart to show
    More pity unto me ; but Love, alas !
    At one first blow did shiver it as glass.

    Yet nothing can to nothing fall,
    Nor any place be empty quite ;
    Therefore I think my breast hath all
    Those pieces still, though they be not unite ;
    And now, as broken glasses show
    A hundred lesser faces, so
    My rags of heart can like, wish, and adore,
    But after one such love, can love no more.
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