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The Dissolution


She is dead; and all which die

     To their first elements resolve;

And we were mutual elements to us,

          And made of one another.

     My body then doth hers involve,

And those things whereof I consist, hereby

In me abundant grow, and burdenous,

          And nourish not, but smother.

     My fire of passion, sighs of air,

Water of tears, and earthy sad despair,

               Which my materials be,

But near worn out by love's security,

She, to my loss, doth by her death repair,

     And I might live long wretched so

But that my fire doth with my fuel grow.

          Now as those active kings

     Whose foreign conquest treasure brings,

Receive more, and spend more, and soonest break:

This (which I am amazed that I can speak)

          This death, hath with my store

               My use increased.

And so my soul more earnestly released,

Will outstrip hers; as bullets flown before

A latter bullet may o'ertake, the powder being more.


                                                    John Donne


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