John Donne’s Erotic Poems

From “Elegy XVIII: Love’s Progress”:

Her swelling lips; to which when we are come,
We anchor there, and think ourselves at home,
For they seem all: there sirens’ songs, and there
Wise Delphic oracles do fill the ear;
There in a creek where chosen pearls do swell,
The remora, her cleaving tongue doth dwell.
These, and the glorious promontory, her chin
O’erpast; and the strait Hellespont between
The Sestos and Abydos of her breasts,
(Not of two lovers, but two loves the nests)
Succeeds a boundless sea, but that thine eye
Some island moles may scattered there descry;
And sailing towards her India, in that way
Shall at her fair Atlantic navel stay;
Though thence the current be thy pilot made,
Yet ere thou be where thou wouldst be embayed,
Thou shalt upon another forest set,
Where some do shipwreck, and no further get.
When thou art there, consider what this chase
Misspent by thy beginning at the face.

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