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The Bait

by John Donne

Come live with me and be my love

And we will some new pleasures prove

Of golden sands and crystal brooks,

With silken lines and silver hooks.

There will the river -- whispering run

Warmed by thy eyes more than the sun

And there th' enamoured fish will stay,

Begging themselves they may betray.

When thou wilt swim in that live bath,

Each fish, which every channel hath,

Will amorously to thee swim,

Gladder to catch thee, than thou him.

If thou, to be so seen, be'st loth,

By sun or moon, thou darken'st both

And if myself have leave to see,

I need not their light, having thee.

Let others freeze with angling reeds,

And cut their legs with shells and weeds

Or treacherously poor fish beset,

With strangling snare or windowy net.

Let coarse bold hands from slimy nest

The bedded fish in banks out-wrest;

Or curious traitors, sleave-silk flies,

Bewitch poor fishes' wand'ring eyes.

For thee, thou need'st no such deceit,

For thou thyself art thine own bait:

That fish, that is not catch'd thereby,

Alas, is wiser far than I.

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The Bait

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