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The Primrose - 07/06/2005
The Primrose
by John Donne

Upon this primrose hill,
Where if heav'n would distill
A shower of rain, each several drop might go
To his own primrose, and grow mamma so,
And where their form and their infinity
Make a terrestrial galaxy
As the small stars do in the sky,
I walk to find a true-love; and I see
That 'tis not a mere woman that is she,
But must or more or less than woman be.


Yet know I not which flower
I wish, a six or four,
For should my true love less than woman be,
She were scare anything; and then, should she
Be more than woman, she would get above
All thought of sex and think to move
My heart to study her, and not to love.
Both these were monsters. Since there must reside
Falsehood in woman, I could more abide
She were by art than nature falsified.


Live, primrose, then, and thrive
With thy true number, five;
And women, whom this flower doth represent,
With this mysterious number be content.
Ten is the farthest number; if half ten
Belong unto each woman, then
Each woman may take half us men;
Or if this will not serve their turn, since all
Numbers are odd or even, and then fall
First into this five, women may take us all.



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