Ode on a Grecian Urn

Thou still unravish’d bride of quietness,
Thou foster-child of Silence and slow Time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape
Of deities or mortals, or of both,
In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?
What men or gods are these? What maidens loth?
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?
What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear’d,
Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave
Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;
Bold lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though winning near the goal—yet, do not grieve;
She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!

Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed
Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu;
And happy melodist, unwearièd,
For ever piping songs for ever new;
More happy love! more happy, happy love!
For ever warm and still to be enjoy’d,
For ever panting, and for ever young;
All breathing human passion far above,
That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloy’d,
A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.

Who are these coming to the sacrifice?
To what green altar, O mysterious priest,
Lead’st thou that heifer lowing at the skies,
And all her silken flanks with garlands drest?
What little town by river or sea-shore,
Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,
Is emptied of its folk, this pious morn?
And, little town, thy streets for evermore
Will silent be; and not a soul, to tell
Why thou art desolate, can e’er return.

O Attic shape! fair attitude! with brede
Of marble men and maidens overwrought,
With forest branches and the trodden weed;
Thou, silent form! dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral!
When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say’st,
‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.’

John Keats

The good-morrow

I wonder by my troth, what thou, and I
Did, till we loved? were we not wean’d till then?
But suck’d on countrey pleasures, childishly?
Or snorted we in the seaven sleepers den?
T’was so; But this, all pleasures fancies bee.
If any beauty I did see,
Which I desir’d and got, t’was but a dreame of thee.

And now good morrow to our waking soules,
Which watch not one another out of feare;
For love, all love of other sights controules,
An makes one little roome, an every where.
Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone,
Let Maps to other, worlds on worlds have showne,
Let us possesse one world, each hath one, and is one.

My face in thine eye, thine in mine appeares,
And true plaine hearts doe in the faces rest,
Where can we finde two better hemispheares
Without sharpe North, without declining West?
What ever dyes, was not mixed equally;
If our two loves be one, or, thou and I
Love so alike, that none doe slacken, none can die.

John Donne


Blood-red flowers
On the shrine
Emit the fragrant eglantine,
Grape-like taste of good red wine
These blood-red flowers on the shrine.

The Cosmic Blood
That beats within
The scarlet veins of your pure skin
Is blood-red too and free from sin,
The Cosmic Blood that beats within.

And I have blood
That colour too
And you are me and I am you,
It isn’t easy too construe
The blood in me that flows in you.

Oh, kill the mind
That separates
And open now elusive gates
To free me from the heavy chains
So I can flow through your pure veins.

Bruce Cooper 1990

Fondly Finally Goodbye

“And indeed there will be time
To wonder, ‘do I dare’ and, ‘do I dare?’
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair –”       TS Eliot    

Almost fifty-seven …

The limbs begin to stiffen

And the sun, now past its zenith,
Sinks reluctantly below the Western sky
And down the road,
A long way off,
A youth waves fondly, finally,

Quickly now the wind
Stirs in the trees,
Lifts itself above a breeze
And quietly begins to moan.

I feel a chill within the bone.

Somewhat nearer than the boy
A hoary figure comes
Munching its blue gums
To reveal
An almost fiendish smile.

I stay awhile and watch it click its jaws …

Then I turn my back upon the boy
And go indoors.

Bruce Cooper
August 2002



A Lodge for All Reasons

One man’s dream of creating a game reserve to boost conservation and satisfy his love of the wild has created a showcase for luxury hospitality and animal viewing second to none.

Pumba chalets on Lake Cariega

Chatting with the director, 54-year old Dale Howarth, on the Pumba Game Reserve’s stylish lodge patio overlooking a host of small and large game drinking at the edges of the abundant and quietly beautiful Lake Cariega, one senses a man who has been on a long mission, steadfastly and surely approaching his target.

‘Since I was a child, I’ve had a passion for conservation, collecting crickets, lizards, rats, frogs – you name it. At one time I had the biggest snake collection in the Eastern Cape and frequently sold some of them to the Port Elizabeth Snake Park for pocket money. I collect in a much bigger way now and even have a 10-month old lioness living with my wife Paula and me at the house, as well as two caraculs and Melvin, a three-year old giraffe, who kicks up a fuss when anyone comes near me,’ he laughs.

Pumba stands on 7 000 hectares of lush thicket encompassing five of the seven biomes in Southern Africa and possesses the largest lake in the area – Lake Cariega. Apart from being the major watering hole, it is home to the hippo on the reserve and Howarth says Pumba is the only lodge in the Eastern Cape where hippo can be viewed right in front of a guest’s chalet deck. I confirmed the experience one evening while sitting on my deck and watching hippo come out of the lake to graze a mere 20 metres away. The edgy reader will be pleased to learn that the decks are high off the ground and offer a splendid view of the lake and its frequent, thirsty visitors.

Main lodge viewing deck at Pumba

Main lodge viewing deck at Pumba

The two lodges on the reserve, known popularly as the water lodge and bush lodge, are distinct in style and landscape although both incorporate the five-star luxury expected in lodges of this calibre and, from both, game is constantly in sight. The view from the water lodge is expansive because it overlooks Lake Cariega and the rising plains beyond, while the bush lodge is situated literally in the heart of the African veld and instils a feeling of being ‘right in it’. Howarth is proud of the Pumba ‘product’ and what it provides for the game viewer:

Surrounded by African veld at Pumba bush lodge

Surrounded by African veld at Pumba bush lodge

‘Apart from the luxurious comfort of our lodges, I believe our game experience is the best in the Eastern Cape because our high carrying capacity and game population density frequently make game visible. Another major advantage is that the reserve owner manages the operation, giving it the personal attention it needs. I think it is testimony to the appeal and popularity of Pumba that many of our visitors return for a second and third time.’

‘Our conservation and environmental standards extend to even using bio-degradable and environmentally friendly soaps and shampoos, and water going back into the system is not contaminated but goes through a series of soak away filters and septic tanks, after which it feeds into the veld where it is reabsorbed.’

Howarth hopes that his dedicated and untiring efforts in the field of conservation are bearing fruit for the people in his area and the industry as a whole:

‘We employ 145 people and, where possible, promote from within. We have eight dedicated rangers and five apprentices at the moment. We also have a training academy providing official accreditation for overseas and local rangers.’

White lions at Pumba

White lions at Pumba

One of Pumba’s singular attractions, and a key biodiversity project, is the white lion rehabilitation and breeding programme introduced in 2006. It is one of only two known programmes in the world where the white lion has been reintroduced to roam freely and to hunt by itself. At the inception of his white lion project, Howarth was ridiculed and told he would never accomplish a successful rehabilitation and breeding programme, let alone get the lions to hunt by themselves and become self-sustaining.

‘We acquired one pure white male and two split females, which are tawny in colour for successful hunting but which carry the white gene. The day we released them they targeted a warthog but didn’t know how to catch it. In fact, they just played with it. The second day they caught a warthog – and ate it – and I’ve never had to feed them since. We call them Temba, which means vision and hope; Tombi, a young girl and Vela, which means to reappear.’

‘Although seen only once before in the wild, in 1976, the white lion is found often in African myth and folklore and the well-known, traditional African medicine men, or sangoma, are sometimes called “white lions”.’

These superb specimens have reached iconic status in Southern Africa. The indigenous African people see the mysterious white colour of the lions as purity and enlightenment in a spiritual sense and representing pure sunlight – beyond all colour, creed, gender or race.

The fascinating, engrossing and exciting game drives and bush-walk experiences at Pumba are made possible by a team of dedicated and knowledgeable rangers, who appear very passionate and protective of their reserve’s bounty in flora, birdlife and animal species. Not least of these is the reserve’s conservation manager, and senior ranger, Richard Pearse, whose gentle, unobtrusive demeanour hides a wealth of knowledge.

‘Pumba is unique in its flora and fauna system. It possesses five of South Africa’s seven biomes:  the fynbos, thicket, grassland, savannah and forest biomes. Biomes have unique plant species growing within them and the preservation of these biomes is vital to ensure that animal life feeding off them is sustained.’

Dale Howarth’s passion for animal and plant conservation is matched by the quiet intensity of his conservation manager to achieve a perfect wildlife balance at Pumba:

‘This part of our country has remarkably beautiful areas that often go unnoticed,’ says Pearse. ‘There is a world unknown here. We have such floral diversity!  And game viewing on this reserve is plentiful because of our good carrying capacity. We’re also in the process of eliminating all the alien-invasive vegetation, which will provide more water, allow more indigenous flora to flourish and further increase the carrying capacity, thus providing more food and a likely increase in game.’

I asked Pearse why visitors enjoy a wildlife experience of the kind Pumba offers and if they show any extensive interest in the surroundings.

‘It is interesting to note that although visitors come to our reserve to enjoy a five-star sophisticated lifestyle experience, and to see the Big Five, they are also extremely curious about the environment in which these animals are sustained and how plants, insects, birds and animals interact to survive.  Birds, for example, aren’t just birds; they are vital indicators of changing environmental conditions in the same way mammals and insects are. There is also a growing interest in the medicinal value of the flora and fauna and why the African medicine man, or sangoma, uses them.’

The reserve has its share of colourful animal characters. One of them is 56-year old Hapoor junior, son of the famous elephant, Hapoor, legendary leader of the Addo Elephant National Park herd for 24 years. Pumba’s bush lodge manageress, Leandi Pretorious, told me about this sociable character.

A thirsty Hapoor at the bush lodge

A thirsty Hapoor at the bush lodge

‘Hapoor is very noticeable because he has a slice out of his ear, genetically acquired from his parents. Despite all our efforts to get him to use the watering hole, he insists on using the lodge’s swimming pool to drink from. For some reason he loves that pool and guests have become used to him being there. There is also a particular tree in front of one of the rooms which he loves eating from and, at the water lodge, he will walk right up to the glass windows to see what’s going on inside. He is a calm and lovely animal.’

Another character is Houdini the hippo. Aptly named, this wayward young bull had escaped several times from the Rondevlei nature reserve in Cape Town and made his way into a residential area, which resulted in Cape Nature issuing a destroy permit against him On discovering this, Howarth obtained an eight-day grace period to arrange a rescue team. After a long and painstaking search he was found (at the end of the eighth day), captured and sent to his new home at Pumba, where he basks now in five-star luxury in the idyllic and blissful Lake Cariega.

Howarth’s conservation ardour extends even beyond the magnificent Pumba reserve. In association with the World Bank and Addo Elephant National Park, he runs a biodiversity project that is currently involved in the expansion of the Addo Elephant Park from its original 70 000 hectares to 265 000 hectares terrestrial and 120 000 hectares marine. The project will also assist the struggle against global warming.

Pumba, together with Indalo, the Association of Eastern Cape Private Game Reserves, is also currently waging a battle against the construction of wind farms in the surrounding area which, Howarth says, ‘are a visual pollution and dangerous to bats and birdlife’.

I asked Howarth what the highlight of his Pumba experience had been, thinking he would probably say the white lion breeding project.

Dale Howarth and friend

Dale Howarth and friend

‘The highlight for me was, and always will be, the visit from former South African President Nelson Mandela. What an incredibly humble man! He insisted on meeting every staff member. We had to line them up and, when he came to breakfast, he made a point of shaking hands with everyone in the lounge. You can imagine how surprised and delighted the guests were!’

Pumba is an immensely appealing luxury reserve in which floral, bird and animal species flourish and where guests are treated to a solicitous personal service that never stops. Howarth’s capable wife, Paula, is general manager of the two beautiful lodges.

Sitting on my deck overlooking Lake Cariega and a herd of zebra and antelope in the distance, I wondered what had touched me about the experience – for something had. I thought of several things: Dale Howarth’s inspiring and stimulating passion for conservation, the subtle and attentive hospitality of Paula and her staff, the delectable cuisine, the exquisite comfort of the stylishly decorated lodges, a bush picnic with the eloquent, erudite and quietly intense Richard Pearse. And finally I realised that Pumba, for me at any rate, had more than just a relaxing five-star lifestyle and game viewing; it is a marvellous interactive experience with the people who live there and who love and care for the environment and its people. It brought knowledge, wonder and not a little self-understanding.

Bruce Cooper
First published in 2011
Photographs courtesy of Dale Howarth and the African Pride Pumba Private Game Reserve



Before the day winds
back again
I sit,
between the dark and light
entranced by images
of night
that float around within
transfixed by what
life’s all about.

The answers seem so close
they can be touched,
and yet destroyed,
if clutched,
as if the seeking dissipates the end,
as if
the mind waits patiently to bend
what it
already knows:
that seeking always flows
and answers always tend.

The night brings focus
to a process
that the seeking doesn’t end
but returns to its beginning
and begins yet once again,
while a snake
in a circle
under lucid drops of rain.

Bruce Cooper

A Person is a Person through Other Persons

In an area of South Africa internationally acclaimed for its extraordinary biodiversity and remarkable beauty, there lies a region of enduring fascination and a humble people fiercely protective of their land and heritage.

Along the beautiful eastern coast of southern Africa below the great escarpment, which separates the elevated interior plateau from the coastal lowlands, is a dynamic area of plant and cultural endemism. Home to a unique combination of biological species, the region has a scenic, topographical and cultural diversity unsurpassed in South Africa.

Pondoland's Wild Coast

Pondoland’s Wild Coast

The shore of this astonishing region is a coastline popularly known as the Wild Coast, a vigorous seaboard of wild, unspoiled beaches, dune and coastal forests, open estuaries, sheer coastal cliffs with deeply incised river gorges and swiftly flowing rivers.

Rich in archaeological interest, the Pondoland region is a depository of rare Sangoan and other Stone Age artefacts, as well as many San cave rock-art sites in the Mkambathi Nature Reserve, which belong to the same tradition as the much celebrated Drakensberg paintings. Numerous Iron Age and Stone Age sites, including shell middens from early beachcomber origin, can be seen along the coast.

Sardines run the gauntlet on the way to their destination

Sardines run the gauntlet on the way to their destination

The region’s exciting annual ‘sardine run’, is a unique marine event that takes place every year between late May and early August when millions of Cape pilchards migrate to Wild Coast waters in large shoals. These shoals are hotly pursued by large flocks of marine birds, dolphins and varieties of whale, shark and fish in the world’s largest marine migration.

Inextricably entwined with the antiquity and richness of the region, and possessing and using it as their inalienable cultural right, are the extraordinary Pondo people, whose simplicity and wisdom have become indistinguishable from the sacred land they now traverse.

Historical evidence suggests the area was originally settled by Bushmen and Hottentots, but towards the end of the 17th century these were displaced by successive waves of pastoral people wandering down from the north-east. These people split into various groups and the northern group became the Pondo.

Professor Russell Kaschula of the School of Languages at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, says of the Pondos:

Professor Russell Kaschula

Russell Kaschula

‘There is a powerful spirituality and innocence about these people, and Pondoland is an interesting place for those who have not reconciled with the negative issues in their lives. There seems to be an energy and power that draws people there for spiritual healing. The traditional healing methods can almost be likened to Western psychology, a process of questions and answers enabling one to undergo a self-transforming experience that leads to a more fruitful life.’

The Pondos were grateful to their ancestors for the land they were entrusted to protect. Its rich, fertile soil and abundant sea food gave them the means to survive in an environment of astonishing natural beauty.

They now live in a region that is internationally recognised as a botanical ‘hotspot’ of plant biodiversity and which has the greatest variety of tree species (over 600) in the world. It is only one of 235 recognised hotspots that contain about 50% of the planet’s species in only 2% of the land. Little wonder that it was the inspiration for JRR Tolkien’s bestseller, The Hobbit.

The land provides food and medicine, and the Pondos are well known for their traditional plant therapy. Professor Kaschula adds:

‘There are also healers specialising in plant medicine who spend months in the forests learning the various plant qualities under expert tutelage. It would appear a lot of people from various cultures round the world come to Pondoland to be trained in traditional healing. Although they never compromise their principles, the Pondos will always share their knowledge.’

It is well documented that early Dutch and Portuguese seafarers bear testimony to the docility, kindness, and graciousness of these people. A young French Huguenot, Guillaume de Chalezac, spent a year living as foster-son to a Pondo chief until he was rescued by the English vessel Centaurus. His diary, published in 1748, provides readers with a warm account of his hosts, whom he describes as ‘well-mannered, respectful, friendly and hospitable towards each other and strangers’. He describes the women as ‘appealingly modest’.

The well known travel journalist, Don Pinnock, after a visit to the region, said:

‘We overnighted in a comfortable hut with a new floor in Rhole village. There we were spoiled rotten with tea, home-baked bread and a country meal of beef, potato-like ndombes, stir-fried cabbage and the staple samp and beans. Sponge mattresses, with clean bedding, were laid out on grass mats and a bath of hot water appeared on cue.’

Thatched rondavel in Pondoland

Thatched rondavel in Pondoland

Living in circular huts made from mud and clay and a conical-shaped roof of dry grass (rondavels), the Pondos breed cattle, grow grain, pumpkin and fish and hunt with weapons made from materials at hand. Remarkable basket weavers, they also make the most intricate and exquisite beadwork. They are farming people who ride the valleys, hills and grasslands on their sturdy ponies confronting the challenges of the 21st century with their integrity and culture intact, as it has been for centuries.

They have not been left alone, however.

During the 19th century, they felt the force of British colonial rule. Left alone for a while, their land was eventually annexed by the British in 1894 and through various political, economic and religious pressures the people were forced to accept it.

When the apartheid government came to power in 1948 and a socio-economic and political shift in South African history ensued, indigenous people became aliens in the land of their birth. Land became the property of the new government and taxes were levied to force indigenous peoples to seek work on the mines to survive.

On 6 June 1960, on Ngquza Hill, the Pondo nation had to face the might of their new enemy. Although lives were lost in a peaceful, unarmed demonstration, they look back with pride that they played a prominent role in liberating South Africans, and their martyrs of that day remain an enduring memorial for the land entrusted to them.

Pondoland elder

Pondoland elder

Today they face another threat to their land and culture. An open cast mining project is being mulled for heavy metals such as rutile and titanium. It will extend 1.5 km inland from the shore for 23km, from the Mtentu River northwards to the Umtumvuna River along one of the most idyllic settings and ecologically sensitive environments on South Africa’s coastline. Some Pondo elders consider it an invasion and fear it will desecrate the graves of their forefathers and negatively affect them socially and culturally. Many local and international conservation organisations agree with them.

Core to the Pondo philosophy is the African concept of ubuntu. It means to share and care through principles of harmlessness and unselfishness. The region, so rare and extraordinary, its pristine Wild Coast, and its people, need ubuntu now more than ever. In the words of the late and former South African president, Nelson Mandela:

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela

‘When a traveller through the country stops at a village, he doesn’t have to ask for food or water. Once he stops, the people give him food, entertain him … the question therefore is: are you going to do so in order to enable the community around you to be able to improve? These are the important things in life, and if one can do these one will have done something that will be very appreciated.’

That is ubuntu. Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu: a person is a person through other persons.

Bruce Cooper
First written for international in-flight magazine, Sawubona, in 2008

Bay of Plenty

Once dubbed a ‘quaint luxurious sleepy hollow’, St Francis Bay has been experiencing a population and economic boom, due in part to its pleasurable attractions and not a little to a Golden Bear that once roamed the area.

Thrusting itself confidently forward for the benefit of unsuspecting mariners, the nineteenth century St Francis lighthouse can be seen from a westerly descent about 100 km from Port Elizabeth. Around the Cape, a tranquil and radiant bay with ample stretches of affluent beach rolls lazily toward a quiet river.

The Portuguese mariners in 1575, who named the Bay after one of the many nautical patron saints, would not have foreseen, from where they stood centuries ago, the resplendent, thatched, black and white mansions or Mediterranean villas that now pervade the area; nor the intricate, man-made, tidal canal system linked to the Kromme River that, in season, plays host to an array of different boats and water machines.

And the well-established commercial and recreational port would not have beckoned their longboats then.

A bay of sporting pleasure
Home to ‘Bruce’s Beauties’, considered one of the world’s best surf breaks, St Francis Bay is described as possessing the whitest, cleanest stretches of beach on the South African coastline. Attracting national and worldwide interest, water sports abound and include surfing, kite boarding, wet bike racing, waterskiing, windsurfing and paddleskiing. Some of the finest surf and rock angling can be found along this stretch and general sporting events are regularly on the calendar.

Trail running, mountain biking, hiking, tennis, squash, bowls and golf complete the package of the Bay’s available sports pleasure and entertainment.

The Kromme and the canals

The St Francis canals

The St Francis canals

Navigable to 10 km, the quiet and sedate Kromme River is a playground for sailing enthusiasts and fishermen alike, flowing gently at its mouth into a marvellous network of canals.

Dubbed ‘Little Venice’, and one of the biggest man-made waterways in Africa, this impressive 7 km canal system winds its way peacefully between magnificent white walled thatched houses, each with their own mooring jetty, and is a mere step away to boating, fishing or yachting on the spacious Kromme. Idyllic sunset cruises take visitor or resident alike on an enchanting journey through the fascinating network, distilling a magical and captivating experience.

Port St Francis

St Francis Bay harbour

St Francis Bay harbour

In the interests of fishing and tourism, the first privately-owned port in South Africa began construction in 1996 and is today a vibrant and flourishing R250m small harbour for commercial and recreational craft.

Port St Francis provides safe anchorage for the local chokka industry workboats, pleasure vessels and ocean-going yachts. The superbly functional port is surrounded by a developing village of restaurants, shops, estate agents, yacht club, conference centre, private beach, seaside meander trails and residential and self-catering luxury waterfront apartments.

The natural gardens of St Francis

African Black Oystercatcher

African Black Oystercatcher

A haven for the eco-conscious, the area boasts four nature reserves and falls within The Cape Floral Kingdom – the smallest of the earth’s six kingdoms.

The Cape St Francis Nature Reserve, The Seal Bay Nature Reserve, The Seal Point Nature Reserve and The Irma Booysen Flora Reserve reveal magnificent and exclusive plant life, and many hiking trails exist along the coast and not far inland for nature enthusiasts.

Ground, air and marine species abound and the area is a privileged home for the near-extinct African Black Oystercatcher which has a worldwide population of around only 5 000 birds.

Stamp of the Golden Bear

Jack Nicklaus, the Golden Bear

Jack Nicklaus, the Golden Bear

The great Golden Bear once seen roaming the area was the astounding winner of 18 major golf championships and 105 golf tournaments – the inimitable Jack Nicklaus.

Commissioned to transform an undulating links land of exquisite beauty, Nicklaus produced one of the finest golf courses in the world and was quoted as saying,

‘…..this may be the best course I’ve ever seen’.

St Francis Links

St Francis Links

St Francis Links is situated between gentle, rolling hills with views of the sea. The R2-billion rand investment boasts a magnificent, secure residential golfing estate with several hundred units in the process of development.

Attracting worldwide attention, the development has been hailed as world-class and owes much to the Golden Bear’s course signature and the idyllic proximity of St Francis Bay. It is now rated as one of the finest courses in the country and constantly is among the top venues for weddings, receptions and conferences.

The Links has provided an economic impetus for the overall development of the area and the bay’s luxurious charms have provided it with an attractive menu, creating a synergy that just gets better every year.

In spite of retaining its old-world charm and pristine beauty, the developing bay today would astonish the ancient Portuguese seafarers. And its founder, Leighton Hulett, would no longer look out upon the budding fishing village he brought into being over forty years ago.

It has become a vibrant, bustling environment and tourist mecca that by no stretch of the imagination can any longer be described as ‘quaint’.

Bruce Cooper – first written and published in AbouTime airline magazine

Photographs courtesy of St Francis Bay Tourism; Biodiversity Explorer; GolfNews; SafariNow


Sweetest luve, I do not goe,
For wearinesse of thee,
Nor in hope the world can show
A fitter Love for me;
But since that I
Must dye at last, ’tis best,
To use myself in jest
Thus by fain’d deaths to dye;

Yesternight the Sunne went hence,
And yet is here to day,
He hath no desire nor sense,
Nor halfe so short a way:
Then feare not mee,
But beleeve that I shall make
Speedier journeyes, since I take
More wings and spurres then hee.

O how feeble is mans power,
That if good fortune fall,
Cannot adde another houre,
Nor a lost houre recall!
But come bad chance,
And wee joyne to’it our strength,
And wee teach it art and length,
It selfe o’r us to advance.

When thou sigh’st, thou sigh’st not winde,
But sigh’st my soule away,
When thou weep’st, unkindly kinde,
My lifes blood doth decay.
It cannot bee
That thou lov’st mee, as thou say’st,
If in thine my life thou waste,
Thou art the best of mee.

Let not thy divining heart
Forethinke me any ill,
Destiny may take thy part,
And may thy feares fulfill;
But thinke that wee
Are but turn’d aside to sleepe;
They who one another keepe
Alive, ne’r parted bee.

John Donne