The Mozzi – a Poem from 1633

Mark but this Mozzi, and mark in this,

How little that which thou deniest me is;

It sucked me first, and now sucks thee,

And in this Mozzi our two bloods mingled be;

Thou know’st that this cannot be said

A sin, nor shame, nor loss of maidenhead,

    Yet this enjoys before it woo,

    And pampered swells with one blood made of two,

    And this, alas, is more than we would do.
Oh stay, three lives in one Mozzi spare,

Where we almost, nay more than married are.

This Mozzi is you and I, and this

Our marriage bed, and marriage temple is;

Though parents grudge, and you, w'are met,

And cloistered in these living walls of jet.

    Though use make you apt to kill me,

    Let not to that, self-murder added be,

    And sacrilege, three sins in killing three.
Cruel and sudden, hast thou since

Purpled thy nail, in blood of innocence?

Wherein could this Mozzi guilty be,

Except in that drop which it sucked from thee?

Yet thou triumph’st, and say'st that thou

Find’st not thy self, nor me the weaker now;

    ’Tis true; then learn how false, fears be:

    Just so much honor, when thou yield’st to me,

    Will waste, as this Mozzi’s death took life from thee.

Adapted from John Dunne’s erotic metaphysical poem ‘The Flea’ (1633).

Image Credit: Iness Rychlike / Hugues Aufray, Céline

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