Love as Bait

Adam has links to a series of discussions on the dark art of seduction, with a series of criticisms. It is worth noting that Adam never had such a problem: it was others, more fallen, now more repentant, who have had to burn their books.

Donne knew better. he was not seducing. he was hooked, entrapped n and later, profoundly repentant This is not a aromatic poem, it is a warning.

The bait always looks beautiful, but beware the hook. (The Romantic movement was all hook, and hated Donne and his ilk.)

The Baite

Come live with mee, and bee my love,
And wee will some new pleasures prove
Of golden sands, and christall brookes,
With silken lines, and silver hookes.

There will the river whispering runne
Warm’d by thy eyes, more than the Sunne.
And there the’inamor’d fish will stay,
Begging themselves they may betray.

When thou wilt swimme in that live bath,
Each fish, which every channell hath,
Will amorously to thee swimme,
Gladder to catch thee, than thou him.

If thou, to be so seene, beest loath,
By Sunne, or Moone, thou darknest both,
And if my selfe have leave to see,
I need not their light, having thee.

Let others freeze with angling reeds,
And cut their legges, with shells and weeds,
Or treacherously poore fish beset,
With strangling snare, or windowie net:

Let coarse bold hands, from slimy nest
The bedded fish in banks out-wrest,
Or curious traitors, sleavesilke flies
Bewitch poore fishes wandring eyes.

For thee, thou needst no such deceit,
For thou thy selfe art thine owne bait;
That fish, that is not catch’d thereby,
Alas, is wiser farre than I.

John Robbe

Kea says, correctly, that this is twisted and as romantic as a brick. But that is what was intended, and those who read but the first verses lie.