JOHN DONNE poem THE FLEA original English poetry TEXT ENG




John Donne

The Flea






English literature

Full English text



John Donne All the poems > here



“The Flea” is an erotic metaphysical poem by John Donne (1572–1631).

The poem “The Flea” by John Donne is first published posthumously in 1633, The exact date of its composition is unknown.

Below, you can find the text of the poetry: “The Flea” by John Donne, in the original English language. 

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John Donne

The Flea



English literature

Full English text




Mark but this flea, and mark in this,

How little that which thou deniest me is ;

It suck’d me first, and now sucks thee,

And in this flea 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 pamper’d swells with one blood made of two ;

And this, alas ! is more than we would do.



O stay, three lives in one flea spare,

Where we almost, yea, more than married are.

This flea is you and I, and this

Our marriage bed, and marriage temple is.


Though parents grudge, and you, we’re met,

And cloister’d 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 flea guilty be,

Except in that drop which it suck’d from thee?


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

Find’st not thyself nor me the weaker now.

‘Tis true ; then learn how false fears be ;

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

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



John Donne – The Flea

Poem (1633) English literature

Full English text




John Donne All the poems > here


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