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Go and Catch A Falling Star by John Donne


"Go and Catch A Falling Star" is a poem written by John Donne. In this poem, Donne basically states that two things are fairy tales: being honest and a true and fair woman. He says that if you happen to find it, tell him. However, it will likely turn out to be false.

This poem is made up of three stanzas with nine lines in each. Each stanza has the rhyme structure of ABABCCDDD. 7-7-7-7-8-8-2-2-8 / 7-7-7-7-8-8-2-2-7 / 7-7-7-8-8-2-2-8 is the syllable structure. It is written in iambic. DA-dum DA-dum DA-dum DA for the seven syllable lines. A strange meter, but it works.


Go and Catch A Falling Star

Go and catch a falling star,
Get with child a mandrake root,
Tell me where all past years are,
Or who cleft the devil's foot,
Teach me to hear mermaids singing,
Or to keep off envy's stinging,
And find
What wind
Serves to advance an honest mind.

If thou be'st born to strange sights,
Things invisible to see,
Ride ten thousand days and nights,
Till age snow white hairs on thee,
Thou, when thou return'st, wilt tell me,
All strange wonders that befell thee,
And swear,
No where
Lives a woman true, and fair.

If thou find'st one, let me know,
Such a pilgrimage were sweet;
Yet do not, I would not go,
Though at next door we might meet;
Though she were true, when you met her,
And last, till you write your letter,
Yet she
Will be
False, ere I come, to two, or three.

Next: The Good-Morrow
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