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The Hesperides & Noble Numbers: Vol. 1 and 2
by Robert Herrick
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ROBERT HERRICK

THE HESPERIDES & NOBLE NUMBERS: EDITED BY ALFRED POLLARD WITH A PREFACE BY A. C. SWINBURNE

VOL. I.

REVISED EDITION



LONDON: NEW YORK: LAWRENCE & BULLEN, LTD., CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS, 16 HENRIETTA STREET, W.C. 153-157 FIFTH AVENUE 1898. 1898.



Transcriber's Note

Original spelling and punctuation has been retained.

Asterisks and daggers have been used to highlight sections. In this version of the text, daggers have been rendered as +.

Greek words have been transliterated and shown between {braces}.

The oe ligature is shown by [oe], whilst ^ indicates 'superscript'.

Obvious typesetting errors have been corrected without note, however additional corrections have been recorded in the Transcriber's Endnotes at the end of each volume.



EDITOR'S NOTE.

In this edition of Herrick quotation is for the first time facilitated by the poems being numbered according to their order in the original edition. This numbering has rendered it possible to print those Epigrams, which successive editors have joined in deploring, in a detachable Appendix, their place in the original being indicated by the numeration. It remains to be added that the footnotes in this edition are intended to explain, as unobtrusively as possible, difficulties of phrase or allusion which might conceivably hinder the understanding of Herrick's meaning. In the longer Notes at the end of each volume earlier versions of some important poems are printed from manuscripts at the British Museum, and an endeavour has been made to extend the list of Herrick's debts to classical sources, and to identify some of his friends who have hitherto escaped research. An editor is always apt to mention his predecessors rather for blame than praise, and I therefore take this opportunity of acknowledging my general indebtedness to the pioneer work of Mr. Hazlitt and Dr. Grosart, upon whose foundations all editors of Herrick must necessarily build.

ALFRED W. POLLARD.



PREFACE.

It is singular that the first great age of English lyric poetry should have been also the one great age of English dramatic poetry: but it is hardly less singular that the lyric school should have advanced as steadily as the dramatic school declined from the promise of its dawn. Born with Marlowe, it rose at once with Shakespeare to heights inaccessible before and since and for ever, to sink through bright gradations of glorious decline to its final and beautiful sunset in Shirley: but the lyrical record that begins with the author of "Euphues" and "Endymion" grows fuller if not brighter through a whole chain of constellations till it culminates in the crowning star of Herrick. Shakespeare's last song, the exquisite and magnificent overture to "The Two Noble Kinsmen," is hardly so limpid in its flow, so liquid in its melody, as the two great songs in "Valentinian": but Herrick, our last poet of that incomparable age or generation, has matched them again and again. As a creative and inventive singer, he surpasses all his rivals in quantity of good work; in quality of spontaneous instinct and melodious inspiration he reminds us, by frequent and flawless evidence, who above all others must beyond all doubt have been his first master and his first model in lyric poetry—the author of "The Passionate Shepherd to his Love".

The last of his line, he is and will probably be always the first in rank and station of English song-writers. We have only to remember how rare it is to find a perfect song, good to read and good to sing, combining the merits of Coleridge and Shelley with the capabilities of Tommy Moore and Haynes Bayly, to appreciate the unique and unapproachable excellence of Herrick. The lyrist who wished to be a butterfly, the lyrist who fled or flew to a lone vale at the hour (whatever hour it may be) "when stars are weeping," have left behind them such stuff as may be sung, but certainly cannot be read and endured by any one with an ear for verse. The author of the Ode on France and the author of the Ode to the West Wind have left us hardly more than a song a-piece which has been found fit for setting to music: and, lovely as they are, the fame of their authors does not mainly depend on the song of Glycine or the song of which Leigh Hunt so justly and so critically said that Beaumont and Fletcher never wrote anything of the kind more lovely. Herrick, of course, lives simply by virtue of his songs; his more ambitious or pretentious lyrics are merely magnified and prolonged and elaborated songs. Elegy or litany, epicede or epithalamium, his work is always a song-writer's; nothing more, but nothing less, than the work of the greatest song-writer—as surely as Shakespeare is the greatest dramatist—ever born of English race. The apparent or external variety of his versification is, I should suppose, incomparable; but by some happy tact or instinct he was too naturally unambitious to attempt, like Jonson, a flight in the wake of Pindar. He knew what he could not do: a rare and invaluable gift. Born a blackbird or a thrush, he did not take himself (or try) to be a nightingale.

It has often been objected that he did mistake himself for a sacred poet: and it cannot be denied that his sacred verse at its worst is as offensive as his secular verse at its worst; nor can it be denied that no severer sentence of condemnation can be passed upon any poet's work. But neither Herbert nor Crashaw could have bettered such a divinely beautiful triplet as this:—

"We see Him come, and know Him ours, Who with His sunshine and His showers Turns all the patient ground to flowers".

That is worthy of Miss Rossetti herself: and praise of such work can go no higher.

But even such exquisite touches or tones of colour may be too often repeated in fainter shades or more glaring notes of assiduous and facile reiteration. The sturdy student who tackles his Herrick as a schoolboy is expected to tackle his Horace, in a spirit of pertinacious and stolid straightforwardness, will probably find himself before long so nauseated by the incessant inhalation of spices and flowers, condiments and kisses, that if a musk-rat had run over the page it could hardly be less endurable to the physical than it is to the spiritual stomach. The fantastic and the brutal blemishes which deform and deface the loveliness of his incomparable genius are hardly so damaging to his fame as his general monotony of matter and of manner. It was doubtless in order to relieve this saccharine and "mellisonant" monotony that he thought fit to intersperse these interminable droppings of natural or artificial perfume with others of the rankest and most intolerable odour: but a diet of alternate sweetmeats and emetics is for the average of eaters and drinkers no less unpalatable than unwholesome. It is useless and thankless to enlarge on such faults or such defects, as it would be useless and senseless to ignore. But how to enlarge, to expatiate, to insist on the charm of Herrick at his best—a charm so incomparable and so inimitable that even English poetry can boast of nothing quite like it or worthy to be named after it—the most appreciative reader will be the slowest to affirm or imagine that he can conjecture. This, however, he will hardly fail to remark: that Herrick, like most if not all other lyric poets, is not best known by his best work. If we may judge by frequency of quotation or of reference, the ballad of the ride from Ghent to Aix is a far more popular, more generally admired and accredited specimen of Mr. Browning's work than "The Last Ride Together"—and "The Lost Leader" than "The Lost Mistress". Yet the superiority of the less-popular poem is in either case beyond all question or comparison: in depth and in glow of spirit and of harmony, in truth and charm of thought and word, undeniable and indescribable. No two men of genius were ever more unlike than the authors of "Paracelsus" and "Hesperides": and yet it is as true of Herrick as of Browning that his best is not always his best-known work. Everyone knows the song, "Gather ye rosebuds while ye may"; few, I fear, by comparison, know the yet sweeter and better song, "Ye have been fresh and green". The general monotony of style and motive which fatigues and irritates his too-persevering reader is here and there relieved by a change of key which anticipates the note of a later and very different lyric school. The brilliant simplicity and pointed grace of the three stanzas to [OE]none ("What conscience, say, is it in thee") recall the lyrists of the Restoration in their cleanlier and happier mood. And in the very fine epigram headed by the words "Devotion makes the Deity" he has expressed for once a really high and deep thought in words of really noble and severe propriety. His "Mad Maid's Song," again, can only be compared with Blake's; which has more of passionate imagination, if less of pathetic sincerity.

A. C. SWINBURNE.



LIFE OF HERRICK.

Of the lives of many poets we know too much; of some few too little. Lovers of Herrick are almost ideally fortunate. Just such a bare outline of his life has come down to us as is sufficient to explain the allusions in his poems, and, on the other hand, there is no temptation to substitute chatter about his relations with Julia and Dianeme for enjoyment of his delightful verse. The recital of the bare outline need detain us but a few minutes: only the least imaginative of readers will have any difficulty in filling it in from the poems themselves.

From early in the fourteenth century onwards we hear of the family of Eyrick or Herrick at Stretton, in Leicestershire. At the beginning of the sixteenth century we find a branch of it settled in Leicester itself, where John Eyrick, the poet's grandfather, was admitted a freeman in 1535, and afterwards acted as Mayor. This John's second son, Nicholas, migrated to London, became a goldsmith in Wood Street, Cheapside, and, according to a licence issued by the Bishop of London, December 8, 1582, married Julian, daughter of William Stone, sister of Anne, wife of Sir Stephen Soame, Lord Mayor of London in 1598. The marriage was not unfruitful. A William[A] Herrick was baptized at St. Vedast's, Foster Lane, November 24, 1585; Martha, January 22, 1586; Mercy, December 22, 1586; Thomas, May 7, 1588; Nicholas, April 22, 1589; Anne, July 26, 1590; and Robert himself, August 24, 1591.

[A] A second William is said to have been born, posthumously, in "Harry Campion's house at Hampton," in 1593.

Fifteen months after the poet's birth, on November 7, 1592, Nicholas Herrick made his will, estimating his property as worth L3000, and devising it, as to one-third to his wife, and as to the other two-thirds to his children in equal shares. In the will he described himself as "of perfect memorye in sowle, but sicke in bodye". Two days after its execution he was buried, having died, not from disease, but from a fall from an upper window. His death had so much the appearance of self-destruction that L220 had to be paid to the High Almoner, Dr. Fletcher, Bishop of Bristol, in satisfaction of his official claim to the goods and chattels of suicides. Herrick's biographers have not failed to vituperate the Bishop for his avarice, but dues allowed by law are hardly to be abandoned because a baby of fifteen months is destined to become a brilliant poet, and no other exceptional circumstances are alleged. The estate of Nicholas Herrick could the better afford the fine inasmuch as it realized L2000 more than was expected.

By the will Robert and William Herrick were appointed "overseers," or trustees for the children. The former was the poet's godfather, and in his will of 1617 left him L5. To William Herrick, then recently knighted for his services as goldsmith, jeweller, and moneylender to James I., the young Robert was apprenticed for ten years, September 25, 1607. An allusion to "beloved Westminster," in his Tears to Thamesis, has been taken to refer to Westminster school, and alleged as proof that he was educated there. Dr. Grosart even presses the mention of Richmond, Kingston, and Hampton Court to support a conjecture that Herrick may have travelled up and down to school from Hampton. If so, one wonders what his headmaster had to say to the "soft-smooth virgins, for our chaste disport" by whom he was accompanied. But the references in the poem are surely to his courtier-life in London, and after his father's death the apprenticeship to his uncle in 1607 is the first fact in his life of which we can be sure.

In 1607, Herrick was fifteen, and, even if we conjecture that he may have been allowed to remain at school some little time after his apprenticeship nominally began, he must have served his uncle for five or six years. Sir William had himself been bound apprentice in a similar way to the poet's father, and we have no evidence that he exacted any premium. At any rate, when in 1614, his nephew, then of age, desired to leave the business and go to Cambridge, the ten years' apprenticeship did not stand in his way, and he entered as a Fellow Commoner at St. John's. His uncle plainly still managed his affairs, for an amusing series of fourteen letters has been preserved at Beaumanor, until lately the seat of Sir William's descendants, in which the poet asks sometimes for payment of a quarterly stipend of L10, sometimes for a formal loan, sometimes for the help of his avuncular Maecenas. It seems a fair inference from this variety of requests that, since Herrick's share of his father's property could hardly have yielded a yearly income of L40, he was allowed to draw on his capital for this sum, but that his uncle and Lady Herrick occasionally made him small presents, which may account for his tone of dependence.

The quarterly stipend was paid through various booksellers, but irregularly, so that the poor poet was frequently reduced to great straits, though L40 a-year (L200 of our money) was no bad allowance. After two years he migrated from St. John's to Trinity Hall, to study law and curtail his expenses. He took his Bachelor's degree from there in January, 1617, and his Master's in 1620. The fourteen letters show that he had prepared himself for University life by cultivating a very florid prose style which frequently runs into decasyllabics, perhaps a result of a study of the dramatists. Sir William Herrick is sometimes addressed in them as his most "careful" uncle, but at the time of his migration the poet speaks of his "ebbing estate," and as late as 1629 he was still L10 16s. 9d. in debt to the College Steward. We can thus hardly imagine that he was possessed of any considerable private income when he returned to London, to live practically on his wits, and a study of his poems suggests that, the influence of the careful uncle removed, whatever capital he possessed was soon likely to vanish.[B] His verses to the Earl of Pembroke, to Endymion Porter and to others, show that he was glad of "pay" as well as "praise," but the system of patronage brought no discredit with it, and though the absence of any poetical mention of his uncle suggests that the rich goldsmith was not well-pleased with his nephew, with the rest of his well-to-do relations Herrick seems to have remained on excellent terms.

[B] Yet in his Farewell to Poetry he distinctly says:—

"I've more to bear my charge than way to go";

the line, however, is a translation from his favourite Seneca, Ep. 77.

Besides patrons, such as Pembroke, Westmoreland, Newark, Buckingham, Herrick had less distinguished friends at Court, Edward Norgate, Jack Crofts and others. He composed the words for two New Year anthems which were set to music by Henry Lawes, and he was probably personally known both to the King and Queen. Outside the Court he reckoned himself one of Ben Jonson's disciples, "Sons of Ben" as they were called, had friends at the Inns of Court, knew the organist of Westminster Abbey and his pretty daughters, and had every temptation to live an amusing and expensive life. His poems were handed about in manuscript after the fashion of the time, and wherever music and poetry were loved he was sure to be a welcome guest.

Mr. Hazlitt's conjecture that Herrick at this time may have held some small post in the Chapel at Whitehall is not unreasonable, but at what date he took Holy Orders is not known. In 1627 he obtained the post of chaplain to the unlucky expedition to the Isle of Rhe, and two years later (September 30, 1629) he was presented by the King to the Vicarage of Dean Prior, in Devonshire, which the promotion of its previous incumbent, Dr. Potter, to the Bishopric of Carlisle, had left in the royal gift. The annual value of the living was only L50 (L250 present value), no great prize, but the poem entitled Mr. Robert Hericke: his farwell unto Poetrie (not printed in Hesperides, but extant in more than one manuscript version) shows that the poet was not unaware of the responsibilities of his profession. "But unto me," he says to his Muse:

"But unto me be only hoarse, since now (Heaven and my soul bear record of my vow) I my desires screw from thee and direct Them and my thoughts to that sublime respect And conscience unto priesthood. 'Tis not need (The scarecrow unto mankind) that doth breed Wiser conclusions in me, since I know I've more to bear my charge than way to go; Or had I not, I'd stop the spreading itch Of craving more: so in conceit be rich; But 'tis the God of nature who intends And shapes my function for more glorious ends."

Perhaps it was at this time too that Herrick wrote his Farewell to Sack, and although he returned both to sack and to poetry we should be wrong in imagining him as a "blind mouth," using his office merely as a means of gain. He celebrated the births of Charles II and his brother in verse, perhaps with an eye to future royal favours, but no more than Chaucer's good parson does he seem to have "run to London unto Seynte Poules" in search of the seventeenth century equivalent for a chauntry, and many of his poems show him living the life of a contented country clergyman, sharing the contents of bin and cruse with his poor parishioners, and jotting down sermon-notes in verse.

The great majority of Herrick's poems cannot be dated, and it is idle to enquire which were written before his ordination and which afterwards. His conception of religion was medieval in its sensuousness, and he probably repeated the stages of sin, repentance and renewed assurance with some facility. He lived with an old servant, Prudence Baldwin, the "Prew" of many of his poems; kept a spaniel named Tracy, and, so says tradition, a tame pig. When his parishioners annoyed him he seems to have comforted himself with epigrams on them; when they slumbered during one of his sermons the manuscript was suddenly hurled at them with a curse for their inattention.

In the same year that Herrick was appointed to his country vicarage his mother died while living with her daughter, Mercy, the poet's dearest sister (see 818), then for some time married to John Wingfield of Brantham in Suffolk (see 590), by whom she had three sons and a daughter, also called Mercy. His eldest brother, Thomas, had been placed with a Mr. Massam, a merchant, but as early as 1610 had retired to live a country life in Leicestershire (see 106). He appears to have married a wife named Elizabeth, whose loss Herrick laments (see 72). Nicholas, the next brother was more adventurous. He had become a merchant trading to the Levant, and in this capacity had visited the Holy Land (see 1100). To his wife Susanna, daughter of William Salter, Herrick addresses two poems (522 and 977). There were three sons and four daughters in this family, and Herrick wrote a poem to one of the daughters, Bridget (562), and an elegy on another, Elizabeth (376). When Mrs. Herrick died the bulk of her property was left to the Wingfields, but William Herrick received a legacy of L100, with ten pounds apiece to his two children, and a ring of twenty shillings to his wife. Nicholas and Robert were only left twenty-shilling rings, and the administration of the will was entrusted to William Herrick and the Wingfields. The will may have been the result of a family arrangement, and we have no reason to believe that the unequal division gave rise to any ill-feeling. Herrick's address to "his dying brother, Master William Herrick" (186), shows abundant affection, and there is every reason to believe that it was addressed to the William who administered to Mrs. Herrick's will.

While little nephews and nieces were springing up around him, Herrick remained unmarried, and frequently congratulates himself on his freedom from the yoke matrimonial. He imagined how he would bid farewell to his wife, if he had one (465), and wrote magnificent epithalamia for his friends, but lived and died a bachelor. When first civil troubles and then civil war cast a shadow over the land, it is not very easy to say how he viewed the contending parties. He was devoted to Charles and Henrietta Maria and the young Prince of Wales, and rejoiced at every Royalist success. Many also of his poems breathe the spirit of unquestioning loyalty, but in others he is less certain of kingly wisdom. Something, however, must be allowed for his evident habit of versifying any phrase or epigram which impressed him, and not all his poems need be regarded as expressions of his personal opinions. But with whatever doubts his loyalty was qualified, it was sufficiently obvious to procure his ejection from his living in 1648; and, making the best of his loss, he bade farewell to Dean Prior, shook the dust of "loathed Devonshire" off his feet, and returned gaily to London, where he appears to have discarded his clerical habit and to have been made abundantly welcome by his friends.

Free from the cares of his incumbency, and free also from the restraints it imposed, Herrick's thoughts turned to the publication of his poems. As we have said, in his old Court-days these had found some circulation in manuscript, and in 1635 one of his fairy poems was printed, probably without his leave (see Appendix). In 1639 his poem (575) The Apparition of his Mistress calling him to Elysium was licensed at Stationers' Hall under the title of His Mistress' Shade, and it was included the next year in an edition of Shakespeare's Poems (see Notes). On April 29, 1640, "The severall poems written by Master Robert Herrick," were entered as to be published by Andrew Crook, but no trace of such a volume has been discovered, and it was only in 1648 that Hesperides at length appeared. Two years later upwards of eighty of the poems in it were printed in the 1650 edition of Witt's Recreations, but a small number of these show considerable variations from the Hesperides versions, and it is probable that they were printed from the poet's manuscript. Compilers of other miscellanies and song books laid Herrick under contribution, but, with the one exception of his contribution to the Lacrymae Musarum in 1649, no fresh production of his pen has been preserved, and we know nothing further of his life save that he returned to Dean Prior after the Restoration (August 24, 1662), and that according to the parish register "Robert Herrick, Vicker, was buried y^e 15th day October, 1674."

ALFRED W. POLLARD



NOTE TO SECOND EDITION.

In this edition some trifling errors, which had crept into the text and the numeration of the poems, have been corrected, and many fresh illustrations of Herrick's reading added in the notes, which have elsewhere been slightly compressed to make room for them. Almost all of the new notes have been supplied from the manuscript collections of a veteran student of Herrick who placed himself in correspondence with me after the publication of my first edition. To my great regret I am not allowed to make my acknowledgments to him by name.

A. W. P.



HESPERIDES: OR, THE WORKS BOTH HUMANE & DIVINE OF ROBERT HERRICK Esq.



OVID.

Effugient avidos Carmina nostra Rogos.



LONDON.

Printed for John Williams, and Francis Eglesfield, and are to be sold by Tho: Hunt, Book-seller in Exon. 1648.



TO THE MOST ILLUSTRIOUS AND MOST HOPEFUL PRINCE. CHARLES, PRINCE OF WALES.

Well may my book come forth like public day When such a light as you are leads the way, Who are my work's creator, and alone The flame of it, and the expansion. And look how all those heavenly lamps acquire Light from the sun, that inexhausted fire, So all my morn and evening stars from you Have their existence, and their influence too. Full is my book of glories; but all these By you become immortal substances.



HESPERIDES.

1. THE ARGUMENT OF HIS BOOK.

I sing of brooks, of blossoms, birds and bowers, Of April, May, of June and July-flowers; I sing of May-poles, hock-carts, wassails, wakes, Of bridegrooms, brides and of their bridal cakes; I write of youth, of love, and have access By these to sing of cleanly wantonness; I sing of dews, of rains, and piece by piece Of balm, of oil, of spice and ambergris; I sing of times trans-shifting, and I write How roses first came red and lilies white; I write of groves, of twilights, and I sing The Court of Mab, and of the Fairy King; I write of hell; I sing (and ever shall) Of heaven, and hope to have it after all.

Hock-cart, the last cart from the harvest-field. Wakes, village festivals, properly on the dedication-day of a church. Ambergris, 'grey amber,' much used in perfumery.

2. TO HIS MUSE.

Whither, mad maiden, wilt thou roam? Far safer 'twere to stay at home, Where thou mayst sit and piping please The poor and private cottages, Since cotes and hamlets best agree With this thy meaner minstrelsy. There with the reed thou mayst express The shepherd's fleecy happiness, And with thy eclogues intermix Some smooth and harmless bucolics. There on a hillock thou mayst sing Unto a handsome shepherdling, Or to a girl, that keeps the neat, With breath more sweet than violet. There, there, perhaps, such lines as these May take the simple villages; But for the court, the country wit Is despicable unto it. Stay, then, at home, and do not go Or fly abroad to seek for woe. Contempts in courts and cities dwell, No critic haunts the poor man's cell, Where thou mayst hear thine own lines read By no one tongue there censured. That man's unwise will search for ill, And may prevent it, sitting still.

3. TO HIS BOOK.

While thou didst keep thy candour undefil'd, Dearly I lov'd thee as my first-born child, But when I saw thee wantonly to roam From house to house, and never stay at home, I brake my bonds of love, and bade thee go, Regardless whether well thou sped'st or no. On with thy fortunes then, whate'er they be: If good, I'll smile; if bad, I'll sigh for thee.

4. ANOTHER.

To read my book the virgin shy May blush while Brutus standeth by, But when he's gone, read through what's writ, And never stain a cheek for it.

Brutus, see Martial, xi. 16, quoted in Note at the end of the volume.

7. TO HIS BOOK.

Come thou not near those men who are like bread O'er-leaven'd, or like cheese o'er-renneted.

8. WHEN HE WOULD HAVE HIS VERSES READ.

In sober mornings, do not thou rehearse The holy incantation of a verse; But when that men have both well drunk and fed, Let my enchantments then be sung or read. When laurel spirts i'th' fire, and when the hearth Smiles to itself, and gilds the roof with mirth; When up the thyrse[C] is rais'd, and when the sound Of sacred orgies[D] flies, a round, a round. When the rose reigns, and locks with ointments shine, Let rigid Cato read these lines of mine.

Round, a rustic dance. Cato, see Martial, x. 17, quoted in Note.

[C] "A javelin twined with ivy" (Note in the original edition).

[D] "Songs to Bacchus" (Note in the original edition.)

9. UPON JULIA'S RECOVERY.

Droop, droop no more, or hang the head, Ye roses almost withered; Now strength and newer purple get, Each here declining violet. O primroses! let this day be A resurrection unto ye; And to all flowers ally'd in blood, Or sworn to that sweet sisterhood: For health on Julia's cheek hath shed Claret and cream commingled; And those her lips do now appear As beams of coral, but more clear.

Beams, perhaps here = branches: but cp. 440.

10. TO SILVIA TO WED.

Let us, though late, at last, my Silvia, wed, And loving lie in one devoted bed. Thy watch may stand, my minutes fly post-haste; No sound calls back the year that once is past. Then, sweetest Silvia, let's no longer stay; True love, we know, precipitates delay. Away with doubts, all scruples hence remove; No man at one time can be wise and love.

11. THE PARLIAMENT OF ROSES TO JULIA.

I dreamt the roses one time went To meet and sit in parliament; The place for these, and for the rest Of flowers, was thy spotless breast, Over the which a state was drawn Of tiffanie or cobweb lawn. Then in that parly all those powers Voted the rose the queen of flowers; But so as that herself should be The maid of honour unto thee.

State, a canopy. Tiffanie, gauze. Parly, a parliament.

12. NO BASHFULNESS IN BEGGING.

To get thine ends, lay bashfulness aside; Who fears to ask doth teach to be deny'd.

13. THE FROZEN HEART.

I freeze, I freeze, and nothing dwells In me but snow and icicles. For pity's sake, give your advice, To melt this snow and thaw this ice. I'll drink down flames; but if so be Nothing but love can supple me, I'll rather keep this frost and snow Than to be thaw'd or heated so.

14. TO PERILLA.

Ah, my Perilla! dost thou grieve to see Me, day by day, to steal away from thee? Age calls me hence, and my grey hairs bid come, And haste away to mine eternal home; 'Twill not be long, Perilla, after this, That I must give thee the supremest kiss. Dead when I am, first cast in salt, and bring Part of the cream from that religious spring; With which, Perilla, wash my hands and feet; That done, then wind me in that very sheet Which wrapt thy smooth limbs when thou didst implore The gods' protection but the night before. Follow me weeping to my turf, and there Let fall a primrose, and with it a tear: Then, lastly, let some weekly-strewings be Devoted to the memory of me: Then shall my ghost not walk about, but keep Still in the cool and silent shades of sleep.

Weekly strewings, i.e., of flowers on his grave. First cast in salt, cp. 769.

15. A SONG TO THE MASKERS.

Come down and dance ye in the toil Of pleasures to a heat; But if to moisture, let the oil Of roses be your sweat.

Not only to yourselves assume These sweets, but let them fly From this to that, and so perfume E'en all the standers by;

As goddess Isis, when she went Or glided through the street, Made all that touched her, with her scent, And whom she touched, turn sweet.

16. TO PERENNA.

When I thy parts run o'er, I can't espy In any one the least indecency; But every line and limb diffused thence A fair and unfamiliar excellence: So that the more I look the more I prove There's still more cause why I the more should love.

Indecency, uncomeliness.

17. TREASON.

The seeds of treason choke up as they spring: He acts the crime that gives it cherishing.

18. TWO THINGS ODIOUS.

Two of a thousand things are disallow'd: A lying rich man, and a poor man proud.

19. TO HIS MISTRESSES.

Help me! help me! now I call To my pretty witchcrafts all; Old I am, and cannot do That I was accustomed to. Bring your magics, spells, and charms, To enflesh my thighs and arms. Is there no way to beget In my limbs their former heat? AEson had, as poets feign, Baths that made him young again: Find that medicine, if you can, For your dry decrepit man Who would fain his strength renew, Were it but to pleasure you.

AEson, rejuvenated by Medea; see Ovid, Met. vii.

20. THE WOUNDED HEART.

Come bring your sampler, and with art Draw in't a wounded heart And dropping here and there: Not that I think that any dart Can make yours bleed a tear, Or pierce it anywhere; Yet do it to this end: that I May by This secret see, Though you can make That heart to bleed, yours ne'er will ache For me.

21. NO LOATHSOMENESS IN LOVE.

What I fancy I approve, No dislike there is in love. Be my mistress short or tall, And distorted therewithal: Be she likewise one of those That an acre hath of nose: Be her forehead and her eyes Full of incongruities: Be her cheeks so shallow too As to show her tongue wag through; Be her lips ill hung or set, And her grinders black as jet: Has she thin hair, hath she none, She's to me a paragon.

22. TO ANTHEA.

If, dear Anthea, my hard fate it be To live some few sad hours after thee, Thy sacred corse with odours I will burn, And with my laurel crown thy golden urn. Then holding up there such religious things As were, time past, thy holy filletings, Near to thy reverend pitcher I will fall Down dead for grief, and end my woes withal: So three in one small plat of ground shall lie— Anthea, Herrick, and his poetry.

23. THE WEEPING CHERRY.

I saw a cherry weep, and why? Why wept it? but for shame Because my Julia's lip was by, And did out-red the same. But, pretty fondling, let not fall A tear at all for that: Which rubies, corals, scarlets, all For tincture wonder at.

24. SOFT MUSIC.

The mellow touch of music most doth wound The soul when it doth rather sigh than sound.

25. THE DIFFERENCE BETWIXT KINGS AND SUBJECTS.

'Twixt kings and subjects there's this mighty odds: Subjects are taught by men; kings by the gods.

26. HIS ANSWER TO A QUESTION.

Some would know Why I so Long still do tarry, And ask why Here that I Live and not marry. Thus I those Do oppose: What man would be here Slave to thrall, If at all He could live free here?

27. UPON JULIA'S FALL.

Julia was careless, and withal She rather took than got a fall, The wanton ambler chanc'd to see Part of her legs' sincerity: And ravish'd thus, it came to pass, The nag (like to the prophet's ass) Began to speak, and would have been A-telling what rare sights he'd seen: And had told all; but did refrain Because his tongue was tied again.

28. EXPENSES EXHAUST.

Live with a thrifty, not a needy fate; Small shots paid often waste a vast estate.

Shots, debts.

29. LOVE, WHAT IT IS.

Love is a circle that doth restless move In the same sweet eternity of love.

30. PRESENCE AND ABSENCE.

When what is lov'd is present, love doth spring; But being absent, love lies languishing.

31. NO SPOUSE BUT A SISTER.

A bachelor I will Live as I have liv'd still, And never take a wife To crucify my life; But this I'll tell ye too, What now I mean to do: A sister (in the stead Of wife) about I'll lead; Which I will keep embrac'd, And kiss, but yet be chaste.

32. THE POMANDER BRACELET.

To me my Julia lately sent A bracelet richly redolent: The beads I kissed, but most lov'd her That did perfume the pomander.

Pomander, a ball of scent.

33. THE SHOE-TYING.

Anthea bade me tie her shoe; I did; and kissed the instep too: And would have kissed unto her knee, Had not her blush rebuked me.

34. THE CARCANET.

Instead of orient pearls of jet I sent my love a carcanet; About her spotless neck she knit The lace, to honour me or it: Then think how rapt was I to see My jet t'enthral such ivory.

Carcanet, necklace. Lace, any kind of girdle; used here for the necklace.

35. HIS SAILING FROM JULIA.

When that day comes, whose evening says I'm gone Unto that watery desolation, Devoutly to thy closet-gods then pray That my wing'd ship may meet no remora. Those deities which circum-walk the seas, And look upon our dreadful passages, Will from all dangers re-deliver me For one drink-offering poured out by thee. Mercy and truth live with thee! and forbear (In my short absence) to unsluice a tear; But yet for love's sake let thy lips do this, Give my dead picture one engendering kiss: Work that to life, and let me ever dwell In thy remembrance, Julia. So farewell.

Closet-gods, the Roman Lares. Remora, the sea Lamprey or suckstone, believed to check the course of ships by clinging to their keels.

36. HOW THE WALL-FLOWER CAME FIRST, AND WHY SO CALLED.

Why this flower is now call'd so, List, sweet maids, and you shall know. Understand, this firstling was Once a brisk and bonnie lass, Kept as close as Danae was: Who a sprightly springall lov'd, And to have it fully prov'd, Up she got upon a wall, Tempting down to slide withal: But the silken twist untied, So she fell, and, bruis'd, she died. Love, in pity of the deed, And her loving-luckless speed, Turn'd her to this plant we call Now the flower of the wall.

Tempting, trying.

37. WHY FLOWERS CHANGE COLOUR.

These fresh beauties (we can prove) Once were virgins sick of love. Turn'd to flowers,—still in some Colours go and colours come.

38. TO HIS MISTRESS OBJECTING TO HIM NEITHER TOYING OR TALKING.

You say I love not, 'cause I do not play Still with your curls, and kiss the time away. You blame me too, because I can't devise Some sport to please those babies in your eyes: By love's religion, I must here confess it, The most I love when I the least express it. Small griefs find tongues: full casks are ever found To give (if any, yet) but little sound. Deep waters noiseless are; and this we know, That chiding streams betray small depth below. So, when love speechless is, she doth express A depth in love and that depth bottomless. Now, since my love is tongueless, know me such Who speak but little 'cause I love so much.

Babies in your eyes, see Note.

39. UPON THE LOSS OF HIS MISTRESSES.

I have lost, and lately, these Many dainty mistresses: Stately Julia, prime of all: Sappho next, a principal: Smooth Anthea for a skin White, and heaven-like crystalline: Sweet Electra, and the choice Myrrha for the lute and voice: Next Corinna, for her wit, And the graceful use of it: With Perilla: all are gone; Only Herrick's left alone For to number sorrow by Their departures hence, and die.

40. THE DREAM.

Methought last night Love in an anger came And brought a rod, so whipt me with the same; Myrtle the twigs were, merely to imply Love strikes, but 'tis with gentle cruelty. Patient I was: Love pitiful grew then And strok'd the stripes, and I was whole again. Thus, like a bee, Love gentle still doth bring Honey to salve where he before did sting.

42. TO LOVE.

I'm free from thee; and thou no more shalt hear My puling pipe to beat against thine ear. Farewell my shackles, though of pearl they be; Such precious thraldom ne'er shall fetter me. He loves his bonds who, when the first are broke, Submits his neck unto a second yoke.

43. ON HIMSELF.

Young I was, but now am old, But I am not yet grown cold; I can play, and I can twine 'Bout a virgin like a vine: In her lap too I can lie Melting, and in fancy die; And return to life if she Claps my cheek, or kisseth me: Thus, and thus it now appears That our love outlasts our years.

44. LOVE'S PLAY AT PUSH-PIN.

Love and myself, believe me, on a day At childish push-pin, for our sport, did play; I put, he pushed, and, heedless of my skin, Love pricked my finger with a golden pin; Since which it festers so that I can prove 'Twas but a trick to poison me with love: Little the wound was, greater was the smart, The finger bled, but burnt was all my heart.

Push-pin, a game in which pins are pushed with an endeavor to cross them.

45. THE ROSARY.

One ask'd me where the roses grew: I bade him not go seek, But forthwith bade my Julia show A bud in either cheek.

46. UPON CUPID.

Old wives have often told how they Saw Cupid bitten by a flea; And thereupon, in tears half drown'd, He cried aloud: Help, help the wound! He wept, he sobb'd, he call'd to some To bring him lint and balsamum, To make a tent, and put it in Where the stiletto pierced the skin; Which, being done, the fretful pain Assuaged, and he was well again.

Tent, a roll of lint for probing wounds.

47. THE PARCAE; OR, THREE DAINTY DESTINIES: THE ARMILLET.

Three lovely sisters working were, As they were closely set, Of soft and dainty maidenhair A curious armillet. I, smiling, asked them what they did, Fair Destinies all three, Who told me they had drawn a thread Of life, and 'twas for me. They show'd me then how fine 'twas spun, And I reply'd thereto,— "I care not now how soon 'tis done, Or cut, if cut by you".

48. SORROWS SUCCEED.

When one is past, another care we have: Thus woe succeeds a woe, as wave a wave.

49. CHERRY-PIT.

Julia and I did lately sit Playing for sport at cherry-pit: She threw; I cast; and, having thrown, I got the pit, and she the stone.

Cherry-pit, a game in which cherry-stones were pitched into a small hole.

50. TO ROBIN REDBREAST.

Laid out for dead, let thy last kindness be With leaves and moss-work for to cover me: And while the wood-nymphs my cold corpse inter, Sing thou my dirge, sweet-warbling chorister! For epitaph, in foliage, next write this: Here, here the tomb of Robin Herrick is.

51. DISCONTENTS IN DEVON.

More discontents I never had Since I was born than here, Where I have been, and still am sad, In this dull Devonshire; Yet, justly too, I must confess I ne'er invented such Ennobled numbers for the press, Than where I loathed so much.

52. TO HIS PATERNAL COUNTRY.

O earth! earth! earth! hear thou my voice, and be Loving and gentle for to cover me: Banish'd from thee I live, ne'er to return, Unless thou giv'st my small remains an urn.

53. CHERRY-RIPE.

Cherry-ripe, ripe, ripe, I cry, Full and fair ones; come and buy. If so be you ask me where They do grow, I answer: There, Where my Julia's lips do smile; There's the land, or cherry-isle, Whose plantations fully show All the year where cherries grow.

54. TO HIS MISTRESSES.

Put on your silks, and piece by piece Give them the scent of ambergris; And for your breaths, too, let them smell Ambrosia-like, or nectarel; While other gums their sweets perspire, By your own jewels set on fire.

55. TO ANTHEA.

Now is the time, when all the lights wax dim; And thou, Anthea, must withdraw from him Who was thy servant. Dearest, bury me Under that Holy-oak or Gospel-tree, Where, though thou see'st not, thou may'st think upon Me, when thou yearly go'st procession; Or, for mine honour, lay me in that tomb In which thy sacred relics shall have room. For my embalming, sweetest, there will be No spices wanting when I'm laid by thee.

Holy oak, the oak under which the minister read the Gospel in the procession round the parish bounds in Rogation week.

56. THE VISION TO ELECTRA.

I dreamed we both were in a bed Of roses, almost smothered: The warmth and sweetness had me there Made lovingly familiar, But that I heard thy sweet breath say, Faults done by night will blush by day. I kissed thee, panting, and, I call Night to the record! that was all. But, ah! if empty dreams so please, Love give me more such nights as these.

57. DREAMS.

Here we are all by day; by night we're hurl'd By dreams, each one into a sev'ral world.

58. AMBITION.

In man ambition is the common'st thing; Each one by nature loves to be a king.

59. HIS REQUEST TO JULIA.

Julia, if I chance to die Ere I print my poetry, I most humbly thee desire To commit it to the fire: Better 'twere my book were dead Than to live not perfected.

60. MONEY GETS THE MASTERY.

Fight thou with shafts of silver and o'ercome, When no force else can get the masterdom.

61. THE SCARE-FIRE.

Water, water I desire, Here's a house of flesh on fire; Ope the fountains and the springs, And come all to bucketings: What ye cannot quench pull down; Spoil a house to save a town: Better 'tis that one should fall, Than by one to hazard all.

Scare-fire, fire-alarm.

62. UPON SILVIA, A MISTRESS.

When some shall say, Fair once my Silvia was, Thou wilt complain, False now's thy looking-glass, Which renders that quite tarnished which was green, And priceless now what peerless once had been. Upon thy form more wrinkles yet will fall, And, coming down, shall make no noise at all.

Priceless, valueless.

63. CHEERFULNESS IN CHARITY; OR, THE SWEET SACRIFICE.

'Tis not a thousand bullocks' thighs Can please those heav'nly deities, If the vower don't express In his offering cheerfulness.

65. SWEETNESS IN SACRIFICE.

'Tis not greatness they require To be offer'd up by fire; But 'tis sweetness that doth please Those Eternal Essences.

66. STEAM IN SACRIFICE.

If meat the gods give, I the steam High-towering will devote to them, Whose easy natures like it well, If we the roast have, they the smell.

67. UPON JULIA'S VOICE.

So smooth, so sweet, so silv'ry is thy voice, As, could they hear, the damn'd would make no noise, But listen to thee, walking in thy chamber, Melting melodious words to lutes of amber.

Amber, used here merely for any rich material: cp. "Treading on amber with their silver feet".

68. AGAIN.

When I thy singing next shall hear, I'll wish I might turn all to ear To drink in notes and numbers such As blessed souls can't hear too much; Then melted down, there let me lie Entranc'd and lost confusedly, And, by thy music stricken mute, Die and be turn'd into a lute.

69. ALL THINGS DECAY AND DIE.

All things decay with time: the forest sees The growth and downfall of her aged trees; That timber tall, which threescore lusters stood The proud dictator of the state-like wood,— I mean (the sovereign of all plants) the oak— Droops, dies, and falls without the cleaver's stroke.

Lusters, the Roman reckoning of five years.

70. THE SUCCESSION OF THE FOUR SWEET MONTHS.

First, April, she with mellow showers Opens the way for early flowers; Then after her comes smiling May, In a more rich and sweet array; Next enters June, and brings us more Gems than those two that went before: Then (lastly) July comes, and she More wealth brings in than all those three.

71. NO SHIPWRECK OF VIRTUE. TO A FRIEND.

Thou sail'st with others in this Argus here; Nor wreck or bulging thou hast cause to fear; But trust to this, my noble passenger; Who swims with virtue, he shall still be sure (Ulysses-like) all tempests to endure, And 'midst a thousand gulfs to be secure.

Bulging, leaking.

72. UPON HIS SISTER-IN-LAW, MISTRESS ELIZABETH HERRICK.

First, for effusions due unto the dead, My solemn vows have here accomplished: Next, how I love thee, that my grief must tell, Wherein thou liv'st for ever. Dear, farewell.

Effusions, drink-offerings.

73. OF LOVE. A SONNET.

How love came in I do not know, Whether by the eye, or ear, or no; Or whether with the soul it came (At first) infused with the same; Whether in part 'tis here or there, Or, like the soul, whole everywhere, This troubles me: but I as well As any other this can tell: That when from hence she does depart The outlet then is from the heart.

74. TO ANTHEA.

Ah, my Anthea! Must my heart still break? (Love makes me write, what shame forbids to speak.) Give me a kiss, and to that kiss a score; Then to that twenty add a hundred more: A thousand to that hundred: so kiss on, To make that thousand up a million. Treble that million, and when that is done Let's kiss afresh, as when we first begun. But yet, though love likes well such scenes as these, There is an act that will more fully please: Kissing and glancing, soothing, all make way But to the acting of this private play: Name it I would; but, being blushing red, The rest I'll speak when we meet both in bed.

75. THE ROCK OF RUBIES, AND THE QUARRY OF PEARLS.

Some ask'd me where the rubies grew, And nothing I did say: But with my finger pointed to The lips of Julia. Some ask'd how pearls did grow, and where; Then spoke I to my girl, To part her lips, and show'd them there The quarrelets of Pearl.

Quarrelets, little squares.

76. CONFORMITY.

Conformity was ever known A foe to dissolution: Nor can we that a ruin call, Whose crack gives crushing unto all.

77. TO THE KING, UPON HIS COMING WITH HIS ARMY INTO THE WEST.

Welcome, most welcome to our vows and us, Most great and universal genius! The drooping West, which hitherto has stood As one in long-lamented widowhood, Looks like a bride now, or a bed of flowers Newly refresh'd both by the sun and showers. War, which before was horrid, now appears Lovely in you, brave prince of cavaliers! A deal of courage in each bosom springs By your access, O you the best of kings! Ride on with all white omens; so that where Your standard's up, we fix a conquest there.

78. UPON ROSES.

Under a lawn, than skies more clear, Some ruffled roses nestling were: And, snugging there, they seem'd to lie As in a flowery nunnery: They blush'd, and look'd more fresh than flowers Quicken'd of late by pearly showers, And all because they were possess'd But of the heat of Julia's breast: Which, as a warm and moisten'd spring, Gave them their ever-flourishing.

79. TO THE KING AND QUEEN UPON THEIR UNHAPPY DISTANCES.

Woe, woe to them, who, by a ball of strife, Do, and have parted here a man and wife: CHARLES the best husband, while MARIA strives To be, and is, the very best of wives, Like streams, you are divorc'd; but 'twill come when These eyes of mine shall see you mix again. Thus speaks the oak here; C. and M. shall meet, Treading on amber, with their silver-feet, Nor will't be long ere this accomplish'd be: The words found true, C. M., remember me.

Oak, the prophetic tree.

80. DANGERS WAIT ON KINGS.

As oft as night is banish'd by the morn, So oft we'll think we see a king new born.

81. THE CHEAT OF CUPID; OR, THE UNGENTLE GUEST.

One silent night of late, When every creature rested, Came one unto my gate And, knocking, me molested.

Who's that, said I, beats there, And troubles thus the sleepy? Cast off, said he, all fear, And let not locks thus keep ye.

For I a boy am, who By moonless nights have swerved; And all with show'rs wet through, And e'en with cold half starved.

I pitiful arose, And soon a taper lighted; And did myself disclose Unto the lad benighted.

I saw he had a bow And wings, too, which did shiver; And, looking down below, I spied he had a quiver.

I to my chimney's shine Brought him, as Love professes, And chafed his hands with mine, And dried his drooping tresses.

But when he felt him warm'd: Let's try this bow of ours, And string, if they be harm'd, Said he, with these late showers.

Forthwith his bow he bent, And wedded string and arrow, And struck me, that it went Quite through my heart and marrow.

Then, laughing loud, he flew Away, and thus said, flying: Adieu, mine host, adieu, I'll leave thy heart a-dying.

82. TO THE REVEREND SHADE OF HIS RELIGIOUS FATHER.

That for seven lusters I did never come To do the rites to thy religious tomb; That neither hair was cut, or true tears shed By me, o'er thee, as justments to the dead, Forgive, forgive me; since I did not know Whether thy bones had here their rest or no, But now 'tis known, behold! behold, I bring Unto thy ghost th' effused offering: And look what smallage, night-shade, cypress, yew, Unto the shades have been, or now are due, Here I devote; and something more than so; I come to pay a debt of birth I owe. Thou gav'st me life, but mortal; for that one Favour I'll make full satisfaction; For my life mortal rise from out thy hearse. And take a life immortal from my verse.

Seven lusters, five and thirty years. Hair was cut, according to the Greek custom. Justments, dues. Smallage, water parsley.

83. DELIGHT IN DISORDER.

A sweet disorder in the dress Kindles in clothes a wantonness: A lawn about the shoulders thrown Into a fine distraction: An erring lace which here and there Enthralls the crimson stomacher: A cuff neglectful, and thereby Ribbons to flow confusedly: A winning wave, deserving note, In the tempestuous petticoat: A careless shoe-string, in whose tie I see a wild civility: Do more bewitch me than when art Is too precise in every part.

84. TO HIS MUSE.

Were I to give thee baptism, I would choose To christen thee, the bride, the bashful Muse, Or Muse of roses: since that name does fit Best with those virgin-verses thou hast writ: Which are so clean, so chaste, as none may fear Cato the censor, should he scan each here.

85. UPON LOVE.

Love scorch'd my finger, but did spare The burning of my heart; To signify in love my share Should be a little part.

Little I love; but if that he Would but that heat recall; That joint to ashes burnt should be,[E] Ere I would love at all.

[E] Orig. ed., should be burnt.

86. TO DEAN BOURN, A RUDE RIVER IN DEVON, BY WHICH SOMETIMES HE LIVED.

Dean Bourn, farewell; I never look to see Dean, or thy watery[F] incivility. Thy rocky bottom, that doth tear thy streams And makes them frantic even to all extremes, To my content I never should behold, Were thy streams silver, or thy rocks all gold. Rocky thou art, and rocky we discover Thy men, and rocky are thy ways all over. O men, O manners, now and ever known To be a rocky generation! A people currish, churlish as the seas, And rude almost as rudest savages, With whom I did, and may re-sojourn when Rocks turn to rivers, rivers turn to men.

[F] Orig. ed., warty.

87. KISSING USURY.

Bianca, let Me pay the debt I owe thee for a kiss Thou lend'st to me, And I to thee Will render ten for this.

If thou wilt say Ten will not pay For that so rich a one; I'll clear the sum, If it will come Unto a million.

By this, I guess, Of happiness Who has a little measure, He must of right To th' utmost mite Make payment for his pleasure.

88. TO JULIA.

How rich and pleasing thou, my Julia, art In each thy dainty and peculiar part! First, for thy queenship, on thy head is set Of flowers a sweet commingled coronet: About thy neck a carcanet is bound, Made of the ruby, pearl and diamond: A golden ring that shines upon thy thumb: About thy wrist, the rich dardanium.[G] Between thy breasts (than down of swans more white) There plays the sapphire with the chrysolite. No part besides must of thyself be known, But by the topaz, opal, chalcedon.

Carcanet, necklace.

[G] Dardanium, a bracelet, from Dardanus so called. (Note in the original edition.)

89. TO LAURELS.

A funeral stone Or verse I covet none, But only crave Of you that I may have A sacred laurel springing from my grave: Which being seen, Blest with perpetual green, May grow to be Not so much call'd a tree As the eternal monument of me.

90. HIS CAVALIER.

Give me that man that dares bestride The active sea-horse, and with pride Through that huge field of waters ride.

Who with his looks, too, can appease The ruffling winds and raging seas, In midst of all their outrages.

This, this a virtuous man can do, Sail against rocks, and split them too; Ay, and a world of pikes pass through.

91. ZEAL REQUIRED IN LOVE.

I'll do my best to win whene'er I woo: That man loves not who is not zealous too.

92. THE BAG OF THE BEE.

About the sweet bag of a bee Two cupids fell at odds, And whose the pretty prize should be They vow'd to ask the gods.

Which Venus hearing, thither came, And for their boldness stripp'd them, And, taking thence from each his flame, With rods of myrtle whipp'd them.

Which done, to still their wanton cries, When quiet grown she'd seen them, She kiss'd, and wip'd their dove-like eyes, And gave the bag between them.

93. LOVE KILLED BY LACK.

Let me be warm, let me be fully fed, Luxurious love by wealth is nourished. Let me be lean, and cold, and once grown poor, I shall dislike what once I lov'd before.

94. TO HIS MISTRESS.

Choose me your valentine, Next let us marry— Love to the death will pine If we long tarry.

Promise, and keep your vows, Or vow ye never— Love's doctrine disallows Troth-breakers ever.

You have broke promise twice, Dear, to undo me, If you prove faithless thrice None then will woo ye.

95. TO THE GENEROUS READER.

See and not see, and if thou chance t'espy Some aberrations in my poetry, Wink at small faults; the greater, ne'ertheless, Hide, and with them their father's nakedness. Let's do our best, our watch and ward to keep; Homer himself, in a long work, may sleep.

96. TO CRITICS.

I'll write, because I'll give You critics means to live; For should I not supply The cause, th' effect would die.

97. DUTY TO TYRANTS.

Good princes must be pray'd for; for the bad They must be borne with, and in rev'rence had. Do they first pill thee, next pluck off thy skin? Good children kiss the rods that punish sin. Touch not the tyrant; let the gods alone To strike him dead that but usurps a throne.

Pill, plunder.

98. BEING ONCE BLIND, HIS REQUEST TO BIANCA.

When age or chance has made me blind, So that the path I cannot find, And when my falls and stumblings are More than the stones i' th' street by far, Go thou afore, and I shall well Follow thy perfumes by the smell; Or be my guide, and I shall be Led by some light that flows from thee. Thus held or led by thee, I shall In ways confus'd nor slip or fall.

100. NO WANT WHERE THERE'S LITTLE.

To bread and water none is poor; And having these, what need of more? Though much from out the cess be spent, Nature with little is content.

Cess, the parish assessment for church purposes.

101. BARLEY-BREAK; OR, LAST IN HELL.

We two are last in hell; what may we fear To be tormented or kept pris'ners here? Alas! if kissing be of plagues the worst, We'll wish in hell we had been last and first.

Barley-break, a country game resembling prisoners' base. See Note. Hell, the "middle den," the occupants of which had to catch the other players.

102. THE DEFINITION OF BEAUTY.

Beauty no other thing is than a beam Flashed out between the middle and extreme.

103. TO DIANEME.

Dear, though to part it be a hell, Yet, Dianeme, now farewell: Thy frown last night did bid me go, But whither only grief does know. I do beseech thee ere we part, If merciful as fair thou art, Or else desir'st that maids should tell Thy pity by love's chronicle, O Dianeme, rather kill Me, than to make me languish still! 'Tis cruelty in thee to th' height Thus, thus to wound, not kill outright; Yet there's a way found, if you please, By sudden death to give me ease; And thus devis'd, do thou but this— Bequeath to me one parting kiss, So sup'rabundant joy shall be The executioner of me.

104. TO ANTHEA LYING IN BED.

So looks Anthea, when in bed she lies O'ercome or half betray'd by tiffanies, Like to a twilight, or that simpering dawn That roses show when misted o'er with lawn. Twilight is yet, till that her lawns give way; Which done, that dawn turns then to perfect day.

Tiffanies, gauzes. Lawn, fine linen.

105. TO ELECTRA.

More white than whitest lilies far, Or snow, or whitest swans you are: More white than are the whitest creams, Or moonlight tinselling the streams: More white than pearls, or Juno's thigh, Or Pelops' arm of ivory. True, I confess, such whites as these May me delight, not fully please; Till like Ixion's cloud you be White, warm, and soft to lie with me.

Pelops' arm, which Jove gave him to replace the one eaten by Ceres at the feast of Tantalus. Ixion's cloud, to which Jove, for his deception, gave the form of Juno.

106. A COUNTRY-LIFE: TO HIS BROTHER, MR. THO. HERRICK.

Thrice, and above, bless'd, my soul's half, art thou In thy both last and better vow: Could'st leave the city, for exchange, to see The country's sweet simplicity: And it to know and practise, with intent To grow the sooner innocent By studying to know virtue, and to aim More at her nature than her name. The last is but the least; the first doth tell Ways less to live than to live well: And both are known to thee, who now can'st live Led by thy conscience; to give Justice to soon-pleased nature; and to show Wisdom and she together go And keep one centre: this with that conspires To teach man to confine desires And know that riches have their proper stint In the contented mind, not mint: And can'st instruct that those who have the itch Of craving more are never rich. These things thou know'st to th' height, and dost prevent That plague; because thou art content With that heav'n gave thee with a wary hand, More blessed in thy brass than land, To keep cheap nature even and upright; To cool, not cocker appetite. Thus thou canst tersely live to satisfy The belly chiefly, not the eye; Keeping the barking stomach wisely quiet, Less with a neat than needful diet. But that which most makes sweet thy country life Is the fruition of a wife: Whom, stars consenting with thy fate, thou hast Got not so beautiful as chaste: By whose warm side thou dost securely sleep, While love the sentinel doth keep, With those deeds done by day, which ne'er affright Thy silken slumbers in the night. Nor has the darkness power to usher in Fear to those sheets that know no sin; But still thy wife, by chaste intentions led, Gives thee each night a maidenhead. The damask'd meadows and the pebbly streams Sweeten and make soft your dreams: The purling springs, groves, birds, and well-weav'd bowers, With fields enamelled with flowers, Present their shapes; while fantasy discloses Millions of lilies mix'd with roses. Then dream ye hear the lamb by many a bleat Woo'd to come suck the milky teat: While Faunus in the vision comes to keep From rav'ning wolves the fleecy sheep. With thousand such enchanting dreams, that meet To make sleep not so sound as sweet: Nor can these figures so thy rest endear As not to rise when Chanticlere Warns the last watch; but with the dawn dost rise To work, but first to sacrifice; Making thy peace with heav'n, for some late fault, With holy-meal and spirting-salt. Which done, thy painful thumb this sentence tells us, Jove for our labour all things sells us. Nor are thy daily and devout affairs Attended with those desp'rate cares Th' industrious merchant has; who, for to find Gold, runneth to the Western Inde, And back again, tortured with fears, doth fly, Untaught to suffer poverty. But thou at home, bless'd with securest ease, Sitt'st, and believ'st that there be seas And watery dangers; while thy whiter hap But sees these things within thy map. And viewing them with a more safe survey Mak'st easy fear unto thee say,— "A heart thrice wall'd with oak and brass that man Had, first durst plough the ocean". But thou at home, without or tide or gale, Can'st in thy map securely sail: Seeing those painted countries, and so guess By those fine shades their substances: And, from thy compass taking small advice, Buy'st travel at the lowest price. Nor are thine ears so deaf but thou canst hear, Far more with wonder than with fear, Fame tell of states, of countries, courts, and kings, And believe there be such things: When of these truths thy happier knowledge lies More in thine ears than in thine eyes. And when thou hear'st by that too true report Vice rules the most or all at court, Thy pious wishes are, though thou not there, Virtue had, and mov'd her sphere. But thou liv'st fearless; and thy face ne'er shows Fortune when she comes or goes, But with thy equal thoughts prepared dost stand, To take her by the either hand; Nor car'st which comes the first, the foul or fair: A wise man ev'ry way lies square, And, like a surly oak with storms perplex'd, Grows still the stronger, strongly vex'd. Be so, bold spirit; stand centre-like, unmov'd; And be not only thought, but prov'd To be what I report thee; and inure Thyself, if want comes to endure: And so thou dost, for thy desires are Confin'd to live with private lar: Not curious whether appetite be fed Or with the first or second bread, Who keep'st no proud mouth for delicious cates: Hunger makes coarse meats delicates. Canst, and unurg'd, forsake that larded fare, Which art, not nature, makes so rare, To taste boil'd nettles, colworts, beets, and eat These and sour herbs as dainty meat, While soft opinion makes thy Genius say, Content makes all ambrosia. Nor is it that thou keep'st this stricter size So much for want as exercise: To numb the sense of dearth, which should sin haste it, Thou might'st but only see't, not taste it. Yet can thy humble roof maintain a choir Of singing crickets by the fire: And the brisk mouse may feast herself with crumbs Till that the green-eyed kitling comes, Then to her cabin blest she can escape The sudden danger of a rape: And thus thy little well-kept stock doth prove Wealth cannot make a life, but love. Nor art thou so close-handed but canst spend, Counsel concurring with the end, As well as spare, still conning o'er this theme, To shun the first and last extreme. Ordaining that thy small stock find no breach, Or to exceed thy tether's reach: But to live round, and close, and wisely true To thine own self, and known to few. Thus let thy rural sanctuary be Elysium to thy wife and thee; There to disport yourselves with golden measure: For seldom use commends the pleasure. Live, and live blest, thrice happy pair; let breath, But lost to one, be the other's death. And as there is one love, one faith, one troth, Be so one death, one grave to both. Till when, in such assurance live ye may, Nor fear or wish your dying day.

Brass, money. Cocker, pamper. Neat, dainty. Spirting-salt, the "saliente mica" of Horace, See Note. Lar, the "closet-gods," or gods of the house. Colworts, cabbages. Size or assize, a fixed allowance of food, a ration.

107. DIVINATION BY A DAFFODIL.

When a daffodil I see, Hanging down his head towards me, Guess I may what I must be: First, I shall decline my head; Secondly, I shall be dead; Lastly, safely buried.

108. TO THE PAINTER, TO DRAW HIM A PICTURE.

Come, skilful Lupo, now, and take Thy bice, thy umber, pink, and lake; And let it be thy pencil's strife, To paint a Bridgeman to the life: Draw him as like too, as you can, An old, poor, lying, flattering man: His cheeks bepimpled, red and blue; His nose and lips of mulberry hue. Then, for an easy fancy, place A burling iron for his face: Next, make his cheeks with breath to swell, And for to speak, if possible: But do not so, for fear lest he Should by his breathing, poison thee.

Bice, properly a brown grey, but by transference from "blue bice" and "green bice," used for blue and green. Burling iron, pincers for extracting knots.

111. A LYRIC TO MIRTH.

While the milder fates consent, Let's enjoy our merriment: Drink, and dance, and pipe, and play; Kiss our dollies night and day: Crowned with clusters of the vine, Let us sit, and quaff our wine. Call on Bacchus, chant his praise; Shake the thyrse, and bite the bays: Rouse Anacreon from the dead, And return him drunk to bed: Sing o'er Horace, for ere long Death will come and mar the song: Then shall Wilson and Gotiere Never sing or play more here.

Wilson, Dr. John Wilson, the singer and composer, one of the king's musicians (1594-1673). Gotiere, Jacques Gaultier, a French lutist at the court of Charles I.

112. TO THE EARL OF WESTMORELAND.

When my date's done, and my grey age must die, Nurse up, great lord, this my posterity: Weak though it be, long may it grow and stand, Shored up by you, brave Earl of Westmoreland.

113. AGAINST LOVE.

Whene'er my heart love's warmth but entertains, Oh frost! oh snow! oh hail! forbid the banes. One drop now deads a spark, but if the same Once gets a force, floods cannot quench the flame. Rather than love, let me be ever lost, Or let me 'gender with eternal frost.

114. UPON JULIA'S RIBAND.

As shows the air when with a rainbow grac'd, So smiles that riband 'bout my Julia's waist: Or like—nay 'tis that zonulet of love, Wherein all pleasures of the world are wove.

115. THE FROZEN ZONE; OR, JULIA DISDAINFUL.

Whither? say, whither shall I fly, To slack these flames wherein I fry? To the treasures, shall I go, Of the rain, frost, hail, and snow? Shall I search the underground, Where all damps and mists are found? Shall I seek (for speedy ease) All the floods and frozen seas? Or descend into the deep, Where eternal cold does keep? These may cool; but there's a zone Colder yet than anyone: That's my Julia's breast, where dwells Such destructive icicles, As that the congelation will Me sooner starve than those can kill.

116. AN EPITAPH UPON A SOBER MATRON.

With blameless carriage, I lived here To the almost seven and fortieth year. Stout sons I had, and those twice three One only daughter lent to me: The which was made a happy bride But thrice three moons before she died. My modest wedlock, that was known Contented with the bed of one.

117. TO THE PATRON OF POETS, M. END. PORTER.

Let there be patrons, patrons like to thee, Brave Porter! poets ne'er will wanting be: Fabius and Cotta, Lentulus, all live In thee, thou man of men! who here do'st give Not only subject-matter for our wit, But likewise oil of maintenance to it: For which, before thy threshold, we'll lay down Our thyrse for sceptre, and our bays for crown. For, to say truth, all garlands are thy due: The laurel, myrtle, oak, and ivy too.

118. THE SADNESS OF THINGS FOR SAPPHO'S SICKNESS.

Lilies will languish; violets look ill; Sickly the primrose; pale the daffodil; That gallant tulip will hang down his head, Like to a virgin newly ravished; Pansies will weep, and marigolds will wither, And keep a fast and funeral together; Sappho droop, daisies will open never, But bid good-night, and close their lids for ever.

119. LEANDER'S OBSEQUIES.

When as Leander young was drown'd No heart by Love receiv'd a wound, But on a rock himself sat by, There weeping sup'rabundantly. Sighs numberless he cast about, And, all his tapers thus put out, His head upon his hand he laid, And sobbing deeply, thus he said: "Ah, cruel sea," and, looking on't, Wept as he'd drown the Hellespont. And sure his tongue had more express'd But that his tears forbade the rest.

120. HOPE HEARTENS.

None goes to warfare but with this intent— The gains must dead the fears of detriment.

121. FOUR THINGS MAKE US HAPPY HERE.

Health is the first good lent to men; A gentle disposition then: Next, to be rich by no by-ways; Lastly, with friends t'enjoy our days.

122. HIS PARTING FROM MRS. DOROTHY KENNEDY.

When I did go from thee I felt that smart Which bodies do when souls from them depart. Thou did'st not mind it; though thou then might'st see Me turn'd to tears; yet did'st not weep for me. 'Tis true, I kiss'd thee; but I could not hear Thee spend a sigh t'accompany my tear. Methought 'twas strange that thou so hard should'st prove, Whose heart, whose hand, whose every part spake love. Prithee, lest maids should censure thee, but say Thou shed'st one tear, whenas I went away; And that will please me somewhat: though I know, And Love will swear't, my dearest did not so.

123. THE TEAR SENT TO HER FROM STAINES.

Glide, gentle streams, and bear Along with you my tear To that coy girl Who smiles, yet slays Me with delays, And strings my tears as pearl.

See! see, she's yonder set, Making a carcanet Of maiden-flowers! There, there present This orient And pendant pearl of ours.

Then say I've sent one more Gem to enrich her store; And that is all Which I can send, Or vainly spend, For tears no more will fall.

Nor will I seek supply Of them, the spring's once dry; But I'll devise, Among the rest, A way that's best How I may save mine eyes.

Yet say—should she condemn Me to surrender them Then say my part Must be to weep Out them, to keep A poor, yet loving heart.

Say too, she would have this; She shall: then my hope is, That when I'm poor And nothing have To send or save, I'm sure she'll ask no more.

Carcanet, necklace.

124. UPON ONE LILY, WHO MARRIED WITH A MAID CALLED ROSE.

What times of sweetness this fair day foreshows, Whenas the Lily marries with the Rose! What next is look'd for? but we all should see To spring from thee a sweet posterity.

125. AN EPITAPH UPON A CHILD.

Virgins promis'd when I died That they would each primrose-tide Duly, morn and evening, come, And with flowers dress my tomb. Having promis'd, pay your debts, Maids, and here strew violets.

127. THE HOUR-GLASS.

That hour-glass which there you see With water fill'd, sirs, credit me, The humour was, as I have read, But lovers' tears incrystalled. Which, as they drop by drop do pass From th' upper to the under-glass, Do in a trickling manner tell, By many a watery syllable, That lovers' tears in lifetime shed Do restless run when they are dead.

Humour, moisture.

128. HIS FAREWELL TO SACK.

Farewell thou thing, time past so known, so dear To me as blood to life and spirit; near, Nay, thou more near than kindred, friend, man, wife, Male to the female, soul to body; life To quick action, or the warm soft side Of the resigning, yet resisting bride. The kiss of virgins, first fruits of the bed, Soft speech, smooth touch, the lips, the maidenhead: These and a thousand sweets could never be So near or dear as thou wast once to me. O thou, the drink of gods and angels! wine That scatter'st spirit and lust, whose purest shine More radiant than the summer's sunbeams shows; Each way illustrious, brave, and like to those Comets we see by night, whose shagg'd portents Foretell the coming of some dire events, Or some full flame which with a pride aspires, Throwing about his wild and active fires; 'Tis thou, above nectar, O divinest soul! Eternal in thyself, that can'st control That which subverts whole nature, grief and care, Vexation of the mind, and damn'd despair. 'Tis thou alone who, with thy mystic fan, Work'st more than wisdom, art, or nature can To rouse the sacred madness and awake The frost-bound blood and spirits, and to make Them frantic with thy raptures flashing through The soul like lightning, and as active too. 'Tis not Apollo can, or those thrice three Castalian sisters, sing, if wanting thee. Horace, Anacreon, both had lost their fame, Had'st thou not fill'd them with thy fire and flame. Ph[oe]bean splendour! and thou, Thespian spring! Of which sweet swans must drink before they sing Their true-pac'd numbers and their holy lays, Which makes them worthy cedar and the bays. But why, why longer do I gaze upon Thee with the eye of admiration? Since I must leave thee, and enforc'd must say To all thy witching beauties, Go, away. But if thy whimpering looks do ask me why, Then know that nature bids thee go, not I. 'Tis her erroneous self has made a brain Uncapable of such a sovereign As is thy powerful self. Prithee not smile, Or smile more inly, lest thy looks beguile My vows denounc'd in zeal, which thus much show thee That I have sworn but by thy looks to know thee. Let others drink thee freely, and desire Thee and their lips espous'd, while I admire And love thee, but not taste thee. Let my muse Fail of thy former helps, and only use Her inadult'rate strength: what's done by me Hereafter shall smell of the lamp, not thee.

Shagg'd, rough-haired. Mystic fan, the "mystica vannus Iacchi" of Georgic, i. 166. Cedar, i.e., cedar oil, used for the preservation of manuscripts.

130. UPON MRS. ELIZABETH WHEELER, UNDER THE NAME OF AMARILLIS.

Sweet Amarillis by a spring's Soft and soul-melting murmurings Slept, and thus sleeping, thither flew A robin-redbreast, who, at view, Not seeing her at all to stir, Brought leaves and moss to cover her; But while he perking there did pry About the arch of either eye, The lid began to let out day, At which poor robin flew away, And seeing her not dead, but all disleav'd, He chirp'd for joy to see himself deceiv'd.

132. TO MYRRHA, HARD-HEARTED.

Fold now thine arms and hang the head, Like to a lily withered; Next look thou like a sickly moon, Or like Jocasta in a swoon; Then weep and sigh and softly go, Like to a widow drown'd in woe, Or like a virgin full of ruth For the lost sweetheart of her youth; And all because, fair maid, thou art Insensible of all my smart, And of those evil days that be Now posting on to punish thee. The gods are easy, and condemn All such as are not soft like them.

133. THE EYE.

Make me a heaven, and make me there Many a less and greater sphere: Make me the straight and oblique lines, The motions, lations and the signs. Make me a chariot and a sun, And let them through a zodiac run; Next place me zones and tropics there, With all the seasons of the year. Make me a sunset and a night, And then present the morning's light Cloth'd in her chamlets of delight. To these make clouds to pour down rain, With weather foul, then fair again. And when, wise artist, that thou hast With all that can be this heaven grac't, Ah! what is then this curious sky But only my Corinna's eye?

Lations, astral attractions. Chamlets, i.e., camlets, stuffs made from camels' hair.

134. UPON THE MUCH-LAMENTED MR. J. WARR.

What wisdom, learning, wit or worth Youth or sweet nature could bring forth Rests here with him who was the fame, The volume of himself and name. If, reader, then, thou wilt draw near And do an honour to thy tear, Weep then for him for whom laments Not one, but many monuments.

136. THE SUSPICION UPON HIS OVER-MUCH FAMILIARITY WITH A GENTLEWOMAN.

And must we part, because some say Loud is our love, and loose our play, And more than well becomes the day? Alas for pity! and for us Most innocent, and injured thus! Had we kept close, or played within, Suspicion now had been the sin, And shame had followed long ere this, T' have plagued what now unpunished is. But we, as fearless of the sun, As faultless, will not wish undone What now is done, since where no sin Unbolts the door, no shame comes in. Then, comely and most fragrant maid, Be you more wary than afraid Of these reports, because you see The fairest most suspected be. The common forms have no one eye Or ear of burning jealousy To follow them: but chiefly where Love makes the cheek and chin a sphere To dance and play in, trust me, there Suspicion questions every hair. Come, you are fair, and should be seen While you are in your sprightful green: And what though you had been embraced By me—were you for that unchaste? No, no! no more than is yond' moon Which, shining in her perfect noon, In all that great and glorious light, Continues cold as is the night. Then, beauteous maid, you may retire; And as for me, my chaste desire Shall move towards you, although I see Your face no more. So live you free From fame's black lips, as you from me.

137. SINGLE LIFE MOST SECURE.

Suspicion, discontent, and strife Come in for dowry with a wife.

138. THE CURSE. A SONG.

Go, perjured man; and if thou e'er return To see the small remainders in mine urn, When thou shalt laugh at my religious dust, And ask: where's now the colour, form and trust Of woman's beauty? and with hand more rude Rifle the flowers which the virgins strewed: Know I have prayed to Fury that some wind May blow my ashes up, and strike thee blind.

139. THE WOUNDED CUPID. SONG.

Cupid, as he lay among Roses, by a bee was stung; Whereupon, in anger flying To his mother, said thus, crying: Help! oh help! your boy's a-dying. And why, my pretty lad, said she? Then, blubbering, replied he: A winged snake has bitten me, Which country people call a bee. At which she smiled; then, with her hairs And kisses drying up his tears: Alas! said she, my wag, if this Such a pernicious torment is, Come tell me then, how great's the smart Of those thou woundest with thy dart!

140. TO DEWS. A SONG.

I burn, I burn; and beg of you To quench or cool me with your dew. I fry in fire, and so consume, Although the pile be all perfume. Alas! the heat and death's the same, Whether by choice or common flame, To be in oil of roses drowned, Or water; where's the comfort found? Both bring one death; and I die here Unless you cool me with a tear: Alas! I call; but ah! I see Ye cool and comfort all but me.

141. SOME COMFORT IN CALAMITY.

To conquered men, some comfort 'tis to fall By the hand of him who is the general.

142. THE VISION.

Sitting alone, as one forsook, Close by a silver-shedding brook, With hands held up to love, I wept; And after sorrows spent I slept: Then in a vision I did see A glorious form appear to me: A virgin's face she had; her dress Was like a sprightly Spartaness. A silver bow, with green silk strung, Down from her comely shoulders hung: And as she stood, the wanton air Dangled the ringlets of her hair. Her legs were such Diana shows When, tucked up, she a-hunting goes; With buskins shortened to descry The happy dawning of her thigh: Which when I saw, I made access To kiss that tempting nakedness: But she forbade me with a wand Of myrtle she had in her hand: And, chiding me, said: Hence, remove, Herrick, thou art too coarse to love.

143. LOVE ME LITTLE, LOVE ME LONG.

You say, to me-wards your affection's strong; Pray love me little, so you love me long. Slowly goes far: the mean is best: desire, Grown violent, does either die or tire.

144. UPON A VIRGIN KISSING A ROSE.

'Twas but a single rose, Till you on it did breathe; But since, methinks, it shows Not so much rose as wreath.

145. UPON A WIFE THAT DIED MAD WITH JEALOUSY.

In this little vault she lies, Here, with all her jealousies: Quiet yet; but if ye make Any noise they both will wake, And such spirits raise 'twill then Trouble death to lay again.

146. UPON THE BISHOP OF LINCOLN'S IMPRISONMENT.

Never was day so over-sick with showers But that it had some intermitting hours; Never was night so tedious but it knew The last watch out, and saw the dawning too; Never was dungeon so obscurely deep Wherein or light or day did never peep; Never did moon so ebb, or seas so wane, But they left hope-seed to fill up again. So you, my lord, though you have now your stay, Your night, your prison, and your ebb, you may Spring up afresh, when all these mists are spent, And star-like, once more gild our firmament. Let but that mighty Caesar speak, and then All bolts, all bars, all gates shall cleave; as when That earthquake shook the house, and gave the stout Apostles way, unshackled, to go out. This, as I wish for, so I hope to see; Though you, my lord, have been unkind to me, To wound my heart, and never to apply, When you had power, the meanest remedy. Well, though my grief by you was gall'd the more, Yet I bring balm and oil to heal your sore.

147. DISSUASIONS FROM IDLENESS.

Cynthius, pluck ye by the ear, That ye may good doctrine hear; Play not with the maiden-hair, For each ringlet there's a snare. Cheek, and eye, and lip, and chin— These are traps to take fools in. Arms, and hands, and all parts else, Are but toils, or manacles, Set on purpose to enthral Men, but slothfuls most of all. Live employed, and so live free From these fetters; like to me, Who have found, and still can prove, The lazy man the most doth love.

149. AN EPITHALAMY TO SIR THOMAS SOUTHWELL AND HIS LADY.

I.

Now, now's the time, so oft by truth Promis'd should come to crown your youth. Then, fair ones, do not wrong Your joys by staying long; Or let love's fire go out, By lingering thus in doubt; But learn that time once lost Is ne'er redeem'd by cost. Then away; come, Hymen, guide To the bed the bashful bride.

II.

Is it, sweet maid, your fault these holy Bridal rites go on so slowly? Dear, is it this you dread The loss of maidenhead? Believe me, you will most Esteem it when 'tis lost; Then it no longer keep, Lest issue lie asleep. Then, away; come, Hymen, guide To the bed the bashful bride.

III.

These precious, pearly, purling tears But spring from ceremonious fears. And 'tis but native shame That hides the loving flame, And may a while control The soft and am'rous soul; But yet love's fire will waste Such bashfulness at last. Then, away; come, Hymen, guide To the bed the bashful bride.

IV.

Night now hath watch'd herself half blind, Yet not a maidenhead resign'd! 'Tis strange, ye will not fly To love's sweet mystery. Might yon full moon the sweets Have, promised to your sheets, She soon would leave her sphere, To be admitted there. Then, away; come, Hymen, guide To the bed the bashful bride.

V.

On, on devoutly, make no stay; While Domiduca leads the way, And Genius, who attends The bed for lucky ends. With Juno goes the Hours And Graces strewing flowers. And the boys with sweet tunes sing: Hymen, O Hymen, bring Home the turtles; Hymen, guide To the bed the bashful bride.

VI.

Behold! how Hymen's taper-light Shows you how much is spent of night. See, see the bridegroom's torch Half wasted in the porch. And now those tapers five, That show the womb shall thrive, Their silv'ry flames advance, To tell all prosp'rous chance Still shall crown the happy life Of the goodman and the wife.

VII.

Move forward then your rosy feet, And make whate'er they touch turn sweet. May all, like flowery meads, Smell where your soft foot treads; And everything assume To it the like perfume, As Zephyrus when he 'spires Through woodbine and sweetbriars. Then, away; come, Hymen, guide To the bed the bashful bride.

VIII.

And now the yellow veil at last Over her fragrant cheek is cast. Now seems she to express A bashful willingness: Showing a heart consenting, As with a will repenting. Then gently lead her on With wise suspicion; For that, matrons say, a measure Of that passion sweetens pleasure.

IX.

You, you that be of her nearest kin, Now o'er the threshold force her in. But to avert the worst Let her her fillets first Knit to the posts, this point Remembering, to anoint The sides, for 'tis a charm Strong against future harm; And the evil deads, the which There was hidden by the witch.

X.

O Venus! thou to whom is known The best way how to loose the zone Of virgins, tell the maid She need not be afraid, And bid the youth apply Close kisses if she cry, And charge he not forbears Her though she woo with tears. Tell them now they must adventure, Since that love and night bid enter.

XI.

No fatal owl the bedstead keeps, With direful notes to fright your sleeps; No furies here about To put the tapers out, Watch or did make the bed: 'Tis omen full of dread; But all fair signs appear Within the chamber here. Juno here far off doth stand, Cooling sleep with charming wand.

XII.

Virgins, weep not; 'twill come when, As she, so you'll be ripe for men. Then grieve her not with saying She must no more a-maying, Or by rosebuds divine Who'll be her valentine. Nor name those wanton reaks You've had at barley-breaks, But now kiss her and thus say, "Take time, lady, while ye may".

XIII.

Now bar the doors; the bridegroom puts The eager boys to gather nuts. And now both love and time To their full height do climb: Oh! give them active heat And moisture both complete: Fit organs for increase, To keep and to release That which may the honour'd stem Circle with a diadem.

XIV.

And now, behold! the bed or couch That ne'er knew bride's or bridegroom's touch, Feels in itself a fire; And, tickled with desire, Pants with a downy breast, As with a heart possesst, Shrugging as it did move Ev'n with the soul of love. And, oh! had it but a tongue, Doves, 'twould say, ye bill too long.

XV.

O enter then! but see ye shun A sleep until the act be done. Let kisses in their close, Breathe as the damask rose, Or sweet as is that gum Doth from Panchaia come. Teach nature now to know Lips can make cherries grow Sooner than she ever yet In her wisdom could beget.

XVI.

On your minutes, hours, days, months, years, Drop the fat blessing of the spheres. That good which heav'n can give To make you bravely live Fall like a spangling dew By day and night on you. May fortune's lily-hand Open at your command; With all lucky birds to side With the bridegroom and the bride.

XVII.

Let bounteous Fate[s] your spindles full Fill, and wind up with whitest wool. Let them not cut the thread Of life until ye bid. May death yet come at last, And not with desp'rate haste, But when ye both can say "Come, let us now away," Be ye to the barn then borne, Two, like two ripe shocks of corn.

Domiduca, Juno, the goddess of marriage, the "home-bringer". Reaks, pranks. Barley-break, a country game, see 101. Panchaia, the land of spices: cf, Virg. G. ii. 139; AEn. iv. 379.

150. TEARS ARE TONGUES.

When Julia chid I stood as mute the while As is the fish or tongueless crocodile. Air coin'd to words my Julia could not hear, But she could see each eye to stamp a tear; By which mine angry mistress might descry Tears are the noble language of the eye. And when true love of words is destitute The eyes by tears speak, while the tongue is mute.

151. UPON A YOUNG MOTHER OF MANY CHILDREN.

Let all chaste matrons, when they chance to see My num'rous issue, praise and pity me: Praise me for having such a fruitful womb, Pity me, too, who found so soon a tomb.

152. TO ELECTRA.

I'll come to thee in all those shapes As Jove did when he made his rapes, Only I'll not appear to thee As he did once to Semele. Thunder and lightning I'll lay by, To talk with thee familiarly. Which done, then quickly we'll undress To one and th' other's nakedness, And, ravish'd, plunge into the bed, Bodies and souls commingled, And kissing, so as none may hear, We'll weary all the fables there.

Fables, i.e., of Jove's amours.

153. HIS WISH.

It is sufficient if we pray To Jove, who gives and takes away: Let him the land and living find; Let me alone to fit the mind.

154. HIS PROTESTATION TO PERILLA.

Noonday and midnight shall at once be seen: Trees, at one time, shall be both sere and green: Fire and water shall together lie In one self-sweet-conspiring sympathy: Summer and winter shall at one time show Ripe ears of corn, and up to th' ears in snow: Seas shall be sandless; fields devoid of grass; Shapeless the world, as when all chaos was, Before, my dear Perilla, I will be False to my vow, or fall away from thee.

155. LOVE PERFUMES ALL PARTS.

If I kiss Anthea's breast, There I smell the ph[oe]nix nest: If her lip, the most sincere Altar of incense I smell there— Hands, and thighs, and legs are all Richly aromatical. Goddess Isis can't transfer Musks and ambers more from her: Nor can Juno sweeter be, When she lies with Jove, than she.

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