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450 Works of Robert Herrick

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A Thanksgiving

Story type: Poetry

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Lord, I confess too, when I dine, The pulse is Thine, And all those other bits that be There placed by Thee; The worts, the purslane, and the mess Of water-cress, Which of Thy kindness Thou hast sent; And my content Makes those and my beloved beet To be more sweet. ‘Tis Thou that crown’st […]

Wassail

Story type: Poetry

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Give way, give way, ye gates, and win An easy blessing to your bin And basket, by our entering in. May both with manchet[T] stand replete, Your larders, too, so hung with meat, That though a thousand thousand eat, Yet ere twelve moons shall whirl about Their silvery spheres, there’s none may doubt But more’s […]

In numbers, and but these few, I sing Thy birth, O Jesu! Thou pretty baby, born here With sup’rabundant scorn here: Who, for Thy princely port here, Hadst for Thy place Of birth a base Out-stable for Thy court here. Instead of neat enclosures Of interwoven osiers, Instead of fragrant posies Of daffodils and roses, […]

Go, pretty child, and bear this flower Unto thy little Saviour; And tell Him by that bud now blown, He is a Rose of Sharon known. When thou hast said so, stick it there Upon His bib or stomacher; And tell Him, for good handsel too, That thou hast brought a whistle new, Made of […]

Down with the rosemary and bays, Down with the mistletoe; Instead of holly, now upraise The greener box for show. The holly hitherto did sway; Let box now domineer Until the dancing Easter day Or Easter’s eve appear. Then youthful box, which now hath grace Your houses to renew, Grown old, surrender must his place […]

Another Ceremony

Story type: Poetry

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Down with the rosemary, and so Down with the bays and mistletoe; Down with the holly, ivy, all Wherewith ye dressed the Christmas hall, That so the superstitious find No one last branch there left behind; For, look! how many leaves there be Neglected there, maids, trust to me So many goblins you shall see.

Now, now the mirth comes With the cake full of plums, Where bean’s the king of the sport here; Beside, we must know The pea also Must revel as queen in the court here. Begin then to choose, This night, as ye use, Who shall for the present delight here; Be a king by the […]

Let others look for pearl and gold Tissues, or tabbies manifold; One only lock of that sweet hay Whereon the Blessed Baby lay, Or one poor swaddling-clout, shall be The richest New-Year’s gift to me.

No news of navies burnt at sea, No noise of late-spawned Tityries, No closet plot or open vent That frights men with a Parliament: No new device or late-found trick, To read by the stars the kingdom’s sick; No gin to catch the State, or wring The free-born nostrils of the king, We send to […]

Silence

Story type: Poetry

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Suffer thy legs, but not thy tongue to walk: God, the Most Wise, is sparing of His talk.

The Way

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When I a ship see on the seas, Cuff’d with those wat’ry savages, And therewithal behold it hath In all that way no beaten path, Then, with a wonder, I confess Thou art our way i’ th’ wilderness; And while we blunder in the dark, Thou art our candle there, or spark.

God tempteth no one, as St. Austin saith, For any ill, but for the proof of faith; Unto temptation God exposeth some, But none of purpose to be overcome.

Mercy

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Mercy, the wise Athenians held to be Not an affection, but a deity.

Wages

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After this life, the wages shall Not shared alike be unto all.

Manna

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That manna, which God on His people cast, Fitted itself to ev’ry feeder’s taste.

Reverence

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True rev’rence is, as Cassiodore doth prove, The fear of God commix’d with cleanly love. Cassiodore, Marcus Aurelius Cassiodorus, theologian and statesman 497-575?

The Judgment-Day

Story type: Poetry

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God hides from man the reck’ning day, that he May fear it ever for uncertainty; That being ignorant of that one, he may Expect the coming of it every day.

Angels

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Angels are called gods; yet of them, none Are gods but by participation: As just men are entitled gods, yet none Are gods of them but by adoption.

God, And Lord

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God is His name of nature; but that word Implies His power when He’s called the Lord.

God’s Blessing

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In vain our labours are whatsoe’er they be, Unless God gives the benedicite.

Lasciviousness

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Lasciviousness is known to be The sister to saturity.

God from our eyes all tears hereafter wipes, And gives His children kisses then, not stripes.

God’s Bounty

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God, as He’s potent, so He’s likewise known To give us more than hope can fix upon.

Salutation

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Christ, I have read, did to His chaplains say, Sending them forth, Salute no man by th’ way: Not that He taught His ministers to be Unsmooth or sour to all civility, But to instruct them to avoid all snares Of tardidation in the Lord’s affairs. Manners are good; but till His errand ends, Salute […]

God’s Grace

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God’s grace deserves here to be daily fed That, thus increased, it might be perfected.

Coming To Christ

Story type: Poetry

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To him who longs unto his Christ to go, Celerity even itself is slow.

Correction

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God had but one Son free from sin; but none Of all His sons free from correction.

To Christ

Story type: Poetry

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I crawl, I creep; my Christ, I come To Thee for curing balsamum: Thou hast, nay more, Thou art the tree Affording salve of sovereignty. My mouth I’ll lay unto Thy wound Bleeding, that no blood touch the ground: For, rather than one drop shall fall To waste, my JESU, I’ll take all.

God! to my little meal and oil Add but a bit of flesh to boil: And Thou my pipkinet shalt see, Give a wave-off’ring unto Thee.

Doomsday

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Let not that day God’s friends and servants scare; The bench is then their place, and not the bar.

The sup’rabundance of my store, That is the portion of the poor: Wheat, barley, rye, or oats; what is’t But He takes toll of? all the grist. Two raiments have I: Christ then makes This law; that He and I part stakes. Or have I two loaves, then I use The poor to cut, and […]

The less our sorrows here and suff’rings cease, The more our crowns of glory there increase.

When winds and seas do rage And threaten to undo me, Thou dost, their wrath assuage If I but call unto Thee. A mighty storm last night Did seek my soul to swallow, But by the peep of light A gentle calm did follow. What need I then despair, Though ills stand round about me; […]

Hell

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Hell is no other but a soundless pit, Where no one beam of comfort peeps in it.

His Wish To God

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I would to God that mine old age might have Before my last, but here a living grave, Some one poor almshouse; there to lie, or stir Ghostlike, as in my meaner sepulchre; A little piggin and a pipkin by, To hold things fitting my necessity, Which rightly used, both in their time and place, […]

Satan

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When we ‘gainst Satan stoutly fight, the more He tears and tugs us than he did before; Neglecting once to cast a frown on those Whom ease makes his without the help of blows.

Pardon me, God, once more I Thee entreat, That I have placed Thee in so mean a seat Where round about Thou seest but all things vain, Uncircumcis’d, unseason’d and profane. But as Heaven’s public and immortal eye Looks on the filth, but is not soil’d thereby, So Thou, my God, may’st on this impure […]

Lord, I am like to mistletoe, Which has no root, and cannot grow Or prosper but by that same tree It clings about; so I by Thee. What need I then to fear at all, So long as I about Thee crawl? But if that tree should fall and die, Tumble shall heav’n, and down […]

When man is punish’d, he is plagued still, Not for the fault of nature, but of will.

The Recompense

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All I have lost that could be rapt from me; And fare it well: yet, Herrick, if so be Thy dearest Saviour renders thee but one Smile, that one smile’s full restitution.

Last night I drew up mine account, And found my debits to amount To such a height, as for to tell How I should pay ‘s impossible. Well, this I’ll do: my mighty score Thy mercy-seat I’ll lay before; But therewithal I’ll bring the band Which, in full force, did daring stand Till my Redeemer, […]

God makes not good men wantons, but doth bring Them to the field, and, there, to skirmishing. With trials those, with terrors these He proves, And hazards those most whom the most He loves; For Sceva, darts; for Cocles, dangers; thus He finds a fire for mighty Mutius; Death for stout Cato; and besides all […]

Good Christians

Story type: Poetry

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Play their offensive and defensive parts, Till they be hid o’er with a wood of darts.

On Heaven

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Permit mine eyes to see Part, or the whole of Thee, O happy place! Where all have grace, And garlands shar’d, For their reward; Where each chaste soul In long white stole, And palms in hand, Do ravish’d stand; So in a ring, The praises sing Of Three in One That fill the Throne; While […]

Gold I have none, but I present my need, O Thou, that crown’st the will, where wants the deed. Where rams are wanting, or large bullocks’ thighs, There a poor lamb’s a plenteous sacrifice. Take then his vows, who, if he had it, would Devote to Thee both incense, myrrh and gold Upon an altar […]

With golden censers, and with incense, here Before Thy virgin-altar I appear, To pay Thee that I owe, since what I see In, or without, all, all belongs to Thee. Where shall I now begin to make, for one Least loan of Thine, half restitution? Alas! I cannot pay a jot; therefore I’ll kiss the […]

To His Dear God

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I’ll hope no more For things that will not come; And if they do, they prove but cumbersome. Wealth brings much woe; And, since it fortunes so, ‘Tis better to be poor Than so t’ abound As to be drown’d Or overwhelm’d with store. Pale care, avaunt! I’ll learn to be content With that small […]

God’s Pardon

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When I shall sin, pardon my trespass here; For once in hell, none knows remission there.

Evil

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Evil no nature hath; the loss of good Is that which gives to sin a livelihood.

The Flourish of Music; then followed the Song. 1. Tell us, thou clear and heavenly tongue, Where is the Babe but lately sprung? Lies he the lily-banks among? 2. Or say, if this new Birth of ours Sleeps, laid within some ark of flowers, Spangled with dew-light; thou canst clear All doubts, and manifest the […]

[Sung To The King In The Presence At Whitehall] 1. Prepare for songs; He’s come, He’s come; And be it sin here to be dumb, And not with lutes to fill the room. 2. Cast holy water all about, And have a care no fire goes out, But ‘cense the porch and place throughout. 3. […]

1. Hence, hence profane, and none appear With anything unhallowed here; No jot of leaven must be found Conceal’d in this most holy ground. 2. What is corrupt, or sour’d with sin, Leave that without, then enter in; Chor. But let no Christmas mirth begin Before ye purge and circumcise Your hearts, and hands, lips, […]

Here a little child I stand Heaving up my either hand; Cold as paddocks though they be, Here I lift them up to Thee, For a benison to fall On our meat and on us all. Amen. Paddocks, frogs.

Chor. What sweeter music can we bring, Than a carol for to sing The birth of this our heavenly King? Awake the voice! awake the string! Heart, ear, and eye, and everything Awake! the while the active finger Runs division with the singer. FROM THE FLOURISH THEY CAME TO THE SONG. 1. Dark and dull […]

Honour thy parents; but good manners call Thee to adore thy God the first of all.

Dear God, If Thy smart rod Here did not make me sorry, I should not be With Thine or Thee In Thy eternal glory. But since Thou didst convince My sins by gently striking; Add still to those First stripes new blows, According to Thy liking. Fear me, Or scourging tear me; That thus from […]

What God gives, and what we take, ‘Tis a gift for Christ, His sake: Be the meal of beans and peas, God be thanked for those and these: Have we flesh, or have we fish, All are fragments from His dish. He His Church save, and the king; And our peace here, like a spring, […]

Humility

Story type: Poetry

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Humble we must be, if to heaven we go: High is the roof there; but the gate is low: Whene’er thou speak’st, look with a lowly eye: Grace is increased by humility.

Our present tears here, not our present laughter, Are but the handsels of our joys hereafter. Handsels, earnest money, foretaste.

Sin And Strife

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After true sorrow for our sins, our strife Must last with Satan to the end of life.

Faith

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What here we hope for, we shall once inherit; By faith we all walk here, not by the Spirit.

Sin

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Sin leads the way, but as it goes, it feels The following plague still treading on his heels.

God, when He takes my goods and chattels hence, Gives me a portion, giving patience: What is in God is God; if so it be He patience gives, He gives Himself to me.

Shame checks our first attempts; but then ’tis prov’d Sins first dislik’d are after that belov’d.

God is all sufferance here; here He doth show No arrow nockt, only a stringless bow: His arrows fly, and all His stones are hurl’d Against the wicked in another world. Nockt, placed ready for shooting.

Alms

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Give, if thou canst, an alms; if not, afford, Instead of that, a sweet and gentle word: God crowns our goodness wheresoe’er He sees, On our part, wanting all abilities.

His Dream

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I dreamt, last night, Thou didst transfuse Oil from Thy jar into my cruse; And pouring still Thy wealthy store, The vessel full did then run o’er; Methought I did Thy bounty chide To see the waste; but ’twas replied By Thee, dear God, God gives man seed Ofttimes for waste, as for his need. […]

Christ’s Part

Story type: Poetry

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Christ, He requires still, wheresoe’er He comes To feed or lodge, to have the best of rooms: Give Him the choice; grant Him the nobler part Of all the house: the best of all’s the heart.

God could have made all rich, or all men poor; But why He did not, let me tell wherefore: Had all been rich, where then had patience been? Had all been poor, who had His bounty seen?

To seek of God more than we well can find, Argues a strong distemper of the mind.

God gives not only corn for need, But likewise sup’rabundant seed; Bread for our service, bread for show, Meat for our meals, and fragments too: He gives not poorly, taking some Between the finger and the thumb; But for our glut and for our store, Fine flour press’d down, and running o’er.

Although we cannot turn the fervent fit Of sin, we must strive ‘gainst the stream of it; And howsoe’er we have the conquest miss’d, ‘Tis for our glory that we did resist.

To a love-feast we both invited are: The figur’d damask, or pure diaper, Over the golden altar now is spread, With bread, and wine, and vessels furnished; The sacred towel and the holy ewer Are ready by, to make the guests all pure: Let’s go, my Alma; yet, ere we receive, Fit, fit it is […]

Where God is merry, there write down thy fears: What He with laughter speaks, hear thou with tears.

Give me honours! what are these, But the pleasing hindrances? Stiles, and stops, and stays that come In the way ‘twixt me and home; Clear the walk, and then shall I To my heaven less run than fly.

How am I bound to Two! God, who doth give The mind; the king, the means whereby I live.

To His Angry God

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Through all the night Thou dost me fright, And hold’st mine eyes from sleeping; And day by day, My cup can say My wine is mix’d with weeping. Thou dost my bread With ashes knead Each evening and each morrow; Mine eye and ear Do see and hear The coming in of sorrow. Thy scourge […]

Abundant plagues I late have had, Yet none of these have made me sad: For why? My Saviour with the sense Of suff’ring gives me patience.

His Creed

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I do believe that die I must, And be return’d from out my dust: I do believe that when I rise, Christ I shall see, with these same eyes: I do believe that I must come, With others, to the dreadful doom: I do believe the bad must go From thence, to everlasting woe: I […]

Can I not come to Thee, my God, for these So very many meeting hindrances, That slack my pace, but yet not make me stay? Who slowly goes, rids, in the end, his way. Clear Thou my paths, or shorten Thou my miles, Remove the bars, or lift me o’er the stiles; Since rough the […]

God will have all, or none; serve Him, or fall Down before Baal, Bel, or Belial: Either be hot or cold: God doth despise, Abhor, and spew out all neutralities.

Happy’s that man to whom God gives A stock of goods, whereby he lives Near to the wishes of his heart: No man is blest through every part.

Make, make me Thine, my gracious God, Or with Thy staff, or with Thy rod; And be the blow, too, what it will, Lord, I will kiss it, though it kill: Beat me, bruise me, rack me, rend me, Yet, in torments, I’ll commend Thee; Examine me with fire, and prove me To the full, […]

Another To God

Story type: Poetry

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Lord, do not beat me, Since I do sob and cry, And swoon away to die, Ere Thou dost threat me. Lord, do not scourge me, If I by lies and oaths Have soil’d myself or clothes, But rather purge me.

I’ll come, I’ll creep, though Thou dost threat, Humbly unto Thy mercy-seat: When I am there, this then I’ll do, Give Thee a dart, and dagger too; Next, when I have my faults confessed, Naked I’ll show a sighing breast; Which if that can’t Thy pity woo, Then let Thy justice do the rest And […]

Lord, Thou hast given me a cell Wherein to dwell; A little house, whose humble roof Is weather-proof; Under the spars of which I lie Both soft and dry; Where Thou my chamber for to ward Hast set a guard Of harmless thoughts, to watch and keep Me, while I sleep. Low is my porch, […]

Adverse and prosperous fortunes both work on Here, for the righteous man’s salvation; Be he oppos’d, or be he not withstood, All serve to th’ augmentation of his good.

Afflictions bring us joy in times to come, When sins, by stripes, to us grow wearisome.

In the hour of my distress, When temptations me oppress, And when I my sins confess, Sweet Spirit, comfort me! When I lie within my bed, Sick in heart and sick in head, And with doubts discomforted, Sweet Spirit, comfort me! When the house doth sigh and weep, And the world is drown’d in sleep, […]

His Petition

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If war or want shall make me grow so poor, As for to beg my bread from door to door; Lord! let me never act that beggar’s part, Who hath Thee in his mouth, not in his heart: He who asks alms in that so sacred Name, Without due reverence, plays the cheater’s game.

Thou hast promis’d, Lord, to be With me in my misery; Suffer me to be so bold As to speak, Lord, say and hold.

Earrings

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Why wore th’ Egyptians jewels in the ear? But for to teach us, all the grace is there, When we obey, by acting what we hear.

Sin Seen

Story type: Poetry

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When once the sin has fully acted been, Then is the horror of the trespass seen.

An Lip-Labour

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In the old Scripture I have often read, The calf without meal ne’er was offered; To figure to us nothing more than this, Without the heart lip-labour nothing is.

The Heart

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In prayer the lips ne’er act the winning part, Without the sweet concurrence of the heart.

God hears us when we pray, but yet defers His gifts, to exercise petitioners; And though a while He makes requesters stay, With princely hand He’ll recompense delay.

God strikes His Church, but ’tis to this intent, To make, not mar her, by this punishment; So where He gives the bitter pills, be sure ‘Tis not to poison, but to make thee pure.

Pardon

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God pardons those who do through frailty sin, But never those that persevere therein.

If all transgressions here should have their pay, What need there then be of a reckoning day? If God should punish no sin here of men, His providence who would not question then?

Those saints which God loves best, The devil tempts not least.

My God! look on me with Thine eye Of pity, not of scrutiny; For if Thou dost, Thou then shalt see Nothing but loathsome sores in me. O then, for mercy’s sake, behold These my eruptions manifold, And heal me with Thy look or touch; But if Thou wilt not deign so much, Because I’m […]

Whips

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God has His whips here to a twofold end: The bad to punish, and the good t’ amend.

God Is One

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God, as He is most holy known, So He is said to be most one.

Afflictions they most profitable are To the beholder and the sufferer: Bettering them both, but by a double strain, The first by patience, and the last by pain.

Do with me, God, as Thou didst deal with John, Who writ that heavenly Revelation. Let me, like him, first cracks of thunder hear, Then let the harps enchantments stroke mine ear: Here give me thorns, there, in Thy kingdom, set Upon my head the golden coronet; There give me day; but here my dreadful […]

The Rod

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God’s rod doth watch while men do sleep, and then The rod doth sleep, while vigilant are men.

God, when for sin He makes His children smart, His own He acts not, but another’s part; But when by stripes He saves them, then ’tis known He comes to play the part that is His own.

Verse. My God, I’m wounded by my sin, And sore without, and sick within. Ver. Chor. I come to Thee, in hope to find Salve for my body and my mind. Verse. In Gilead though no balm be found To ease this smart or cure this wound, Ver. Chor. Yet, Lord, I know there is […]

God is not only merciful to call Men to repent, but when He strikes withal.

God scourgeth some severely, some He spares; But all in smart have less or greater shares.

God, He rejects all prayers that are slight And want their poise: words ought to have their weight.

Mirth

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True mirth resides not in the smiling skin: The sweetest solace is to act no sin.

God loads and unloads, thus His work begins, To load with blessings and unload from sins.

God’s Mercy

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God’s boundless mercy is, to sinful man, Like to the ever-wealthy ocean: Which though it sends forth thousand streams, ’tis ne’er Known, or else seen, to be the emptier; And though it takes all in, ’tis yet no more Full, and fill’d full, than when full fill’d before.

Affliction

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God ne’er afflicts us more than our desert, Though He may seem to overact His part: Sometimes He strikes us more than flesh can bear; But yet still less than grace can suffer here.

Three fatal sisters wait upon each sin; First, fear and shame without, then guilt within.

God when He’s angry here with anyone, His wrath is free from perturbation; And when we think His looks are sour and grim, The alteration is in us, not Him.

‘Tis hard to find God, but to comprehend Him, as He is, is labour without end.

God’s Part

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Prayers and praises are those spotless two Lambs, by the law, which God requires as due.

God is not only said to be An Ens, but Supraentity.

To Find God

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Weigh me the fire; or canst thou find A way to measure out the wind; Distinguish all those floods that are Mix’d in that watery theatre; And taste thou them as saltless there As in their channel first they were. Tell me the people that do keep Within the kingdoms of the deep; Or fetch […]

What God Is

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God is above the sphere of our esteem, And is the best known, not defining Him.

His Confession

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Look how our foul days do exceed our fair; And as our bad, more than our good works are, E’en so those lines, pen’d by my wanton wit, Treble the number of these good I’ve writ. Things precious are least numerous: men are prone To do ten bad for one good action.

For those my unbaptised rhymes, Writ in my wild unhallowed times; For every sentence, clause, and word, That’s not inlaid with Thee, my Lord, Forgive me, God, and blot each line Out of my book that is not Thine. But if, ‘mongst all, thou find’st here one Worthy Thy benediction; That one of all the […]

Epitaph On The Tomb Of Sir Edward Giles And His Wife In The South Aisle of Dean Prior Church, Devon. No trust to metals nor to marbles, when These have their fate and wear away as men; Times, titles, trophies may be lost and spent, But virtue rears the eternal monument. What more than these […]

Apollo sings, his harp resounds: give room, For now behold the golden pomp is come, Thy pomp of plays which thousands come to see With admiration both of them and thee. O volume! worthy, leaf by leaf and cover, To be with juice of cedar wash’d all over; Here words with lines and lines with […]

The musical part being set by Mr. Henry Lawes. THE SPEAKERS, CHARON AND EUCOSMIA. Euc. Charon, O Charon, draw thy boat to th’ shore, And to thy many take in one soul more. Cha. Who calls? who calls? Euc. One overwhelm’d with ruth; Have pity either on my tears or youth, And take me in […]

Upon Parting

Story type: Poetry

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Go hence away, and in thy parting know ‘Tis not my voice but Heaven’s that bids thee go; Spring hence thy faith, nor think it ill desert I find in thee that makes me thus to part. But voice of fame, and voice of Heaven have thundered We both were lost, if both of us […]

Fly hence, pale care, no more remember Past sorrows with the fled December, But let each pleasant cheek appear Smooth as the childhood of the year, And sing a carol here. ‘Twas brave, ’twas brave, could we command the hand Of youth’s swift watch to stand As you have done your day; Then should we […]

You may vow I’ll not forget To pay the debt Which to thy memory stands as due As faith can seal it you; Take then tribute of my tears, So long as I have fears To prompt me I shall ever Languish and look, but thy return see never. Oh then to lessen my despair […]

Ere I go hence and be no more Seen to the world, I’ll give the score I owe unto a female child, And that is this, a verse enstyled My daughter’s dowry; having which, I’ll leave thee then completely rich. Instead of gold, pearl, rubies, bonds Long forfeit, pawned diamonds Or antique pledges, house or […]

I have beheld two lovers in a night Hatched o’er with moonshine from their stolen delight (When this to that, and that to this, had given A kiss to such a jewel of the heaven, Or while that each from other’s breath did drink Health to the rose, the violet, or pink), Call’d on the […]

Hence they have borne my Lord; behold! the stone Is rolled away and my sweet Saviour’s gone. Tell me, white angel, what is now become Of Him we lately sealed up in this tomb? Is He, from hence, gone to the shades beneath, To vanquish hell as here He conquered death? If so, I’ll thither […]

Whose head, befringed with bescattered tresses, Shows like Apollo’s when the morn he dresses,[B] Or like Aurora when with pearl she sets Her long, dishevell’d, rose-crown’d trammelets: Her forehead smooth, full, polish’d, bright and high Bears in itself a graceful majesty, Under the which two crawling eyebrows twine Like to the tendrils of a flatt’ring […]

Hail, holy and all-honour’d tomb, By no ill haunted; here I come, With shoes put off, to tread thy room. I’ll not profane by soil of sin Thy door as I do enter in; For I have washed both hand and heart, This, that, and every other part, So that I dare, with far less […]

To join with them who here confer Gifts to my Saviour’s sepulchre, Devotion bids me hither bring Somewhat for my thank-offering. Lo! thus I bring a virgin flower, To dress my Maiden Saviour.

Have, have ye no regard, all ye Who pass this way, to pity Me, Who am a man of misery! A man both bruis’d, and broke, and one Who suffers not here for Mine own, But for My friends’ transgression! Ah! Sion’s daughters, do not fear The cross, the cords, the nails, the spear, The […]

This crosstree here Doth Jesus bear, Who sweet’ned first The death accurs’d. Here all things ready are, make haste, make haste away; For long this work will be, and very short this day. Why then, go on to act: here’s wonders to be done Before the last least sand of Thy ninth hour be run; […]

When Thou wast taken, Lord, I oft have read, All Thy disciples Thee forsook and fled. Let their example not a pattern be For me to fly, but now to follow Thee.

If Thou be’st taken, God forbid I fly from Thee, as others did: But if Thou wilt so honour me As to accept my company, I’ll follow Thee, hap hap what shall, Both to the judge and judgment hall: And, if I see Thee posted there, To be all-flayed with whipping-cheer, I’ll take my share; […]

If I have played the truant, or have here Failed in my part, oh! Thou that art my dear, My mild, my loving tutor, Lord and God! Correct my errors gently with Thy rod. I know that faults will many here be found, But where sin swells there let Thy grace abound.

Put off Thy robe of purple, then go on To the sad place of execution: Thine hour is come, and the tormentor stands Ready to pierce Thy tender feet and hands. Long before this, the base, the dull, the rude, Th’ inconstant and unpurged multitude Yawn for Thy coming; some ere this time cry, How […]

God’s Anger

Story type: Poetry

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God can’t be wrathful: but we may conclude Wrathful He may be by similitude: God’s wrathful said to be, when He doth do That without wrath which wrath doth force us to.

Thy former coming was to cure My soul’s most desp’rate calenture; Thy second advent, that must be To heal my earth’s infirmity. Calenture, delirium caused by excessive heat.

To God, His Gift

Story type: Poetry

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As my little pot doth boil, We will keep this level-coil, That a wave and I will bring To my God a heave-offering. Level-coil, the old Christmas game of changing chairs; to “keep level-coil” means to change about.

God doth not promise here to man that He Will free him quickly from his misery; But in His own time, and when He thinks fit, Then He will give a happy end to it.

When well we speak and nothing do that’s good, We not divide the hoof, but chew the cud; But when good words by good works have their proof, We then both chew the cud and cleave the hoof.

The Number Of Two

Story type: Poetry

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God hates the dual number, being known The luckless number of division; And when He bless’d each sev’ral day whereon He did His curious operation, ‘Tis never read there, as the fathers say, God bless’d His work done on the second day; Wherefore two prayers ought not to be said, Or by ourselves, or from […]

The Rose

Story type: Poetry

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Before man’s fall the rose was born, St. Ambrose says, without the thorn; But for man’s fault then was the thorn Without the fragrant rose-bud born; But ne’er the rose without the thorn.

Good and great God! how should I fear To come to Thee if Christ not there! Could I but think He would not be Present to plead my cause for me, To hell I’d rather run than I Would see Thy face and He not by.

Confession

Story type: Poetry

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Confession twofold is, as Austin says, The first of sin is, and the next of praise. If ill it goes with thee, thy faults confess: If well, then chant God’s praise with cheerfulness.

God’s Descent

Story type: Poetry

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God is then said for to descend, when He Doth here on earth some thing of novity; As when in human nature He works more Than ever yet the like was done before.

The Staff And Rod

Story type: Poetry

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Two instruments belong unto our God: The one a staff is and the next a rod; That if the twig should chance too much to smart, The staff might come to play the friendly part.

Come to me, God; but do not come To me as to the General Doom In power; or come Thou in that state When Thou Thy laws did’st promulgate, Whenas the mountain quaked for dread, And sullen clouds bound up his head. No; lay Thy stately terrors by To talk with me familiarly; For if […]

Those garments lasting evermore, Are works of mercy to the poor, Which neither tettar, time, or moth Shall fray that silk or fret this cloth. Tettar, scab.

Be those few hours, which I have yet to spend, Blest with the meditation of my end: Though they be few in number, I’m content: If otherwise, I stand indifferent. Nor makes it matter Nestor’s years to tell, If man lives long and if he live not well. A multitude of days still heaped on, […]

Is this a fast, to keep The larder lean? And clean From fat of veals and sheep? Is it to quit the dish Of flesh, yet still To fill The platter high with fish? Is it to fast an hour, Or ragg’d to go, Or show A downcast look and sour? No; ’tis a fast […]

Hell Fire

Story type: Poetry

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One only fire has hell; but yet it shall Not after one sort there excruciate all: But look, how each transgressor onward went Boldly in sin, shall feel more punishment.

Christ’s Action

Story type: Poetry

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Christ never did so great a work but there His human nature did in part appear; Or ne’er so mean a piece but men might see Therein some beams of His Divinity: So that in all He did there did combine His human nature and His part divine.

God’s Keys

Story type: Poetry

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God has four keys, which He reserves alone: The first of rain; the key of hell next known; With the third key He opes and shuts the womb; And with the fourth key he unlocks the tomb.

God’s present everywhere, but most of all Present by union hypostatical: God, He is there, where’s nothing else, schools say, And nothing else is there where He’s away. Hypostatical, personal.

Sinners

Story type: Poetry

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Sinners confounded are a twofold way, Either as when, the learned schoolmen say, Men’s sins destroyed are when they repent, Or when, for sins, men suffer punishment.

Temporal Goods

Story type: Poetry

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These temporal goods God, the most wise, commends To th’ good and bad in common for two ends: First, that these goods none here may o’er-esteem Because the wicked do partake of them; Next, that these ills none cowardly may shun, Being, oft here, the just man’s portion.

Abel’s Blood

Story type: Poetry

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Speak, did the blood of Abel cry To God for vengeance? Yes, say I, Ev’n as the sprinkled blood called on God for an expiation. Another The blood of Abel was a thing Of such a rev’rend reckoning, As that the old world thought it fit Especially to swear by it.

Paul, he began ill, but he ended well; Judas began well, but he foully fell: In godliness not the beginnings so Much as the ends are to be look’d unto.

There is no evil that we do commit, But hath th’ extraction of some good from it: As when we sin, God, the great Chemist, thence Draws out th’ elixir of true penitence.

Sabbaths

Story type: Poetry

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Sabbaths are threefold, as St. Austin says: The first of time, or Sabbath here of days; The second is a conscience trespass-free; The last the Sabbath of Eternity.

So long, it seem’d, as Mary’s faith was small, Christ did her woman, not her Mary call; But no more woman, being strong in faith, But Mary call’d then, as St. Ambrose saith.

North And South

Story type: Poetry

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The Jews their beds and offices of ease, Placed north and south for these clean purposes; That man’s uncomely froth might not molest God’s ways and walks, which lie still east and west.

The Virgin Mary

Story type: Poetry

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The Virgin Mary was, as I have read, The House of God, by Christ inhabited; Into the which He entered, but, the door Once shut, was never to be open’d more.

God’s undivided, One in Persons Three, And Three in inconfused unity. Original of Essence there is none, ‘Twixt God the Father, Holy Ghost, and Son: And though the Father be the first of Three, ‘Tis but by order, not by entity.

God’s Dwelling

Story type: Poetry

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God’s said to dwell there, wheresoever He Puts down some prints of His high Majesty; As when to man He comes, and there doth place His Holy Spirit, or doth plant His Grace.

God’s evident, and may be said to be Present with just men, to the verity; But with the wicked if He doth comply, ‘Tis, as St. Bernard saith, but seemingly.

Another Of God

Story type: Poetry

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God’s said to leave this place, and for to come Nearer to that place than to other some, Of local motion, in no least respect, But only by impression of effect.

Observation

Story type: Poetry

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The Virgin Mother stood at distance, there, From her Son’s cross, not shedding once a tear, Because the law forbad to sit and cry For those who did as malefactors die. So she, to keep her mighty woes in awe, Tortured her love not to transgress the law. Observe we may, how Mary Joses then, […]

Tapers

Story type: Poetry

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Those tapers which we set upon the grave In fun’ral pomp, but this importance have: That souls departed are not put out quite; But as they walked here in their vestures white, So live in heaven in everlasting light.

Christ, when He hung the dreadful cross upon, Had, as it were, a dereliction In this regard, in those great terrors He Had no one beam from God’s sweet majesty. Dereliction, abandonment.

The Ass

Story type: Poetry

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God did forbid the Israelites to bring An ass unto Him for an offering, Only, by this dull creature, to express His detestation to all slothfulness.

The mountains of the Scriptures are, some say, Moses, and Jesus, called Joshua: The prophets, mountains of the Old are meant, Th’ apostles, mounts of the New Testament.

Roaring

Story type: Poetry

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Roaring is nothing but a weeping part Forced from the mighty dolour of the heart.

The Eucharist

Story type: Poetry

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He that is hurt seeks help : sin is the wound; The salve for this i’ th’ Eucharist is found.

The time the bridegroom stays from hence Is but the time of penitence.

Labour

Story type: Poetry

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Labour we must, and labour hard I’ th’ forum here, or vineyard.

God’s Hands

Story type: Poetry

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God’s hands are round and smooth, that gifts may fall Freely from them and hold none back at all.

Prayer

Story type: Poetry

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A prayer that is said alone Starves, having no companion. Great things ask for when thou dost pray, And those great are which ne’er decay. Pray not for silver, rust eats this; Ask not for gold, which metal is; Nor yet for houses, which are here But earth: such vows ne’er reach God’s ear.

To His Muse

Story type: Poetry

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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 […]

Kindle the Christmas brand, and then Till sunset let it burn; Which quench’d, then lay it up again, Till Christmas next return. Part must be kept, wherewith to teend The Christmas log next year; And where ’tis safely kept, the fiend Can do no mischief there.

Down with the rosemary, and so Down with the bays and misletoe; Down with the holly, ivy, all Wherewith ye dress’d the Christmas hall; That so the superstitious find No one least branch there left behind; For look, how many leaves there be Neglected there, maids, trust to me, So many goblins you shall see.

Live, live with me, and thou shalt see The pleasures I’ll prepare for thee: What sweets the country can afford Shall bless thy bed, and bless thy board. The soft sweet moss shall be thy bed, With crawling woodbine over-spread: By which the silver-shedding streams Shall gently melt thee into dreams. Thy clothing next, shall […]

The Fairies

Story type: Poetry

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If ye will with Mab find grace, Set each platter in his place; Rake the fire up, and get Water in, ere sun be set. Wash your pails and cleanse your dairies, Sluts are loathsome to the fairies; Sweep your house; Who doth not so, Mab will pinch her by the toe.

TO THE HONOURED MR ENDYMION PORTER, GROOM OF THE BED-CHAMBER TO HIS MAJESTY Sweet country life, to such unknown, Whose lives are others’, not their own! But serving courts and cities, be Less happy, less enjoying thee. Thou never plough’st the ocean’s foam To seek and bring rough pepper home: Nor to the Eastern Ind […]

Upon Himself

Story type: Poetry

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Thou shalt not all die; for while Love’s fire shines Upon his altar, men shall read thy lines; And learn’d musicians shall, to honour Herrick’s Fame, and his name, both set and sing his lyrics. To his book’s end this last line he’d have placed:– Jocund his Muse was, but his Life was chaste.

If hap it must, that I must see thee lie Absyrtus-like, all torn confusedly; With solemn tears, and with much grief of heart, I’ll recollect thee, weeping, part by part; And having wash’d thee, close thee in a chest With spice; that done, I’ll leave thee to thy rest.

Only a little more I have to write: Then I’ll give o’er, And bid the world good-night. ‘Tis but a flying minute, That I must stay, Or linger in it: And then I must away. O Time, that cut’st down all, And scarce leav’st here Memorial Of any men that were; –How many lie forgot […]

Go thou forth, my book, though late, Yet be timely fortunate. It may chance good luck may send Thee a kinsman or a friend, That may harbour thee, when I With my fates neglected lie. If thou know’st not where to dwell, See, the fire’s by.–Farewell!

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.

When I a verse shall make, Know I have pray’d thee, For old religion’s sake, Saint Ben, to aid me Make the way smooth for me, When, I, thy Herrick, Honouring thee on my knee Offer my Lyric. Candles I’ll give to thee, And a new altar; And thou, Saint Ben, shalt be Writ in […]

To His Verses

Story type: Poetry

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What will ye, my poor orphans, do, When I must leave the world and you; Who’ll give ye then a sheltering shed, Or credit ye, when I am dead? Who’ll let ye by their fire sit, Although ye have a stock of wit, Already coin’d to pay for it? –I cannot tell: unless there be […]

‘Tis not ev’ry day that I Fitted am to prophesy: No, but when the spirit fills The fantastic pannicles, Full of fire, then I write As the Godhead doth indite. Thus enraged, my lines are hurl’d, Like the Sibyl’s, through the world: Look how next the holy fire Either slakes, or doth retire; So the […]

Make haste away, and let one be A friendly patron unto thee; Lest, rapt from hence, I see thee lie Torn for the use of pastery; Or see thy injured leaves serve well To make loose gowns for mackarel; Or see the grocers, in a trice, Make hoods of thee to serve out spice. Take […]

My Muse in meads has spent her many hours Sitting, and sorting several sorts of flowers, To make for others garlands; and to set On many a head here, many a coronet. But amongst all encircled here, not one Gave her a day of coronation; Till you, sweet mistress, came and interwove A laurel for […]

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 is […]

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 bride-grooms, 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, […]

NO. I. INTRODUCTORY AND EXPLANATORY. (Eastlake has renewed an episode of his past life. The formalities have been satisfied at a chance meeting, and he continues.) … So your carnations lie over there, a bit beyond this page, in a confusion of manuscripts. Sweet source of this idle letter and gentle memento of the house […]

Mare Marto

Story type: Literature

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I The narrow slant of water that could be seen between the posts of the felza was rippling with little steely waves. The line of the heavy beak cut the opening between the tapering point of the Lido and the misty outline of Tre Porti. Inside the white lighthouse tower a burnished man- of-war lay […]

A Question Of Art

Story type: Literature

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I John Clayton had pretty nearly run the gamut of the fine arts. As a boy at college he had taken a dilettante interest in music, and having shown some power of sketching the summer girl he had determined to become an artist. His numerous friends had hoped such great things for him that he […]

The Price Of Romance

Story type: Literature

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They were paying the price of their romance, and the question was whether they would pay it cheerfully. They had been married a couple of years, and the first flush of excitement over their passion and the stumbling-blocks it had met was fading away. When he, an untried young lawyer and delicate dilettante, had married […]

A Rejected Titian

Story type: Literature

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“John,” my wife remarked in horrified tones, “he’s coming to Rome!” “Who is coming to Rome–the Emperor?” “Uncle Ezra–see,” she handed me the telegram. “Shall arrive in Rome Wednesday morning; have Watkins at the Grand Hotel.” I handed the despatch to Watkins. “Poor uncle!” my wife remarked. “He will get it in the neck,” I […]

Payment In Full

Story type: Literature

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The two black horses attached to the light buggy were chafing in the crisp October air. Their groom was holding them stiffly, as if bolted to the ground, in the approved fashion insisted upon by the mistress of the house. Old Stuart eyed them impatiently from the tower window of the breakfast-room where he was […]

A Prothalamion

Story type: Literature

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The best man has gone for a game of billiards with the host. The maid of honor is inditing an epistle to one who must fall. The bridesmaids have withdrawn themselves, each with some endurable usher, to an appropriate retreat upon the other coasts of the veranda. The night is full of starlight in May. […]

The Episode Of Life

Story type: Literature

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Jack Lynton is becoming stone like that. His is a case in point, and a good one, because the atrophy is coming about not from physical disease, or from any dissipation. You would call him sane and full of fire. He was. He married three years ago. Their life was full, too, like ours, and […]

She. But have you never forgotten the body, dreamed what it would be to feel God? You have known those moments when your soul, losing the sense of contact with men or women, groped alone, in an enveloping calm, and knew content. I have had it in times of intoxication from music–not the personal, passionate […]

He. Can you conceive of any heaven for which you would change this shameful world? Any heaven, I mean, of spirits, not merely an Italian palace of delights? She. There is the heaven of the Pagans, the heaven of glorified earth, but—- He. Would you like to dine without tasting the fruit and the wine? […]

She. Yet, how short it will be! How awful to have the days and weeks and months slip by, and know that at the best there is only a reprieve of a few years. I think from this night I shall have my shadow of death. I shall always be doing things for the last […]

In this world, the Isle of Dreams, While we sit by sorrow’s streams, Tears and terrors are our themes, Reciting: But when once from hence we fly, More and more approaching nigh Unto young eternity, Uniting In that whiter Island, where Things are evermore sincere: Candour here, and lustre there, Delighting:– There no monstrous fancies […]

Anthea, I am going hence With some small stock of innocence; But yet those blessed gates I see Withstanding entrance unto me; To pray for me do thou begin;– The porter then will let me in.

Crutches

Story type: Poetry

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Thou see’st me, Lucia, this year droop; Three zodiacs fill’d more, I shall stoop; Let crutches then provided be To shore up my debility: Then, while thou laugh’st, I’ll sighing cry, A ruin underpropt am I: Don will I then my beadsman’s gown; And when so feeble I am grown As my weak shoulders cannot […]

You may vow I’ll not forget To pay the debt Which to thy memory stands as due As faith can seal it you. –Take then tribute of my tears; So long as I have fears To prompt me, I shall ever Languish and look, but thy return see never. Oh then to lessen my despair, […]

The Wounded Heart

Story type: Poetry

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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 your’s bleed a tear, Or pierce it any where; Yet do it to this end,–that I May by This secret see, Though you can make That heart to bleed, […]

I have lost, and lately, these Many dainty mistresses:– Stately Julia, prime of all; Sapho next, a principal: Smooth Anthea, for a skin White, and heaven-like crystalline: Sweet Electra, and the choice Myrha, for the lute and voice. Next, Corinna, for her wit, And the graceful use of it; With Perilla:–All are gone; Only Herrick’s […]

Kissing Usury

Story type: Poetry

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Biancha, 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. He must of right, To […]

Sweet, be not proud of those two eyes, Which, star-like, sparkle in their skies; Nor be you proud, that you can see All hearts your captives, yours, yet free; Be you not proud of that rich hair Which wantons with the love-sick air; Whenas that ruby which you wear, Sunk from the tip of your […]

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 […]

To Sapho

Story type: Poetry

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Sapho, I will chuse to go Where the northern winds do blow Endless ice, and endless snow; Rather than I once would see But a winter’s face in thee,– To benumb my hopes and me.

Of Love: A Sonnet

Story type: Poetry

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How Love came in, I do not know, Whether by th’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 every where. This troubles me; but I as well As any other, this can tell; […]

By those soft tods of wool, With which the air is full; By all those tinctures there That paint the hemisphere; By dews and drizzling rain, That swell the golden grain; By all those sweets that be I’th’ flowery nunnery; By silent nights, and the Three forms of Hecate; By all aspects that bless The […]

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

You say you’re sweet: how should we know Whether that you be sweet or no? –From powders and perfumes keep free; Then we shall smell how sweet you be!

Three lovely sisters working were, As they were closely set, Of soft and dainty maiden-hair, A curious Armilet. I, smiling, ask’d them what they did, Fair Destinies all three? Who told me they had drawn a thread Of life, and ’twas for me. They shew’d me then how fine ’twas spun And I replied thereto; […]

To Silvia

Story type: Poetry

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Pardon my trespass, Silvia! I confess My kiss out-went the bounds of shamefacedness:– None is discreet at all times; no, not Jove Himself, at one time, can be wise and love.

To Silvia To Wed

Story type: Poetry

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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! […]

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 Enthrals 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 […]

The Bubble: A Song

Story type: Literature

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To my revenge, and to her desperate fears, Fly, thou made bubble of my sighs and tears! In the wild air, when thou hast roll’d about, And, like a blasting planet, found her out; Stoop, mount, pass by to take her eye–then glare Like to a dreadful comet in the air: Next, when thou dost […]

My faithful friend, if you can see The fruit to grow up, or the tree; If you can see the colour come Into the blushing pear or plum; If you can see the water grow To cakes of ice, or flakes of snow; If you can see that drop of rain Lost in the wild […]

The Cruel Maid

Story type: Poetry

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–AND, cruel maid, because I see You scornful of my love, and me, I’ll trouble you no more, but go My way, where you shall never know What is become of me; there I Will find me out a path to die, Or learn some way how to forget You and your name for ever;–yet […]

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. Shall […]

Upon Her Feet

Story type: Poetry

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Her pretty feet Like snails did creep A little out, and then, As if they played at Bo-peep, Did soon draw in again.

Come, come away Or let me go; Must I here stay Because you’re slow, And will continue so; –Troth, lady, no. I scorn to be A slave to state; And since I’m free, I will not wait, Henceforth at such a rate, For needy fate. If you desire My spark should glow, The peeping fire […]

Upon Her Eyes

Story type: Poetry

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Clear are her eyes, Like purest skies; Discovering from thence A baby there That turns each sphere, Like an Intelligence.

Give me one kiss, And no more: If so be, this Makes you poor To enrich you, I’ll restore For that one, two- Thousand score.

Let fair or foul my mistress be, Or low, or tall, she pleaseth me; Or let her walk, or stand, or sit, The posture her’s, I’m pleased with it; Or let her tongue be still, or stir Graceful is every thing from her; Or let her grant, or else deny, My love will fit each […]

Anthea laugh’d, and, fearing lest excess Might stretch the cords of civil comeliness She with a dainty blush rebuked her face, And call’d each line back to his rule and space.

Bid me to live, and I will live Thy Protestant to be; Or bid me love, and I will give A loving heart to thee. A heart as soft, a heart as kind, A heart as sound and free As in the whole world thou canst find, That heart I’ll give to thee. Bid that […]

To Oenone

Story type: Poetry

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What conscience, say, is it in thee, When I a heart had one, [won] To take away that heart from me, And to retain thy own? For shame or pity, now incline To play a loving part; Either to send me kindly thine, Or give me back my heart. Covet not both; but if thou […]

To Electra

Story type: Poetry

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I dare not ask a kiss, I dare not beg a smile; Lest having that, or this, I might grow proud the while. No, no, the utmost share Of my desire shall be, Only to kiss that air That lately kissed thee,

I could but see thee yesterday Stung by a fretful bee; And I the javelin suck’d away, And heal’d the wound in thee. A thousand thorns, and briars, and stings I have in my poor breast; Yet ne’er can see that salve which brings My passions any rest. As Love shall help me, I admire […]

To Perenna

Story type: Poetry

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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.

I held Love’s head while it did ache; But so it chanced to be, The cruel pain did his forsake, And forthwith came to me. Ai me! how shall my grief be still’d? Or where else shall we find One like to me, who must be kill’d For being too-too-kind?

Whatsoever thing I see, Rich or poor although it be, –‘Tis a mistress unto me. Be my girl or fair or brown, Does she smile, or does she frown; Still I write a sweet-heart down. Be she rough, or smooth of skin; When I touch, I then begin For to let affection in. Be she […]

Immortal clothing I put on So soon as, Julia, I am gone To mine eternal mansion. Thou, thou art here, to human sight Clothed all with incorrupted light; –But yet how more admir’dly bright Wilt thou appear, when thou art set In thy refulgent thronelet, That shin’st thus in thy counterfeit!

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 […]

I have been wanton, and too bold, I fear, To chafe o’er-much the virgin’s cheek or ear;– Beg for my pardon, Julia! he doth win Grace with the gods who’s sorry for his sin. That done, my Julia, dearest Julia, come, And go with me to chuse my burial room: My fates are ended; when […]

Why dost thou wound and break my heart, As if we should for ever part? Hast thou not heard an oath from me, After a day, or two, or three, I would come back and live with thee? Take, if thou dost distrust that vow, This second protestation now:– Upon thy cheek that spangled tear, […]

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 Entranced, and lost confusedly; And by thy music strucken mute, Die, and be turn’d into a Lute.

Her eyes the glow-worm lend thee, The shooting stars attend thee; And the elves also, Whose little eyes glow Like the sparks of fire, befriend thee. No Will-o’th’-Wisp mis-light thee, Nor snake or slow-worm bite thee; But on, on thy way, Not making a stay, Since ghost there’s none to affright thee. Let not the […]

Upon Roses

Story type: Poetry

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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 Quickened of late by pearly showers; And all, because they were possest But of the heat of Julia’s breast, Which, as a warm […]

My soul would one day go and seek For roses, and in Julia’s cheek A richess of those sweets she found, As in another Rosamond; But gathering roses as she was, Not knowing what would come to pass, it chanced a ringlet of her hair Caught my poor soul, as in a snare; Which ever […]

As Julia once a-slumb’ring lay, It chanced a bee did fly that way, After a dew, or dew-like shower, To tipple freely in a flower; For some rich flower, he took the lip Of Julia, and began to sip; But when he felt he suck’d from thence Honey, and in the quintessence, He drank so […]

Dew sate on Julia’s hair, And spangled too, Like leaves that laden are With trembling dew; Or glitter’d to my sight, As when the beams Have their reflected light Danced by the streams.

Cherry Ripe

Story type: Poetry

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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.

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 tiffany, or cob-web lawn; Then in that Parly all those powers Voted the Rose the Queen of flowers; But so, […]

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 allied in blood, Or sworn to that sweet sisterhood. For health on Julia’s cheek hath shed Claret and cream […]

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 shew me there The quarrelets of Pearl.

When I behold a forest spread With silken trees upon thy head; And when I see that other dress Of flowers set in comeliness; When I behold another grace In the ascent of curious lace, Which, like a pinnacle, doth shew The top, and the top-gallant too; Then, when I see thy tresses bound Into […]

To Julia

Story type: Poetry

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How rich and pleasing thou, my Julia, art, In each thy dainty and peculiar part! First, for thy Queen-ship on thy head is set Of flowers a sweet commingled coronet; About thy neck a carkanet is bound, Made of the Ruby, Pearl, and Diamond; A golden ring, that shines upon thy thumb; About thy wrist […]

Her Bed

Story type: Poetry

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See’st thou that cloud as silver clear, Plump, soft, and swelling every where? ‘Tis Julia’s bed, and she sleeps there.

Why I tie about thy wrist, Julia, this my silken twist? For what other reason is’t, But to shew thee how in part Thou my pretty captive art? But thy bond-slave is my heart; ‘Tis but silk that bindeth thee, Knap the thread and thou art free; But ’tis otherwise with me; I am bound, […]

As shews the air when with a rain-bow graced, So smiles that ribbon ’bout my Julia’s waist; Or like—-Nay, ’tis that Zonulet of love, Wherein all pleasures of the world are wove.

A crystal vial Cupid brought, Which had a juice in it: Of which who drank, he said, no thought Of Love he should admit. I, greedy of the prize, did drink, And emptied soon the glass; Which burnt me so, that I do think The fire of hell it was. Give me my earthen cups […]

Among the myrtles as I walk’d Love and my sighs thus intertalk’d: Tell me, said I, in deep distress, Where I may find my Shepherdess? –Thou fool, said Love, know’st thou not this? In every thing that’s sweet she is. In yond’ carnation go and seek, There thou shalt find her lip and cheek; In […]

Whenas in silks my Julia goes, Till, then, methinks, how sweetly flows That liquefaction of her clothes! Next, when I cast mine eyes, and see That brave vibration each way free; O how that glittering taketh me!

If after rude and boisterous seas My wearied pinnace here finds ease; If so it be I’ve gain’d the shore, With safety of a faithful oar; If having run my barque on ground, Ye see the aged vessel crown’d; What’s to be done? but on the sands Ye dance and sing, and now clap hands. […]

Amores To Groves

Story type: Poetry

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Ye silent shades, whose each tree here Some relique of a saint doth wear; Who for some sweet-heart’s sake, did prove The fire and martyrdom of Love:– Here is the legend of those saints That died for love, and their complaints; Their wounded hearts, and names we find Encarved upon the leaves and rind. Give […]

A Vow To Venus

Story type: Poetry

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Happily I had a sight Of my dearest dear last night; Make her this day smile on me, And I’ll roses give to thee!

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!

The Olive Branch

Story type: Poetry

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Sadly I walk’d within the field, To see what comfort it would yield; And as I went my private way, An olive-branch before me lay; And seeing it, I made a stay, And took it up, and view’d it; then Kissing the omen, said Amen; Be, be it so, and let this be A divination […]

Weep for the dead, for they have lost this light; And weep for me, lost in an endless night; Or mourn, or make a marble verse for me, Who writ for many. BENEDICTE.

Lost to the world; lost to myself; alone Here now I rest under this marble stone, In depth of silence, heard and seen of none.

Anacreontic

Story type: Poetry

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Born I was to be old, And for to die here; After that, in the mould Long for to lie here. But before that day comes, Still I be bousing; For I know, in the tombs There’s no carousing.

To Laurels

Story type: Poetry

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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.

A wearied pilgrim I have wander’d here, Twice five-and-twenty, bate me but one year; Long I have lasted in this world; ’tis true But yet those years that I have lived, but few. Who by his gray hairs doth his lustres tell, Lives not those years, but he that lives them well: One man has […]

His Winding-Sheet

Story type: Poetry

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Come thou, who art the wine and wit Of all I’ve writ; The grace, the glory, and the best Piece of the rest; Thou art of what I did intend The All, and End; And what was made, was made to meet. Thee, thee my sheet. Come then, and be to my chaste side Both […]

Dull to myself, and almost dead to these, My many fresh and fragrant mistresses; Lost to all music now, since every thing Puts on the semblance here of sorrowing. Sick is the land to th’ heart; and doth endure More dangerous faintings by her desperate cure. But if that golden age would come again, And […]

DEDICATED TO HIS PECULIAR FRIEND, MR JOHN WICKES, UNDER THE NAME OF POSTUMUS Ah, Posthumus! our years hence fly And leave no sound: nor piety, Or prayers, or vow Can keep the wrinkle from the brow; But we must on, As fate does lead or draw us; none, None, Posthumus, could e’er decline The doom […]

All things decay with time: The forest sees The growth and down-fall of her aged trees; That timber tall, which three-score lustres 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.

Here we securely live, and eat The cream of meat; And keep eternal fires, By which we sit, and do divine, As wine And rage inspires. If full, we charm; then call upon Anacreon To grace the frantic Thyrse: And having drunk, we raise a shout Throughout, To praise his verse. Then cause we Horace […]

Life of my life, take not so soon thy flight, But stay the time till we have bade good-night. Thou hast both wind and tide with thee; thy way As soon dispatch’d is by the night as day. Let us not then so rudely henceforth go Till we have wept, kiss’d, sigh’d, shook hands, or […]

Mercy and Love

Story type: Poetry

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God hath two wings which He doth ever move; The one is mercy, and the next is love: Under the first the sinners ever trust; And with the last He still directs the just.

Till I shall come again, let this suffice, I send my salt, my sacrifice To thee, thy lady, younglings, and as far As to thy Genius and thy Lar; To the worn threshold, porch, hall, parlour, kitchen, The fat-fed smoking temple, which in The wholesome savour of thy mighty chines, Invites to supper him who […]

For brave comportment, wit without offence, Words fully flowing, yet of influence, Thou art that man of men, the man alone Worthy the public admiration; Who with thine own eyes read’st what we do write, And giv’st our numbers euphony and weight; Tell’st when a verse springs high; how understood To be, or not, born […]

Is this a life, to break thy sleep, To rise as soon as day doth peep? To tire thy patient ox or ass By noon, and let thy good days pass, Not knowing this, that Jove decrees Some mirth, t’ adulce man’s miseries? –No; ’tis a life to have thine oil Without extortion from thy […]

Since shed or cottage I have none, I sing the more, that thou hast one; To whose glad threshold, and free door I may a Poet come, though poor; And eat with thee a savoury bit, Paying but common thanks for it. –Yet should I chance, my Wicks, to see An over-leaven look in thee, […]

Since to the country first I came, I have lost my former flame; And, methinks, I not inherit, As I did, my ravish’d spirit. If I write a verse or two, ‘Tis with very much ado; In regard I want that wine Which should conjure up a line. Yet, though now of Muse bereft, I […]

Thrice, and above, blest, 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 […]

DESUNT NONNULLA– Come then, and like two doves with silvery wings, Let our souls fly to th’ shades, wherever springs Sit smiling in the meads; where balm and oil, Roses and cassia, crown the untill’d soil; Where no disease reigns, or infection comes To blast the air, but amber-gris and gums. This, that, and ev’ry […]

His Desire

Story type: Poetry

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Give me a man that is not dull, When all the world with rifts is full; But unamazed dares clearly sing, Whenas the roof’s a-tottering; And though it falls, continues still Tickling the Cittern with his quill.

The Invitation

Story type: Poetry

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To sup with thee thou didst me home invite, And mad’st a promise that mine appetite Should meet and tire, on such lautitious meat, The like not Heliogabalus did eat: And richer wine would’st give to me, thy guest, Than Roman Sylla pour’d out at his feast. I came, ’tis true, and look’d for fowl […]

Ah Ben! Say how or when Shall we, thy guests, Meet at those lyric feasts, Made at the Sun, The Dog, the Triple Tun; Where we such clusters had, As made us nobly wild, not mad? And yet each verse of thine Out-did the meat, out-did the frolic wine. My Ben! Or come again, Or […]

Now is the time for mirth; Nor cheek or tongue be dumb; For with [the] flowery earth The golden pomp is come. The golden pomp is come; For now each tree does wear, Made of her pap and gum, Rich beads of amber here. Now reigns the Rose, and now Th’ Arabian dew besmears My […]

Honour to you who sit Near to the well of wit, And drink your fill of it! Glory and worship be To you, sweet Maids, thrice three, Who still inspire me; And teach me how to sing Unto the lyric string, My measures ravishing! Then, while I sing your praise, My priest-hood crown with bays […]

HERE, Here I live with what my board Can with the smallest cost afford; Though ne’er so mean the viands be, They well content my Prue and me: Or pea or bean, or wort or beet, Whatever comes, Content makes sweet. Here we rejoice, because no rent We pay for our poor tenement; Wherein we […]

From the dull confines of the drooping west, To see the day spring from the pregnant east, Ravish’d in spirit, I come, nay more, I fly To thee, blest place of my nativity! Thus, thus with hallow’d foot I touch the ground, With thousand blessings by thy fortune crown’d. O fruitful Genius! that bestowest here […]

Upon Cupid

Story type: Poetry

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Love, like a gipsy, lately came, And did me much importune To see my hand, that by the same He might foretell my fortune. He saw my palm; and then, said he, I tell thee, by this score here, That thou, within few months, shalt be The youthful Prince D’Amour here. I smiled, and bade […]

So Good-Luck came, and on my roof did light, Like noiseless snow, or as the dew of night; Not all at once, but gently,–as the trees Are by the sun-beams, tickled by degrees.

To Be Merry

Story type: Poetry

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Let’s now take our time, While we’re in our prime, And old, old age is afar off; For the evil, evil days Will come on apace, Before we can be aware of.

Fly me not, though I be gray, Lady, this I know you’ll say; Better look the roses red, When with white commingled. Black your hairs are; mine are white; This begets the more delight, When things meet most opposite; As in pictures we descry Venus standing Vulcan by.

Good morrow to the day so fair; Good morning, sir, to you; Good morrow to mine own torn hair, Bedabbled with the dew. Good morning to this primrose too; Good morrow to each maid; That will with flowers the tomb bestrew Wherein my Love is laid. Ah! woe is me, woe, woe is me, Alack […]

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 […]

Oberon’s Feast

Story type: Poetry

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SHAPCOT! TO THE THE FAIRY STATE I WITH DISCRETION DEDICATE: BECAUSE THOU PRIZEST THINGS THAT ARE CURIOUS AND UNFAMILIAR. TAKE FIRST THE FEAST; THESE DISHES GONE, WE’LL SEE THE FAIRY COURT ANON. A little mushroom-table spread, After short prayers, they set on bread, A moon-parch’d grain of purest wheat, With some small glitt’ring grit, to […]

The Hag

Story type: Poetry

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The Hag is astride, This night for to ride, The devil and she together; Through thick and through thin, Now out, and then in, Though ne’er so foul be the weather. A thorn or a bur She takes for a spur; With a lash of a bramble she rides now, Through brakes and through briars, […]

Thou art to all lost love the best, The only true plant found, Wherewith young men and maids distrest And left of love, are crown’d. When once the lover’s rose is dead Or laid aside forlorn, Then willow-garlands, ’bout the head, Bedew’d with tears, are worn. When with neglect, the lover’s bane, Poor maids rewarded […]

Please your Grace, from out your store Give an alms to one that’s poor, That your mickle may have more. Black I’m grown for want of meat, Give me then an ant to eat, Or the cleft ear of a mouse Over-sour’d in drink of souce; Or, sweet lady, reach to me The abdomen of […]

LACON. For a kiss or two, confess, What doth cause this pensiveness, Thou most lovely neat-herdess? Why so lonely on the hill? Why thy pipe by thee so still, That erewhile was heard so shrill? Tell me, do thy kine now fail To fulfil the milking-pail? Say, what is’t that thou dost ail? THYR. None […]

MONTANO, SILVIO, AND MIRTILLO, SHEPHERDS MON. Bad are the times. SIL. And worse than they are we. MON. Troth, bad are both; worse fruit, and ill the tree: The feast of shepherds fail. SIL. None crowns the cup Of wassail now, or sets the quintel up: And he, who used to lead the country-round, Youthful […]

DEDICATED TO MR JOHN MERRIFIELD, COUNSELLOR AT LAW RARE TEMPLES THOU HAST SEEN, I KNOW, AND RICH FOR IN AND OUTWARD SHOW; SURVEY THIS CHAPEL BUILT, ALONE, WITHOUT OR LIME, OR WOOD, OR STONE. THEN SAY, IF ONE THOU’ST SEEN MORE FINE THAN THIS, THE FAIRIES’ ONCE, NOW THINE. THE TEMPLE A way enchaced with […]

My dearest Love, since thou wilt go, And leave me here behind thee; For love or pity, let me know The place where I may find thee. AMARIL. In country meadows, pearl’d with dew, And set about with lilies; There, filling maunds with cowslips, you May find your Amarillis. HER. What have the meads to […]

Though clock, To tell how night draws hence, I’ve none, A cock I have to sing how day draws on: I have A maid, my Prue, by good luck sent, To save That little, Fates me gave or lent. A hen I keep, which, creeking day by day, Tells when She goes her long white […]

PRESENTED TO THE KING, AND SET BY MR NIC. LANIERE THE SPEAKERS: MIRTILLO, AMINTAS, AND AMARILLIS AMIN. Good day, Mirtillo. MIRT. And to you no less; And all fair signs lead on our shepherdess. AMAR. With all white luck to you. MIRT. But say, What news Stirs in our sheep-walk? AMIN. None, save that my […]

From noise of scare-fires rest ye free From murders, Benedicite; From all mischances that may fright Your pleasing slumbers in the night Mercy secure ye all, and keep The goblin from ye, while ye sleep. –Past one a clock, and almost two,– My masters all, ‘Good day to you.’

Command the roof, great Genius, and from thence Into this house pour down thy influence, That through each room a golden pipe may run Of living water by thy benizon; Fulfil the larders, and with strength’ning bread Be ever-more these bins replenished. Next, like a bishop consecrate my ground, That lucky fairies here may dance […]

Holy-Rood, come forth and shield Us i’ th’ city and the field; Safely guard us, now and aye, From the blast that burns by day; And those sounds that us affright In the dead of dampish night; Drive all hurtful fiends us fro, By the time the cocks first crow.

The Maypole

Story type: Poetry

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The May-pole is up, Now give me the cup; I’ll drink to the garlands around it; But first unto those Whose hands did compose The glory of flowers that crown’d it. A health to my girls, Whose husbands may earls Or lords be, granting my wishes, And when that ye wed To the bridal bed, […]

TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE MILDMAY, EARL OF WESTMORLAND Come, Sons of Summer, by whose toil We are the lords of wine and oil: By whose tough labours, and rough hands, We rip up first, then reap our lands. Crown’d with the ears of corn, now come, And, to the pipe, sing Harvest Home. Come forth, […]

The Bride-Cake

Story type: Poetry

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This day, my Julia, thou must make For Mistress Bride the wedding-cake: Knead but the dough, and it will be To paste of almonds turn’d by thee; Or kiss it thou but once or twice, And for the bride-cake there’ll be spice.

Come, sit we under yonder tree, Where merry as the maids we’ll be; And as on primroses we sit, We’ll venture, if we can, at wit; If not, at draw-gloves we will play, So spend some minutes of the day; Or else spin out the thread of sands, Playing at questions and commands: Or tell […]

The Wake

Story type: Poetry

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Come, Anthea, let us two Go to feast, as others do: Tarts and custards, creams and cakes, Are the junkets still at wakes; Unto which the tribes resort, Where the business is the sport: Morris-dancers thou shalt see, Marian, too, in pageantry; And a mimic to devise Many grinning properties. Players there will be, and […]

Get up, get up for shame! the blooming morn Upon her wings presents the god unshorn. See how Aurora throws her fair Fresh-quilted colours through the air: Get up, sweet-slug-a-bed, and see The dew bespangling herb and tree. Each flower has wept, and bow’d toward the east, Above an hour since; yet you not drest, […]

Fled are the frosts, and now the fields appear Reclothed in fresh and verdant diaper; Thaw’d are the snows; and now the lusty Spring Gives to each mead a neat enamelling; The palms put forth their gems, and every tree Now swaggers in her leafy gallantry. The while the Daulian minstrel sweetly sings With warbling […]

What though my harp and viol beBoth hung upon the willow tree?What though my bed be now my grave,And for my house I darkness have?What though my healthful days are fled,And I lie number’d with the dead?Yet I have hope, by Thy great power,To spring; though now a wither’d flower.

In the hour of my distress,When temptations me oppress,And when I my sins confess,Sweet Spirit, comfort me! When I lie within my bed,Sick in heart, and sick in head,And with doubts discomforted,Sweet Spirit, comfort me! When the house doth sigh and weep,And the world is drown’d in sleep,Yet mine eyes the watch do keep,Sweet Spirit, […]

Grace For A Child

Story type: Poetry

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Here, a little child, I stand,Heaving up my either hand:Cold as paddocks though they be,Here I lift them up to thee,For a benison to fallOn our meat, and on us all.Amen.

Night hath no wings to him that cannot sleep;And Time seems then not for to fly, but creep;Slowly her chariot drives, as if that sheHad broke her wheel, or crack’d her axletree.Just so it is with me, who list’ning, prayThe winds to blow the tedious night away,That I might see the cheerful peeping day.Sick is […]

Give me a cellTo dwell,Where no foot hathA path;There will I spend,And end,My wearied yearsIn tears.

I’ll write no more of love, but now repentOf all those times that I in it have spent.I’ll write no more of life, but wish ’twas ended,And that my dust was to the earth commended.

O earth! earth! earth! hear thou my voice, and beLoving 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.

To His Conscience

Story type: Poetry

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Can I not sin, but thou wilt beMy private protonotary?Can I not woo thee, to pass byA short and sweet iniquity?I’ll cast a mist and cloud uponMy delicate transgression,So utter dark, as that no eyeShall see the hugg’d impiety.Gifts blind the wise, and bribes do pleaseAnd wind all other witnesses;And wilt not thou with gold […]

Cock-Crow

Story type: Poetry

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Bell-man of night, if I about shall goFor to deny my Master, do thou crow!Thou stop’st Saint Peter in the midst of sin;Stay me, by crowing, ere I do begin;Better it is, premonish’d, for to shunA sin, than fall to weeping when ’tis done.

In numbers, and but these few,I sing thy birth, oh JESU!Thou pretty Baby, born here,With sup’rabundant scorn here;Who for thy princely port here,Hadst for thy placeOf birth, a baseOut-stable for thy court here. Instead of neat enclosuresOf interwoven osiers;Instead of fragrant posiesOf daffadils and roses,Thy cradle, kingly stranger,As gospel tells,Was nothing else,But, here, a homely […]

To Heaven

Story type: Poetry

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Open thy gatesTo him who weeping waits,And might come in,But that held back by sin.Let mercy beSo kind, to set me free,And I will straightCome in, or force the gate.

Upon A Maid

Story type: Poetry

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Here she lies, in bed of spice,Fair as Eve in paradise;For her beauty, it was such,Poets could not praise too much.Virgins come, and in a ringHer supremest REQUIEM sing;Then depart, but see ye treadLightly, lightly o’er the dead.

O thou, the wonder of all days!O paragon, and pearl of praise!O Virgin-martyr, ever blestAbove the restOf all the maiden-train! We come,And bring fresh strewings to thy tomb. Thus, thus, and thus, we compass roundThy harmless and unhaunted ground;And as we sing thy dirge, we willThe daffadil,And other flowers, lay uponThe altar of our love, […]

Come pity us, all ye who seeOur harps hung on the willow-tree;Come pity us, ye passers-by,Who see or hear poor widows’ cry;Come pity us, and bring your earsAnd eyes to pity widows’ tears.CHOR. And when you are come hither,Then we will keepA fast, and weepOur eyes out all together, For Tabitha; who dead lies here,Clean […]

When I consider, dearest, thou dost stayBut here awhile, to languish and decay;Like to these garden glories, which here beThe flowery-sweet resemblances of thee:With grief of heart, methinks, I thus do cry,Would thou hadst ne’er been born, or might’st not die!

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!

Virgins promised when I died,That they would each primrose-tideDuly, morn and evening, come,And with flowers dress my tomb.–Having promised, pay your debtsMaids, and here strew violets.

Here a solemn fast we keep,While all beauty lies asleep;Hush’d be all things, no noise hereBut the toning of a tear;Or a sigh of such as bringCowslips for her covering.

Why, Madam, will ye longer weep,Whenas your baby’s lull’d asleep?And, pretty child, feels now no moreThose pains it lately felt before. All now is silent; groans are fled;Your child lies still, yet is not dead,But rather like a flower hid here,To spring again another year.

Here she lies, a pretty bud,Lately made of flesh and blood;Who as soon fell fast asleep,As her little eyes did peep.–Give her strewings, but not stirThe earth, that lightly covers her.

Upon A Child

Story type: Poetry

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Here a pretty baby liesSung asleep with lullabies;Pray be silent, and not stirTh’ easy earth that covers her.

Pray And Prosper

Story type: Poetry

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First offer incense; then, thy field and meadsShall smile and smell the better by thy beads.The spangling dew dredged o’er the grass shall beTurn’d all to mell and manna there for thee.Butter of amber, cream, and wine, and oil,Shall run as rivers all throughout thy soil.Would’st thou to sincere silver turn thy mould?–Pray once, twice […]

Along the dark and silent night,With my lantern and my lightAnd the tinkling of my bell,Thus I walk, and this I tell:–Death and dreadfulness call onTo the general session;To whose dismal bar, we thereAll accounts must come to clear:Scores of sins we’ve made here many;Wiped out few, God knows, if any.Rise, ye debtors, then, and […]

Upon Time

Story type: Poetry

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Time was uponThe wing, to fly away;And I call’d onHim but awhile to stay;But he’d be gone,For aught that I could say. He held out thenA writing, as he went,And ask’d me, whenFalse man would be contentTo pay againWhat God and Nature lent. An hour-glass,In which were sands but few,As he did pass,He shew’d,–and told […]

Life is the body’s light; which, once declining,Those crimson clouds i’ th’ cheeks and lips leave shining:-Those counter-changed tabbies in the air,The sun once set, all of one colour are:So, when death comes, fresh tinctures lose their place,And dismal darkness then doth smutch the face.

That flow of gallants which approachTo kiss thy hand from out the coach;That fleet of lackeys which do runBefore thy swift postilion;Those strong-hoof’d mules, which we beholdRein’d in with purple, pearl, and gold,And shed with silver, prove to beThe drawers of the axle-tree;Thy wife, thy children, and the stateOf Persian looms and antique plate:–All these, […]

Lord, thou hast given me a cell,Wherein to dwell;A little house, whose humble roofIs weather proof;Under the spars of which I lieBoth soft and dry;Where thou, my chamber for to ward,Hast set a guardOf harmless thoughts, to watch and keepMe, while I sleep.Low is my porch, as is my fate;Both void of state;And yet the […]

When with the virgin morning thou dost rise,Crossing thyself come thus to sacrifice;First wash thy heart in innocence; then bringPure hands, pure habits, pure, pure every thing.Next to the altar humbly kneel, and thenceGive up thy soul in clouds of frankincense.Thy golden censers fill’d with odours sweetShall make thy actions with their ends to meet.

In all thy need, be thou possestStill with a well prepared breast;Nor let the shackles make thee sad;Thou canst but have what others had.And this for comfort thou must know,Times that are ill won’t still be so:Clouds will not ever pour down rain;A sullen day will clear again.First, peals of thunder we must hear;When lutes […]

Soft Music

Story type: Poetry

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

Begin to charm, and as thou strok’st mine earsWith thine enchantment, melt me into tears.Then let thy active hand scud o’er thy lyre,And make my spirits frantic with the fire;That done, sink down into a silvery strain,And make me smooth as balm and oil again.

Rare is the voice itself: but when we singTo th’ lute or viol, then ’tis ravishing.

Charm me asleep, and melt me soWith thy delicious numbers;That being ravish’d, hence I goAway in easy slumbers.Ease my sick head,And make my bed,Thou Power that canst severFrom me this ill;–And quickly still,Though thou not killMy fever. Thou sweetly canst convert the sameFrom a consuming fire,Into a gentle-licking flame,And make it thus expire.Then make me […]

Sea-born goddess, let me beBy thy son thus graced, and thee,That whene’er I woo, I findVirgins coy, but not unkind.Let me, when I kiss a maid,Taste her lips, so overlaidWith love’s sirop, that I mayIn your temple, when I pray,Kiss the altar, and confessThere’s in love no bitterness.

A Hymn To Bacchus

Story type: Poetry

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Bacchus, let me drink no more!Wild are seas that want a shore!When our drinking has no stint,There is no one pleasure in’t.I have drank up for to pleaseThee, that great cup, Hercules.Urge no more; and there shall beDaffadils giv’n up to thee.

Whither dost thou hurry me,Bacchus, being full of thee?This way, that way, that way, this,–Here and there a fresh Love is;That doth like me, this doth please;–Thus a thousand mistressesI have now: yet I alone,Having all, enjoy not one!

Play, Phoebus, on thy lute,And we will sit all mute;By listening to thy lyre,That sets all ears on fire. Hark, hark! the God does play!And as he leads the wayThrough heaven, the very spheres,As men, turn all to ears!

Charms, that call down the moon from out her sphere,On this sick youth work your enchantments here!Bind up his senses with your numbers, soAs to entrance his pain, or cure his woe.Fall gently, gently, and a-while him keepLost in the civil wilderness of sleep:That done, then let him, dispossess’d of pain,Like to a slumbering bride, […]

To Music: A Song

Story type: Poetry

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Music, thou queen of heaven, care-charming spell,That strik’st a stillness into hell;Thou that tam’st tigers, and fierce storms, that rise,With thy soul-melting lullabies;Fall down, down, down, from those thy chiming spheresTo charm our souls, as thou enchant’st our ears.

What needs complaints,When she a placeHas with the raceOf saints?In endless mirth,She thinks not onWhat’s said or doneIn earth:She sees no tears,Or any toneOf thy deep groanShe hears;Nor does she mind,Or think on’t now,That ever thouWast kind:–But changed above,She likes not there,As she did here,Thy love.–Forbear, therefore,And lull asleepThy woes, and weepNo more.

Ponder my words, if so that any beKnown guilty here of incivility;Let what is graceless, discomposed, and rude,With sweetness, smoothness, softness be endued:Teach it to blush, to curtsey, lisp, and showDemure, but yet full of temptation, too.Numbers ne’er tickle, or but lightly please,Unless they have some wanton carriages:–This if ye do, each piece will here […]

I bring ye love. QUES. What will love do?ANS. Like, and dislike ye.I bring ye love. QUES. What will love do?ANS. Stroke ye, to strike ye.I bring ye love. QUES. What will love do?ANS. Love will be-fool ye.I bring ye love. QUES. What will love do?ANS. Heat ye, to cool ye.I bring ye love. QUES. […]

1 Among thy fancies, tell me this,What is the thing we call a kiss?2 I shall resolve ye what it is:– It is a creature born and bredBetween the lips, all cherry-red,By love and warm desires fed,–CHOR. And makes more soft the bridal bed. 2 It is an active flame, that fliesFirst to the babies […]

A Gyges ring they bear about them still,To be, and not seen when and where they will;They tread on clouds, and though they sometimes fall,They fall like dew, and make no noise at all:So silently they one to th’ other come,As colours steal into the pear or plum,And air-like, leave no pression to be seenWhere’er […]

These springs were maidens once that loved,But lost to that they most approved:My story tells, by Love they wereTurn’d to these springs which we see here:The pretty whimpering that they make,When of the banks their leave they take,Tells ye but this, they are the same,In nothing changed but in their name.

Reach with your whiter hands to meSome crystal of the spring;And I about the cup shall seeFresh lilies flourishing. Or else, sweet nymphs, do you but this–To th’ glass your lips incline;And I shall see by that one kissThe water turn’d to wine.

When I love, as some have toldLove I shall, when I am old,O ye Graces! make me fitFor the welcoming of it!Clean my rooms, as temples be,To entertain that deity;Give me words wherewith to woo,Suppling and successful too;Winning postures; and withal,Manners each way musical;Sweetness to allay my sourAnd unsmooth behaviour:For I know you have the […]

As is your name, so is your comely faceTouch’d every where with such diffused grace,As that in all that admirable round,There is not one least solecism found;And as that part, so every portion elseKeeps line for line with beauty’s parallels.

A Hymn To Love

Story type: Poetry

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I will confessWith cheerfulness,Love is a thing so likes me,That, let her layOn me all day,I’ll kiss the hand that strikes me. I will not, I,Now blubb’ring cry,It, ah! too late repents meThat I did fallTo love at all–Since love so much contents me. No, no, I’ll beIn fetters free;While others they sit wringingTheir hands […]

No Fault In Women

Story type: Poetry

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No fault in women, to refuseThe offer which they most would chuse.–No fault: in women, to confessHow tedious they are in their dress;–No fault in women, to lay onThe tincture of vermilion;And there to give the cheek a dyeOf white, where Nature doth deny.–No fault in women, to make showOf largeness, when they’re nothing so;When, […]

About the sweet bag of a beeTwo Cupids fell at odds;And whose the pretty prize should beThey vow’d to ask the Gods. Which Venus hearing, thither came,And for their boldness stript them;And taking thence from each his flame,With rods of myrtle whipt them. Which done, to still their wanton cries,When quiet grown she’d seen them,She […]

Fly to my mistress, pretty pilfering bee,And say thou bring’st this honey-bag from me;When on her lip thou hast thy sweet dew placed,Mark if her tongue but slyly steal a taste;If so, we live; if not, with mournful hum,Toll forth my death; next, to my burial come.

Am I despised, because you say;And I dare swear, that I am gray?Know, Lady, you have but your day!And time will come when you shall wearSuch frost and snow upon your hair;And when, though long, it comes to pass,You question with your looking-glass,And in that sincere crystal seekBut find no rose-bud in your cheek,Nor any […]

Be not proud, but now inclineYour soft ear to discipline;You have changes in your life,Sometimes peace, and sometimes strife;You have ebbs of face and flows,As your health or comes or goes;You have hopes, and doubts, and fears,Numberless as are your hairs;You have pulses that do beatHigh, and passions less of heat;You are young, but must […]

Sweet Amarillis, by a spring’sSoft and soul-melting murmurings,Slept; and thus sleeping, thither flewA Robin-red-breast; who at view,Not seeing her at all to stir,Brought leaves and moss to cover her:But while he, perking, there did pryAbout the arch of either eye,The lid began to let out day,–At which poor Robin flew away;And seeing her not dead, […]

Why do ye weep, sweet babes? can tearsSpeak grief in you,Who were but bornjust as the modest mornTeem’d her refreshing dew?Alas, you have not known that showerThat mars a flower,Nor felt th’ unkindBreath of a blasting wind,Nor are ye worn with years;Or warp’d as we,Who think it strange to see,Such pretty flowers, like to orphans […]

Shut not so soon; the dull-eyed nightHas not as yet begunTo make a seizure on the light,Or to seal up the sun. No marigolds yet closed are,No shadows great appear;Nor doth the early shepherds’ starShine like a spangle here. Stay but till my Julia closeHer life-begetting eye;And let the whole world then disposeItself to live […]

To Violets

Story type: Poetry

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Welcome, maids of honour,You do bringIn the Spring;And wait upon her. She has virgins many,Fresh and fair;Yet you areMore sweet than any. You’re the maiden posies;And so graced,To be placed‘Fore damask roses. –Yet, though thus respected,By and byYe do lie,Poor girls, neglected.

To Daffadils

Story type: Poetry

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Fair Daffadils, we weep to seeYou haste away so soon;As yet the early-rising sunHas not attain’d his noon.Stay, stay,Until the hasting dayHas runBut to the even-song;And, having pray’d together, weWill go with you along. We have short time to stay, as you;We have as short a spring;As quick a growth to meet decay,As you, or […]

To gather flowers, Sappha went,And homeward she did bringWithin her lawny continent,The treasure of the Spring. She smiling blush’d, and blushing smiled,And sweetly blushing thus,She look’d as she’d been got with childBy young Favonius. Her apron gave, as she did pass,An odour more divine,More pleasing too, than ever wasThe lap of Proserpine.

To Meadows

Story type: Poetry

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Ye have been fresh and green,Ye have been fill’d with flowers;And ye the walks have beenWhere maids have spent their hours. You have beheld how theyWith wicker arks did come,To kiss and bear awayThe richer cowslips home. You’ve heard them sweetly sing,And seen them in a round;Each virgin, like a spring,With honeysuckles crown’d. But now, […]

You have beheld a smiling roseWhen virgins’ hands have drawnO’er it a cobweb-lawn:And here, you see, this lily shows,Tomb’d in a crystal stone,More fair in this transparent caseThan when it grew alone,And had but single grace. You see how cream but naked is,Nor dances in the eyeWithout a strawberry;Or some fine tincture, like to this,Which […]

From this bleeding hand of mine,Take this sprig of Eglantine:Which, though sweet unto your smell,Yet the fretful briar will tell,He who plucks the sweets, shall proveMany thorns to be in love.

To Pansies

Story type: Poetry

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Ah, Cruel Love! must I endureThy many scorns, and find no cure?Say, are thy medicines made to beHelps to all others but to me?I’ll leave thee, and to Pansies come:Comforts you’ll afford me some:You can ease my heart, and doWhat Love could ne’er be brought unto.

Stay while ye will, or go,And leave no scent behind ye:Yet trust me, I shall knowThe place where I may find ye. Within my Lucia’s cheek,(Whose livery ye wear)Play ye at hide or seek,I’m sure to find ye there.

Frolic virgins once these were,Overloving, living here;Being here their ends deniedRan for sweet-hearts mad, and died.Love, in pity of their tears,And their loss in blooming years,For their restless here-spent hours,Gave them hearts-ease turn’d to flowers.

The Primrose

Story type: Poetry

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Ask me why I send you hereThis sweet Infanta of the year?Ask me why I send to youThis Primrose, thus bepearl’d with dew?I will whisper to your ears,–The sweets of love are mixt with tears. Ask me why this flower does showSo yellow-green, and sickly too?Ask me why the stalk is weakAnd bending, yet it […]

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

Love in a shower of blossoms cameDown, and half drown’d me with the same;The blooms that fell were white and red;But with such sweets commingled,As whether (this) I cannot tell,My sight was pleased more, or my smell;But true it was, as I roll’d there,Without a thought of hurt or fear,Love turn’d himself into a bee,And […]

To The Rose: Song

Story type: Poetry

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Go, happy Rose, and interwoveWith other flowers, bind my Love.Tell her, too, she must not beLonger flowing, longer free,That so oft has fetter’d me. Say, if she’s fretful, I have bandsOf pearl and gold, to bind her hands;Tell her, if she struggle still,I have myrtle rods at will,For to tame, though not to kill. Take […]

The Rose was sick, and smiling died;And, being to be sanctified,About the bed, there sighing stoodThe sweet and flowery sisterhood.Some hung the head, while some did bring,To wash her, water from the spring;Some laid her forth, while others wept,But all a solemn fast there kept.The holy sisters some among,The sacred dirge and trental sung;But ah! […]

I Call And I Call

Story type: Poetry

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I call, I call: who do ye call?The maids to catch this cowslip ball!But since these cowslips fading be,Troth, leave the flowers, and maids, take me!Yet, if that neither you will do,Speak but the word, and I’ll take you,

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

To Blossoms

Story type: Poetry

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Fair pledges of a fruitful tree,Why do ye fall so fast?Your date is not so past,But you may stay yet here a-while,To blush and gently smile;And go at last. What, were ye born to beAn hour or half’s delight;And so to bid good-night?‘Twas pity Nature brought ye forth,Merely to show your worth,And lose you quite. […]

Man is a watch, wound up at first, but neverWound up again; Once down, he’s down for ever.The watch once down, all motions then do cease;The man’s pulse stopt, all passions sleep in peace.

I ask’d thee oft what poets thou hast read,And lik’st the best? Still thou repli’st, The dead.–I shall, ere long, with green turfs cover’d be;Then sure thou’lt like, or thou wilt envy, me.

Live by thy Muse thou shalt, when others die,Leaving no fame to long posterity;When monarchies trans-shifted are, and gone,Here shall endure thy vast dominion.

Purposes

Story type: Poetry

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No wrath of men, or rage of seas,Can shake a just man’s purposes;No threats of tyrants, or the grimVisage of them can alter him;But what he doth at first intend,That he holds firmly to the end.

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.

Who with a little cannot be content,Endures an everlasting punishment.

Man is composed here of a twofold part;The first of nature, and the next of art;Art presupposes nature; nature, shePrepares the way for man’s docility.

Men say you’re fair; and fair ye are, ’tis true;But, hark! we praise the painter now, not you.

What though the sea be calm? Trust to the shore;Ships have been drown’d, where late they danced before.

Good things, that come of course, far less do pleaseThan those which come by sweet contingencies.

Wrinkles no more are, or no less,Than beauty turn’d to sourness.

Let’s live in haste; use pleasures while we may;Could life return, ‘twould never lose a day.

Man knows where first he ships himself; but heNever can tell where shall his landing be.

Nothing comes free-cost here; Jove will not letHis gifts go from him, if not bought with sweat.

Great men by small means oft are overthrown;He’s lord of thy life, who contemns his own.

While fates permit us, let’s be merry;Pass all we must the fatal ferry;And this our life, too, whirls away,With the rotation of the day.

Every time seems short to beThat’s measured by felicity;But one half-hour that’s made up hereWith grief, seems longer than a year.

In prayer the lips ne’er act the winning partWithout the sweet concurrence of the heart.

Mirth [epigram]

Story type: Poetry

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True mirth resides not in the smiling skin;The sweetest solace is to act no sin.

Dreams [epigram]

Story type: Poetry

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Here we are all, by day; by night we’re hurl’dBy dreams, each one into a several world.

Love is a circle, that doth restless moveIn the same sweet eternity of Love.

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

Great cities seldom rest; if there be noneT’ invade from far, they’ll find worse foes at home.

Twixt truth and error, there’s this difference knownError is fruitful, truth is only one.

Pardons [epigram]

Story type: Poetry

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Those ends in war the best contentment bring,Whose peace is made up with a pardoning.

Dread not the shackles; on with thine intent,Good wits get more fame by their punishment.

Burial [epigram]

Story type: Poetry

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Man may want land to live in; but for allNature finds out some place for burial.

Drink wine, and live here blitheful while ye may;The morrow’s life too late is; Live to-day.

If little labour, little are our gains;Man’s fortunes are according to his pains.

Writing [Epigram]

Story type: Poetry

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When words we want, Love teacheth to indite;And what we blush to speak, she bids us write.

For all our works a recompence is sure;‘Tis sweet to think on what was hard t’endure.

Beauty no other thing is, than a beamFlash’d out between the middle and extreme.

When all birds else do of their music fail,Money’s the still-sweet-singing nightingale!

Though frankincense the deities require,We must not give all to the hallow’d fire.Such be our gifts, and such be our expense,As for ourselves to leave some frankincense.

Tears, though they’re here below the sinner’s brine,Above, they are the Angels’ spiced wine.

Knew’st thou one month would take thy life away,Thou’dst weep; but laugh, should it not last a day.

On Love [epigram]

Story type: Poetry

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Love’s of itself too sweet; the best of allIs, when love’s honey has a dash of gall.

Gather ye rose-buds while ye may:Old Time is still a-flying;And this same flower that smiles to-day,To-morrow will be dying. The glorious lamp of heaven, the Sun,The higher he’s a-getting,The sooner will his race be run,And nearer he’s to setting. That age is best, which is the first,When youth and blood are warmer;But being spent, the […]

All has been plunder’d from me but my wit:Fortune herself can lay no claim to it.

Let others to the printing-press run fast;Since after death comes glory, I’ll not haste.

No man such rare parts hath, that he can swim,If favour or occasion help not him.

Things are uncertain; and the more we get,The more on icy pavements we are set.

Praise, they that will, times past: I joy to seeMyself now live; this age best pleaseth me!

Want [epigram]

Story type: Poetry

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Want is a softer wax, that takes thereon,This, that, and every base impression,

Now is the time when all the lights wax dim;And thou, Anthea, must withdraw from himWho was thy servant: Dearest, bury meUnder that holy-oak, or gospel-tree;Where, though thou see’st not, thou may’st think uponMe, when thou yearly go’st procession;Or, for mine honour, lay me in that tombIn which thy sacred reliques shall have room;For my […]

One night i’th’ year, my dearest Beauties, come,And bring those dew-drink-offerings to my tomb;When thence ye see my reverend ghost to rise,And there to lick th’ effused sacrifice,Though paleness be the livery that I wear,Look ye not wan or colourless for fear.Trust me, I will not hurt ye, or once showThe least grim look, or […]

To Perllla

Story type: Poetry

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Ah, my Perilla! dost thou grieve to seeMe, day by day, to steal away from thee?Age calls me hence, and my gray 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 bringPart of the […]

You are a Tulip seen to-day,But, Dearest, of so short a stay,That where you grew, scarce man can say. You are a lovely July-flower;Yet one rude wind, or ruffling shower,Will force you hence, and in an hour. You are a sparkling Rose i’th’ bud,Yet lost, ere that chaste flesh and bloodCan show where you or […]