60. A PARANAETICALL, OR ADVISIVE VERSE TO HIS FRIEND, MR JOHN WICKS
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 soil; Thy faithful fields to yield thee grain, Although with some, yet little pain; To have thy mind, and nuptial bed, With fears and cares uncumbered A pleasing wife, that by thy side Lies softly panting like a bride; —This is to live, and to endear Those minutes Time has lent us here. Then, while fates suffer, live thou free, As is that air that circles thee; And crown thy temples too; and let Thy servant, not thy own self, sweat, To strut thy barns with sheaves of wheat. —Time steals away like to a stream, And we glide hence away with them: No sound recalls the hours once fled, Or roses, being withered; Nor us, my friend, when we are lost, Like to a dew, or melted frost. —Then live we mirthful while we should, And turn the iron age to gold; Let's feast and frolic, sing and play, And thus less last, than live our day.
Whose life with care is overcast, That man's not said to live, but last; Nor is't a life, seven years to tell, But for to live that half seven well; And that we'll do, as men who know, Some few sands spent, we hence must go, Both to be blended in the urn, From whence there's never a return.
61. TO HIS HONOURED AND MOST INGENIOUS FRIEND MR CHARLES COTTON
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 of the royal blood What state above, what symmetry below, Lines have, or should have, thou the best can show:— For which, my Charles, it is my pride to be, Not so much known, as to be loved of thee:— Long may I live so, and my wreath of bays Be less another's laurel, than thy praise.
62. A NEW YEAR'S GIFT, SENT TO SIR SIMEON STEWARD
No news of navies burnt at seas; No noise of late spawn'd tittyries; No closet plot or open vent, That frights men with a Parliament: No new device or late-found trick, To read by th' stars the kingdom's sick; No gin to catch the State, or wring The free-born nostril of the King, We send to you; but here a jolly Verse crown'd with ivy and with holly; That tells of winter's tales and mirth That milk-maids make about the hearth; Of Christmas sports, the wassail-bowl, That toss'd up, after Fox-i'-th'-hole; Of Blind-man-buff, and of the care That young men have to shoe the Mare; Of twelf-tide cakes, of pease and beans, Wherewith ye make those merry scenes, Whenas ye chuse your king and queen, And cry out, 'Hey for our town green!'— Of ash-heaps, in the which ye use Husbands and wives by streaks to chuse; Of crackling laurel, which fore-sounds A plenteous harvest to your grounds; Of these, and such like things, for shift, We send instead of New-year's gift. —Read then, and when your faces shine With buxom meat and cap'ring wine, Remember us in cups full crown'd, And let our city-health go round, Quite through the young maids and the men, To the ninth number, if not ten; Until the fired chestnuts leap For joy to see the fruits ye reap, From the plump chalice and the cup That tempts till it be tossed up.— Then as ye sit about your embers, Call not to mind those fled Decembers; But think on these, that are t' appear, As daughters to the instant year; Sit crown'd with rose-buds, and carouse, Till LIBER PATER twirls the house About your ears, and lay upon The year, your cares, that's fled and gone: And let the russet swains the plough And harrow hang up resting now; And to the bag-pipe all address, Till sleep takes place of weariness. And thus throughout, with Christmas plays, Frolic the full twelve holy-days.
63. AN ODE TO SIR CLIPSBY CREW
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 to be read, Which sung or said, A goblet, to the brim, Of lyric wine, both swell'd and crown'd, Around We quaff to him.
Thus, thus we live, and spend the hours In wine and flowers; And make the frolic year, The month, the week, the instant day To stay The longer here.
—Come then, brave Knight, and see the cell Wherein I dwell; And my enchantments too; Which love and noble freedom is:— And this Shall fetter you.
Take horse, and come; or be so kind To send your mind, Though but in numbers few:— And I shall think I have the heart Or part Of Clipsby Crew.
64. A PANEGYRIC TO SIR LEWIS PEMBERTON
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 dines: Where laden spits, warp'd with large ribs of beef, Not represent, but give relief To the lank stranger and the sour swain, Where both may feed and come again; For no black-bearded Vigil from thy door Beats with a button'd-staff the poor; But from thy warm love-hatching gates, each may Take friendly morsels, and there stay To sun his thin-clad members, if he likes; For thou no porter keep'st who strikes. No comer to thy roof his guest-rite wants; Or, staying there, is scourged with taunts Of some rough groom, who, yirk'd with corns, says, 'Sir, 'You've dipp'd too long i' th' vinegar; 'And with our broth and bread and bits, Sir friend, 'You've fared well; pray make an end; 'Two days you've larded here; a third, ye know, 'Makes guests and fish smell strong; pray go 'You to some other chimney, and there take 'Essay of other giblets; make 'Merry at another's hearth; you're here 'Welcome as thunder to our beer; 'Manners knows distance, and a man unrude 'Would soon recoil, and not intrude 'His stomach to a second meal.'—No, no, Thy house, well fed and taught, can show No such crabb'd vizard: Thou hast learnt thy train With heart and hand to entertain; And by the arms-full, with a breast unhid, As the old race of mankind did, When either's heart, and either's hand did strive To be the nearer relative; Thou dost redeem those times: and what was lost Of ancient honesty, may boast It keeps a growth in thee, and so will run A course in thy fame's pledge, thy son. Thus, like a Roman Tribune, thou thy gate Early sets ope to feast, and late; Keeping no currish waiter to affright, With blasting eye, the appetite, Which fain would waste upon thy cates, but that The trencher creature marketh what Best and more suppling piece he cuts, and by Some private pinch tells dangers nigh, A hand too desp'rate, or a knife that bites Skin-deep into the pork, or lights Upon some part of kid, as if mistook, When checked by the butler's look. No, no, thy bread, thy wine, thy jocund beer Is not reserved for Trebius here, But all who at thy table seated are, Find equal freedom, equal fare; And thou, like to that hospitable god, Jove, joy'st when guests make their abode To eat thy bullocks thighs, thy veals, thy fat Wethers, and never grudged at. The pheasant, partridge, gotwit, reeve, ruff, rail, The cock, the curlew, and the quail, These, and thy choicest viands, do extend Their tastes unto the lower end Of thy glad table; not a dish more known To thee, than unto any one: But as thy meat, so thy immortal wine Makes the smirk face of each to shine, And spring fresh rose-buds, while the salt, the wit, Flows from the wine, and graces it; While Reverence, waiting at the bashful board, Honours my lady and my lord. No scurril jest, no open scene is laid Here, for to make the face afraid; But temp'rate mirth dealt forth, and so discreet- Ly, that it makes the meat more sweet, And adds perfumes unto the wine, which thou Dost rather pour forth, than allow By cruse and measure; thus devoting wine, As the Canary isles were thine; But with that wisdom and that method, as No one that's there his guilty glass Drinks of distemper, or has cause to cry Repentance to his liberty. No, thou know'st orders, ethics, and hast read All oeconomics, know'st to lead A house-dance neatly, and canst truly show How far a figure ought to go, Forward or backward, side-ward, and what pace Can give, and what retract a grace; What gesture, courtship, comeliness agrees, With those thy primitive decrees, To give subsistence to thy house, and proof What Genii support thy roof, Goodness and greatness, not the oaken piles; For these, and marbles have their whiles To last, but not their ever; virtue's hand It is which builds 'gainst fate to stand. Such is thy house, whose firm foundations trust Is more in thee than in her dust, Or depth; these last may yield, and yearly shrink, When what is strongly built, no chink Or yawning rupture can the same devour, But fix'd it stands, by her own power And well-laid bottom, on the iron and rock, Which tries, and counter-stands the shock And ram of time, and by vexation grows The stronger. Virtue dies when foes Are wanting to her exercise, but, great And large she spreads by dust and sweat. Safe stand thy walls, and thee, and so both will, Since neither's height was raised by th'ill Of others; since no stud, no stone, no piece Was rear'd up by the poor-man's fleece; No widow's tenement was rack'd to gild Or fret thy cieling, or to build A sweating-closet, to anoint the silk- Soft skin, or bath[e] in asses' milk; No orphan's pittance, left him, served to set The pillars up of lasting jet, For which their cries might beat against thine ears, Or in the damp jet read their tears. No plank from hallow'd altar does appeal To yond' Star-chamber, or does seal A curse to thee, or thine; but all things even Make for thy peace, and pace to heaven. —Go on directly so, as just men may A thousand times more swear, than say This is that princely Pemberton, who can Teach men to keep a God in man; And when wise poets shall search out to see Good men, they find them all in thee.
65. ALL THINGS DECAY AND DIE
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.
66. TO HIS DYING BROTHER, MASTER WILLIAM HERRICK
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 so. There's pain in parting, and a kind of hell When once true lovers take their last farewell. What? shall we two our endless leaves take here Without a sad look, or a solemn tear? He knows not love that hath not this truth proved, Love is most loth to leave the thing beloved. Pay we our vows and go; yet when we part, Then, even then, I will bequeath my heart Into thy loving hands; for I'll keep none To warm my breast, when thou, my pulse, art gone, No, here I'll last, and walk, a harmless shade, About this urn, wherein thy dust is laid, To guard it so, as nothing here shall be Heavy, to hurt those sacred seeds of thee.
67. HIS AGE:
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 of cruel Proserpine.
The pleasing wife, the house, the ground Must all be left, no one plant found To follow thee, Save only the curst cypress-tree! —A merry mind Looks forward, scorns what's left behind; Let's live, my Wickes, then, while we may, And here enjoy our holiday.
We've seen the past best times, and these Will ne'er return; we see the seas, And moons to wane, But they fill up their ebbs again; But vanish'd man, Like to a lily lost, ne'er can, Ne'er can repullulate, or bring His days to see a second spring.
But on we must, and thither tend, Where Ancus and rich Tullus blend Their sacred seed; Thus has infernal Jove decreed; We must be made, Ere long a song, ere long a shade. Why then, since life to us is short, Let's make it full up by our sport.
Crown we our heads with roses then, And 'noint with Tyrian balm; for when We two are dead, The world with us is buried. Then live we free As is the air, and let us be Our own fair wind, and mark each one Day with the white and lucky stone.
We are not poor, although we have No roofs of cedar, nor our brave Baiae, nor keep Account of such a flock of sheep; Nor bullocks fed To lard the shambles; barbels bred To kiss our hands; nor do we wish For Pollio's lampreys in our dish.
If we can meet, and so confer, Both by a shining salt-cellar, And have our roof, Although not arch'd, yet weather-proof, And cieling free, From that cheap candle-baudery; We'll eat our bean with that full mirth As we were lords of all the earth.
Well, then, on what seas we are tost, Our comfort is, we can't be lost. Let the winds drive Our bark, yet she will keep alive Amidst the deeps; 'Tis constancy, my Wickes, which keeps The pinnace up; which, though she errs I' th' seas, she saves her passengers.
Say, we must part; sweet mercy bless Us both i' th' sea, camp, wilderness! Can we so far Stray, to become less circular Than we are now? No, no, that self-same heart, that vow Which made us one, shall ne'er undo, Or ravel so, to make us two.
Live in thy peace; as for myself, When I am bruised on the shelf Of time, and show My locks behung with frost and snow; When with the rheum, The cough, the pthisic, I consume Unto an almost nothing; then, The ages fled, I'll call again,
And with a tear compare these last Lame and bad times with those are past, While Baucis by, My old lean wife, shall kiss it dry; And so we'll sit By th' fire, foretelling snow and slit And weather by our aches, grown Now old enough to be our own
True calendars, as puss's ear Wash'd o'er 's, to tell what change is near; Then to assuage The gripings of the chine by age, I'll call my young Iulus to sing such a song I made upon my Julia's breast, And of her blush at such a feast.
Then shall he read that flower of mine Enclosed within a crystal shrine; A primrose next; A piece then of a higher text; For to beget In me a more transcendant heat, Than that insinuating fire Which crept into each aged sire
When the fair Helen from her eyes Shot forth her loving sorceries; At which I'll rear Mine aged limbs above my chair; And hearing it, Flutter and crow, as in a fit Of fresh concupiscence, and cry, 'No lust there's like to Poetry.'
Thus frantic, crazy man, God wot, I'll call to mind things half-forgot; And oft between Repeat the times that I have seen; Thus ripe with tears, And twisting my Iulus' hairs, Doting, I'll weep and say, 'In truth, Baucis, these were my sins of youth.'
Then next I'Il cause my hopeful lad, If a wild apple can be had, To crown the hearth; Lar thus conspiring with our mirth; Then to infuse Our browner ale into the cruse; Which, sweetly spiced, we'll first carouse Unto the Genius of the house.
Then the next health to friends of mine. Loving the brave Burgundian wine, High sons of pith, Whose fortunes I have frolick'd with; Such as could well Bear up the magic bough and spell; And dancing 'bout the mystic Thyrse, Give up the just applause to verse;
To those, and then again to thee, We'll drink, my Wickes, until we be Plump as the cherry, Though not so fresh, yet full as merry As the cricket, The untamed heifer, or the pricket, Until our tongues shall tell our ears, We're younger by a score of years.
Thus, till we see the fire less shine From th' embers than the kitling's eyne, We'll still sit up, Sphering about the wassail cup, To all those times Which gave me honour for my rhymes; The coal once spent, we'll then to bed, Far more than night bewearied.
68. THE BAD SEASON MAKES THE POET SAD
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 Charles here rule, as he before did reign; If smooth and unperplex'd the seasons were, As when the sweet Maria lived here; I should delight to have my curls half drown'd In Tyrian dews, and head with roses crown'd: And once more yet, ere I am laid out dead, Knock at a star with my exalted head.
69. ON HIMSELF
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 reach'd his sixty years, but he Of all those three-score has not lived half three: He lives who lives to virtue; men who cast Their ends for pleasure, do not live, but last.
70. HIS WINDING-SHEET
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 bed and bride. We two, as reliques left, will have One rest, one grave; And, hugging close, we need not fear Lust entering here, Where all desires are dead or cold, As is the mould; And all affections are forgot, Or trouble not. Here, here the slaves and prisoners be From shackles free; And weeping widows, long opprest, Do here find rest. The wronged client ends his laws Here, and his cause; Here those long suits of Chancery lie Quiet, or die; And all Star-chamber bills do cease, Or hold their peace. Here needs no court for our Request Where all are best; All wise, all equal, and all just Alike i'th' dust. Nor need we here to fear the frown Of court or crown; Where fortune bears no sway o'er things, There all are kings. In this securer place we'll keep, As lull'd asleep; Or for a little time we'll lie, As robes laid by, To be another day re-worn, Turn'd, but not torn; Or like old testaments engrost, Lock'd up, not lost; And for a-while lie here conceal'd, To be reveal'd Next, at that great Platonic year, And then meet here.
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.
72. TO LAURELS
A funeral stone Or verse, I covet none; But only crave Of you that I may have A sacred laurel springing from my grave: Which being seen Blest with perpetual green, May grow to be Not so much call'd a tree, As the eternal monument of me.
73. ON HIMSELF
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.
74. ON HIMSELF
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.
75. TO ROBIN RED-BREAST
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!
76. THE OLIVE BRANCH
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 unto me; That in short time my woes shall cease, And love shall crown my end with peace.
77. THE PLAUDITE, OR END OF LIFE
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. —The first act's doubtful, but (we say) It is the last commends the Play.
78. TO GROVES
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 way, give way to me, who come Scorch'd with the self-same martyrdom! And have deserved as much, Love knows, As to be canonized 'mongst those Whose deeds and deaths here written are Within your Greeny-kalendar. —By all those virgins' fillets hung Upon! your boughs, and requiems sung For saints and souls departed hence, Here honour'd still with frankincense; By all those tears that have been shed, As a drink-offering to the dead; By all those true-love knots, that be With mottoes carved on every tree; By sweet Saint Phillis! pity me; By dear Saint Iphis! and the rest Of all those other saints now blest, Me, me forsaken,—here admit Among your myrtles to be writ; That my poor name may have the glory To live remember'd in your story.
79. MRS ELIZ: WHEELER, UNDER THE NAME OF THE LOST SHEPHERDESS
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 that enamell'd pansy by, There thou shalt have her curious eye; In bloom of peach and rose's bud, There waves the streamer of her blood. —'Tis true, said I; and thereupon I went to pluck them one by one, To make of parts an union; But on a sudden all were gone. At which I stopp'd; Said Love, these be The true resemblances of thee; For as these flowers, thy joys must die; And in the turning of an eye; And all thy hopes of her must wither, Like those short sweets here knit together.
80. A VOW TO VENUS
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!
81. UPON LOVE
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 again, The crystal I contemn, Which, though enchased with pearls, contain A deadly draught in them.
And thou, O Cupid! come not to My threshold,—since I see, For all I have, or else can do, Thou still wilt cozen me.
82. UPON JULIA'S CLOTHES
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!
83. THE BRACELET TO JULIA
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, and fast bound so, That from thee I cannot go; If I could, I would not so.
84. UPON JULIA'S RIBBON
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.
85. TO JULIA
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 the rich Dardanium; Between thy breasts, than down of swans more white, There plays the Sapphire with the Chrysolite. No part besides must of thyself be known, But by the Topaz, Opal, Calcedon.
86. ART ABOVE NATURE: TO JULIA
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 an oval, square, or round, And knit in knots far more than I. Can tell by tongue, or True-love tie; Next, when those lawny films I see Play with a wild civility; And all those airy silks to flow, Alluring me, and tempting so— I must confess, mine eye and heart Dotes less on nature than on art.
87. HER BED
See'st thou that cloud as silver clear, Plump, soft, and swelling every where? 'Tis Julia's bed, and she sleeps there.
88. THE ROCK OF RUBIES, AND THE QUARRY OF PEARLS
Some ask'd me where the Rubies grew: And nothing I did say, But with my finger pointed to The lips of Julia. Some ask'd how Pearls did grow, and where: Then spoke I to my girl, To part her lips, and shew me there The quarrelets of Pearl.
89. THE PARLIAMENT OF ROSES TO JULIA
I dreamt the Roses one time went To meet and sit in Parliament; The place for these, and for the rest Of flowers, was thy spotless breast. Over the which a state was drawn Of tiffany, or cob-web lawn; Then in that Parly all those powers Voted the Rose the Queen of flowers; But so, as that herself should be The Maid of Honour unto thee.
90. UPON JULIA'S RECOVERY
Droop, droop no more, or hang the head, Ye roses almost withered; Now strength, and newer purple get, Each here declining violet. O primroses! let this day be A resurrection unto ye; And to all flowers allied in blood, Or sworn to that sweet sisterhood. For health on Julia's cheek hath shed Claret and cream commingled; And those, her lips, do now appear As beams of coral, but more clear.
91. UPON JULIA'S HAIR FILLED WITH DEW
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.
92. CHERRY RIPE
Cherry-ripe, ripe, ripe, I cry, Full and fair ones; come, and buy: If so be you ask me where They do grow? I answer, there Where my Julia's lips do smile;— There's the land, or cherry-isle; Whose plantations fully show All the year where cherries grow.
93. THE CAPTIVE BEE; OR, THE LITTLE FILCHER
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 much he scarce could stir; So Julia took the pilferer. And thus surprised, as filchers use, He thus began himself t'excuse: 'Sweet lady-flower, I never brought Hither the least one thieving thought; But taking those rare lips of yours For some fresh, fragrant, luscious flowers, I thought I might there take a taste, Where so much sirup ran at waste. Besides, know this, I never sting The flower that gives me nourishing; But with a kiss, or thanks, do pay For honey that I bear away.' —This said, he laid his little scrip Of honey 'fore her ladyship, And told her, as some tears did fall, That, that he took, and that was all. At which she smiled, and bade him go And take his bag; but thus much know, When next he came a-pilfering so, He should from her full lips derive Honey enough to fill his hive.
94. UPON ROSES
Under a lawn, than skies more clear, Some ruffled Roses nestling were, And snugging there, they seem'd to lie As in a flowery nunnery; They blush'd, and look'd more fresh than flowers Quickened of late by pearly showers; And all, because they were possest But of the heat of Julia's breast, Which, as a warm and moisten'd spring, Gave them their ever-flourishing.
95. HOW HIS SOUL CAME ENSNARED
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 since has been in thrall; —Yet freedom she enjoys withal.
96. UPON JULIA'S VOICE
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.
97. THE NIGHT PIECE: TO JULIA
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 dark thee cumber; What though the moon does slumber? The stars of the night Will lend thee their light, Like tapers clear, without number.
Then, Julia, let me woo thee, Thus, thus to come unto me; And when I shall meet Thy silvery feet, My soul I'll pour into thee.
98. HIS COVENANT OR PROTESTATION TO JULIA
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, Which sits as dew of roses there, That tear shall scarce be dried before I'll kiss the threshold of thy door; Then weep not, Sweet, but thus much know,— I'm half returned before I go.
99. HIS SAILING FROM JULIA
When that day comes, whose evening says I'm gone Unto that watery desolation; Devoutly to thy Closet-gods then pray, That my wing'd ship may meet no Remora. Those deities which circum-walk the seas, And look upon our dreadful passages, Will from all dangers re-deliver me, For one drink-offering poured out by thee, Mercy and Truth live with thee! and forbear, In my short absence, to unsluice a tear; But yet for love's-sake, let thy lips do this,— Give my dead picture one engendering kiss; Work that to life, and let me ever dwell In thy remembrance, Julia. So farewell.
100. HIS LAST REQUEST TO JULIA
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 thy Herrick dies, Clasp thou his book, then close thou up his eyes.
101. THE TRANSFIGURATION
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!
102. LOVE DISLIKES NOTHING
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 bald, or does she wear Locks incurl'd of other hair; I shall find enchantment there.
Be she whole, or be she rent, So my fancy be content, She's to me most excellent.
Be she fat, or be she lean; Be she sluttish, be she clean; I'm a man for every scene.
103. UPON 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?
104. TO DIANEME
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 How thou canst sit and smile To see me bleed, and not desire To staunch the blood the while.
If thou, composed of gentle mould, Art so unkind to me; What dismal stories will be told Of those that cruel be!
105. TO PERENNA
When I thy parts run o'er, I can't espy In any one, the least indecency; But every line and limb diffused thence A fair and unfamiliar excellence; So that the more I look, the more I prove There's still more cause why I the more should love.
106. TO OENONE.
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 dost Resolve to part with neither; Why! yet to shew that thou art just, Take me and mine together.
107. TO ELECTRA
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,
108. TO ANTHEA, WHO MAY COMMAND HIM ANY THING
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 heart stay, and it will stay To honour thy decree; Or bid it languish quite away, And't shall do so for thee.
Bid me to weep, and I will weep, While I have eyes to see; And having none, yet I will keep A heart to weep for thee.
Bid me despair, and I'll despair, Under that cypress tree; Or bid me die, and I will dare E'en death, to die for thee.
—Thou art my life, my love, my heart, The very eyes of me; And hast command of every part, To live and die for thee.
109. ANTHEA'S RETRACTATION
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.
110. LOVE LIGHTLY PLEASED
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 history.
111. TO DIANEME
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.
112. UPON HER EYES
Clear are her eyes, Like purest skies; Discovering from thence A baby there That turns each sphere, Like an Intelligence.
113. UPON HER FEET
Her pretty feet Like snails did creep A little out, and then, As if they played at Bo-peep, Did soon draw in again.
114. UPON A DELAYING LADY
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 You must blow; Or I shall quickly grow To frost, or snow.
115. THE CRUEL MAID
—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 Ere I go hence, know this from me, What will in time your fortune be; This to your coyness I will tell; And having spoke it once, Farewell. —The lily will not long endure, Nor the snow continue pure; The rose, the violet, one day See both these lady-flowers decay; And you must fade as well as they. And it may chance that love may turn, And, like to mine, make your heart burn And weep to see't; yet this thing do, That my last vow commends to you; When you shall see that I am dead, For pity let a tear be shed; And, with your mantle o'er me cast, Give my cold lips a kiss at last; If twice you kiss, you need not fear That I shall stir or live more here. Next hollow out a tomb to cover Me, me, the most despised lover; And write thereon, THIS, READER, KNOW; LOVE KILL'D THIS MAN. No more, but so.
116. TO HIS MISTRESS, OBJECTING TO HIM NEITHER TOYING OR TALKING
You say I love not, 'cause I do not play Still with your curls, and kiss the time away. You blame me, too, because I can't devise Some sport, to please those babies in your eyes; By Love's religion, I must here confess it, The most I love, when I the least express it. Shall griefs find tongues; full casks are ever found To give, if any, yet but little sound. Deep waters noiseless are; and this we know, That chiding streams betray small depth below. So when love speechless is, she doth express A depth in love, and that depth bottomless. Now, since my love is tongueless, know me such, Who speak but little, 'cause I love so much.
117. IMPOSSIBILITIES: TO HIS FRIEND
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 sea once again; If you can see how dreams do creep Into the brain by easy sleep:— —Then there is hope that you may see Her love me once, who now hates me.
118. THE BUBBLE: A SONG
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 perceive her fixed sight For thy revenge to be most opposite, Then, like a globe, or ball of wild-fire, fly, And break thyself in shivers on her eye!
119. DELIGHT IN DISORDER
A sweet disorder in the dress Kindles in clothes a wantonness; A lawn about the shoulders thrown Into a fine distraction; An erring lace, which here and there 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 tie I see a wild civility;— Do more bewitch me, than when art Is too precise in every part.
120. TO SILVIA
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.
121. TO SILVIA TO WED
Let us, though late, at last, my Silvia, wed; And loving lie in one devoted bed. Thy watch may stand, my minutes fly post haste; No sound calls back the year that once is past. Then, sweetest Silvia, let's no longer stay; True love, we know, precipitates delay. Away with doubts, all scruples hence remove! No man, at one time, can be wise, and love.
122. BARLEY-BREAK; OR, LAST IN HELL
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.
123. ON A PERFUMED LADY
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!
124. THE PARCAE; OR, THREE DAINTY DESTINIES: THE ARMILET
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; 'I care not now how soon 'tis done, Or cut, if cut by you.'
125. A CONJURATION: TO ELECTRA
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 sober sorceress, While juice she strains, and pith To make her philtres with; By Time, that hastens on Things to perfection; And by your self, the best Conjurement of the rest; —O, my Electra! be In love with none but me.
126. TO SAPHO
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.
127. OF LOVE: A SONNET
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; That when from hence she does depart, The outlet then is from the heart.
128. TO DIANEME
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 soft ear, Will last to be a precious stone, When all your world of beauty's gone.
129. TO DIANEME
Dear, though to part it be a hell, Yet, Dianeme, now farewell! Thy frown last night did bid me go, But whither, only grief does know. I do beseech thee, ere we part, (If merciful, as fair thou art; Or else desir'st that maids should tell Thy pity by Love's chronicle) O, Dianeme, rather kill Me, than to make me languish still! 'Tis cruelty in thee to th' height, Thus, thus to wound, not kill outright; Yet there's a way found, if thou please, By sudden death, to give me ease; And thus devised,—do thou but this, —Bequeath to me one parting kiss! So sup'rabundant joy shall be The executioner of me.
130. KISSING USURY
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 th' utmost mite, Make payment for his pleasure, (By this I guess) Of happiness Who has a little measure.
131. UPON THE LOSS OF HIS MISTRESSES
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 left alone, For to number sorrow by Their departures hence, and die.
132. THE WOUNDED HEART
Come, bring your sampler, and with art Draw in't a wounded heart, And dropping here and there; Not that I think that any dart Can make 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, your's ne'er will ache For me,
133. HIS MISTRESS TO HIM AT HIS FAREWELL
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, Print thy lips into the air, So by this Means, I may kiss thy kiss, Whenas some kind Wind Shall hither waft it:—And, in lieu, My lips shall send a thousand back to you.
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 bear The burden of a grasshopper; Yet with the bench of aged sires, When I and they keep termly fires, With my weak voice I'll sing, or say Some odes I made of Lucia;— Then will I heave my wither'd hand To Jove the mighty, for to stand Thy faithful friend, and to pour down Upon thee many a benison.
135. TO ANTHEA
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.
136. TO ANTHEA
Now is the time when all the lights wax dim; And thou, Anthea, must withdraw from him Who was thy servant: Dearest, bury me Under that holy-oak, or gospel-tree; Where, though thou see'st not, thou may'st think upon Me, when thou yearly go'st procession; Or, for mine honour, lay me in that tomb In which thy sacred reliques shall have room; For my embalming, Sweetest, there will be No spices wanting, when I'm laid by thee.
137. TO HIS LOVELY MISTRESSES
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 show The least grim look, or cast a frown on you; Nor shall the tapers, when I'm there, burn blue. This I may do, perhaps, as I glide by,— Cast on my girls a glance, and loving eye; Or fold mine arms, and sigh, because I've lost The world so soon, and in it, you the most: —Than these, no fears more on your fancies fall, Though then I smile, and speak no words at all.
138. TO PERlLLA
Ah, my Perilla! dost thou grieve to see Me, 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 bring Part of the cream from that religious spring, With which, Perilla, wash my hands and feet; That done, then wind me in that very sheet Which wrapt thy smooth limbs, when thou didst implore The Gods' protection, but the night before; Follow me weeping to my turf, and there Let fall a primrose, and with it a tear: Then lastly, let some weekly strewings be Devoted to the memory of me; Then shall my ghost not walk about, but keep Still in the cool and silent shades of sleep.
139. A MEDITATION FOR HIS MISTRESS
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 blood Can show where you or grew or stood.
You are a full-spread fair-set Vine, And can with tendrils love entwine; Yet dried, ere you distil your wine.
You are like Balm, enclosed well In amber, or some crystal shell; Yet lost ere you transfuse your smell.
You are a dainty Violet; Yet wither'd, ere you can be set Within the virgins coronet.
You are the Queen all flowers among; But die you must, fair maid, ere long, As he, the maker of this song.
140. TO THE VIRGINS, TO MAKE MUCH OF TIME
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 worse, and worst Times, still succeed the former.
—Then be not coy, but use your time, And while ye may, go marry; For having lost but once your prime, You may for ever tarry.
141. POSTING TO PRINTING
Let others to the printing-press run fast; Since after death comes glory, I'll not haste.
142. HIS LOSS
All has been plunder'd from me but my wit: Fortune herself can lay no claim to it.
143. THINGS MORTAL STILL MUTABLE
Things are uncertain; and the more we get, The more on icy pavements we are set.
144. NO MAN WITHOUT MONEY
No man such rare parts hath, that he can swim, If favour or occasion help not him.
145. THE PRESENT TIME BEST PLEASETH
Praise, they that will, times past: I joy to see Myself now live; this age best pleaseth me!
Want is a softer wax, that takes thereon, This, that, and every base impression,
147. SATISFACTION FOR SUFFERINGS
For all our works a recompence is sure; 'Tis sweet to think on what was hard t'endure.
When words we want, Love teacheth to indite; And what we blush to speak, she bids us write.
149. THE DEFINITION OF BEAUTY
Beauty no other thing is, than a beam Flash'd out between the middle and extreme.
150. A MEAN IN OUR MEANS
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.
151. MONEY MAKES THE MIRTH
When all birds else do of their music fail, Money's the still-sweet-singing nightingale!
152. TEARS AND LAUGHTER
Knew'st thou one month would take thy life away, Thou'dst weep; but laugh, should it not last a day.
153. UPON TEARS
Tears, though they're here below the sinner's brine, Above, they are the Angels' spiced wine.
154. ON LOVE
Love's of itself too sweet; the best of all Is, when love's honey has a dash of gall.
155. PEACE NOT PERMANENT
Great cities seldom rest; if there be none T' invade from far, they'll find worse foes at home.
Those ends in war the best contentment bring, Whose peace is made up with a pardoning.
157. TRUTH AND ERROR
Twixt truth and error, there's this difference known Error is fruitful, truth is only one.
158. WlT PUNISHED PROSPERS MOST
Dread not the shackles; on with thine intent, Good wits get more fame by their punishment.
Man may want land to live in; but for all Nature finds out some place for burial.
160. NO PAINS, NO GAINS
If little labour, little are our gains; Man's fortunes are according to his pains.
161. TO YOUTH
Drink wine, and live here blitheful while ye may; The morrow's life too late is; Live to-day.
162. TO ENJOY THE TIME
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.
163. FELICITY QUICK OF FLIGHT
Every time seems short to be That's measured by felicity; But one half-hour that's made up here With grief, seems longer than a year.
True mirth resides not in the smiling skin; The sweetest solace is to act no sin.
165. THE HEART
In prayer the lips ne'er act the winning part Without the sweet concurrence of the heart.
166. LOVE, WHAT IT IS
Love is a circle, that doth restless move In the same sweet eternity of Love.
Here we are all, by day; by night we're hurl'd By dreams, each one into a several world.
In man, ambition is the common'st thing; Each one by nature loves to be a king.
169. SAFETY ON THE SHORE
What though the sea be calm? Trust to the shore; Ships have been drown'd, where late they danced before.
170. UPON A PAINTED GENTLEWOMAN
Men say you're fair; and fair ye are, 'tis true; But, hark! we praise the painter now, not you.
171. UPON WRINKLES
Wrinkles no more are, or no less, Than beauty turn'd to sourness.
Good things, that come of course, far less do please Than those which come by sweet contingencies.
173. TO LIVE FREELY
Let's live in haste; use pleasures while we may; Could life return, 'twould never lose a day.
174. NOTHING FREE-COST
Nothing comes free-cost here; Jove will not let His gifts go from him, if not bought with sweat.
175. MAN'S DYING-PLACE UNCERTAIN
Man knows where first he ships himself; but he Never can tell where shall his landing be.
176. LOSS FROM THE LEAST
Great men by small means oft are overthrown; He's lord of thy life, who contemns his own.
177. POVERTY AND RICHES
Who with a little cannot be content, Endures an everlasting punishment.
178. UPON MAN
Man is composed here of a twofold part; The first of nature, and the next of art; Art presupposes nature; nature, she Prepares the way for man's docility.
No wrath of men, or rage of seas, Can shake a just man's purposes; No threats of tyrants, or the grim Visage of them can alter him; But what he doth at first intend, That he holds firmly to the end.
180. FOUR THINGS MAKE US HAPPY HERE
Health is the first good lent to men; A gentle disposition then: Next, to be rich by no by-ways; Lastly, with friends t' enjoy our days.
181. THE WATCH
Man is a watch, wound up at first, but never Wound 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.
182. UPON THE DETRACTER
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.
183. ON HIMSELF
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.
NATURE AND LIFE
184. I CALL AND I CALL
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,
185. THE SUCCESSION OF THE FOUR SWEET MONTHS
First, April, she with mellow showers Opens the way for early flowers; Then after her comes smiling May, In a more rich and sweet array; Next enters June, and brings us more Gems than those two that went before; Then, lastly, July comes, and she More wealth brings in than all those three.
186. TO BLOSSOMS
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 be An 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.
But you are lovely leaves, where we May read how soon things have Their end, though ne'er so brave: And after they have shown their pride, Like you, a-while;—they glide Into the grave.
187. THE SHOWER OF BLOSSOMS
Love in a shower of blossoms came Down, 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 with his javelin wounded me;—- From which mishap this use I make; Where most sweets are, there lies a snake; Kisses and favours are sweet things; But those have thorns, and these have stings.
188. TO THE ROSE: SONG
Go, happy Rose, and interwove With other flowers, bind my Love. Tell her, too, she must not be Longer flowing, longer free, That so oft has fetter'd me.
Say, if she's fretful, I have bands Of 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 thou my blessing thus, and go And tell her this,—but do not so!— Lest a handsome anger fly Like a lightning from her eye, And burn thee up, as well as I!
189. THE FUNERAL RITES OF THE ROSE
The Rose was sick, and smiling died; And, being to be sanctified, About the bed, there sighing stood The 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! what sweets smelt everywhere, As heaven had spent all perfumes there! At last, when prayers for the dead, And rites, were all accomplished, They, weeping, spread a lawny loom, And closed her up as in a tomb.
190. THE BLEEDING HAND; OR THE SPRIG OF EGLANTINE GIVEN TO A MAID
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 prove Many thorns to be in love.
191. TO CARNATIONS: A SONG
Stay while ye will, or go, And leave no scent behind ye: Yet trust me, I shall know The 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.
192. TO PANSIES
Ah, Cruel Love! must I endure Thy many scorns, and find no cure? Say, are thy medicines made to be Helps 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 do What Love could ne'er be brought unto.
193. HOW PANSIES OR HEARTS-EASE CAME FIRST
Frolic virgins once these were, Overloving, living here; Being here their ends denied Ran 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.
194. WHY FLOWERS CHANGE COLOUR
These fresh beauties, we can prove, Once were virgins, sick of love, Turn'd to flowers: still in some, Colours go and colours come.
195. THE PRIMROSE
Ask me why I send you here This sweet Infanta of the year? Ask me why I send to you This 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 show So yellow-green, and sickly too? Ask me why the stalk is weak And bending, yet it doth not break? I will answer,—these discover What fainting hopes are in a lover.
196. TO PRIMROSES FILLED WITH MORNING DEW
Why do ye weep, sweet babes? can tears Speak grief in you, Who were but born just as the modest morn Teem'd her refreshing dew? Alas, you have not known that shower That mars a flower, Nor felt th' unkind Breath 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 young, To speak by tears, before ye have a tongue.
Speak, whimp'ring younglings, and make known The reason why Ye droop and weep; Is it for want of sleep, Or childish lullaby? Or that ye have not seen as yet The violet? Or brought a kiss From that Sweet-heart, to this? —No, no, this sorrow shown By your tears shed, Would have this lecture read, That things of greatest, so of meanest worth, Conceived with grief are, and with tears brought forth.
197. TO DAISIES, NOT TO SHUT SO SOON
Shut not so soon; the dull-eyed night Has not as yet begun To 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' star Shine like a spangle here.
Stay but till my Julia close Her life-begetting eye; And let the whole world then dispose Itself to live or die.
198. TO DAFFADILS
Fair Daffadils, we weep to see You haste away so soon; As yet the early-rising sun Has not attain'd his noon. Stay, stay, Until the hasting day Has run But to the even-song; And, having pray'd together, we Will 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 any thing. We die As your hours do, and dry Away, Like to the summer's rain; Or as the pearls of morning's dew, Ne'er to be found again.
199. TO VIOLETS
Welcome, maids of honour, You do bring In the Spring; And wait upon her.
She has virgins many, Fresh and fair; Yet you are More sweet than any.
You're the maiden posies; And so graced, To be placed 'Fore damask roses.
—Yet, though thus respected, By and by Ye do lie, Poor girls, neglected.
200. THE APRON OF FLOWERS
To gather flowers, Sappha went, And homeward she did bring Within 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 child By young Favonius.
Her apron gave, as she did pass, An odour more divine, More pleasing too, than ever was The lap of Proserpine.
201. THE LILY IN A CRYSTAL
You have beheld a smiling rose When virgins' hands have drawn O'er it a cobweb-lawn: And here, you see, this lily shows, Tomb'd in a crystal stone, More fair in this transparent case Than when it grew alone, And had but single grace.
You see how cream but naked is, Nor dances in the eye Without a strawberry; Or some fine tincture, like to this, Which draws the sight thereto, More by that wantoning with it, Than when the paler hue No mixture did admit.
You see how amber through the streams More gently strokes the sight, With some conceal'd delight, Than when he darts his radiant beams Into the boundless air; Where either too much light his worth Doth all at once impair, Or set it little forth.
Put purple grapes or cherries in- To glass, and they will send More beauty to commend Them, from that clean and subtle skin, Than if they naked stood, And had no other pride at all, But their own flesh and blood, And tinctures natural.
Thus lily, rose, grape, cherry, cream, And strawberry do stir More love, when they transfer A weak, a soft, a broken beam; Than if they should discover At full their proper excellence, Without some scene cast over, To juggle with the sense.
Thus let this crystall'd lily be A rule, how far to teach Your nakedness must reach; And that no further than we see Those glaring colours laid By art's wise hand, but to this end They should obey a shade, Lest they too far extend.
—So though you're white as swan or snow, And have the power to move A world of men to love; Yet, when your lawns and silks shall flow, And that white cloud divide Into a doubtful twilight;—then, Then will your hidden pride Raise greater fires in men.
202. TO MEADOWS
Ye have been fresh and green, Ye have been fill'd with flowers; And ye the walks have been Where maids have spent their hours.
You have beheld how they With wicker arks did come, To kiss and bear away The 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, we see none here, Whose silvery feet did tread And with dishevell'd hair Adorn'd this smoother mead.
Like unthrifts, having spent Your stock, and needy grown You're left here to lament Your poor estates alone.
203. TO A GENTLEWOMAN, OBJECTING TO HIM HIS GRAY HAIRS
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 wear Such 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 seek But find no rose-bud in your cheek, Nor any bed to give the shew Where such a rare carnation grew:- Ah! then too late, close in your chamber keeping, It will be told That you are old,— By those true tears you're weeping.
204. THE CHANGES: TO CORINNA
Be not proud, but now incline Your 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 beat High, and passions less of heat; You are young, but must be old:— And, to these, ye must be told, Time, ere long, will come and plow Loathed furrows in your brow: And the dimness of your eye Will no other thing imply, But you must die As well as I.
205. UPON MRS ELIZ. WHEELER, UNDER THE NAME OF AMARILLIS
Sweet Amarillis, by a spring's Soft and soul-melting murmurings, Slept; and thus sleeping, thither flew A Robin-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 pry About the arch of either eye, The lid began to let out day,— At which poor Robin flew away; And seeing her not dead, but all disleaved, He chirpt for joy, to see himself deceived.
206. NO FAULT IN WOMEN
No fault in women, to refuse The offer which they most would chuse. —No fault: in women, to confess How tedious they are in their dress; —No fault in women, to lay on The tincture of vermilion; And there to give the cheek a dye Of white, where Nature doth deny. —No fault in women, to make show Of largeness, when they're nothing so; When, true it is, the outside swells With inward buckram, little else. —No fault in women, though they be But seldom from suspicion free; —No fault in womankind at all, If they but slip, and never fall.
207. THE BAG OF THE BEE
About the sweet bag of a bee Two Cupids fell at odds; And whose the pretty prize should be They vow'd to ask the Gods.
Which Venus hearing, thither came, And for their boldness 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 kiss'd and wiped their dove-like eyes, And gave the bag between them.
208. THE PRESENT; OR, THE BAG OF THE BEE:
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.
209. TO THE WATER-NYMPHS DRINKING AT THE FOUNTAIN
Reach with your whiter hands to me Some crystal of the spring; And I about the cup shall see Fresh lilies flourishing.
Or else, sweet nymphs, do you but this— To th' glass your lips incline; And I shall see by that one kiss The water turn'd to wine.
210. HOW SPRINGS CAME FIRST
These springs were maidens once that loved, But lost to that they most approved: My story tells, by Love they were Turn'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.
211. TO THE HANDSOME MISTRESS GRACE POTTER
As is your name, so is your comely face Touch'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 else Keeps line for line with beauty's parallels.
212. A HYMN TO THE GRACES
When I love, as some have told Love I shall, when I am old, O ye Graces! make me fit For 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 sour And unsmooth behaviour: For I know you have the skill Vines to prune, though not to kill; And of any wood ye see, You can make a Mercury.
213. A HYMN TO LOVE
I will confess With cheerfulness, Love is a thing so likes me, That, let her lay On me all day, I'll kiss the hand that strikes me.
I will not, I, Now blubb'ring cry, It, ah! too late repents me That I did fall To love at all— Since love so much contents me.
No, no, I'll be In fetters free; While others they sit wringing Their hands for pain, I'll entertain The wounds of love with singing.
With flowers and wine, And cakes divine, To strike me I will tempt thee; Which done, no more I'll come before Thee and thine altars empty.
214. UPON LOVE: BY WAY OF QUESTION AND ANSWER
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. What will love do? ANS. Love, gifts will send ye. I bring ye love. QUES. What will love do? ANS. Stock ye, to spend ye. I bring ye love. QUES. What will love do? ANS. Love will fulfil ye. I bring ye love. QUES. What will love do? ANS. Kiss ye, to kill ye.
215. LOVERS HOW THEY COME AND PART
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 seen Where'er they met, or parting place has been.
216. THE KISS: A DIALOGUE
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 bred Between 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 flies First to the babies of the eyes, And charms them there with lullabies,— CHOR. And stills the bride, too, when she cries.
2 Then to the chin, the cheek, the ear, It frisks and flies, now here, now there: 'Tis now far off, and then 'tis near,— CHOR. And here, and there, and every where.
1 Has it a speaking virtue? 2 Yes. 1 How speaks it, say? 2 Do you but this,— Part your join'd lips, then speaks your kiss; CHOR. And this Love's sweetest language is.
1 Has it a body? 2 Ay, and wings, With thousand rare encolourings; And as it flies, it gently sings— CHOR. Love honey yields, but never stings.
217. COMFORT TO A YOUTH THAT HAD LOST HIS LOVE
What needs complaints, When she a place Has with the race Of saints? In endless mirth, She thinks not on What's said or done In earth: She sees no tears, Or any tone Of thy deep groan She hears; Nor does she mind, Or think on't now, That ever thou Wast kind:— But changed above, She likes not there, As she did here, Thy love. —Forbear, therefore, And lull asleep Thy woes, and weep No more.
Orpheus he went, as poets tell, To fetch Eurydice from hell; And had her, but it was upon This short, but strict condition; Backward he should not look, while he Led her through hell's obscurity. But ah! it happen'd, as he made His passage through that dreadful shade, Revolve he did his loving eye, For gentle fear or jealousy; And looking back, that look did sever Him and Eurydice for ever.
219. A REQUEST TO THE GRACES
Ponder my words, if so that any be Known 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 show Demure, 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 be good And graceful made by your neat sisterhood.
220. A HYMN TO VENUS AND CUPID
Sea-born goddess, let me be By thy son thus graced, and thee, That whene'er I woo, I find Virgins coy, but not unkind. Let me, when I kiss a maid, Taste her lips, so overlaid With love's sirop, that I may In your temple, when I pray, Kiss the altar, and confess There's in love no bitterness.
221. TO BACCHUS: A CANTICLE
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 mistresses I have now: yet I alone, Having all, enjoy not one!
222. A HYMN TO BACCHUS
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 please Thee, that great cup, Hercules. Urge no more; and there shall be Daffadils giv'n up to thee.
223. A CANTICLE TO APOLLO
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 way Through heaven, the very spheres, As men, turn all to ears!
224. TO MUSIC, TO BECALM A SWEET SICK YOUTH
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, so As to entrance his pain, or cure his woe. Fall gently, gently, and a-while him keep Lost in the civil wilderness of sleep: That done, then let him, dispossess'd of pain, Like to a slumbering bride, awake again.
225. TO MUSIC: A SONG
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 spheres To charm our souls, as thou enchant'st our ears.
226. SOFT MUSIC
The mellow touch of music most doth wound The soul, when it doth rather sigh, than sound.
227. TO MUSIC
Begin to charm, and as thou strok'st mine ears With 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.
228. THE VOICE AND VIOL
Rare is the voice itself: but when we sing To th' lute or viol, then 'tis ravishing.
229. TO MUSIC, TO BECALM HIS FEVER
Charm me asleep, and melt me so With thy delicious numbers; That being ravish'd, hence I go Away in easy slumbers. Ease my sick head, And make my bed, Thou Power that canst sever From me this ill;— And quickly still, Though thou not kill My fever.
Thou sweetly canst convert the same From a consuming fire, Into a gentle-licking flame, And make it thus expire. Then make me weep My pains asleep, And give me such reposes, That I, poor I, May think, thereby, I live and die 'Mongst roses.
Fall on me like a silent dew, Or like those maiden showers, Which, by the peep of day, do strew A baptism o'er the flowers. Melt, melt my pains With thy soft strains; That having ease me given, With full delight, I leave this light, And take my flight For Heaven.
230. A THANKSGIVING TO GOD, FOR HIS HOUSE
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, as is my fate; Both void of state; And yet the threshold of my door Is worn by th' poor, Who thither come, and freely get Good words, or meat. Like as my parlour, so my hall And kitchen's small; A little buttery, and therein A little bin, Which keeps my little loaf of bread Unchipt, unflead; Some brittle sticks of thorn or briar Make me a fire, Close by whose living coal I sit, And glow like it. 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 purslain, 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 my glittering hearth With guiltless mirth, And giv'st me wassail bowls to drink, Spiced to the brink. Lord, 'tis thy plenty-dropping hand That soils my land, And giv'st me, for my bushel sown, Twice ten for one; Thou mak'st my teeming hen to lay Her egg each day; Besides, my healthful ewes to bear Me twins each year; The while the conduits of my kine Run cream, for wine: All these, and better, thou dost send Me, to this end,— That I should render, for my part, A thankful heart; Which, fired with incense, I resign, As wholly thine; —But the acceptance, that must be, My Christ, by Thee.
231. MATINS, OR MORNING PRAYER
When with the virgin morning thou dost rise, Crossing thyself come thus to sacrifice; First wash thy heart in innocence; then bring Pure hands, pure habits, pure, pure every thing. Next to the altar humbly kneel, and thence Give up thy soul in clouds of frankincense. Thy golden censers fill'd with odours sweet Shall make thy actions with their ends to meet.
232. GOOD PRECEPTS, OR COUNSEL
In all thy need, be thou possest Still 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 and harps shall stroke the ear.
233. PRAY AND PROSPER
First offer incense; then, thy field and meads Shall smile and smell the better by thy beads. The spangling dew dredged o'er the grass shall be Turn'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 pray; and turn thy ground to gold.
234. THE BELL-MAN
Along the dark and silent night, With my lantern and my light And the tinkling of my bell, Thus I walk, and this I tell: —Death and dreadfulness call on To the general session; To whose dismal bar, we there All 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 fall To make payment, while I call: Ponder this, when I am gone: —By the clock 'tis almost One.
235. UPON TIME
Time was upon The wing, to fly away; And I call'd on Him but awhile to stay; But he'd be gone, For aught that I could say.
He held out then A writing, as he went, And ask'd me, when False man would be content To pay again What God and Nature lent.
An hour-glass, In which were sands but few, As he did pass, He shew'd,—and told me too Mine end near was;— And so away he flew.
236. MEN MIND NO STATE IN SICKNESS
That flow of gallants which approach To kiss thy hand from out the coach; That fleet of lackeys which do run Before thy swift postilion; Those strong-hoof'd mules, which we behold Rein'd in with purple, pearl, and gold, And shed with silver, prove to be The drawers of the axle-tree; Thy wife, thy children, and the state Of Persian looms and antique plate: —All these, and more, shall then afford No joy to thee, their sickly lord.
237. LIFE IS THE BODY'S LIGHT
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.
238. TO THE LADY CREWE, UPON THE DEATH OF HER CHILD
Why, Madam, will ye longer weep, Whenas your baby's lull'd asleep? And, pretty child, feels now no more Those 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.
239. UPON A CHILD THAT DIED
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 stir The earth, that lightly covers her.
240. UPON A CHILD
Here a pretty baby lies Sung asleep with lullabies; Pray be silent, and not stir Th' easy earth that covers her.
241. AN EPITAPH UPON A CHILD
Virgins promised when I died, That they would each primrose-tide Duly, morn and evening, come, And with flowers dress my tomb. —Having promised, pay your debts Maids, and here strew violets.
242. AN EPITAPH UPON A VIRGIN
Here a solemn fast we keep, While all beauty lies asleep; Hush'd be all things, no noise here But the toning of a tear; Or a sigh of such as bring Cowslips for her covering.
243. UPON A MAID
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 ring Her supremest REQUIEM sing; Then depart, but see ye tread Lightly, lightly o'er the dead.
244. THE DIRGE OF JEPHTHAH'S DAUGHTER: SUNG BY THE VIRGINS
O thou, the wonder of all days! O paragon, and pearl of praise! O Virgin-martyr, ever blest Above the rest Of all the maiden-train! We come, And bring fresh strewings to thy tomb.
Thus, thus, and thus, we compass round Thy harmless and unhaunted ground; And as we sing thy dirge, we will The daffadil, And other flowers, lay upon The altar of our love, thy stone.
Thou wonder of all maids, liest here, Of daughters all, the dearest dear; The eye of virgins; nay, the queen Of this smooth green, And all sweet meads, from whence we get The primrose and the violet.
Too soon, too dear did Jephthah buy, By thy sad loss, our liberty; His was the bond and cov'nant, yet Thou paid'st the debt; Lamented Maid! he won the day: But for the conquest thou didst pay.
Thy father brought with him along The olive branch and victor's song; He slew the Ammonites, we know, But to thy woe; And in the purchase of our peace, The cure was worse than the disease.
For which obedient zeal of thine, We offer here, before thy shrine, Our sighs for storax, tears for wine; And to make fine And fresh thy hearse-cloth, we will here Four times bestrew thee every year.
Receive, for this thy praise, our tears; Receive this offering of our hairs; Receive these crystal vials, fill'd With tears, distill'd From teeming eyes; to these we bring, Each maid, her silver filleting,
To gild thy tomb; besides, these cauls, These laces, ribbons, and these falls, These veils, wherewith we use to hide The bashful bride, When we conduct her to her groom; All, all we lay upon thy tomb.
No more, no more, since thou art dead, Shall we e'er bring coy brides to bed; No more, at yearly festivals, We, cowslip balls, Or chains of columbines shall make, For this or that occasion's sake.
No, no; our maiden pleasures be Wrapt in the winding-sheet with thee; 'Tis we are dead, though not i' th' grave; Or if we have One seed of life left, 'tis to keep A Lent for thee, to fast and weep.
Sleep in thy peace, thy bed of spice, And make this place all paradise; May sweets grow here, and smoke from hence Fat frankincense; Let balm and cassia send their scent From out thy maiden-monument.
May no wolf howl, or screech owl stir A wing about thy sepulchre! No boisterous winds or storms come hither, To starve or wither Thy soft sweet earth; but, like a spring, Love keep it ever flourishing.
May all shy maids, at wonted hours, Come forth to strew thy tomb with flowers; May virgins, when they come to mourn, Male-incense burn Upon thine altar; then return, And leave thee sleeping in thy urn.
245. THE WIDOWS' TEARS; OR, DIRGE OF DORCAS
Come pity us, all ye who see Our 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 ears And eyes to pity widows' tears. CHOR. And when you are come hither, Then we will keep A fast, and weep Our eyes out all together,
For Tabitha; who dead lies here, Clean wash'd, and laid out for the bier. O modest matrons, weep and wail! For now the corn and wine must fail; The basket and the bin of bread, Wherewith so many souls were fed, CHOR. Stand empty here for ever; And ah! the poor, At thy worn door, Shall be relieved never.
Woe worth the time, woe worth the day, That reft us of thee, Tabitha! For we have lost, with thee, the meal, The bits, the morsels, and the deal Of gentle paste and yielding dough, That thou on widows did bestow. CHOR. All's gone, and death hath taken Away from us Our maundy; thus Thy widows stand forsaken.
Ah, Dorcas, Dorcas! now adieu We bid the cruise and pannier too; Ay, and the flesh, for and the fish, Doled to us in that lordly dish. We take our leaves now of the loom From whence the housewives' cloth did come; CHOR. The web affords now nothing; Thou being dead, The worsted thread Is cut, that made us clothing.
Farewell the flax and reaming wool, With which thy house was plentiful; Farewell the coats, the garments, and The sheets, the rugs, made by thy hand; Farewell thy fire and thy light, That ne'er went out by day or night:— CHOR. No, or thy zeal so speedy, That found a way, By peep of day, To feed and clothe the needy.
But ah, alas! the almond-bough And olive-branch is wither'd now; The wine-press now is ta'en from us, The saffron and the calamus; The spice and spikenard hence is gone, The storax and the cinnamon; CHOR. The carol of our gladness Has taken wing; And our late spring Of mirth is turn'd to sadness.
How wise wast thou in all thy ways! How worthy of respect and praise! How matron-like didst thou go drest! How soberly above the rest Of those that prank it with their plumes, And jet it with their choice perfumes! CHOR. Thy vestures were not flowing; Nor did the street Accuse thy feet Of mincing in their going.
And though thou here liest dead, we see A deal of beauty yet in thee. How sweetly shews thy smiling face, Thy lips with all diffused grace! Thy hands, though cold, yet spotless, white, And comely as the chrysolite. CHOR. Thy belly like a hill is, Or as a neat Clean heap of wheat, All set about with lilies.
Sleep with thy beauties here, while we Will shew these garments made by thee; These were the coats; in these are read The monuments of Dorcas dead: These were thy acts, and thou shalt have These hung as honours o'er thy grave:— CHOR. And after us, distressed, Should fame be dumb, Thy very tomb Would cry out, Thou art blessed.
246. UPON HIS SISTER-IN-LAW, MISTRESS ELIZABETH HERRICK
First, for effusions due unto the dead, My solemn vows have here accomplished; Next, how I love thee, that my grief must tell, Wherein thou liv'st for ever.—Dear, farewell!
247. TO HIS KINSWOMAN, MISTRESS SUSANNA HERRICK
When I consider, dearest, thou dost stay But here awhile, to languish and decay; Like to these garden glories, which here be The 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!
248. ON HIMSELF
I'll write no more of love, but now repent Of 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.
249. HIS WISH TO PRIVACY
Give me a cell To dwell, Where no foot hath A path; There will I spend, And end, My wearied years In tears.
250. TO HIS PATERNAL COUNTRY
O earth! earth! earth! hear thou my voice, and be Loving and gentle for to cover me! Banish'd from thee I live;—ne'er to return, Unless thou giv'st my small remains an urn.
Bell-man of night, if I about shall go For 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 shun A sin, than fall to weeping when 'tis done.
252. TO HIS CONSCIENCE
Can I not sin, but thou wilt be My private protonotary? Can I not woo thee, to pass by A short and sweet iniquity? I'll cast a mist and cloud upon My delicate transgression, So utter dark, as that no eye Shall see the hugg'd impiety. Gifts blind the wise, and bribes do please And wind all other witnesses; And wilt not thou with gold be tied, To lay thy pen and ink aside, That in the mirk and tongueless night, Wanton I may, and thou not write? —It will not be: And therefore, now, For times to come, I'll make this vow; From aberrations to live free: So I'll not fear the judge, or thee.
253. TO HEAVEN
Open thy gates To him who weeping waits, And might come in, But that held back by sin. Let mercy be So kind, to set me free, And I will straight Come in, or force the gate.
254. AN ODE OF THE BIRTH OF OUR SAVIOUR
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 place Of birth, a base Out-stable for thy court here.
Instead of neat enclosures Of interwoven osiers; Instead of fragrant posies Of daffadils and roses, Thy cradle, kingly stranger, As gospel tells, Was nothing else, But, here, a homely manger.
But we with silks, not cruels, With sundry precious jewels, And lily-work will dress thee; And as we dispossess thee Of clouts, we'll make a chamber, Sweet babe, for thee, Of ivory, And plaster'd round with amber.
The Jews, they did disdain thee; But we will entertain thee With glories to await here, Upon thy princely state here, And more for love than pity: From year to year We'll make thee, here, A free-born of our city.
255. TO HIS SAVIOUR, A CHILD; A PRESENT, BY A CHILD
Go, pretty child, and bear this flower Unto thy little Saviour; And tell him, by that bud now blown, He is the 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 a clean straight oaten reed, To charm his cries at time of need; Tell him, for coral, thou hast none, But if thou hadst, he should have one; But poor thou art, and known to be Even as moneyless as he. Lastly, if thou canst win a kiss From those melifluous lips of his;— Then never take a second on, To spoil the first impression.
256. GRACE FOR A CHILD
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.
257. HIS LITANY, TO THE HOLY SPIRIT
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, comfort me!
When the artless doctor sees No one hope, but of his fees, And his skill runs on the lees, Sweet Spirit, comfort me!
When his potion and his pill, Has, or none, or little skill, Meet for nothing but to kill, Sweet Spirit, comfort me!
When the passing-bell doth toll, And the furies in a shoal Come to fright a parting soul, Sweet Spirit, comfort me!
When the tapers now burn blue, And the comforters are few, And that number more than true, Sweet Spirit, comfort me!
When the priest his last hath pray'd, And I nod to what is said, 'Cause my speech is now decay'd, Sweet Spirit, comfort me!
When, God knows, I'm tost about Either with despair, or doubt; Yet, before the glass be out, Sweet Spirit, comfort me!
When the tempter me pursu'th With the sins of all my youth, And half damns me with untruth, Sweet Spirit, comfort me!
When the flames and hellish cries Fright mine ears, and fright mine eyes, And all terrors me surprise, Sweet Spirit, comfort me!
When the Judgment is reveal'd, And that open'd which was seal'd; When to Thee I have appeal'd, Sweet Spirit, comfort me!
258. TO DEATH
Thou bidst me come away, And I'll no longer stay, Than for to shed some tears For faults of former years; And to repent some crimes Done in the present times; And next, to take a bit Of bread, and wine with it; To don my robes of love, Fit for the place above; To gird my loins about With charity throughout; And so to travel hence With feet of innocence; These done, I'll only cry, 'God, mercy!' and so die.
259. TO HIS SWEET SAVIOUR
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 she Had broke her wheel, or crack'd her axletree. Just so it is with me, who list'ning, pray The winds to blow the tedious night away, That I might see the cheerful peeping day. Sick is my heart; O Saviour! do Thou please To make my bed soft in my sicknesses; Lighten my candle, so that I beneath Sleep not for ever in the vaults of death; Let me thy voice betimes i' th' morning hear; Call, and I'll come; say Thou the when and where: Draw me but first, and after Thee I'll run, And make no one stop till my race be done.