Robert Herrick


Edited by Alfred Pollard with a preface by A. C. Swinburne

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The University of Adelaide Library
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Table of Contents


Life of Herrick.

Note to Second Edition.


Noble Numbers.

Poems not included in Hesperides.


  1. Herrick’s Poems in Witts Recreations.
  2. Herrick’s Fairy Poems and the Description of the King and Queene of Fayries Published 1635.
  3. Poor Robin’s Almanack.
  4. Appendix of Epigrams, etc.


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Title Page facsimile

Editor’s Note.

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

Alfred W. Pollard.


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

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

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

“We see Him come, and know Him ours,

Who with His sunshine and His showers

Turns all the patient ground to flowers”.

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

But even such exquisite touches or tones of colour may be too often repeated in fainter shades or more glaring notes of assiduous and facile reiteration. The sturdy student who tackles his Herrick as a schoolboy is expected to tackle his Horace, in a spirit of pertinacious and stolid straightforwardness, will probably find himself before long so nauseated by the incessant inhalation of spices and flowers, condiments and kisses, that if a musk-rat had run over the page it could hardly be less endurable to the physical than it is to the spiritual stomach. The fantastic and the brutal blemishes which deform and deface the loveliness of his incomparable genius are hardly so damaging to his fame as his general monotony of matter and of manner. It was doubtless in order to relieve this saccharine and “mellisonant” monotony that he thought fit to intersperse these interminable droppings of natural or artificial perfume with others of the rankest and most intolerable odour: but a diet of alternate sweetmeats and emetics is for the average of eaters and drinkers no less unpalatable than unwholesome. It is useless and thankless to enlarge on such faults or such defects, as it would be useless and senseless to ignore. But how to enlarge, to expatiate, to insist on the charm of Herrick at his best — a charm so incomparable and so inimitable that even English poetry can boast of nothing quite like it or worthy to be named after it — the most appreciative reader will be the slowest to affirm or imagine that he can conjecture. This, however, he will hardly fail to remark: that Herrick, like most if not all other lyric poets, is not best known by his best work. If we may judge by frequency of quotation or of reference, the ballad of the ride from Ghent to Aix is a far more popular, more generally admired and accredited specimen of Mr. Browning’s work than “The Last Ride Together”— and “The Lost Leader” than “The Lost Mistress”. Yet the superiority of the less-popular poem is in either case beyond all question or comparison: in depth and in glow of spirit and of harmony, in truth and charm of thought and word, undeniable and indescribable. No two men of genius were ever more unlike than the authors of “Paracelsus” and “Hesperides”: and yet it is as true of Herrick as of Browning that his best is not always his best-known work. Everyone knows the song, “Gather ye rosebuds while ye may”; few, I fear, by comparison, know the yet sweeter and better song, “Ye have been fresh and green”. The general monotony of style and motive which fatigues and irritates his too-persevering reader is here and there relieved by a change of key which anticipates the note of a later and very different lyric school. The brilliant simplicity and pointed grace of the three stanzas to Œnone (“What conscience, say, is it in thee”) recall the lyrists of the Restoration in their cleanlier and happier mood. And in the very fine epigram headed by the words “Devotion makes the Deity” he has expressed for once a really high and deep thought in words of really noble and severe propriety. His “Mad Maid’s Song,” again, can only be compared with Blake’s; which has more of passionate imagination, if less of pathetic sincerity.

A. C. Swinburne.

Life of Herrick.

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

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

* A second William is said to have been born, posthumously, in “Harry Campion’s house at Hampton,” in 1593.

Fifteen months after the poet’s birth, on November 7, 1592, Nicholas Herrick made his will, estimating his property as worth £3000, and devising it, as to one-third to his wife, and as to the other two-thirds to his children in equal shares. In the will he described himself as “of perfect memorye in sowle, but sicke in bodye”. Two days after its execution he was buried, having died, not from disease, but from a fall from an upper window. His death had so much the appearance of self-destruction that £220 had to be paid to the High Almoner, Dr. Fletcher, Bishop of Bristol, in satisfaction of his official claim to the goods and chattels of suicides. Herrick’s biographers have not failed to vituperate the Bishop for his avarice, but dues allowed by law are hardly to be abandoned because a baby of fifteen months is destined to become a brilliant poet, and no other exceptional circumstances are alleged. The estate of Nicholas Herrick could the better afford the fine inasmuch as it realized £2000 more than was expected.

By the will Robert and William Herrick were appointed “overseers,” or trustees for the children. The former was the poet’s godfather, and in his will of 1617 left him £5. To William Herrick, then recently knighted for his services as goldsmith, jeweller, and moneylender to James I., the young Robert was apprenticed for ten years, September 25, 1607. An allusion to “beloved Westminster,” in his Tears to Thamesis, has been taken to refer to Westminster school, and alleged as proof that he was educated there. Dr. Grosart even presses the mention of Richmond, Kingston, and Hampton Court to support a conjecture that Herrick may have travelled up and down to school from Hampton. If so, one wonders what his headmaster had to say to the “soft-smooth virgins, for our chaste disport” by whom he was accompanied. But the references in the poem are surely to his courtier-life in London, and after his father’s death the apprenticeship to his uncle in 1607 is the first fact in his life of which we can be sure.

In 1607, Herrick was fifteen, and, even if we conjecture that he may have been allowed to remain at school some little time after his apprenticeship nominally began, he must have served his uncle for five or six years. Sir William had himself been bound apprentice in a similar way to the poet’s father, and we have no evidence that he exacted any premium. At any rate, when in 1614, his nephew, then of age, desired to leave the business and go to Cambridge, the ten years’ apprenticeship did not stand in his way, and he entered as a Fellow Commoner at St. John’s. His uncle plainly still managed his affairs, for an amusing series of fourteen letters has been preserved at Beaumanor, until lately the seat of Sir William’s descendants, in which the poet asks sometimes for payment of a quarterly stipend of £10, sometimes for a formal loan, sometimes for the help of his avuncular Mæcenas. It seems a fair inference from this variety of requests that, since Herrick’s share of his father’s property could hardly have yielded a yearly income of £40, he was allowed to draw on his capital for this sum, but that his uncle and Lady Herrick occasionally made him small presents, which may account for his tone of dependence.

The quarterly stipend was paid through various booksellers, but irregularly, so that the poor poet was frequently reduced to great straits, though £40 a-year (£200 of our money) was no bad allowance. After two years he migrated from St. John’s to Trinity Hall, to study law and curtail his expenses. He took his Bachelor’s degree from there in January, 1617, and his Master’s in 1620. The fourteen letters show that he had prepared himself for University life by cultivating a very florid prose style which frequently runs into decasyllabics, perhaps a result of a study of the dramatists. Sir William Herrick is sometimes addressed in them as his most “careful” uncle, but at the time of his migration the poet speaks of his “ebbing estate,” and as late as 1629 he was still £10 16s. 9d. in debt to the College Steward. We can thus hardly imagine that he was possessed of any considerable private income when he returned to London, to live practically on his wits, and a study of his poems suggests that, the influence of the careful uncle removed, whatever capital he possessed was soon likely to vanish.* His verses to the Earl of Pembroke, to Endymion Porter and to others, show that he was glad of “pay” as well as “praise,” but the system of patronage brought no discredit with it, and though the absence of any poetical mention of his uncle suggests that the rich goldsmith was not well-pleased with his nephew, with the rest of his well-to-do relations Herrick seems to have remained on excellent terms.

* Yet in his Farewell to Poetry he distinctly says:—

“I’ve more to bear my charge than way to go”;

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

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

Mr. Hazlitt’s conjecture that Herrick at this time may have held some small post in the Chapel at Whitehall is not unreasonable, but at what date he took Holy Orders is not known. In 1627 he obtained the post of chaplain to the unlucky expedition to the Isle of Rhé, and two years later (September 30, 1629) he was presented by the King to the Vicarage of Dean Prior, in Devonshire, which the promotion of its previous incumbent, Dr. Potter, to the Bishopric of Carlisle, had left in the royal gift. The annual value of the living was only £50 (£250 present value), no great prize, but the poem entitled Mr. Robert Hericke: his farwell unto Poetrie (not printed in Hesperides, but extant in more than one manuscript version) shows that the poet was not unaware of the responsibilities of his profession. “But unto me,” he says to his Muse:

“But unto me be only hoarse, since now

(Heaven and my soul bear record of my vow)

I my desires screw from thee and direct

Them and my thoughts to that sublime respect

And conscience unto priesthood. ’Tis not need

(The scarecrow unto mankind) that doth breed

Wiser conclusions in me, since I know

I’ve more to bear my charge than way to go;

Or had I not, I’d stop the spreading itch

Of craving more: so in conceit be rich;

But ’tis the God of nature who intends

And shapes my function for more glorious ends.”

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

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

In the same year that Herrick was appointed to his country vicarage his mother died while living with her daughter, Mercy, the poet’s dearest sister (see 818), then for some time married to John Wingfield of Brantham in Suffolk (see 590), by whom she had three sons and a daughter, also called Mercy. His eldest brother, Thomas, had been placed with a Mr. Massam, a merchant, but as early as 1610 had retired to live a country life in Leicestershire (see 106). He appears to have married a wife named Elizabeth, whose loss Herrick laments (see 72). Nicholas, the next brother was more adventurous. He had become a merchant trading to the Levant, and in this capacity had visited the Holy Land (see 1100). To his wife Susanna, daughter of William Salter, Herrick addresses two poems (522 and 977). There were three sons and four daughters in this family, and Herrick wrote a poem to one of the daughters, Bridget (562), and an elegy on another, Elizabeth (376). When Mrs. Herrick died the bulk of her property was left to the Wingfields, but William Herrick received a legacy of £100, with ten pounds apiece to his two children, and a ring of twenty shillings to his wife. Nicholas and Robert were only left twenty-shilling rings, and the administration of the will was entrusted to William Herrick and the Wingfields. The will may have been the result of a family arrangement, and we have no reason to believe that the unequal division gave rise to any ill-feeling. Herrick’s address to “his dying brother, Master William Herrick” (186), shows abundant affection, and there is every reason to believe that it was addressed to the William who administered to Mrs. Herrick’s will.

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

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

Alfred W. Pollard

Note to Second Edition.

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

A. W. P.

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Table of Contents

1. The Argument of His Book.
2. To His Muse.
3. To His Book.
4. Another.
5. [To His Book.] Another.
6. To the Sour Reader.
7. To His Book.
8. When he Would have His Verses Read.
9. Upon Julia’s Recovery.
10. To Silvia to Wed.
11. The Parliament of Roses to Julia.
12. No Bashfulness in Begging.
13. The Frozen Heart.
14. To Perilla.
15. A Song to the Maskers.
16. To Perenna.
17. Treason.
18. Two Things Odious.
19. To His Mistresses.
20. The Wounded Heart.
21. No Loathsomeness in Love.
22. To Anthea.
23. The Weeping Cherry.
24. Soft Music.
25. The Difference Betwixt Kings and Subjects.
26. His Answer to a Question.
27. Upon Julia’s Fall.
28. Expenses Exhaust.
29. Love, what it is.
30. Presence and Absence.
31. No Spouse but a Sister.
32. The Pomander Bracelet.
33. The Shoe-Tying.
34. The Carcanet.
35. His Sailing from Julia.
36. How the Wall-Flower Came First, and why So Called.
37. Why Flowers Change Colour.
38. To His Mistress Objecting to Him Neither Toying or Talking.
39. Upon the Loss of His Mistresses.
40. The Dream.
41. The Vine.
42. To Love.
43. On Himself.
44. Love’s Play at Push-Pin.
45. The Rosary.
46. Upon Cupid.
47. The ParcÆ; Or, Three Dainty Destinies: The Armillet.
48. Sorrows Succeed.
49. Cherry-Pit.
50. To Robin Redbreast.
51. Discontents in Devon.
52. To His Paternal Country.
53. Cherry-Ripe.
54. To His Mistresses.
55. To Anthea.
56. The Vision to Electra.
57. Dreams.
58. Ambition.
59. His Request to Julia.
60. Money Gets the Mastery.
61. The Scare-Fire.
62. Upon Silvia, a Mistress.
63. Cheerfulness in Charity; Or, the Sweet Sacrifice.
64. Once Poor, Still Penurious.
65. Sweetness in Sacrifice.
66. Steam in Sacrifice.
67. Upon Julia’s Voice.
68. Again.
69. All Things Decay and Die.
70. The Succession of the Four Sweet Months.
71. No Shipwreck of Virtue. To a Friend.
72. Upon His Sister-In-Law, Mistress Elizabeth Herrick.
73. Of Love. A Sonnet.
74. To Anthea.
75. The Rock of Rubies, and the Quarry of Pearls.
76. Conformity.
77. To the King, Upon His Coming with His Army into the West.
78. Upon Roses.
79. To the King and Queen Upon Their Unhappy Distances.
80. Dangers Wait on Kings.
81. The Cheat of Cupid; Or, the Ungentle Guest.
82. To the Reverend Shade of His Religious Father.
83. Delight in Disorder.
84. To His Muse.
85. Upon Love.
86. To Dean Bourn, a Rude River in Devon, by which Sometimes he Lived.
87. Kissing Usury.
88. To Julia.
89. To Laurels.
90. His Cavalier.
91. Zeal Required in Love.
92. The Bag of the Bee.
93. Love Killed by Lack.
94. To His Mistress.
95. To the Generous Reader.
96. To Critics.
97. Duty to Tyrants.
98. Being Once Blind, His Request to Bianca.
100. No Want where There’s Little.
101. Barley-Break; Or, Last in Hell.
102. The Definition of Beauty.
103. To Dianeme.
104. To Anthea Lying in Bed.
105. To Electra.
106. A Country-Life: To His Brother, Mr. Tho. Herrick.
107. Divination by a Daffodil.
108. To the Painter, to Draw Him a Picture.
111. A Lyric to Mirth.
112. To the Earl of Westmoreland.
113. Against Love.
114. Upon Julia’s Riband.
115. The Frozen Zone; Or, Julia Disdainful.
116. An Epitaph Upon a Sober Matron.
117. To the Patron of Poets, M. End. Porter.
118. The Sadness of Things for Sappho’s Sickness.
119. Leander’s Obsequies.
120. Hope Heartens.
121. Four Things Make Us Happy Here.
122. His Parting from Mrs. Dorothy Kennedy.
123. The Tear Sent to Her from Staines.
124. Upon One Lily, who Married with a Maid Called Rose.
125. An Epitaph Upon a Child.
127. The Hour-Glass.
128. His Farewell to Sack.
130. Upon Mrs. Elizabeth Wheeler, Under the Name of Amarillis.
132. To Myrrha, Hard-Hearted.
133. The Eye.
134. Upon the Much-Lamented Mr. J. Warr.
136. The Suspicion Upon His Over-Much Familiarity with a Gentlewoman.
137. Single Life Most Secure.
138. The Curse. A Song.
139. The Wounded Cupid. Song.
140. To Dews. A Song.
141. Some Comfort in Calamity.
142. The Vision.
143. Love Me Little, Love Me Long.
144. Upon a Virgin Kissing a Rose.
145. Upon a Wife that Died Mad with Jealousy.
146. Upon the Bishop of Lincoln’s Imprisonment.
147. Dissuasions from Idleness.
149. An Epithalamy to Sir Thomas Southwell and His Lady.
150. Tears are Tongues.
151. Upon a Young Mother of Many Children.
152. To Electra.
153. His Wish.
154. His Protestation to Perilla.
155. Love Perfumes All Parts.
156. To Julia.
157. On Himself.
158. Virtue is Sensible of Suffering.
159. The Cruel Maid.
160. To Dianeme.
161. To the King, to Cure the Evil.
162. His Misery in a Mistress.
164. To a Gentlewoman Objecting to Him His Gray Hairs.
165. To Cedars.
166. Upon Cupid.
167. How Primroses Came Green.
168. To Jos., Lord Bishop of Exeter.
169. Upon a Black Twist Rounding the Arm of the Countess of Carlisle.
170. On Himself.
172. A Ring Presented to Julia.
173. To the Detractor.
174. Upon the Same.
175. Julia’s Petticoat.
176. To Music.
177. Distrust.
178. Corinna’s Going a-Maying.
179. On Julia’s Breath.
180. Upon a Child. An Epitaph.
181. A Dialogue Betwixt Horace and Lydia, Translated Anno 1627, and Set by Mr. Ro. Ramsey.
182. The Captiv’d Bee, or the Little Filcher.
185. An Ode to Master Endymion Porter, Upon His Brother’s Death.
186. To His Dying Brother, Master William Herrick.
187. The Olive Branch.
189. To Cherry-Blossoms.
190. How Lilies Came White.
191. To Pansies.
192. On Gilly-Flowers Begotten.
193. The Lily in a Crystal.
194. To His Book.
195. Upon Some Women.
196. Supreme Fortune Falls Soonest.
197. The Welcome to Sack.
198. Impossibilities to His Friend.
201. To Live Merrily and to Trust to Good Verses.
202. Fair Days: Or, Dawns Deceitful.
203. Lips Tongueless.
204. To the Fever, Not to Trouble Julia.
205. To Violets.
207. To Carnations. A Song.
208. To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time.
209. Safety to Look to Oneself.
210. To His Friend, on the Untunable Times.
211. His Poetry His Pillar.
212. Safety on the Shore.
213. A Pastoral Upon the Birth of Prince Charles. Presented to the King, and Set by Mr. Nic. Laniere.
214. To the Lark.
215. The Bubble. A Song.
216. A Meditation for His Mistress.
217. The Bleeding Hand; Or, the Sprig of Eglantine Given to a Maid.
218. Lyric for Legacies.
219. A Dirge Upon the Death of the Right Valiant Lord, Bernard Stuart.
220. To Perenna, a Mistress.
223. The Fairy Temple; Or, Oberon’s Chapel Dedicated to Mr. John Merrifield, Counsellor-At-Law.
224. To Mistress Katherine Bradshaw, the Lovely, that Crowned Him with Laurel.
225. The Plaudite, or End of Life.
226. To the Most Virtuous Mistress Pot, who Many Times Entertained Him.
227. To Music, to Becalm His Fever.
228. Upon a Gentlewoman with a Sweet Voice.
229. Upon Cupid.
230. Upon Julia’s Breasts.
231. Best to Be Merry.
232. The Changes to Corinna.
234. Neglect.
235. Upon Himself.
236. Upon a Physician.
238. To the Rose. A Song.
240. To His Book.
241. Upon a Painted Gentlewoman.
243. Draw-Gloves.
244. To Music, to Becalm a Sweet-Sick Youth.
245. To the High and Noble Prince George, Duke, Marquis, and Earl of Buckingham.
246. His Recantation.
247. The Coming of Good Luck.
248. The Present; Or, the Bag of the Bee.
249. On Love.
250. The Hock-Cart or Harvest Home. To the Right Honourable Mildmay, Earl of Westmoreland.
251. The Perfume.
252. Upon Her Voice.
253. Not to Love.
254. To Music. A Song.
255. To the Western Wind.
256. Upon the Death of His Sparrow. An Elegy.
257. To Primroses Filled with Morning Dew.
258. How Roses Came Red.
259. Comfort to a Lady Upon the Death of Her Husband.
260. How Violets Came Blue.
262. To the Willow-Tree.
263. Mrs. Eliz. Wheeler, Under the Name of the Lost Shepherdess.
264. To the King.
265. To the Queen.
266. The Poet’s Good Wishes for the Most Hopeful and Handsome Prince, the Duke of York.
267. To Anthea, who May Command Him Anything.
268. Prevision or Provision.
269. Obedience in Subjects.
270. More Potent, Less Peccant.
271. Upon a Maid that Died the Day she was Married.
274. To Meadows.
275. Crosses.
276. Miseries.
278. To His Household Gods.
279. To the Nightingale and Robin Redbreast.
280. To the Yew and Cypress to Grace His Funeral.
281. I Call and I Call.
282. On a Perfumed Lady.
283. A Nuptial Song or Epithalamy on Sir Clipseby Crew and His Lady.
284. The Silken Snake.
285. Upon Himself.
286. Upon Love.
287. Reverence to Riches.
288. Devotion Makes the Deity.
289. To All Young Men that Love.
290. The Eyes.
291. No Fault in Women.
293. Oberon’s Feast.
294. Event of Things Not in Our Power.
295. Upon Her Blush.
296. Merits Make the Man.
297. To Virgins.
298. Virtue.
299. The Bellman.
300. Bashfulness.
301. To the Most Accomplished Gentleman, Master Edward Norgate, Clerk of the Signet to His Majesty. Epig.
302. Upon Prudence Baldwin: Her Sickness.
303. To Apollo. A Short Hymn.
304. A Hymn to Bacchus.
306. On Himself.
307. Casualties.
308. Bribes and Gifts Get All.
309. The End.
310. Upon a Child that Died.
312. Content, Not Cates.
313. The Entertainment; Or, Porch-Verse, at the Marriage of Mr. Henry Northly and the Most Witty Mrs. Lettice Yard.
314. The Good-Night or Blessing.
316. To Daffodils.
318. Upon a Lady that Died in Child-Bed, and Left a Daughter Behind Her.
319. A New-Year’s Gift Sent to Sir Simon Steward.
320. Matins; Or, Morning Prayer.
321. Evensong.
322. The Bracelet to Julia.
323. The Christian Militant.
324. A Short Hymn to Lar.
325. Another to Neptune.
327. His Embalming to Julia.
328. Gold Before Goodness.
329. The Kiss. A Dialogue.
330. The Admonition.
331. To His Honoured Kinsman, Sir William Soame. Epig.
332. On Himself.
333. To Lar.
334. The Departure of the Good Demon.
335. Clemency.
336. His Age, Dedicated to His Peculiar Friend, M. John Wickes, Under the Name of Posthumus.
337. A Short Hymn to Venus.
338. To a Gentlewoman on Just Dealing.
339. The Hand and Tongue.
340. Upon a Delaying Lady.
341. To the Lady Mary Villars, Governess to the Princess Henrietta.
342. Upon His Julia.
343. To Flowers.
344. To My ill Reader.
345. The Power in the People.
346. A Hymn to Venus and Cupid.
347. On Julia’s Picture.
348. Her Bed.
349. Her Legs.
350. Upon Her Alms.
351. Rewards.
352. Nothing New.
353. The Rainbow.
354. The Meadow-Verse; Or, Anniversary to Mistress Bridget Lowman.
355. The Parting Verse, the Feast There Ended.
356. Upon Judith. Epig.
359. To the Right Honourable Philip, Earl of Pembroke and Montgomery.
360. An Hymn to Juno.
362. Upon Sappho Sweetly Playing and Sweetly Singing.
364. Chop-Cherry.
365. To the Most Learned, Wise, and Arch-Antiquary, M. John Selden.
366. Upon Himself.
367. Upon Wrinkles.
370. Pray and Prosper.
371. His LachrymÆ; Or, Mirth Turned to Mourning.
375. To the Most Fair and Lovely Mistress Anne Soame, Now Lady Abdie.
376. Upon His Kinswoman, Mistress Elizabeth Herrick.
377. A Panegyric to Sir Lewis Pemberton.
378. To His Valentine on St. Valentine’s Day.
382. Upon M. Ben. Jonson. Epig.
383. Another.
384. To His Nephew, to Be Prosperous in His Art of Painting.
386. A Vow to Mars.
387. To His Maid, Prew.
388. A Canticle to Apollo.
389. A Just Man.
390. Upon a Hoarse Singer.
391. How Pansies or Heart’s-Ease Came First.
392. To His Peculiar Friend, Sir Edward Fish, Knight Baronet.
393. Lar’s Portion and the Poet’s Part.
394. Upon Man.
395. Liberty.
396. Lots to Be Liked.
397. Griefs.
399. The Dream.
402. Clothes Do but Cheat and Cozen Us.
403. To Dianeme.
404. Upon Electra.
405. To His Book.
406. Of Love.
407. Upon Himself.
408. Another.
412. The Mad Maid’s Song.
413. To Springs and Fountains.
414. Upon Julia’s Unlacing Herself.
415. To Bacchus, a Canticle.
416. The Lawn.
417. The Frankincense.
420. To Sycamores.
421. A Pastoral Sung to the King: Montano, Silvio, and Mirtillo, Shepherds.
422. The Poet Loves a Mistress, but Not to Marry.
425. The Willow Garland.
427. A Hymn to Sir Clipseby Crew.
430. Empires.
431. Felicity Quick of Flight.
436. The Crowd and Company.
438. Policy in Princes.
440. Upon the Nipples of Julia’s Breast.
441. To Daisies, Not to Shut So Soon.
442. To the Little Spinners.
443. Oberon’s Palace.
444. To His Peculiar Friend, Mr. Thomas Shapcott, Lawyer.
445. To Julia in the Temple.
446. To Oenone.
447. His Weakness in Woes.
448. Fame Makes Us Forward.
449. To Groves.
450. An Epitaph Upon a Virgin.
451. To the Right Gracious Prince, Lodowick, Duke of Richmond and Lennox.
452. To Jealousy.
453. To Live Freely.
455. His Alms.
456. Upon Himself.
457. To Enjoy the Time.
458. Upon Love.
459. To the Right Honourable Mildmay, Earl of Westmoreland.
460. The Plunder.
461. Littleness No Cause of Leanness.
464. The Jimmall Ring or True-Love Knot.
465. The Parting Verse or Charge to His Supposed Wife when he Travelled.
466. To His Kinsman, Sir Thos. Soame.
467. To Blossoms.
468. Man’s Dying-Place Uncertain.
469. Nothing Free-Cost.
470. Few Fortunate.
471. To Perenna.
472. To the Ladies.
473. The Old Wives’ Prayer.
475. Upon His Departure Hence.
476. The Wassail.
477. Upon a Lady Fair but Fruitless.
478. How Springs Came First.
479. To Rosemary and Bays.
481. Upon a Scar in a Virgin’s Face.
482. Upon His Eyesight Failing Him.
483. To His Worthy Friend, M. Thos. Falconbirge.
484. Upon Julia’s Hair Fill’d with Dew.
485. Another on Her.
486. Loss from the Least.
487. Reward and Punishments.
488. Shame No Statist.
489. To Sir Clipseby Crew.
490. Upon Himself.
491. Fresh Cheese and Cream.
492. An Eclogue or Pastoral Between Endymion Porter and Lycidas Herrick, Set and Sung.
493. To a Bed of Tulips.
494. A Caution.
495. To the Water Nymphs Drinking at the Fountain.
496. To His Honoured Kinsman, Sir Richard Stone.
497. Upon a Fly.
499. To Julia.
500. To Mistress Dorothy Parsons.
502. How he Would Drink His Wine.
503. How Marigolds Came Yellow.
504. The Broken Crystal.
505. Precepts.
506. To the Right Honourable Edward, Earl of Dorset.
507. Upon Himself.
508. Hope Well and have Well: Or, Fair After Foul Weather.
509. Upon Love.
510. To His Kinswoman, Mrs. Penelope Wheeler.
511. Another Upon Her.
513. Cross and Pile.
514. To the Lady Crew, Upon the Death of Her Child.
515. His Winding-Sheet.
516. To Mistress Mary Willand.
517. Change Gives Content.
519. On Himself.
520. Fortune Favours.
521. To Phyllis, to Love and Live with Him.
522. To His Kinswoman, Mistress Susanna Herrick.
523. Upon Mistress Susanna Southwell, Her Cheeks.
524. Upon Her Eyes.
525. Upon Her Feet.
526. To His Honoured Friend, Sir John Mince.
527. Upon His Grey Hairs.
528. Accusation.
529. Pride Allowable in Poets.
530. A Vow to Minerva.
534. To Electra.
535. Discord Not Disadvantageous.
536. ill Government.
537. To Marigolds.
538. To Dianeme.
539. To Julia, the Flaminica Dialis or Queen-Priest.
540. Anacreontic.
541. Meat Without Mirth.
542. Large Bounds Do but Bury Us.
543. Upon Ursley.
544. An Ode to Sir Clipseby Crew.
545. To His Worthy Kinsman, Mr. Stephen Soame.
546. To His Tomb-Maker.
547. Great Spirits Supervive.
548. None Free from Fault.
549. Upon Himself Being Buried.
550. Pity to the Prostrate.
552. His Content in the Country.
553. The Credit of the Conqueror.
554. On Himself.
556. The Fairies.
557. To His Honoured Friend, M. John Weare, Councillor.
560. The Watch.
561. Lines have Their Linings, and Books Their Buckram.
562. Art Above Nature: To Julia.
564. Upon His Kinswoman, Mistress Bridget Herrick.
565. Upon Love.
566. Upon a Comely and Curious Maid.
567. Upon the Loss of His Finger.
568. Upon Irene.
569. Upon Electra’s Tears.
569. A Hymn to the Graces.
570. To Silvia.
573. The Poet Hath Lost His Pipe.
574. True Friendship.
575. The Apparition of His Mistress Calling Him to Elysium.
576. Life is the Body’s Light.
579. Love Lightly Pleased.
580. The Primrose.
581. The Tithe. To the Bride.
582. A Frolic.
583. Change Common to All.
584. To Julia.
585. No Luck in Love.
586. In the Dark None Dainty.
587. A Charm, or an Allay for Love.
590. To His Brother-In-Law, Master John Wingfield.
591. The Headache.
592. On Himself.
593. Upon a Maid.
596. Upon the Troublesome Times.
597. Cruelty Base in Commanders.
599. Upon Lucia.
600. Little and Loud.
601. Shipwreck.
602. Pains Without Profit.
603. To His Book.
604. His Prayer to Ben Jonson.
605. Poverty and Riches.
606. Again.
607. The Covetous Still Captives.
608. Laws.
609. Of Love.
611. To His Muse.
612. The Bad Season Makes the Poet Sad.
613. To Vulcan.
614. Like Pattern, Like People.
615. Purposes.
616. To the Maids to Walk Abroad.
617. His Own Epitaph.
618. A Nuptial Verse to Mistress Elizabeth Lee, Now Lady Tracy.
619. The Night-Piece, to Julia.
620. To Sir Clipseby Crew.
621. Good Luck Not Lasting.
622. A Kiss.
623. Glory.
624. Poets.
625. No Despite to the Dead.
626. To His Verses.
627. His Charge to Julia at His Death.
628. Upon Love.
629. The Cobblers’ Catch.
633. Connubii Flores, or the Well-Wishes at Weddings.
634. To His Lovely Mistresses.
635. Upon Love.
638. The Beggar to Mab, the Fairy Queen.
639. An End Decreed.
640. Upon a Child.
641. Painting Sometimes Permitted.
642. Farewell Frost, or Welcome the Spring.
643. The Hag.
644. Upon an Old Man: A Residentiary.
645. Upon Tears.
646. Physicians.
647. The PrimitiÆ To Parents.
649. Upon Lucy. Epig.
651. To Silvia.
652. To His Closet-Gods.
653. A Bacchanalian Verse.
654. Long-Looked-For Comes at Last.
655. To Youth.
656. Never Too Late to Die.
657. A Hymn to the Muses.
658. On Himself.
660. To Momus.
661. Ambition.
662. The Country Life, to the Honoured M. End. Porter, Groom of the Bedchamber to His Majesty.
663. To Electra.
664. To His Worthy Friend, M. Arthur Bartly.
665. What Kind of Mistress he Would have.
667. The Rosemary Branch.
669. Upon Crab. Epig.
670. A Paranæticall, or Advisive Verse, to His Friend, M. John Wicks.
671. Once Seen and No More.
672. Love.
673. To M. Denham on His Prospective Poem.
674. A Hymn to the Lares.
675. Denial in Women No Disheartening to Men.
676. Adversity.
677. To Fortune.
678. To Anthea.
679. Cruelties.
680. Perseverance.
681. Upon His Verses.
682. Distance Betters Dignities.
683. Health.
684. To Dianeme. A Ceremony in Gloucester.
685. To the King.
686. The Funeral Rites of the Rose.
687. The Rainbow, or Curious Covenant.
688. The Last Stroke Strikes Sure.
689. Fortune.
690. Stool-Ball.
691. To Sappho.
692. On Poet Prat. Epig.
693. Upon Tuck. Epig.
694. Biting of Beggars.
695. The May-Pole.
696. Men Mind No State in Sickness.
697. Adversity.
698. Want.
699. Grief.
700. Love Palpable.
701. No Action Hard to Affection.
702. Mean Things Overcome Mighty.
705. The Bracelet of Pearl: To Silvia.
706. How Roses Came Red.
707. Kings.
708. First Work, and then Wages.
709. Tears and Laughter.
710. Glory.
711. Possessions.
713. His Return to London.
714. Not Every Day Fit for Verse.
715. Poverty the Greatest Pack.
716. A Bucolic, or Discourse of Neatherds.
717. True Safety.
718. A Prognostic.
719. Upon Julia’s Sweat.
720. Proof to No Purpose.
721. Fame.
722. By Use Comes Easiness.
723. To the Genius of His House.
724. His Grange, or Private Wealth.
725. Good Precepts or Counsel.
726. Money Makes the Mirth.
727. Up Tails All.
729. Upon Lucia Dabbled in the Dew.
730. Charon and Philomel; a Dialogue Sung.
733. A Ternary of Littles, Upon a Pipkin of Jelly Sent to a Lady.
734. Upon the Roses in Julia’s Bosom.
735. Maids’ Nays are Nothing.
736. The Smell of the Sacrifice.
737. Lovers: How They Come and Part.
738. To Women, to Hide Their Teeth If They Be Rotten or Rusty.
739. In Praise of Women.
740. The Apron of Flowers.
741. The Candour of Julia’s Teeth.
742. Upon Her Weeping.
743. Another Upon Her Weeping.
744. Delay.
745. To Sir John Berkley, Governor of Exeter.
746. To Electra. Love Looks for Love.
747. Regression Spoils Resolution.
748. Contention.
749. Consultation.
750. Love Dislikes Nothing.
751. Our Own Sins Unseen.
752. No Pains, No Gains.
754. Virtue Best United.
755. The Eye.
756. To Prince Charles Upon His Coming to Exeter.
757. A Song.
758. Princes and Favourites.
759. Examples; Or, Like Prince, Like People.
760. Potentates.
761. The Wake.
762. The Peter-Penny.
763. To Doctor Alabaster.
764. Upon His Kinswoman, Mrs. M. s.
765. Felicity Knows No Fence.
766. Death Ends All Woe.
767. A Conjuration to Electra.
768. Courage Cooled.
769. The Spell.
770. His Wish to Privacy.
771. A Good Husband.
772. A Hymn to Bacchus.
773. Upon Puss and Her ‘Prentice. Epig.
774. Blame the Reward of Princes.
775. Clemency in Kings.
776. Anger.
777. A Psalm or Hymn to the Graces.
778. A Hymn to the Muses.
779. Upon Julia’s Clothes.
780. Moderation.
781. To Anthea.
782. Upon Prew, His Maid.
783. The Invitation.
784. Ceremonies for Christmas.
785. Christmas-Eve, Another Ceremony.
786. Another to the Maids.
787. Another.
788. Power and Peace.
789. To His Dear Valentine, Mistress Margaret Falconbridge.
790. To Oenone.
791. Verses.
792. Happiness.
793. Things of Choice Long a-Coming.
794. Poetry Perpetuates the Poet.
797. Kisses.
798. Orpheus.
803. To Sappho.
804. To His Faithful Friend, M. John Crofts, Cup-Bearer to the King.
805. The Bride-Cake.
806. To Be Merry.
807. Burial.
808. Lenity.
809. Penitence.
810. Grief.
811. The Maiden-Blush.
812. The Mean.
813. Haste Hurtful.
814. Purgatory.
815. The Cloud.
817. The Amber Bead.
818. To My Dearest Sister, M. Mercy Herrick.
819. The Transfiguration.
820. Suffer that Thou Canst Not Shift.
821. To the Passenger.
823. To the King, Upon His Taking of Leicester.
824. To Julia, in Her Dawn, or Daybreak.
825. Counsel.
826. Bad Princes Pill the People.
827. Most Words, Less Works.
828. To Dianeme.
830. His Loss.
831. Draw and Drink.
833. To Oenone.
836. To Electra.
837. To Mistress Amy Potter.
838. Upon a Maid.
839. Upon Love.
840. Beauty.
841. Upon Love.
844. To His Book.
845. Readiness.
846. Writing.
847. Society.
848. Upon a Maid.
849. Satisfaction for Sufferings.
850. The Delaying Bride.
851. To M. Henry Lawes, the Excellent Composer of His Lyrics.
852. Age Unfit for Love.
853. The Bedman, or Gravemaker.
854. To Anthea.
855. Need.
856. To Julia.
857. On Julia’s Lips.
858. Twilight.
859. To His Friend, Mr. J. Jincks.
860. On Himself.
861. Kings and Tyrants.
862. Crosses.
863. Upon Love.
864. No Difference I’ Th’ Dark.
865. The Body.
866. To Sappho.
867. Out of Time, Out of Tune.
868. To His Book.
869. To His Honoured Friend, Sir Thomas Heale.
870. The Sacrifice, by Way of Discourse Betwixt Himself and Julia.
871. To Apollo.
872. On Love.
873. Another.
874. A Hymn to Cupid.
875. To Electra.
876. How His Soul Came Ensnared.
877. Factions.
880. Kisses Loathsome.
881. Upon Julia’s Hair Bundled up in a Golden Net.
883. The Shower of Blossoms.
885. A Defence for Women.
887. Slavery.
888. Charms.
889. Another.
890. Another to Bring in the Witch.
891. Another Charm for Stables.
892. Ceremonies for Candlemas Eve.
893. The Ceremonies for Candlemas Day.
894. Upon Candlemas Day.
897. To Bianca, to Bless Him.
898. Julia’s Churching, or Purification.
899. To His Book.
900. Tears.
901. To His Friend to Avoid Contention of Words.
902. Truth.
904. The Eyes Before the Ears.
905. Want.
906. To a Friend.
907. Upon M. William Lawes, the Rare Musician.
908. A Song Upon Silvia.
909. The Honeycomb.
910. Upon Ben Jonson.
911. An Ode for Him.
912. Upon a Virgin.
913. Blame.
914. A Request to the Graces.
915. Upon Himself.
916. Multitude.
917. Fear.
918. To M. Kellam.
919. Happiness to Hospitality; Or, a Hearty Wish to Good Housekeeping.
920. Cunctation in Correction.
921. Present Government Grievous.
922. Rest Refreshes.
923. Revenge.
924. The First Mars or Makes.
925. Beginning Difficult.
926. Faith Four-Square.
927. The Present Time Best Pleaseth.
928. Clothes are Conspirators.
929. Cruelty.
930. Fair After Foul.
931. Hunger.
932. Bad Wages for Good Service.
933. The End.
934. The Bondman.
935. Choose for the Best.
936. To Silvia.
937. Fair Shows Deceive.
938. His Wish.
939. Upon Julia Washing Herself in the River.
940. A Mean in Our Means.
941. Upon Clunn.
942. Upon Cupid.
946. An Hymn to Love.
947. To His Honoured and Most Ingenious Friend, Mr. Charles Cotton.
948. Women Useless.
949. Love is a Syrup.
950. Leaven.
951. Repletion.
952. On Himself.
953. No Man Without Money.
954. On Himself.
955. To M. Leonard Willan, His Peculiar Friend.
956. To His Worthy Friend, M. John Hall, Student of Gray’s Inn.
957. To Julia.
958. To the Most Comely and Proper M. Elizabeth Finch.
960. To His Book.
961. To the King, Upon His Welcome to Hampton Court. Set and Sung.
962. Ultimus Heroum: Or, to the Most Learned, and to the Right Honourable, Henry, Marquis of Dorchester.
963. To His Muse; Another to the Same.
966. To His Learned Friend, M. Jo. Harmar, Physician to the College of Westminster.
967. Upon His Spaniel Tracy.
968. The Deluge.
971. Strength to Support Sovereignty.
973. Crutches.
974. To Julia.
975. Upon Case.
976. To Perenna.
977. To His Sister-In-Law, M. Susanna Herrick.
978. Upon the Lady Crew.
979. On Tomasin Parsons.
980. Ceremony Upon Candlemas Eve.
981. Suspicion Makes Secure.
983. To His Kinsman, M. Tho. Herrick, who Desired to Be in His Book.
984. A Bucolic Betwixt Two: Lacon and Thyrsis.
985. Upon Sappho.
988. A Bacchanalian Verse.
989. Care a Good Keeper.
990. Rules for Our Reach.
991. To Bianca.
992. To the Handsome Mistress Grace Potter.
993. Anacreontic.
994. More Modest, More Manly.
995. Not to Covet Much where Little is the Charge.
996. Anacreontic Verse.
998. Patience in Princes.
999. Fear Gets Force.
1000. Parcel-Gilt Poetry.
1001. Upon Love, by Way of Question and Answer.
1002. To the Lord Hopton, on His Fight in Cornwall.
1003. His Grange.
1004. Leprosy in Houses.
1005. Good Manners at Meat.
1006. Anthea’s Retractation.
1007. Comforts in Crosses.
1008. Seek and Find.
1009. Rest.
1010. Leprosy in Clothes.
1012. Great Maladies, Long Medicines.
1013. His Answer to a Friend.
1014. The Beggar.
1015. Bastards.
1016. His Change.
1017. The Vision.
1018. A Vow to Venus.
1019. On His Book.
1020. A Sonnet of Perilla.
1021. Bad May Be Better.
1022. Posting to Printing.
1023. Rapine Brings Ruin.
1024. Comfort to a Youth that had Lost His Love.
1026. Saint Distaff’s Day, or the Morrow After Twelfth Day.
1027. Sufferance.
1028. His Tears to Thamesis.
1029. Pardons.
1030. Peace Not Permanent.
1031. Truth and Error.
1032. Things Mortal Still Mutable.
1033. Studies to Be Supported.
1034. Wit Punished, Prospers Most.
1035. Twelfth Night: Or, King and Queen.
1036. His Desire.
1037. Caution in Counsel.
1038. Moderation.
1039. Advice the Best Actor.
1040. Conformity is Comely.
1041. Laws.
1042. The Mean.
1043. Like Loves His Like.
1044. His Hope or Sheet Anchor.
1045. Comfort in Calamity.
1046. Twilight.
1047. False Mourning.
1048. The Will Makes the Work; Or, Consent Makes the Cure.
1049. Diet.
1050. Smart.
1051. The Tinker’s Song.
1052. His Comfort.
1053. Sincerity.
1054. To Anthea.
1055. Nor Buying or Selling.
1056. To His Peculiar Friend, M. Jo. Wicks.
1057. The More Mighty, the More Merciful.
1058. After Autumn, Winter.
1059. A Good Death.
1060. Recompense.
1061. On Fortune.
1062. To Sir George Parry, Doctor of the civil Law.
1063. Charms.
1064. Another.
1065. Another.
1067. Gentleness.
1068. A Dialogue Between Himself and Mistress Eliza Wheeler, Under the Name of Amaryllis.
1069. To Julia.
1070. To Roses in Julia’s Bosom.
1071. To the Honoured Master Endymion Porter.
1072. Speak in Season.
1073. Obedience.
1074. Another of the Same.
1075. Of Love.
1076. Upon Trap.
1080. The School or Pearl of Putney, the Mistress of All Singular Manners, Mistress Portman.
1081. To Perenna.
1082. On Himself.
1083. On Love.
1084. Another on Love.
1086. Upon Chub.
1087. Pleasures Pernicious.
1088. On Himself.
1089. To M. Laurence Swetnaham.
1090. His Covenant; Or, Protestation to Julia.
1091. On Himself.
1092. To the Most Accomplished Gentleman, M. Michael Oulsworth.
1093. To His Girls, who Would have Him Sportful.
1094. Truth and Falsehood.
1095. His Last Request to Julia.
1096. On Himself.
1097. Upon Kings.
1098. To His Girls.
1100. To His Brother, Nicholas Herrick.
1101. The Voice and Viol.
1102. War.
1103. A King and No King.
1104. Plots Not Still Prosperous.
1105. Flattery.
1109. Excess.
1111. The Soul is the Salt.
1117. Abstinence.
1118. No Danger to Men Desperate.
1119. Sauce for Sorrows.
1120. To Cupid.
1121. Distrust.
1123. The Mount of the Muses.
1124. On Himself.
1125. To His Book.
1126. The End of His Work.
1127. To Crown it.
1128. On Himself.
1129. The Pillar of Fame.






Well may my book come forth like public day

When such a light as you are leads the way,

Who are my work’s creator, and alone

The flame of it, and the expansion.

And look how all those heavenly lamps acquire

Light from the sun, that inexhausted fire,

So all my morn and evening stars from you

Have their existence, and their influence too.

Full is my book of glories; but all these

By you become immortal substances.


1. The Argument of His Book.

I sing of brooks, of blossoms, birds and bowers,

Of April, May, of June and July-flowers;

I sing of May-poles, hock-carts, wassails, wakes,

Of bridegrooms, brides and of their bridal cakes;

I write of youth, of love, and have access

By these to sing of cleanly wantonness;

I sing of dews, of rains, and piece by piece

Of balm, of oil, of spice and ambergris;

I sing of times transshifting, and I write

How roses first came red and lilies white;

I write of groves, of twilights, and I sing

The Court of Mab, and of the Fairy King;

I write of hell; I sing (and ever shall)

Of heaven, and hope to have it after all.

Hock-cart, the last cart from the harvest-field.

Wakes, village festivals, properly on the dedication-day of a church.

Ambergris, ‘grey amber,’ much used in perfumery.

2. To His Muse.

Whither, mad maiden, wilt thou roam?

Far safer ’twere to stay at home,

Where thou mayst sit and piping please

The poor and private cottages,

Since cotes and hamlets best agree

With this thy meaner minstrelsy.

There with the reed thou mayst express

The shepherd’s fleecy happiness,

And with thy eclogues intermix

Some smooth and harmless bucolics.

There on a hillock thou mayst sing

Unto a handsome shepherdling,

Or to a girl, that keeps the neat,

With breath more sweet than violet.

There, there, perhaps, such lines as these

May take the simple villages;

But for the court, the country wit

Is despicable unto it.

Stay, then, at home, and do not go

Or fly abroad to seek for woe.

Contempts in courts and cities dwell,

No critic haunts the poor man’s cell,

Where thou mayst hear thine own lines read

By no one tongue there censured.

That man’s unwise will search for ill,

And may prevent it, sitting still.

3. To His Book.

While thou didst keep thy candour undefil’d,

Dearly I lov’d thee as my first-born child,

But when I saw thee wantonly to roam

From house to house, and never stay at home,

I brake my bonds of love, and bade thee go,

Regardless whether well thou sped’st or no.

On with thy fortunes then, whate’er they be:

If good, I’ll smile; if bad, I’ll sigh for thee.

4. Another.

To read my book the virgin shy

May blush while Brutus standeth by,

But when he’s gone, read through what’s writ,

And never stain a cheek for it.

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

5. [To His Book.] Another.

Who with thy leaves shall wipe, at need,

The place where swelling piles do breed;

May every ill that bites or smarts

Perplex him in his hinder parts.

6. To the Sour Reader.

If thou dislik’st the piece thou light’st on first,

Think that of all, that I have writ, the worst:

But if thou read’st my book unto the end,

And still do’st this and that verse, reprehend;

O perverse man! if all disgustful be,

The extreme scab take thee, and thine, for me.

7. To His Book.

Come thou not near those men who are like bread

O’er-leaven’d, or like cheese o’er-renneted.

8. When he Would have His Verses Read.

In sober mornings, do not thou rehearse

The holy incantation of a verse;

But when that men have both well drunk and fed,

Let my enchantments then be sung or read.

When laurel spirts i’th’ fire, and when the hearth

Smiles to itself, and gilds the roof with mirth;

When up the thyrse* is rais’d, and when the sound

Of sacred orgies† flies, a round, a round.

When the rose reigns, and locks with ointments shine,

Let rigid Cato read these lines of mine.

Round, a rustic dance.

Cato, see Martial, x. 17, quoted in Note.

* “A javelin twined with ivy” (Note in the original edition).

† “Songs to Bacchus” (Note in the original edition.)

9. Upon Julia’s Recovery.

Droop, droop no more, or hang the head,

Ye roses almost withered;

Now strength and newer purple get,

Each here declining violet.

O primroses! let this day be

A resurrection unto ye;

And to all flowers ally’d in blood,

Or sworn to that sweet sisterhood:

For health on Julia’s cheek hath shed

Claret and cream commingled;

And those her lips do now appear

As beams of coral, but more clear.

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

10. To Silvia to Wed.

Let us, though late, at last, my Silvia, wed,

And loving lie in one devoted bed.

Thy watch may stand, my minutes fly post-haste;

No sound calls back the year that once is past.

Then, sweetest Silvia, let’s no longer stay;

True love, we know, precipitates delay.

Away with doubts, all scruples hence remove;

No man at one time can be wise and love.

11. The Parliament of Roses to Julia.

I dreamt the roses one time went

To meet and sit in parliament;

The place for these, and for the rest

Of flowers, was thy spotless breast,

Over the which a state was drawn

Of tiffanie or cobweb lawn.

Then in that parly all those powers

Voted the rose the queen of flowers;

But so as that herself should be

The maid of honour unto thee.

State, a canopy.

Tiffanie, gauze.

Parly, a parliament.

12. No Bashfulness in Begging.

To get thine ends, lay bashfulness aside;

Who fears to ask doth teach to be deny’d.

13. The Frozen Heart.

I freeze, I freeze, and nothing dwells

In me but snow and icicles.

For pity’s sake, give your advice,

To melt this snow and thaw this ice.

I’ll drink down flames; but if so be

Nothing but love can supple me,

I’ll rather keep this frost and snow

Than to be thaw’d or heated so.

14. To Perilla.

Ah, my Perilla! dost thou grieve to see

Me, day by day, to steal away from thee?

Age calls me hence, and my grey hairs bid come,

And haste away to mine eternal home;

’Twill not be long, Perilla, after this,

That I must give thee the supremest kiss.

Dead when I am, first cast in salt, and bring

Part of the cream from that religious spring;

With which, Perilla, wash my hands and feet;

That done, then wind me in that very sheet

Which wrapt thy smooth limbs when thou didst implore

The gods’ protection but the night before.

Follow me weeping to my turf, and there

Let fall a primrose, and with it a tear:

Then, lastly, let some weekly-strewings be

Devoted to the memory of me:

Then shall my ghost not walk about, but keep

Still in the cool and silent shades of sleep.

Weekly strewings, i.e., of flowers on his grave.

First cast in salt, cp. 769.

15. A Song to the Maskers.

Come down and dance ye in the toil

Of pleasures to a heat;

But if to moisture, let the oil

Of roses be your sweat.

Not only to yourselves assume

These sweets, but let them fly

From this to that, and so perfume

E’en all the standers by;

As goddess Isis, when she went

Or glided through the street,

Made all that touched her, with her scent,

And whom she touched, turn sweet.

16. To Perenna.

When I thy parts run o’er, I can’t espy

In any one the least indecency;

But every line and limb diffused thence

A fair and unfamiliar excellence:

So that the more I look the more I prove

There’s still more cause why I the more should love.

Indecency, uncomeliness.

17. Treason.

The seeds of treason choke up as they spring:

He acts the crime that gives it cherishing.

18. Two Things Odious.

Two of a thousand things are disallow’d:

A lying rich man, and a poor man proud.

19. To His Mistresses.

Help me! help me! now I call

To my pretty witchcrafts all;

Old I am, and cannot do

That I was accustomed to.

Bring your magics, spells, and charms,

To enflesh my thighs and arms.

Is there no way to beget

In my limbs their former heat?

Æson had, as poets feign,

Baths that made him young again:

Find that medicine, if you can,

For your dry decrepit man

Who would fain his strength renew,

Were it but to pleasure you.

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

20. The Wounded Heart.

Come bring your sampler, and with art

Draw in’t a wounded heart

And dropping here and there:

Not that I think that any dart

Can make yours bleed a tear,

Or pierce it anywhere;

Yet do it to this end: that I

May by

This secret see,

Though you can make

That heart to bleed, yours ne’er will ache

For me.

21. No Loathsomeness in Love.

What I fancy I approve,

No dislike there is in love.

Be my mistress short or tall,

And distorted therewithal:

Be she likewise one of those

That an acre hath of nose:

Be her forehead and her eyes

Full of incongruities:

Be her cheeks so shallow too

As to show her tongue wag through;

Be her lips ill hung or set,

And her grinders black as jet:

Has she thin hair, hath she none,

She’s to me a paragon.

22. To Anthea.

If, dear Anthea, my hard fate it be

To live some few sad hours after thee,

Thy sacred corse with odours I will burn,

And with my laurel crown thy golden urn.

Then holding up there such religious things

As were, time past, thy holy filletings,

Near to thy reverend pitcher I will fall

Down dead for grief, and end my woes withal:

So three in one small plat of ground shall lie —

Anthea, Herrick, and his poetry.

23. The Weeping Cherry.

I saw a cherry weep, and why?

Why wept it? but for shame

Because my Julia’s lip was by,

And did out-red the same.

But, pretty fondling, let not fall

A tear at all for that:

Which rubies, corals, scarlets, all

For tincture wonder at.

24. Soft Music.

The mellow touch of music most doth wound

The soul when it doth rather sigh than sound.

25. The Difference Betwixt Kings and Subjects.

‘Twixt kings and subjects there’s this mighty odds:

Subjects are taught by men; kings by the gods.

26. His Answer to a Question.

Some would know

Why I so

Long still do tarry,

And ask why

Here that I

Live and not marry.

Thus I those

Do oppose:

What man would be here

Slave to thrall,

If at all

He could live free here?

27. Upon Julia’s Fall.

Julia was careless, and withal

She rather took than got a fall,

The wanton ambler chanc’d to see

Part of her legs’ sincerity:

And ravish’d thus, it came to pass,

The nag (like to the prophet’s ass)

Began to speak, and would have been

A-telling what rare sights he’d seen:

And had told all; but did refrain

Because his tongue was tied again.

28. Expenses Exhaust.

Live with a thrifty, not a needy fate;

Small shots paid often waste a vast estate.

Shots, debts.

29. Love, what it is.

Love is a circle that doth restless move

In the same sweet eternity of love.

30. Presence and Absence.

When what is lov’d is present, love doth spring;

But being absent, love lies languishing.

31. No Spouse but a Sister.

A bachelor I will

Live as I have liv’d still,

And never take a wife

To crucify my life;

But this I’ll tell ye too,

What now I mean to do:

A sister (in the stead

Of wife) about I’ll lead;

Which I will keep embrac’d,

And kiss, but yet be chaste.

32. The Pomander Bracelet.

To me my Julia lately sent

A bracelet richly redolent:

The beads I kissed, but most lov’d her

That did perfume the pomander.

Pomander, a ball of scent.

33. The Shoe-Tying.

Anthea bade me tie her shoe;

I did; and kissed the instep too:

And would have kissed unto her knee,

Had not her blush rebuked me.

34. The Carcanet.

Instead of orient pearls of jet

I sent my love a carcanet;

About her spotless neck she knit

The lace, to honour me or it:

Then think how rapt was I to see

My jet t’enthral such ivory.

Carcanet, necklace.

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

35. His Sailing from Julia.

When that day comes, whose evening says I’m gone

Unto that watery desolation,

Devoutly to thy closet-gods then pray

That my wing’d ship may meet no remora.

Those deities which circum-walk the seas,

And look upon our dreadful passages,

Will from all dangers redeliver me

For one drink-offering poured out by thee.

Mercy and truth live with thee! and forbear

(In my short absence) to unsluice a tear;

But yet for love’s sake let thy lips do this,

Give my dead picture one engendering kiss:

Work that to life, and let me ever dwell

In thy remembrance, Julia. So farewell.

Closet-gods, the Roman Lares.

Remora, the sea Lamprey or suckstone, believed to check the course of

ships by clinging to their keels.

36. How the Wall-Flower Came First, and why So Called.

Why this flower is now call’d so,

List, sweet maids, and you shall know.

Understand, this firstling was

Once a brisk and bonnie lass,

Kept as close as Danaë was:

Who a sprightly springall lov’d,

And to have it fully prov’d,

Up she got upon a wall,

Tempting down to slide withal:

But the silken twist untied,

So she fell, and, bruis’d, she died.

Love, in pity of the deed,

And her loving-luckless speed,

Turn’d her to this plant we call

Now the flower of the wall.

Tempting, trying.

37. Why Flowers Change Colour.

These fresh beauties (we can prove)

Once were virgins sick of love.

Turn’d to flowers — still in some

Colours go and colours come.

38. To His Mistress Objecting to Him Neither Toying or Talking.

You say I love not, ‘cause I do not play

Still with your curls, and kiss the time away.

You blame me too, because I can’t devise

Some sport to please those babies in your eyes:

By love’s religion, I must here confess it,

The most I love when I the least express it.

Small griefs find tongues: full casks are ever found

To give (if any, yet) but little sound.

Deep waters noiseless are; and this we know,

That chiding streams betray small depth below.

So, when love speechless is, she doth express

A depth in love and that depth bottomless.

Now, since my love is tongueless, know me such

Who speak but little ‘cause I love so much.

Babies in your eyes, see Note.

39. Upon the Loss of His Mistresses.

I have lost, and lately, these

Many dainty mistresses:

Stately Julia, prime of all:

Sappho next, a principal:

Smooth Anthea for a skin

White, and heaven-like crystalline:

Sweet Electra, and the choice

Myrrha for the lute and voice:

Next Corinna, for her wit,

And the graceful use of it:

With Perilla: all are gone;

Only Herrick’s left alone

For to number sorrow by

Their departures hence, and die.

40. The Dream.

Methought last night Love in an anger came

And brought a rod, so whipt me with the same;

Myrtle the twigs were, merely to imply

Love strikes, but ’tis with gentle cruelty.

Patient I was: Love pitiful grew then

And strok’d the stripes, and I was whole again.

Thus, like a bee, Love gentle still doth bring

Honey to salve where he before did sting.

41. The Vine.

I dreamt this mortal part of mine

Was metamorphos’d to a vine;

Which crawling one and every way

Enthrall’d my dainty Lucia.

Methought, her long small legs and thighs

I with my tendrils did surprise;

Her belly, buttocks, and her waist

By my soft nerv’lets were embrac’d;

About her head I writhing hung, }

And with rich clusters, hid among }

The leaves, her temples I behung: }

So that my Lucia seem’d to me

Young Bacchus ravish’d by his tree.

My curls about her neck did crawl,

And arms and hands they did enthrall:

So that she could not freely stir,

All parts there made one prisoner.

But when I crept with leaves to hide

Those parts, which maids keep unespy’d,

Such fleeting pleasures there I took,

That with the fancy I awoke;

And found, ah me! this flesh of mine

More like a stock than like a vine.

42. To Love.

I’m free from thee; and thou no more shalt hear

My puling pipe to beat against thine ear.

Farewell my shackles, though of pearl they be;

Such precious thraldom ne’er shall fetter me.

He loves his bonds who, when the first are broke,

Submits his neck unto a second yoke.

43. On Himself.

Young I was, but now am old,

But I am not yet grown cold;

I can play, and I can twine

‘Bout a virgin like a vine:

In her lap too I can lie

Melting, and in fancy die;

And return to life if she

Claps my cheek, or kisseth me:

Thus, and thus it now appears

That our love outlasts our years.

44. Love’s Play at Push-Pin.

Love and myself, believe me, on a day

At childish push-pin, for our sport, did play;

I put, he pushed, and, heedless of my skin,

Love pricked my finger with a golden pin;

Since which it festers so that I can prove

’Twas but a trick to poison me with love:

Little the wound was, greater was the smart,

The finger bled, but burnt was all my heart.

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

45. The Rosary.

One ask’d me where the roses grew:

I bade him not go seek,

But forthwith bade my Julia show

A bud in either cheek.

46. Upon Cupid.

Old wives have often told how they

Saw Cupid bitten by a flea;

And thereupon, in tears half drown’d,

He cried aloud: Help, help the wound!

He wept, he sobb’d, he call’d to some

To bring him lint and balsamum,

To make a tent, and put it in

Where the stiletto pierced the skin;

Which, being done, the fretful pain

Assuaged, and he was well again.

Tent, a roll of lint for probing wounds.

47. The Parcæ; Or, Three Dainty Destinies: The Armillet.

Three lovely sisters working were,

As they were closely set,

Of soft and dainty maidenhair

A curious armillet.

I, smiling, asked them what they did,

Fair Destinies all three,

Who told me they had drawn a thread

Of life, and ’twas for me.

They show’d me then how fine ’twas spun,

And I reply’d thereto —

“I care not now how soon ’tis done,

Or cut, if cut by you”.

48. Sorrows Succeed.

When one is past, another care we have:

Thus woe succeeds a woe, as wave a wave.

49. Cherry-Pit.

Julia and I did lately sit

Playing for sport at cherry-pit:

She threw; I cast; and, having thrown,

I got the pit, and she the stone.

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

50. To Robin Redbreast.

Laid out for dead, let thy last kindness be

With leaves and moss-work for to cover me:

And while the wood-nymphs my cold corpse inter,

Sing thou my dirge, sweet-warbling chorister!

For epitaph, in foliage, next write this:

Here, here the tomb of Robin Herrick is.

51. Discontents in Devon.

More discontents I never had

Since I was born than here,

Where I have been, and still am sad,

In this dull Devonshire;

Yet, justly too, I must confess

I ne’er invented such

Ennobled numbers for the press,

Than where I loathed so much.

52. To His Paternal Country.

O earth! earth! earth! hear thou my voice, and be

Loving and gentle for to cover me:

Banish’d from thee I live, ne’er to return,

Unless thou giv’st my small remains an urn.

53. Cherry-Ripe.

Cherry-ripe, ripe, ripe, I cry,

Full and fair ones; come and buy.

If so be you ask me where

They do grow, I answer: There,

Where my Julia’s lips do smile;

There’s the land, or cherry-isle,

Whose plantations fully show

All the year where cherries grow.

54. To His Mistresses.

Put on your silks, and piece by piece

Give them the scent of ambergris;

And for your breaths, too, let them smell

Ambrosia-like, or nectarel;

While other gums their sweets perspire,

By your own jewels set on fire.

55. To Anthea.

Now is the time, when all the lights wax dim;

And thou, Anthea, must withdraw from him

Who was thy servant. Dearest, bury me

Under that Holy-oak or Gospel-tree,

Where, though thou see’st not, thou may’st think upon

Me, when thou yearly go’st procession;

Or, for mine honour, lay me in that tomb

In which thy sacred relics shall have room.

For my embalming, sweetest, there will be

No spices wanting when I’m laid by thee.

Holy oak, the oak under which the minister read the Gospel in the

procession round the parish bounds in Rogation week.

56. The Vision to Electra.

I dreamed we both were in a bed

Of roses, almost smothered:

The warmth and sweetness had me there

Made lovingly familiar,

But that I heard thy sweet breath say,

Faults done by night will blush by day.

I kissed thee, panting, and, I call

Night to the record! that was all.

But, ah! if empty dreams so please,

Love give me more such nights as these.

57. Dreams.

Here we are all by day; by night we’re hurl’d

By dreams, each one into a sev’ral world.

58. Ambition.

In man ambition is the common’st thing;

Each one by nature loves to be a king.

59. His Request to Julia.

Julia, if I chance to die

Ere I print my poetry,

I most humbly thee desire

To commit it to the fire:

Better ’twere my book were dead

Than to live not perfected.

60. Money Gets the Mastery.

Fight thou with shafts of silver and o’ercome,

When no force else can get the masterdom.

61. The Scare-Fire.

Water, water I desire,

Here’s a house of flesh on fire;

Ope the fountains and the springs,

And come all to bucketings:

What ye cannot quench pull down;

Spoil a house to save a town:

Better ’tis that one should fall,

Than by one to hazard all.

Scare-fire, fire-alarm.

62. Upon Silvia, a Mistress.

When some shall say, Fair once my Silvia was,

Thou wilt complain, False now’s thy looking-glass,

Which renders that quite tarnished which was green,

And priceless now what peerless once had been.

Upon thy form more wrinkles yet will fall,

And, coming down, shall make no noise at all.

Priceless, valueless.

63. Cheerfulness in Charity; Or, the Sweet Sacrifice.

’Tis not a thousand bullocks’ thighs

Can please those heav’nly deities,

If the vower don’t express

In his offering cheerfulness.

64. Once Poor, Still Penurious.

Goes the world now, it will with thee go hard:

The fattest hogs we grease the more with lard.

To him that has, there shall be added more;

Who is penurious, he shall still be poor.

65. Sweetness in Sacrifice.

’Tis not greatness they require

To be offer’d up by fire;

But ’tis sweetness that doth please

Those Eternal Essences.

66. Steam in Sacrifice.

If meat the gods give, I the steam

High-towering will devote to them,

Whose easy natures like it well,

If we the roast have, they the smell.

67. Upon Julia’s Voice.

So smooth, so sweet, so silv’ry is thy voice,

As, could they hear, the damn’d would make no noise,

But listen to thee, walking in thy chamber,

Melting melodious words to lutes of amber.

Amber, used here merely for any rich material: cp. “Treading on amber

with their silver feet”.

68. Again.

When I thy singing next shall hear,

I’ll wish I might turn all to ear

To drink in notes and numbers such

As blessed souls can’t hear too much;

Then melted down, there let me lie

Entranc’d and lost confusedly,

And, by thy music stricken mute,

Die and be turn’d into a lute.

69. All Things Decay and Die.

All things decay with time: the forest sees

The growth and downfall of her aged trees;

That timber tall, which threescore lusters stood

The proud dictator of the state-like wood —

I mean (the sovereign of all plants) the oak —

Droops, dies, and falls without the cleaver’s stroke.

Lusters, the Roman reckoning of five years.

70. The Succession of the Four Sweet Months.

First, April, she with mellow showers

Opens the way for early flowers;

Then after her comes smiling May,

In a more rich and sweet array;

Next enters June, and brings us more

Gems than those two that went before:

Then (lastly) July comes, and she

More wealth brings in than all those three.

71. No Shipwreck of Virtue. To a Friend.

Thou sail’st with others in this Argus here;

Nor wreck or bulging thou hast cause to fear;

But trust to this, my noble passenger;

Who swims with virtue, he shall still be sure

(Ulysses-like) all tempests to endure,

And ‘midst a thousand gulfs to be secure.

Bulging, leaking.

72. Upon His Sister-In-Law, Mistress Elizabeth Herrick.

First, for effusions due unto the dead,

My solemn vows have here accomplished:

Next, how I love thee, that my grief must tell,

Wherein thou liv’st for ever. Dear, farewell.

Effusions, drink-offerings.

73. Of Love. A Sonnet.

How love came in I do not know,

Whether by the eye, or ear, or no;

Or whether with the soul it came

(At first) infused with the same;

Whether in part ’tis here or there,

Or, like the soul, whole everywhere,

This troubles me: but I as well

As any other this can tell:

That when from hence she does depart

The outlet then is from the heart.

74. To Anthea.

Ah, my Anthea! Must my heart still break?

(Love makes me write, what shame forbids to speak.)

Give me a kiss, and to that kiss a score;

Then to that twenty add a hundred more:

A thousand to that hundred: so kiss on,

To make that thousand up a million.

Treble that million, and when that is done

Let’s kiss afresh, as when we first begun.

But yet, though love likes well such scenes as these,

There is an act that will more fully please:

Kissing and glancing, soothing, all make way

But to the acting of this private play:

Name it I would; but, being blushing red,

The rest I’ll speak when we meet both in bed.

75. The Rock of Rubies, and the Quarry of Pearls.

Some ask’d me where the rubies grew,

And nothing I did say:

But with my finger pointed to

The lips of Julia.

Some ask’d how pearls did grow, and where;

Then spoke I to my girl,

To part her lips, and show’d them there

The quarrelets of Pearl.

Quarrelets, little squares.

76. Conformity.

Conformity was ever known

A foe to dissolution:

Nor can we that a ruin call,

Whose crack gives crushing unto all.

77. To the King, Upon His Coming with His Army into the West.

Welcome, most welcome to our vows and us,

Most great and universal genius!

The drooping West, which hitherto has stood

As one in long-lamented widowhood,

Looks like a bride now, or a bed of flowers

Newly refresh’d both by the sun and showers.

War, which before was horrid, now appears

Lovely in you, brave prince of cavaliers!

A deal of courage in each bosom springs

By your access, O you the best of kings!

Ride on with all white omens; so that where

Your standard’s up, we fix a conquest there.

78. Upon Roses.

Under a lawn, than skies more clear,

Some ruffled roses nestling were:

And, snugging there, they seem’d to lie

As in a flowery nunnery:

They blush’d, and look’d more fresh than flowers

Quicken’d of late by pearly showers,

And all because they were possess’d

But of the heat of Julia’s breast:

Which, as a warm and moisten’d spring,

Gave them their ever-flourishing.

79. To the King and Queen Upon Their Unhappy Distances.

Woe, woe to them, who, by a ball of strife,

Do, and have parted here a man and wife:

CHARLES the best husband, while MARIA strives

To be, and is, the very best of wives,

Like streams, you are divorc’d; but ’twill come when

These eyes of mine shall see you mix again.

Thus speaks the oak here; C. and M. shall meet,

Treading on amber, with their silver-feet,

Nor will’t be long ere this accomplish’d be:

The words found true, C. M., remember me.

Oak, the prophetic tree.

80. Dangers Wait on Kings.

As oft as night is banish’d by the morn,

So oft we’ll think we see a king new born.

81. The Cheat of Cupid; Or, the Ungentle Guest.

One silent night of late,

When every creature rested,

Came one unto my gate

And, knocking, me molested.

Who’s that, said I, beats there,

And troubles thus the sleepy?

Cast off, said he, all fear,

And let not locks thus keep ye.

For I a boy am, who

By moonless nights have swerved;

And all with show’rs wet through,

And e’en with cold half starved.

I pitiful arose,

And soon a taper lighted;

And did myself disclose

Unto the lad benighted.

I saw he had a bow

And wings, too, which did shiver;

And, looking down below,

I spied he had a quiver.

I to my chimney’s shine

Brought him, as Love professes,

And chafed his hands with mine,

And dried his drooping tresses.

But when he felt him warm’d:

Let’s try this bow of ours,

And string, if they be harm’d,

Said he, with these late showers.

Forthwith his bow he bent,

And wedded string and arrow,

And struck me, that it went

Quite through my heart and marrow.

Then, laughing loud, he flew

Away, and thus said, flying:

Adieu, mine host, adieu,

I’ll leave thy heart a-dying.

82. To the Reverend Shade of His Religious Father.

That for seven lusters I did never come

To do the rites to thy religious tomb;

That neither hair was cut, or true tears shed

By me, o’er thee, as justments to the dead,

Forgive, forgive me; since I did not know

Whether thy bones had here their rest or no,

But now ’tis known, behold! behold, I bring

Unto thy ghost th’ effused offering:

And look what smallage, night-shade, cypress, yew,

Unto the shades have been, or now are due,

Here I devote; and something more than so;

I come to pay a debt of birth I owe.

Thou gav’st me life, but mortal; for that one

Favour I’ll make full satisfaction;

For my life mortal rise from out thy hearse.

And take a life immortal from my verse.

Seven lusters, five and thirty years.

Hair was cut, according to the Greek custom.

Justments, dues.

Smallage, water parsley.

83. Delight in Disorder.

A sweet disorder in the dress

Kindles in clothes a wantonness:

A lawn about the shoulders thrown

Into a fine distraction:

An erring lace which here and there

Enthralls the crimson stomacher:

A cuff neglectful, and thereby

Ribbons to flow confusedly:

A winning wave, deserving note,

In the tempestuous petticoat:

A careless shoe-string, in whose tie

I see a wild civility:

Do more bewitch me than when art

Is too precise in every part.

84. To His Muse.

Were I to give thee baptism, I would choose

To christen thee, the bride, the bashful Muse,

Or Muse of roses: since that name does fit

Best with those virgin-verses thou hast writ:

Which are so clean, so chaste, as none may fear

Cato the censor, should he scan each here.

85. Upon Love.

Love scorch’d my finger, but did spare

The burning of my heart;

To signify in love my share

Should be a little part.

Little I love; but if that he

Would but that heat recall;

That joint to ashes burnt should be,*

Ere I would love at all.

* Orig. ed., should be burnt.

86. To Dean Bourn, a Rude River in Devon, by which Sometimes he Lived.

Dean Bourn, farewell; I never look to see

Dean, or thy watery* incivility.

Thy rocky bottom, that doth tear thy streams

And makes them frantic even to all extremes,

To my content I never should behold,

Were thy streams silver, or thy rocks all gold.

Rocky thou art, and rocky we discover

Thy men, and rocky are thy ways all over.

O men, O manners, now and ever known

To be a rocky generation!

A people currish, churlish as the seas,

And rude almost as rudest savages,

With whom I did, and may resojourn when

Rocks turn to rivers, rivers turn to men.

* Orig. ed., warty.

87. Kissing Usury.

Bianca, let

Me pay the debt

I owe thee for a kiss

Thou lend’st to me,

And I to thee

Will render ten for this.

If thou wilt say

Ten will not pay

For that so rich a one;

I’ll clear the sum,

If it will come

Unto a million.

By this, I guess,

Of happiness

Who has a little measure,

He must of right

To th’ utmost mite

Make payment for his pleasure.

88. To Julia.

How rich and pleasing thou, my Julia, art

In each thy dainty and peculiar part!

First, for thy queenship, on thy head is set

Of flowers a sweet commingled coronet:

About thy neck a carcanet is bound,

Made of the ruby, pearl and diamond:

A golden ring that shines upon thy thumb:

About thy wrist, the rich dardanium.*

Between thy breasts (than down of swans more white)

There plays the sapphire with the chrysolite.

No part besides must of thyself be known,

But by the topaz, opal, chalcedon.

Carcanet, necklace.

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

89. To Laurels.

A funeral stone

Or verse I covet none,

But only crave

Of you that I may have

A sacred laurel springing from my grave:

Which being seen,

Blest with perpetual green,

May grow to be

Not so much call’d a tree

As the eternal monument of me.

90. His Cavalier.

Give me that man that dares bestride

The active sea-horse, and with pride

Through that huge field of waters ride.

Who with his looks, too, can appease

The ruffling winds and raging seas,

In midst of all their outrages.

This, this a virtuous man can do,

Sail against rocks, and split them too;

Ay, and a world of pikes pass through.

91. Zeal Required in Love.

I’ll do my best to win whene’er I woo:

That man loves not who is not zealous too.

92. The Bag of the Bee.

About the sweet bag of a bee

Two cupids fell at odds,

And whose the pretty prize should be

They vow’d to ask the gods.

Which Venus hearing, thither came,

And for their boldness stripp’d them,

And, taking thence from each his flame,

With rods of myrtle whipp’d them.

Which done, to still their wanton cries,

When quiet grown she’d seen them,

She kiss’d, and wip’d their dove-like eyes,

And gave the bag between them.

93. Love Killed by Lack.

Let me be warm, let me be fully fed,

Luxurious love by wealth is nourished.

Let me be lean, and cold, and once grown poor,

I shall dislike what once I lov’d before.

94. To His Mistress.

Choose me your valentine,

Next let us marry —

Love to the death will pine

If we long tarry.

Promise, and keep your vows,

Or vow ye never —

Love’s doctrine disallows

Troth-breakers ever.

You have broke promise twice,

Dear, to undo me,

If you prove faithless thrice

None then will woo ye.

95. To the Generous Reader.

See and not see, and if thou chance t’espy

Some aberrations in my poetry,

Wink at small faults; the greater, ne’ertheless,

Hide, and with them their father’s nakedness.

Let’s do our best, our watch and ward to keep;

Homer himself, in a long work, may sleep.

96. To Critics.

I’ll write, because I’ll give

You critics means to live;

For should I not supply

The cause, th’ effect would die.

97. Duty to Tyrants.

Good princes must be pray’d for; for the bad

They must be borne with, and in rev’rence had.

Do they first pill thee, next pluck off thy skin?

Good children kiss the rods that punish sin.

Touch not the tyrant; let the gods alone

To strike him dead that but usurps a throne.

Pill, plunder.

98. Being Once Blind, His Request to Bianca.

When age or chance has made me blind,

So that the path I cannot find,

And when my falls and stumblings are

More than the stones i’ th’ street by far,

Go thou afore, and I shall well

Follow thy perfumes by the smell;

Or be my guide, and I shall be

Led by some light that flows from thee.

Thus held or led by thee, I shall

In ways confus’d nor slip or fall.

100. No Want where There’s Little.

To bread and water none is poor;

And having these, what need of more?

Though much from out the cess be spent,

Nature with little is content.

Cess, the parish assessment for church purposes.

101. Barley-Break; Or, Last in Hell.

We two are last in hell; what may we fear

To be tormented or kept pris’ners here?

Alas! if kissing be of plagues the worst,

We’ll wish in hell we had been last and first.

Barley-break, a country game resembling prisoners’ base. See Note.

Hell, the “middle den,” the occupants of which had to catch the other


102. The Definition of Beauty.

Beauty no other thing is than a beam

Flashed out between the middle and extreme.

103. To Dianeme.

Dear, though to part it be a hell,

Yet, Dianeme, now farewell:

Thy frown last night did bid me go,

But whither only grief does know.

I do beseech thee ere we part,

If merciful as fair thou art,

Or else desir’st that maids should tell

Thy pity by love’s chronicle,

O Dianeme, rather kill

Me, than to make me languish still!

’Tis cruelty in thee to th’ height

Thus, thus to wound, not kill outright;

Yet there’s a way found, if you please,

By sudden death to give me ease;

And thus devis’d, do thou but this —

Bequeath to me one parting kiss,

So sup’rabundant joy shall be

The executioner of me.

104. To Anthea Lying in Bed.

So looks Anthea, when in bed she lies

O’ercome or half betray’d by tiffanies,

Like to a twilight, or that simpering dawn

That roses show when misted o’er with lawn.

Twilight is yet, till that her lawns give way;

Which done, that dawn turns then to perfect day.

Tiffanies, gauzes.

Lawn, fine linen.

105. To Electra.

More white than whitest lilies far,

Or snow, or whitest swans you are:

More white than are the whitest creams,

Or moonlight tinselling the streams:

More white than pearls, or Juno’s thigh,

Or Pelops’ arm of ivory.

True, I confess, such whites as these

May me delight, not fully please;

Till like Ixion’s cloud you be

White, warm, and soft to lie with me.

Pelops’ arm, which Jove gave him to replace the one eaten by Ceres at

the feast of Tantalus.

Ixion’s cloud, to which Jove, for his deception, gave the form of Juno.

106. A Country-Life: To His Brother, Mr. Tho. Herrick.

Thrice, and above, bless’d, my soul’s half, art thou

In thy both last and better vow:

Could’st leave the city, for exchange, to see

The country’s sweet simplicity:

And it to know and practise, with intent

To grow the sooner innocent

By studying to know virtue, and to aim

More at her nature than her name.

The last is but the least; the first doth tell

Ways less to live than to live well:

And both are known to thee, who now can’st live

Led by thy conscience; to give

Justice to soon-pleased nature; and to show

Wisdom and she together go

And keep one centre: this with that conspires

To teach man to confine desires

And know that riches have their proper stint

In the contented mind, not mint:

And can’st instruct that those who have the itch

Of craving more are never rich.

These things thou know’st to th’ height, and dost prevent

That plague; because thou art content

With that heav’n gave thee with a wary hand,

More blessed in thy brass than land,

To keep cheap nature even and upright;

To cool, not cocker appetite.

Thus thou canst tersely live to satisfy

The belly chiefly, not the eye;

Keeping the barking stomach wisely quiet,

Less with a neat than needful diet.

But that which most makes sweet thy country life

Is the fruition of a wife:

Whom, stars consenting with thy fate, thou hast

Got not so beautiful as chaste:

By whose warm side thou dost securely sleep,

While love the sentinel doth keep,

With those deeds done by day, which ne’er affright

Thy silken slumbers in the night.

Nor has the darkness power to usher in

Fear to those sheets that know no sin;

But still thy wife, by chaste intentions led,

Gives thee each night a maidenhead.

The damask’d meadows and the pebbly streams

Sweeten and make soft your dreams:

The purling springs, groves, birds, and well-weav’d bowers,

With fields enamelled with flowers,

Present their shapes; while fantasy discloses

Millions of lilies mix’d with roses.

Then dream ye hear the lamb by many a bleat

Woo’d to come suck the milky teat:

While Faunus in the vision comes to keep

From rav’ning wolves the fleecy sheep.

With thousand such enchanting dreams, that meet

To make sleep not so sound as sweet:

Nor can these figures so thy rest endear

As not to rise when Chanticlere

Warns the last watch; but with the dawn dost rise

To work, but first to sacrifice;

Making thy peace with heav’n, for some late fault,

With holy-meal and spirting-salt.

Which done, thy painful thumb this sentence tells us,

Jove for our labour all things sells us.

Nor are thy daily and devout affairs

Attended with those desp’rate cares

Th’ industrious merchant has; who, for to find

Gold, runneth to the Western Inde,

And back again, tortured with fears, doth fly,

Untaught to suffer poverty.

But thou at home, bless’d with securest ease,

Sitt’st, and believ’st that there be seas

And watery dangers; while thy whiter hap

But sees these things within thy map.

And viewing them with a more safe survey

Mak’st easy fear unto thee say —

“A heart thrice wall’d with oak and brass that man

Had, first durst plough the ocean“.

But thou at home, without or tide or gale,

Can’st in thy map securely sail:

Seeing those painted countries, and so guess

By those fine shades their substances:

And, from thy compass taking small advice,

Buy’st travel at the lowest price.

Nor are thine ears so deaf but thou canst hear,

Far more with wonder than with fear,

Fame tell of states, of countries, courts, and kings,

And believe there be such things:

When of these truths thy happier knowledge lies

More in thine ears than in thine eyes.

And when thou hear’st by that too true report

Vice rules the most or all at court,

Thy pious wishes are, though thou not there,

Virtue had, and mov’d her sphere.

But thou liv’st fearless; and thy face ne’er shows

Fortune when she comes or goes,

But with thy equal thoughts prepared dost stand,

To take her by the either hand;

Nor car’st which comes the first, the foul or fair:

A wise man ev’ry way lies square,

And, like a surly oak with storms perplex’d,

Grows still the stronger, strongly vex’d.

Be so, bold spirit; stand centre-like, unmov’d;

And be not only thought, but prov’d

To be what I report thee; and inure

Thyself, if want comes to endure:

And so thou dost, for thy desires are

Confin’d to live with private lar:

Not curious whether appetite be fed

Or with the first or second bread,

Who keep’st no proud mouth for delicious cates:

Hunger makes coarse meats delicates.

Canst, and unurg’d, forsake that larded fare,

Which art, not nature, makes so rare,

To taste boil’d nettles, colworts, beets, and eat

These and sour herbs as dainty meat,

While soft opinion makes thy Genius say,

Content makes all ambrosia.

Nor is it that thou keep’st this stricter size

So much for want as exercise:

To numb the sense of dearth, which should sin haste it,

Thou might’st but only see’t, not taste it.

Yet can thy humble roof maintain a choir

Of singing crickets by the fire:

And the brisk mouse may feast herself with crumbs

Till that the green-eyed kitling comes,

Then to her cabin blest she can escape

The sudden danger of a rape:

And thus thy little well-kept stock doth prove

Wealth cannot make a life, but love.

Nor art thou so close-handed but canst spend,

Counsel concurring with the end,

As well as spare, still conning o’er this theme,

To shun the first and last extreme.

Ordaining that thy small stock find no breach,

Or to exceed thy tether’s reach:

But to live round, and close, and wisely true

To thine own self, and known to few.

Thus let thy rural sanctuary be

Elysium to thy wife and thee;

There to disport yourselves with golden measure:

For seldom use commends the pleasure.

Live, and live blest, thrice happy pair; let breath,

But lost to one, be the other’s death.

And as there is one love, one faith, one troth,

Be so one death, one grave to both.

Till when, in such assurance live ye may,

Nor fear or wish your dying day.

Brass, money.

Cocker, pamper.

Neat, dainty.

Spirting-salt, the “saliente mica” of Horace, See Note.

Lar, the “closet-gods,” or gods of the house.

Colworts, cabbages.

Size or assize, a fixed allowance of food, a ration.

107. Divination by a Daffodil.

When a daffodil I see,

Hanging down his head towards me,

Guess I may what I must be:

First, I shall decline my head;

Secondly, I shall be dead;

Lastly, safely buried.

108. To the Painter, to Draw Him a Picture.

Come, skilful Lupo, now, and take

Thy bice, thy umber, pink, and lake;

And let it be thy pencil’s strife,

To paint a Bridgeman to the life:

Draw him as like too, as you can,

An old, poor, lying, flattering man:

His cheeks bepimpled, red and blue;

His nose and lips of mulberry hue.

Then, for an easy fancy, place

A burling iron for his face:

Next, make his cheeks with breath to swell,

And for to speak, if possible:

But do not so, for fear lest he

Should by his breathing, poison thee.

Bice, properly a brown grey, but by transference from “blue bice” and

“green bice,” used for blue and green.

Burling iron, pincers for extracting knots.

111. A Lyric to Mirth.

While the milder fates consent,

Let’s enjoy our merriment:

Drink, and dance, and pipe, and play;

Kiss our dollies night and day:

Crowned with clusters of the vine,

Let us sit, and quaff our wine.

Call on Bacchus, chant his praise;

Shake the thyrse, and bite the bays:

Rouse Anacreon from the dead,

And return him drunk to bed:

Sing o’er Horace, for ere long

Death will come and mar the song:

Then shall Wilson and Gotiere

Never sing or play more here.

Wilson, Dr. John Wilson, the singer and composer, one of the king’s

musicians (1594–1673).

Gotiere, Jacques Gaultier, a French lutist at the court of Charles I.

112. To the Earl of Westmoreland.

When my date’s done, and my grey age must die,

Nurse up, great lord, this my posterity:

Weak though it be, long may it grow and stand,

Shored up by you, brave Earl of Westmoreland.

113. Against Love.

Whene’er my heart love’s warmth but entertains,

Oh frost! oh snow! oh hail! forbid the banes.

One drop now deads a spark, but if the same

Once gets a force, floods cannot quench the flame.

Rather than love, let me be ever lost,

Or let me ‘gender with eternal frost.

114. Upon Julia’s Riband.

As shows the air when with a rainbow grac’d,

So smiles that riband ‘bout my Julia’s waist:

Or like — nay ’tis that zonulet of love,

Wherein all pleasures of the world are wove.

115. The Frozen Zone; Or, Julia Disdainful.

Whither? say, whither shall I fly,

To slack these flames wherein I fry?

To the treasures, shall I go,

Of the rain, frost, hail, and snow?

Shall I search the underground,

Where all damps and mists are found?

Shall I seek (for speedy ease)

All the floods and frozen seas?

Or descend into the deep,

Where eternal cold does keep?

These may cool; but there’s a zone

Colder yet than anyone:

That’s my Julia’s breast, where dwells

Such destructive icicles,

As that the congelation will

Me sooner starve than those can kill.

116. An Epitaph Upon a Sober Matron.

With blameless carriage, I lived here

To the almost seven and fortieth year.

Stout sons I had, and those twice three

One only daughter lent to me:

The which was made a happy bride

But thrice three moons before she died.

My modest wedlock, that was known

Contented with the bed of one.

117. To the Patron of Poets, M. End. Porter.

Let there be patrons, patrons like to thee,

Brave Porter! poets ne’er will wanting be:

Fabius and Cotta, Lentulus, all live

In thee, thou man of men! who here do’st give

Not only subject-matter for our wit,

But likewise oil of maintenance to it:

For which, before thy threshold, we’ll lay down

Our thyrse for sceptre, and our bays for crown.

For, to say truth, all garlands are thy due:

The laurel, myrtle, oak, and ivy too.

118. The Sadness of Things for Sappho’s Sickness.

Lilies will languish; violets look ill;

Sickly the primrose; pale the daffodil;

That gallant tulip will hang down his head,

Like to a virgin newly ravished;

Pansies will weep, and marigolds will wither,

And keep a fast and funeral together;

Sappho droop, daisies will open never,

But bid good-night, and close their lids for ever.

119. Leander’s Obsequies.

When as Leander young was drown’d

No heart by Love receiv’d a wound,

But on a rock himself sat by,

There weeping sup’rabundantly.

Sighs numberless he cast about,

And, all his tapers thus put out,

His head upon his hand he laid,

And sobbing deeply, thus he said:

“Ah, cruel sea,” and, looking on’t,

Wept as he’d drown the Hellespont.

And sure his tongue had more express’d

But that his tears forbade the rest.

120. Hope Heartens.

None goes to warfare but with this intent —

The gains must dead the fears of detriment.

121. Four Things Make Us Happy Here.

Health is the first good lent to men;

A gentle disposition then:

Next, to be rich by no by-ways;

Lastly, with friends t’enjoy our days.

122. His Parting from Mrs. Dorothy Kennedy.

When I did go from thee I felt that smart

Which bodies do when souls from them depart.

Thou did’st not mind it; though thou then might’st see

Me turn’d to tears; yet did’st not weep for me.

’Tis true, I kiss’d thee; but I could not hear

Thee spend a sigh t’accompany my tear.

Methought ’twas strange that thou so hard should’st prove,

Whose heart, whose hand, whose every part spake love.

Prithee, lest maids should censure thee, but say

Thou shed’st one tear, whenas I went away;

And that will please me somewhat: though I know,

And Love will swear’t, my dearest did not so.

123. The Tear Sent to Her from Staines.

Glide, gentle streams, and bear

Along with you my tear

To that coy girl

Who smiles, yet slays

Me with delays,

And strings my tears as pearl.

See! see, she’s yonder set,

Making a carcanet

Of maiden-flowers!

There, there present

This orient

And pendant pearl of ours.

Then say I’ve sent one more

Gem to enrich her store;

And that is all

Which I can send,

Or vainly spend,

For tears no more will fall.

Nor will I seek supply

Of them, the spring’s once dry;

But I’ll devise,

Among the rest,

A way that’s best

How I may save mine eyes.

Yet say — should she condemn

Me to surrender them

Then say my part

Must be to weep

Out them, to keep

A poor, yet loving heart.

Say too, she would have this;

She shall: then my hope is,

That when I’m poor

And nothing have

To send or save,

I’m sure she’ll ask no more.

Carcanet, necklace.

124. Upon One Lily, who Married with a Maid Called Rose.

What times of sweetness this fair day foreshows,

Whenas the Lily marries with the Rose!

What next is look’d for? but we all should see

To spring from thee a sweet posterity.

125. An Epitaph Upon a Child.

Virgins promis’d when I died

That they would each primrose-tide

Duly, morn and evening, come,

And with flowers dress my tomb.

Having promis’d, pay your debts,

Maids, and here strew violets.

127. The Hour-Glass.

That hour-glass which there you see

With water fill’d, sirs, credit me,

The humour was, as I have read,

But lovers’ tears incrystalled.

Which, as they drop by drop do pass

From th’ upper to the under-glass,

Do in a trickling manner tell,

By many a watery syllable,

That lovers’ tears in lifetime shed

Do restless run when they are dead.

Humour, moisture.

128. His Farewell to Sack.

Farewell thou thing, time past so known, so dear

To me as blood to life and spirit; near,

Nay, thou more near than kindred, friend, man, wife,

Male to the female, soul to body; life

To quick action, or the warm soft side

Of the resigning, yet resisting bride.

The kiss of virgins, first fruits of the bed,

Soft speech, smooth touch, the lips, the maidenhead:

These and a thousand sweets could never be

So near or dear as thou wast once to me.

O thou, the drink of gods and angels! wine

That scatter’st spirit and lust, whose purest shine

More radiant than the summer’s sunbeams shows;

Each way illustrious, brave, and like to those

Comets we see by night, whose shagg’d portents

Foretell the coming of some dire events,

Or some full flame which with a pride aspires,

Throwing about his wild and active fires;

’Tis thou, above nectar, O divinest soul!

Eternal in thyself, that can’st control

That which subverts whole nature, grief and care,

Vexation of the mind, and damn’d despair.

’Tis thou alone who, with thy mystic fan,

Work’st more than wisdom, art, or nature can

To rouse the sacred madness and awake

The frost-bound blood and spirits, and to make

Them frantic with thy raptures flashing through

The soul like lightning, and as active too.

’Tis not Apollo can, or those thrice three

Castalian sisters, sing, if wanting thee.

Horace, Anacreon, both had lost their fame,

Had’st thou not fill’d them with thy fire and flame.

Phœbean splendour! and thou, Thespian spring!

Of which sweet swans must drink before they sing

Their true-pac’d numbers and their holy lays,

Which makes them worthy cedar and the bays.

But why, why longer do I gaze upon

Thee with the eye of admiration?

Since I must leave thee, and enforc’d must say

To all thy witching beauties, Go, away.

But if thy whimpering looks do ask me why,

Then know that nature bids thee go, not I.

’Tis her erroneous self has made a brain

Uncapable of such a sovereign

As is thy powerful self. Prithee not smile,

Or smile more inly, lest thy looks beguile

My vows denounc’d in zeal, which thus much show thee

That I have sworn but by thy looks to know thee.

Let others drink thee freely, and desire

Thee and their lips espous’d, while I admire

And love thee, but not taste thee. Let my muse

Fail of thy former helps, and only use

Her inadult’rate strength: what’s done by me

Hereafter shall smell of the lamp, not thee.

Shagg’d, rough-haired.

Mystic fan, the “mystica vannus Iacchi” of Georgic, i. 166.

Cedar, i.e., cedar oil, used for the preservation of manuscripts.

130. Upon Mrs. Elizabeth Wheeler, Under the Name of Amarillis.

Sweet Amarillis by a spring’s

Soft and soul-melting murmurings

Slept, and thus sleeping, thither flew

A robin-redbreast, who, at view,

Not seeing her at all to stir,

Brought leaves and moss to cover her;

But while he perking there did pry

About the arch of either eye,

The lid began to let out day,

At which poor robin flew away,

And seeing her not dead, but all disleav’d,

He chirp’d for joy to see himself deceiv’d.

132. To Myrrha, Hard-Hearted.

Fold now thine arms and hang the head,

Like to a lily withered;

Next look thou like a sickly moon,

Or like Jocasta in a swoon;

Then weep and sigh and softly go,

Like to a widow drown’d in woe,

Or like a virgin full of ruth

For the lost sweetheart of her youth;

And all because, fair maid, thou art

Insensible of all my smart,

And of those evil days that be

Now posting on to punish thee.

The gods are easy, and condemn

All such as are not soft like them.

133. The Eye.

Make me a heaven, and make me there

Many a less and greater sphere:

Make me the straight and oblique lines,

The motions, lations and the signs.

Make me a chariot and a sun,

And let them through a zodiac run;

Next place me zones and tropics there,

With all the seasons of the year.

Make me a sunset and a night,

And then present the morning’s light

Cloth’d in her chamlets of delight.

To these make clouds to pour down rain,

With weather foul, then fair again.

And when, wise artist, that thou hast

With all that can be this heaven grac’t,

Ah! what is then this curious sky

But only my Corinna’s eye?

Lations, astral attractions.

Chamlets, i.e., camlets, stuffs made from camels’ hair.

134. Upon the Much-Lamented Mr. J. Warr.

What wisdom, learning, wit or worth

Youth or sweet nature could bring forth

Rests here with him who was the fame,

The volume of himself and name.

If, reader, then, thou wilt draw near

And do an honour to thy tear,

Weep then for him for whom laments

Not one, but many monuments.

136. The Suspicion Upon His Over-Much Familiarity with a Gentlewoman.

And must we part, because some say

Loud is our love, and loose our play,

And more than well becomes the day?

Alas for pity! and for us

Most innocent, and injured thus!

Had we kept close, or played within,

Suspicion now had been the sin,

And shame had followed long ere this,

T’ have plagued what now unpunished is.

But we, as fearless of the sun,

As faultless, will not wish undone

What now is done, since where no sin

Unbolts the door, no shame comes in.

Then, comely and most fragrant maid,

Be you more wary than afraid

Of these reports, because you see

The fairest most suspected be.

The common forms have no one eye

Or ear of burning jealousy

To follow them: but chiefly where

Love makes the cheek and chin a sphere

To dance and play in, trust me, there

Suspicion questions every hair.

Come, you are fair, and should be seen

While you are in your sprightful green:

And what though you had been embraced

By me — were you for that unchaste?

No, no! no more than is yond’ moon

Which, shining in her perfect noon,

In all that great and glorious light,

Continues cold as is the night.

Then, beauteous maid, you may retire;

And as for me, my chaste desire

Shall move towards you, although I see

Your face no more. So live you free

From fame’s black lips, as you from me.

137. Single Life Most Secure.

Suspicion, discontent, and strife

Come in for dowry with a wife.

138. The Curse. A Song.

Go, perjured man; and if thou e’er return

To see the small remainders in mine urn,

When thou shalt laugh at my religious dust,

And ask: where’s now the colour, form and trust

Of woman’s beauty? and with hand more rude

Rifle the flowers which the virgins strewed:

Know I have prayed to Fury that some wind

May blow my ashes up, and strike thee blind.

139. The Wounded Cupid. Song.

Cupid, as he lay among

Roses, by a bee was stung;

Whereupon, in anger flying

To his mother, said thus, crying:

Help! oh help! your boy’s a-dying.

And why, my pretty lad, said she?

Then, blubbering, replied he:

A winged snake has bitten me,

Which country people call a bee.

At which she smiled; then, with her hairs

And kisses drying up his tears:

Alas! said she, my wag, if this

Such a pernicious torment is,

Come tell me then, how great’s the smart

Of those thou woundest with thy dart!

140. To Dews. A Song.

I burn, I burn; and beg of you

To quench or cool me with your dew.

I fry in fire, and so consume,

Although the pile be all perfume.

Alas! the heat and death’s the same,

Whether by choice or common flame,

To be in oil of roses drowned,

Or water; where’s the comfort found?

Both bring one death; and I die here

Unless you cool me with a tear:

Alas! I call; but ah! I see

Ye cool and comfort all but me.

141. Some Comfort in Calamity.

To conquered men, some comfort ’tis to fall

By the hand of him who is the general.

142. The Vision.

Sitting alone, as one forsook,

Close by a silver-shedding brook,

With hands held up to love, I wept;

And after sorrows spent I slept:

Then in a vision I did see

A glorious form appear to me:

A virgin’s face she had; her dress

Was like a sprightly Spartaness.

A silver bow, with green silk strung,

Down from her comely shoulders hung:

And as she stood, the wanton air

Dangled the ringlets of her hair.

Her legs were such Diana shows

When, tucked up, she a-hunting goes;

With buskins shortened to descry

The happy dawning of her thigh:

Which when I saw, I made access

To kiss that tempting nakedness:

But she forbade me with a wand

Of myrtle she had in her hand:

And, chiding me, said: Hence, remove,

Herrick, thou art too coarse to love.

143. Love Me Little, Love Me Long.

You say, to me-wards your affection’s strong;

Pray love me little, so you love me long.

Slowly goes far: the mean is best: desire,

Grown violent, does either die or tire.

144. Upon a Virgin Kissing a Rose.

’Twas but a single rose,

Till you on it did breathe;

But since, methinks, it shows

Not so much rose as wreath.

145. Upon a Wife that Died Mad with Jealousy.

In this little vault she lies,

Here, with all her jealousies:

Quiet yet; but if ye make

Any noise they both will wake,

And such spirits raise ’twill then

Trouble death to lay again.

146. Upon the Bishop of Lincoln’s Imprisonment.

Never was day so over-sick with showers

But that it had some intermitting hours;

Never was night so tedious but it knew

The last watch out, and saw the dawning too;

Never was dungeon so obscurely deep

Wherein or light or day did never peep;

Never did moon so ebb, or seas so wane,

But they left hope-seed to fill up again.

So you, my lord, though you have now your stay,

Your night, your prison, and your ebb, you may

Spring up afresh, when all these mists are spent,

And star-like, once more gild our firmament.

Let but that mighty Cæsar speak, and then

All bolts, all bars, all gates shall cleave; as when

That earthquake shook the house, and gave the stout

Apostles way, unshackled, to go out.

This, as I wish for, so I hope to see;

Though you, my lord, have been unkind to me,

To wound my heart, and never to apply,

When you had power, the meanest remedy.

Well, though my grief by you was gall’d the more,

Yet I bring balm and oil to heal your sore.

147. Dissuasions from Idleness.

Cynthius, pluck ye by the ear,

That ye may good doctrine hear;

Play not with the maiden-hair,

For each ringlet there’s a snare.

Cheek, and eye, and lip, and chin —

These are traps to take fools in.

Arms, and hands, and all parts else,

Are but toils, or manacles,

Set on purpose to enthral

Men, but slothfuls most of all.

Live employed, and so live free

From these fetters; like to me,

Who have found, and still can prove,

The lazy man the most doth love.

149. An Epithalamy to Sir Thomas Southwell and His Lady.


Now, now’s the time, so oft by truth

Promis’d should come to crown your youth.

Then, fair ones, do not wrong

Your joys by staying long;

Or let love’s fire go out,

By lingering thus in doubt;

But learn that time once lost

Is ne’er redeem’d by cost.

Then away; come, Hymen, guide

To the bed the bashful bride.


Is it, sweet maid, your fault these holy

Bridal rites go on so slowly?

Dear, is it this you dread

The loss of maidenhead?

Believe me, you will most

Esteem it when ’tis lost;

Then it no longer keep,

Lest issue lie asleep.

Then, away; come, Hymen, guide

To the bed the bashful bride.


These precious, pearly, purling tears

But spring from ceremonious fears.

And ’tis but native shame

That hides the loving flame,

And may a while control

The soft and am’rous soul;

But yet love’s fire will waste

Such bashfulness at last.

Then, away; come, Hymen, guide

To the bed the bashful bride.


Night now hath watch’d herself half blind,

Yet not a maidenhead resign’d!

’Tis strange, ye will not fly

To love’s sweet mystery.

Might yon full moon the sweets

Have, promised to your sheets,

She soon would leave her sphere,

To be admitted there.

Then, away; come, Hymen, guide

To the bed the bashful bride.


On, on devoutly, make no stay;

While Domiduca leads the way,

And Genius, who attends

The bed for lucky ends.

With Juno goes the Hours

And Graces strewing flowers.

And the boys with sweet tunes sing:

Hymen, O Hymen, bring

Home the turtles; Hymen, guide

To the bed the bashful bride.


Behold! how Hymen’s taper-light

Shows you how much is spent of night.

See, see the bridegroom’s torch

Half wasted in the porch.

And now those tapers five,

That show the womb shall thrive,

Their silv’ry flames advance,

To tell all prosp’rous chance

Still shall crown the happy life

Of the goodman and the wife.


Move forward then your rosy feet,

And make whate’er they touch turn sweet.

May all, like flowery meads,

Smell where your soft foot treads;

And everything assume

To it the like perfume,

As Zephyrus when he ‘spires

Through woodbine and sweetbriars.

Then, away; come, Hymen, guide

To the bed the bashful bride.


And now the yellow veil at last

Over her fragrant cheek is cast.

Now seems she to express

A bashful willingness:

Showing a heart consenting,

As with a will repenting.

Then gently lead her on

With wise suspicion;

For that, matrons say, a measure

Of that passion sweetens pleasure.


You, you that be of her nearest kin,

Now o’er the threshold force her in.

But to avert the worst

Let her her fillets first

Knit to the posts, this point

Remembering, to anoint

The sides, for ’tis a charm

Strong against future harm;

And the evil deads, the which

There was hidden by the witch.


O Venus! thou to whom is known

The best way how to loose the zone

Of virgins, tell the maid

She need not be afraid,

And bid the youth apply

Close kisses if she cry,

And charge he not forbears

Her though she woo with tears.

Tell them now they must adventure,

Since that love and night bid enter.


No fatal owl the bedstead keeps,

With direful notes to fright your sleeps;

No furies here about

To put the tapers out,

Watch or did make the bed:

’Tis omen full of dread;

But all fair signs appear

Within the chamber here.

Juno here far off doth stand,

Cooling sleep with charming wand.


Virgins, weep not; ’twill come when,

As she, so you’ll be ripe for men.

Then grieve her not with saying

She must no more a-maying,

Or by rosebuds divine

Who’ll be her valentine.

Nor name those wanton reaks

You’ve had at barley-breaks,

But now kiss her and thus say,

“Take time, lady, while ye may”.


Now bar the doors; the bridegroom puts

The eager boys to gather nuts.

And now both love and time

To their full height do climb:

Oh! give them active heat

And moisture both complete:

Fit organs for increase,

To keep and to release

That which may the honour’d stem

Circle with a diadem.


And now, behold! the bed or couch

That ne’er knew bride’s or bridegroom’s touch,

Feels in itself a fire;

And, tickled with desire,

Pants with a downy breast,

As with a heart possesst,

Shrugging as it did move

Ev’n with the soul of love.

And, oh! had it but a tongue,

Doves, ‘twould say, ye bill too long.


O enter then! but see ye shun

A sleep until the act be done.

Let kisses in their close,

Breathe as the damask rose,

Or sweet as is that gum

Doth from Panchaia come.

Teach nature now to know

Lips can make cherries grow

Sooner than she ever yet

In her wisdom could beget.


On your minutes, hours, days, months, years,

Drop the fat blessing of the spheres.

That good which heav’n can give

To make you bravely live

Fall like a spangling dew

By day and night on you.

May fortune’s lily-hand

Open at your command;

With all lucky birds to side

With the bridegroom and the bride.


Let bounteous Fate[s] your spindles full

Fill, and wind up with whitest wool.

Let them not cut the thread

Of life until ye bid.

May death yet come at last,

And not with desp’rate haste,

But when ye both can say

“Come, let us now away,”

Be ye to the barn then borne,

Two, like two ripe shocks of corn.

Domiduca, Juno, the goddess of marriage, the “home-bringer”.

Reaks, pranks.

Barley-break, a country game, see 101.

Panchaia, the land of spices: cf, Virg. G. ii. 139; Æn. iv. 379.

150. Tears are Tongues.

When Julia chid I stood as mute the while

As is the fish or tongueless crocodile.

Air coin’d to words my Julia could not hear,

But she could see each eye to stamp a tear;

By which mine angry mistress might descry

Tears are the noble language of the eye.

And when true love of words is destitute

The eyes by tears speak, while the tongue is mute.

151. Upon a Young Mother of Many Children.

Let all chaste matrons, when they chance to see

My num’rous issue, praise and pity me:

Praise me for having such a fruitful womb,

Pity me, too, who found so soon a tomb.

152. To Electra.

I’ll come to thee in all those shapes

As Jove did when he made his rapes,

Only I’ll not appear to thee

As he did once to Semele.

Thunder and lightning I’ll lay by,

To talk with thee familiarly.

Which done, then quickly we’ll undress

To one and th’ other’s nakedness,

And, ravish’d, plunge into the bed,

Bodies and souls commingled,

And kissing, so as none may hear,

We’ll weary all the fables there.

Fables, i.e., of Jove’s amours.

153. His Wish.

It is sufficient if we pray

To Jove, who gives and takes away:

Let him the land and living find;

Let me alone to fit the mind.

154. His Protestation to Perilla.

Noonday and midnight shall at once be seen:

Trees, at one time, shall be both sere and green:

Fire and water shall together lie

In one self-sweet-conspiring sympathy:

Summer and winter shall at one time show

Ripe ears of corn, and up to th’ ears in snow:

Seas shall be sandless; fields devoid of grass;

Shapeless the world, as when all chaos was,

Before, my dear Perilla, I will be

False to my vow, or fall away from thee.

155. Love Perfumes All Parts.

If I kiss Anthea’s breast,

There I smell the phœnix nest:

If her lip, the most sincere

Altar of incense I smell there —

Hands, and thighs, and legs are all

Richly aromatical.

Goddess Isis can’t transfer

Musks and ambers more from her:

Nor can Juno sweeter be,

When she lies with Jove, than she.

156. To Julia.

Permit me, Julia, now to go away;

Or by thy love decree me here to stay.

If thou wilt say that I shall live with thee,

Here shall my endless tabernacle be:

If not, as banish’d, I will live alone

There where no language ever yet was known.

157. On Himself.

Love-sick I am, and must endure

A desperate grief, that finds no cure.

Ah me! I try; and trying, prove

No herbs have power to cure love.

Only one sovereign salve I know,

And that is death, the end of woe.

158. Virtue is Sensible of Suffering.

Though a wise man all pressures can sustain,

His virtue still is sensible of pain:

Large shoulders though he has, and well can bear,

He feels when packs do pinch him, and the where.

159. 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 despisèd lover,

And write thereon: This, reader, know:

Love kill’d this man. No more, but so.

160. To Dianeme.

Sweet, be not proud of those two eyes

Which, starlike, 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.

161. To the King, to Cure the Evil.

To find that tree of life whose fruits did feed

And leaves did heal all sick of human seed:

To find Bethesda and an angel there

Stirring the waters, I am come; and here,

At last, I find (after my much to do)

The tree, Bethesda and the angel too:

And all in your blest hand, which has the powers

Of all those suppling-healing herbs and flowers.

To that soft charm, that spell, that magic bough,

That high enchantment, I betake me now,

And to that hand (the branch of heaven’s fair tree),

I kneel for help; O! lay that hand on me,

Adored Cæsar! and my faith is such

I shall be heal’d if that my king but touch.

The evil is not yours: my sorrow sings,

“Mine is the evil, but the cure the king’s”.

162. His Misery in a Mistress.

Water, water I espy;

Come and cool ye, all who fry

In your loves; but none as I.

Though a thousand showers be

Still a-falling, yet I see

Not one drop to light on me.

Happy you who can have seas

For to quench ye, or some ease

From your kinder mistresses.

I have one, and she alone,

Of a thousand thousand known,

Dead to all compassion.

Such an one as will repeat

Both the cause and make the heat

More by provocation great.

Gentle friends, though I despair

Of my cure, do you beware

Of those girls which cruel are.

164. 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 show

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 y’are weeping.

165. To Cedars.

If ‘mongst my many poems I can see

One only worthy to be wash’d by thee,

I live for ever, let the rest all lie

In dens of darkness or condemn’d to die.

Cedars, oil of cedar was used for preserving manuscripts (carmina linenda cedro. Hor. Ars Poet., 331.)

166. Upon Cupid.

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 smil’d, and bade him once more prove,

And by some cross-line show it,

That I could ne’er be prince of love,

Though here the princely poet.

167. How Primroses Came Green.

Virgins, time-past, known were these,

Troubled with green-sicknesses:

Turn’d to flowers, still the hue,

Sickly girls, they bear of you.

168. To Jos., Lord Bishop of Exeter.

Whom should I fear to write to if I can

Stand before you, my learn’d diocesan?

And never show blood-guiltiness or fear

To see my lines excathedrated here.

Since none so good are but you may condemn,

Or here so bad but you may pardon them.

If then, my lord, to sanctify my muse

One only poem out of all you’ll choose,

And mark it for a rapture nobly writ,

’Tis good confirm’d, for you have bishop’d it.

Blood-guiltiness, guilt betrayed by blushing; cp. 837.

Excathedrated, condemned ex cathedra.

169. Upon a Black Twist Rounding the Arm of the Countess of Carlisle.

I saw about her spotless wrist,

Of blackest silk, a curious twist;

Which, circumvolving gently, there

Enthrall’d her arm as prisoner.

Dark was the jail, but as if light

Had met t’engender with the night;

Or so as darkness made a stay

To show at once both night and day.

One fancy more! but if there be

Such freedom in captivity,

I beg of Love that ever I

May in like chains of darkness lie.

170. On Himself.

I fear no earthly powers,

But care for crowns of flowers;

And love to have my beard

With wine and oil besmear’d.

This day I’ll drown all sorrow:

Who knows to live tomorrow?

172. A Ring Presented to Julia.

Julia, I bring

To thee this ring,

Made for thy finger fit;

To show by this

That our love is

(Or should be) like to it.

Close though it be

The joint is free;

So, when love’s yoke is on,

It must not gall,

Or fret at all

With hard oppression.

But it must play

Still either way,

And be, too, such a yoke

As not too wide

To overslide,

Or be so strait to choke.

So we who bear

This beam must rear

Ourselves to such a height

As that the stay

Of either may

Create the burden light.

And as this round

Is nowhere found

To flaw, or else to sever:

So let our love

As endless prove,

And pure as gold for ever.

173. To the Detractor.

Where others love and praise my verses, still

Thy long black thumb-nail marks them out for ill:

A fellon take it, or some whitflaw come

For to unslate or to untile that thumb!

But cry thee mercy: exercise thy nails

To scratch or claw, so that thy tongue not rails:

Some numbers prurient are, and some of these

Are wanton with their itch; scratch, and ’twill please.

Fellon, a sore, especially in the finger.

Whitflaw, or whitlow.

174. Upon the Same.

I ask’d thee oft what poets thou hast read,

And lik’st the best. Still thou reply’st: The dead.

I shall, ere long, with green turfs cover’d be;

Then sure thou’lt like or thou wilt envy me.

175. Julia’s Petticoat.

Thy azure robe I did behold

As airy as the leaves of gold,

Which, erring here, and wandering there,

Pleas’d with transgression ev’rywhere:

Sometimes ‘twould pant, and sigh, and heave,

As if to stir it scarce had leave:

But, having got it, thereupon

‘Twould make a brave expansion.

And pounc’d with stars it showed to me

Like a celestial canopy.

Sometimes ‘twould blaze, and then abate,

Like to a flame grown moderate:

Sometimes away ‘twould wildly fling,

Then to thy thighs so closely cling

That some conceit did melt me down

As lovers fall into a swoon:

And, all confus’d, I there did lie

Drown’d in delights, but could not die.

That leading cloud I follow’d still,

Hoping t’ have seen of it my fill;

But ah! I could not: should it move

To life eternal, I could love.

Pounc’d, sprinkled.

176. To Music.

Begin to charm, and, as thou strok’st mine ears

With thy 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.

177. Distrust.

To safeguard man from wrongs, there nothing must

Be truer to him than a wise distrust.

And to thyself be best this sentence known:

Hear all men speak, but credit few or none.

178. Corinna’s Going a-Maying.

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 dress’d;

Nay! not so much as out of bed?

When all the birds have matins said

And sung their thankful hymns, ’tis sin,

Nay, profanation to keep in,

Whereas a thousand virgins on this day

Spring, sooner than the lark, to fetch in May.

Rise and put on your foliage, and be seen

To come forth, like the spring-time, fresh and green,

And sweet as Flora. Take no care

For jewels for your gown or hair:

Fear not; the leaves will strew

Gems in abundance upon you:

Besides, the childhood of the day has kept,

Against you come, some orient pearls unwept;

Come and receive them while the light

Hangs on the dew-locks of the night:

And Titan on the eastern hill

Retires himself, or else stands still

Till you come forth. Wash, dress, be brief in praying:

Few beads are best when once we go a-Maying.

Come, my Corinna, come; and, coming, mark

How each field turns a street, each street a park

Made green and trimm’d with trees: see how

Devotion gives each house a bough

Or branch: each porch, each door ere this

An ark, a tabernacle is,

Made up of white-thorn neatly interwove;

As if here were those cooler shades of love.

Can such delights be in the street

And open fields and we not see’t?

Come, we’ll abroad; and let’s obey

The proclamation made for May:

And sin no more, as we have done, by staying;

But, my Corinna, come, let’s go a-Maying.

There’s not a budding boy or girl this day

But is got up, and gone to bring in May.

A deal of youth, ere this, is come

Back, and with white-thorn laden home.

Some have despatch’d their cakes and cream

Before that we have left to dream:

And some have wept, and woo’d, and plighted troth,

And chose their priest, ere we can cast off sloth:

Many a green-gown has been given;

Many a kiss, both odd and even:

Many a glance too has been sent

From out the eye, love’s firmament;

Many a jest told of the keys betraying

This night, and locks pick’d, yet we’re not a-Maying.

Come, let us go while we are in our prime;

And take the harmless folly of the time.

We shall grow old apace, and die

Before we know our liberty.

Our life is short, and our days run

As fast away as does the sun;

And, as a vapour or a drop of rain,

Once lost, can ne’er be found again,

So when or you or I are made

A fable, song, or fleeting shade,

All love, all liking, all delight

Lies drowned with us in endless night.

Then while time serves, and we are but decaying,

Come, my Corinna, come, let’s go a-Maying.

Beads, prayers.

Left to dream, ceased dreaming.

Green-gown, tumble on the grass.

179. On Julia’s Breath.

Breathe, Julia, breathe, and I’ll protest,

Nay more, I’ll deeply swear,

That all the spices of the east

Are circumfused there.

Circumfused, spread around.

180. Upon a Child. An Epitaph.

But born, and like a short delight,

I glided by my parents’ sight.

That done, the harder fates denied

My longer stay, and so I died.

If, pitying my sad parents’ tears,

You’ll spill a tear or two with theirs,

And with some flowers my grave bestrew,

Love and they’ll thank you for’t. Adieu.

181. A Dialogue Betwixt Horace and Lydia, Translated Anno 1627, and Set by Mr. Ro. Ramsey.

Hor. While, Lydia, I was loved of thee,

Nor any was preferred ‘fore me

To hug thy whitest neck, than I

The Persian king lived not more happily.

Lyd. While thou no other didst affect,

Nor Chloe was of more respect

Than Lydia, far-famed Lydia,

I flourished more than Roman Ilia.

Hor. Now Thracian Chloe governs me,

Skilful i’ th’ harp and melody;

For whose affection, Lydia, I

(So fate spares her) am well content to die.

Lyd. My heart now set on fire is

By Ornithes’ son, young Calais,

For whose commutual flames here I,

To save his life, twice am content to die.

Hor. Say our first loves we should revoke,

And, severed, join in brazen yoke;

Admit I Chloe put away,

And love again love-cast-off Lydia?

Lyd. Though mine be brighter than the star,

Thou lighter than the cork by far,

Rough as the Adriatic sea, yet I

Will live with thee, or else for thee will die.

182. The Captiv’d Bee, or the Little Filcher.

As Julia once a-slumbering 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 sucked 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 syrup 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.

185. An Ode to Master Endymion Porter, Upon His Brother’s Death.

Not all thy flushing suns are set,

Herrick, as yet;

Nor doth this far-drawn hemisphere

Frown and look sullen ev’rywhere.

Days may conclude in nights, and suns may rest

As dead within the west;

Yet, the next morn, regild the fragrant east.

Alas! for me, that I have lost

E’en all almost;

Sunk is my sight, set is my sun,

And all the loom of life undone:

The staff, the elm, the prop, the shelt’ring wall

Whereon my vine did crawl,

Now, now blown down; needs must the old stock fall.

Yet, Porter, while thou keep’st alive,

In death I thrive:

And like a phœnix reaspire

From out my nard and fun’ral fire:

And as I prune my feathered youth, so I

Do mar’l how I could die

When I had thee, my chief preserver, by.

I’m up, I’m up, and bless that hand

Which makes me stand

Now as I do, and but for thee

I must confess I could not be.

The debt is paid; for he who doth resign

Thanks to the gen’rous vine

Invites fresh grapes to fill his press with wine.

Mar’l, marvel.

186. 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 despatch’d is by the night as day.

Let us not then so rudely henceforth go

Till we have wept, kissed, 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.

187. 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.

189. To Cherry-Blossoms.

Ye may simper, blush and smile,

And perfume the air awhile;

But, sweet things, ye must be gone,

Fruit, ye know, is coming on;

Then, ah! then, where is your grace,

Whenas cherries come in place?

190. How Lilies Came White.

White though ye be, yet, lilies, know,

From the first ye were not so;

But I’ll tell ye

What befell ye:

Cupid and his mother lay

In a cloud, while both did play,

He with his pretty finger press’d

The ruby niplet of her breast;

Out of which the cream of light,

Like to a dew,

Fell down on you

And made ye white.

191. 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.

192. On Gilly-Flowers Begotten.

What was’t that fell but now

From that warm kiss of ours?

Look, look! by love I vow

They were two gilly-flowers.

Let’s kiss and kiss again,

For if so be our closes

Make gilly-flowers, then

I’m sure they’ll fashion roses.

193. 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 inTo 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 crystal’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.

Tincture, colour, dye.

Scene, a covering.

194. To His Book.

Like to a bride, come forth, my book, at last,

With all thy richest jewels overcast;

Say, if there be, ‘mongst many gems here, one

Deserveless of the name of paragon;

Blush not at all for that, since we have set

Some pearls on queens that have been counterfeit.

195. Upon Some Women.

Thou who wilt not love, do this,

Learn of me what woman is.

Something made of thread and thrum.

A mere botch of all and some.

Pieces, patches, ropes of hair;

Inlaid garbage everywhere.

Outside silk and outside lawn;

Scenes to cheat us neatly drawn.

False in legs, and false in thighs;

False in breast, teeth, hair, and eyes;

False in head, and false enough;

Only true in shreds and stuff.

Thrum, a small thread.

All and some, anything and everything.

196. Supreme Fortune Falls Soonest.

While leanest beasts in pastures feed,

The fattest ox the first must bleed.

197. The Welcome to Sack.

So soft streams meet, so springs with gladder smiles

Meet after long divorcement by the isles;

When love, the child of likeness, urgeth on

Their crystal natures to a union:

So meet stolen kisses, when the moony nights

Call forth fierce lovers to their wish’d delights;

So kings and queens meet, when desire convinces

All thoughts but such as aim at getting princes,

As I meet thee. Soul of my life and fame!

Eternal lamp of love! whose radiant flame

Out-glares the heaven’s Osiris,* and thy gleams

Out-shine the splendour of his mid-day beams.

Welcome, O welcome, my illustrious spouse;

Welcome as are the ends unto my vows;

Aye! far more welcome than the happy soil

The sea-scourged merchant, after all his toil,

Salutes with tears of joy, when fires betray

The smoky chimneys of his Ithaca.

Where hast thou been so long from my embraces,

Poor pitied exile? Tell me, did thy graces

Fly discontented hence, and for a time

Did rather choose to bless another clime?

Or went’st thou to this end, the more to move me,

By thy short absence, to desire and love thee?

Why frowns my sweet? Why won’t my saint confer

Favours on me, her fierce idolater?

Why are those looks, those looks the which have been

Time-past so fragrant, sickly now drawn in

Like a dull twilight? Tell me, and the fault

I’ll expiate with sulphur, hair and salt;

And, with the crystal humour of the spring,

Purge hence the guilt and kill this quarrelling.

Wo’t thou not smile or tell me what’s amiss?

Have I been cold to hug thee, too remiss,

Too temp’rate in embracing? Tell me, has desire

To thee-ward died i’ th’ embers, and no fire

Left in this rak’d-up ash-heap as a mark

To testify the glowing of a spark?

Have I divorc’d thee only to combine

In hot adult’ry with another wine?

True, I confess I left thee, and appeal

’Twas done by me more to confirm my zeal

And double my affection on thee, as do those

Whose love grows more inflam’d by being foes.

But to forsake thee ever, could there be

A thought of such-like possibility?

When thou thyself dar’st say thy isles shall lack

Grapes before Herrick leaves canary sack.

Thou mak’st me airy, active to be borne,

Like Iphiclus, upon the tops of corn.

Thou mak’st me nimble, as the winged hours,

To dance and caper on the heads of flowers,

And ride the sunbeams. Can there be a thing

Under the heavenly Isis† that can bring

More love unto my life, or can present

My genius with a fuller blandishment?

Illustrious idol! could th’ Egyptians seek

Help from the garlic, onion and the leek

And pay no vows to thee, who wast their best

God, and far more transcendent than the rest?

Had Cassius, that weak water-drinker, known

Thee in thy vine, or had but tasted one

Small chalice of thy frantic liquor, he,

As the wise Cato, had approv’d of thee.

Had not Jove’s son,‡ that brave Tirynthian swain,

Invited to the Thesbian banquet, ta’en

Full goblets of thy gen’rous blood, his sprite

Ne’er had kept heat for fifty maids that night.

Come, come and kiss me; love and lust commends

Thee and thy beauties; kiss, we will be friends

Too strong for fate to break us. Look upon

Me with that full pride of complexion

As queens meet queens, or come thou unto me

As Cleopatra came to Anthony,

When her high carriage did at once present

To the triumvir love and wonderment.

Swell up my nerves with spirit; let my blood

Run through my veins like to a hasty flood.

Fill each part full of fire, active to do

What thy commanding soul shall put it to;

And till I turn apostate to thy love,

Which here I vow to serve, do not remove

Thy fires from me, but Apollo’s curse

Blast these-like actions, or a thing that’s worse.

When these circumstants shall but live to see

The time that I prevaricate from thee.

Call me the son of beer, and then confine

Me to the tap, the toast, the turf; let wine

Ne’er shine upon me; may my numbers all

Run to a sudden death and funeral.

And last, when thee, dear spouse, I disavow,

Ne’er may prophetic Daphne crown my brow.

Convinces, overcomes.

Ithaca, the home of the wanderer Ulysses.

Iphiclus won the foot-race at the funeral games of Pelias.

Circumstants, surroundings.

* The sun. (Note in the original edition.)

† The moon. (Note in the original edition.)

‡ Hercules. (Note in the original edition.)

198. 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.

201. To Live Merrily and to Trust to Good Verses.

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 uncontrolled brow

And my retorted hairs.

Homer, this health to thee,

In sack of such a kind

That it would make thee see

Though thou wert ne’er so blind.

Next, Virgil I’ll call forth

To pledge this second health

In wine, whose each cup’s worth

An Indian commonwealth.

A goblet next I’ll drink

To Ovid, and suppose,

Made he the pledge, he’d think

The world had all one nose.

Then this immensive cup

Of aromatic wine,

Catullus, I quaff up

To that terse muse of thine.

Wild I am now with heat:

O Bacchus, cool thy rays!

Or, frantic, I shall eat

Thy thyrse and bite the bays.

Round, round the roof does run,

And, being ravish’d thus,

Come, I will drink a tun

To my Propertius.

Now, to Tibullus, next,

This flood I drink to thee:

But stay, I see a text

That this presents to me.

Behold, Tibullus lies

Here burnt, whose small return

Of ashes scarce suffice

To fill a little urn.

Trust to good verses then;

They only will aspire

When pyramids, as men,

Are lost i’ th’ funeral fire.

And when all bodies meet

In Lethe to be drown’d,

Then only numbers sweet

With endless life are crown’d.

Retorted, bound back, “retorto crine,” Martial.

Immensive, measureless.

202. Fair Days: Or, Dawns Deceitful.

Fair was the dawn, and but e’en now the skies

Show’d like to cream inspir’d with strawberries,

But on a sudden all was chang’d and gone

That smil’d in that first sweet complexion.

Then thunder-claps and lightning did conspire

To tear the world, or set it all on fire.

What trust to things below, whenas we see,

As men, the heavens have their hypocrisy?

203. Lips Tongueless.

For my part, I never care

For those lips that tongue-tied are:

Tell-tales I would have them be

Of my mistress and of me.

Let them prattle how that I

Sometimes freeze and sometimes fry:

Let them tell how she doth move

Fore or backward in her love:

Let them speak by gentle tones,

One and th’ other’s passions:

How we watch, and seldom sleep;

How by willows we do weep;

How by stealth we meet, and then

Kiss, and sigh, so part again.

This the lips we will permit

For to tell, not publish it.

204. To the Fever, Not to Trouble Julia.

Thou’st dar’d too far; but, fury, now forbear

To give the least disturbance to her hair:

But less presume to lay a plait upon

Her skin’s most smooth and clear expansion.

’Tis like a lawny firmament as yet,

Quite dispossess’d of either fray or fret.

Come thou not near that film so finely spread,

Where no one piece is yet unlevelled.

This if thou dost, woe to thee, fury, woe,

I’ll send such frost, such hail, such sleet, and snow,

Such flesh-quakes, palsies, and such fears as shall

Dead thee to th’ most, if not destroy thee all.

And thou a thousand thousand times shalt be

More shak’d thyself than she is scorch’d by thee.

205. 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 grac’d

To be plac’d

‘Fore damask roses.

Yet, though thus respected,


Ye do lie,

Poor girls, neglected.

207. 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.

208. To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time.

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,

Old time is still a-flying:

And this same flower that smiles today

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.

209. Safety to Look to Oneself.

For my neighbour I’ll not know,

Whether high he builds or no:

Only this I’ll look upon,

Firm be my foundation.

Sound or unsound, let it be!

’Tis the lot ordain’d for me.

He who to the ground does fall

Has not whence to sink at all.

210. To His Friend, on the Untunable Times.

Play I could once; but, gentle friend, you see

My harp hung up here on the willow tree.

Sing I could once; and bravely, too, inspire

With luscious numbers my melodious lyre.

Draw I could once, although not stocks or stones,

Amphion-like, men made of flesh and bones,

Whither I would; but ah! I know not how,

I feel in me this transmutation now.

Grief, my dear friend, has first my harp unstrung,

Wither’d my hand, and palsy-struck my tongue.

211. His Poetry His Pillar.

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


Of any men that were.

How many lie forgot

In vaults beneath?

And piecemeal rot

Without a fame in death?

Behold this living stone

I rear for me,

Ne’er to be thrown

Down, envious Time, by thee.

Pillars let some set up

If so they please:

Here is my hope

And my Pyramides.

212. Safety on the Shore.

What though the sea be calm? Trust to the shore,

Ships have been drown’d where late they danc’d before.

213. A Pastoral Upon the Birth of Prince Charles. 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 ewes,

My wethers, lambs, and wanton kids are well,

Smooth, fair and fat! none better I can tell:

Or that this day Menalcas keeps a feast

For his sheep-shearers. Mirt. True, these are the least;

But, dear Amintas and sweet Amarillis,

Rest but a while here, by this bank of lilies,

And lend a gentle ear to one report

The country has. Amin. From whence? Amar. From whence?

Mirt. The Court.

Three days before the shutting in of May

(With whitest wool be ever crown’d that day!)

To all our joy a sweet-fac’d child was born,

More tender than the childhood of the morn.

Chor. Pan pipe to him, and bleats of lambs and sheep

Let lullaby the pretty prince asleep!

Mirt. And that his birth should be more singular

At noon of day was seen a silver star,

Bright as the wise men’s torch which guided them

To God’s sweet babe, when born at Bethlehem;

While golden angels (some have told to me)

Sung out his birth with heavenly minstrelsy.

Amin. O rare! But is’t a trespass if we three

Should wend along his babyship to see?

Mirt. Not so, not so.

Chor. But if it chance to prove

At most a fault, ’tis but a fault of love.

Amar. But, dear Mirtillo, I have heard it told

Those learned men brought incense, myrrh and gold

From countries far, with store of spices sweet,

And laid them down for offerings at his feet.

Mirt. ’Tis true, indeed; and each of us will bring

Unto our smiling and our blooming king

A neat, though not so great an offering.

Amar. A garland for my gift shall be

Of flowers ne’er suck’d by th’ thieving bee;

And all most sweet; yet all less sweet than he.

Amin. And I will bear, along with you,

Leaves dropping down the honeyed dew,

With oaten pipes as sweet as new.

Mirt. And I a sheep-hook will bestow,

To have his little kingship know,

As he is prince, he’s shepherd too.

Chor. Come, let’s away, and quickly let’s be dress’d,

And quickly give —the swiftest grace is best.

And when before him we have laid our treasures,

We’ll bless the babe, then back to country pleasures.

White, favourable.

214. To the Lark.

Good speed, for I this day

Betimes my matins say:

Because I do

Begin to woo,

Sweet-singing lark,

Be thou the clerk,

And know thy when

To say, Amen.

And if I prove

Bless’d in my love,

Then thou shalt be

High-priest to me,

At my return,

To incense burn;

And so to solemnise

Love’s and my sacrifice.

215. 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 rolled 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.

216. A Meditation for His Mistress.

You are a tulip seen today,

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 virgin’s coronet.

You are the queen all flowers among,

But die you must, fair maid, ere long,

As he, the maker of this song.

217. 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.

218. Lyric for Legacies.

Gold I’ve none, for use or show,

Neither silver to bestow

At my death; but this much know;

That each lyric here shall be

Of my love a legacy,

Left to all posterity.

Gentle friends, then do but please

To accept such coins as these

As my last remembrances.

219. A Dirge Upon the Death of the Right Valiant Lord, Bernard Stuart.

Hence, hence, profane! soft silence let us have

While we this trental sing about thy grave.

Had wolves or tigers seen but thee,

They would have showed civility;

And, in compassion of thy years,

Washed those thy purple wounds with tears.

But since thou’rt slain, and in thy fall

The drooping kingdom suffers all;

Chor. This we will do, we’ll daily come

And offer tears upon thy tomb:

And if that they will not suffice,

Thou shall have souls for sacrifice.

Sleep in thy peace, while we with spice perfume thee,

And cedar wash thee, that no times consume thee.

Live, live thou dost, and shall; for why?

Souls do not with their bodies die:

Ignoble offsprings, they may fall

Into the flames of funeral:

Whenas the chosen seed shall spring

Fresh, and for ever flourishing.

Chor. And times to come shall, weeping, read thy glory

Less in these marble stones than in thy story.

Trental, a dirge; but see Note.

Cedar, oil of cedar.

220. To Perenna, a Mistress.

Dear Perenna, prithee come

And with smallage dress my tomb:

Add a cypress sprig thereto,

With a tear, and so Adieu.

Smallage, water-parsley.

223. The Fairy Temple; Or, Oberon’s Chapel 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.


A way enchased with glass and beads

There is, that to the chapel leads:

Whose structure, for his holy rest,

Is here the halcyon’s curious nest:

Into the which who looks shall see

His temple of idolatry,

Where he of godheads has such store,

As Rome’s pantheon had not more.

His house of Rimmon this he calls,

Girt with small bones instead of walls.

First, in a niche, more black than jet,

His idol-cricket there is set:

Then in a polished oval by

There stands his idol-beetle-fly:

Next in an arch, akin to this,

His idol-canker seated is:

Then in a round is placed by these

His golden god, Cantharides.

So that, where’er ye look, ye see,

No capital, no cornice free,

Or frieze, from this fine frippery.

Now this the fairies would have known,

Theirs is a mixed religion:

And some have heard the elves it call

Part pagan, part papistical.

If unto me all tongues were granted,

I could not speak the saints here painted.

Saint Tit, Saint Nit, Saint Is, Saint Itis,

Who ‘gainst Mab’s-state placed here right is;

Saint Will o’ th’ Wisp, of no great bigness,

But alias called here Fatuus ignis;

Saint Frip, Saint Trip, Saint Fill, Saint Fillie

Neither those other saintships will I

Here go about for to recite

Their number, almost infinite,

Which one by one here set down are

In this most curious calendar.

First, at the entrance of the gate

A little puppet-priest doth wait,

Who squeaks to all the comers there:

Favour your tongues who enter here;

Pure hands bring hither without stain.

A second pules: “Hence, hence, profane!

Hard by, i’ th’ shell of half a nut,

The holy-water there is put:

A little brush of squirrel’s hairs

(Composed of odd, not even pairs,)

Stands in the platter, or close by,

To purge the fairy family.

Near to the altar stands the priest,

There off’ring up the Holy Grist,

Ducking in mood and perfect tense,

With (much-good-do-’t him) reverence.

The altar is not here four-square,

Nor in a form triangular,

Nor made of glass, or wood, or stone,

But of a little transverse bone;

Which boys and bruckel’d children call

(Playing for points and pins) cockal.

Whose linen drapery is a thin

Subtile and ductile codlin’s skin:

Which o’er the board is smoothly spread

With little seal-work damasked.

The fringe that circumbinds it too

Is spangle-work of trembling dew,

Which, gently gleaming, makes a show

Like frost-work glitt’ring on the snow.

Upon this fetuous board doth stand

Something for show-bread, and at hand,

Just in the middle of the altar,

Upon an end, the fairy-psalter,

Grac’d with the trout-flies’ curious wings,

Which serve for watchet ribbonings.

Now, we must know, the elves are led

Right by the rubric which they read.

And, if report of them be true,

They have their text for what they do;

Aye, and their book of canons too.

And, as Sir Thomas Parson tells,

They have their book of articles;

And, if that fairy-knight not lies,

They have their book of homilies;

And other scriptures that design

A short but righteous discipline.

The basin stands the board upon

To take the free oblation:

A little pin-dust, which they hold

More precious than we prize our gold

Which charity they give to many

Poor of the parish, if there’s any.

Upon the ends of these neat rails,

Hatch’d with the silver-light of snails,

The elves in formal manner fix

Two pure and holy candlesticks:

In either which a small tall bent

Burns for the altar’s ornament.

For sanctity they have to these

Their curious copes and surplices

Of cleanest cobweb hanging by

In their religious vestery.

They have their ash-pans and their brooms

To purge the chapel and the rooms;

Their many mumbling Mass-priests here,

And many a dapper chorister,

Their ush’ring vergers, here likewise

Their canons and their chanteries.

Of cloister-monks they have enow,

Aye, and their abbey-lubbers too;

And, if their legend do not lie,

They much affect the papacy.

And since the last is dead, there’s hope

Elf Boniface shall next be pope.

They have their cups and chalices;

Their pardons and indulgences;

Their beads of nits, bells, books, and wax

Candles, forsooth, and other knacks;

Their holy oil, their fasting spittle;

Their sacred salt here, not a little;

Dry chips, old shoes, rags, grease and bones;

Beside their fumigations

To drive the devil from the cod-piece

Of the friar (of work an odd piece).

Many a trifle, too, and trinket,

And for what use, scarce man would think it.

Next, then, upon the chanters’ side

An apple’s core is hung up dri’d,

With rattling kernels, which is rung

To call to morn and even-song.

The saint to which the most he prays

And offers incense nights and days,

The lady of the lobster is,

Whose foot-pace he doth stroke and kiss;

And humbly chives of saffron brings

For his most cheerful offerings.

When, after these, h’as paid his vows

He lowly to the altar bows;

And then he dons the silk-worm’s shed,

Like a Turk’s turban on his head,

And reverently departeth thence,

Hid in a cloud of frankincense,

And by the glow-worm’s light well guided,

Goes to the feast that’s now provided.

Halcyon, king-fisher.

Saint Tit, etc., see Note.

Mab’s-state, Mab’s chair of state.

Bruckel’d, begrimed.

Cockal, a game played with four huckle-bones.

Codlin, an apple.

Fetuous, feat, neat.

Watchet, pale blue.

Hatch’d, inlaid.

Bent, bent grass.

Nits, nuts.

The lady of the lobster, part of the lobster’s apparatus for digestion.

Foot-pace, a mat.

Chives, shreds.

224. To Mistress Katherine Bradshaw, the Lovely, that Crowned Him with Laurel.

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 her, ever young as love —

You first of all crown’d her: she must of due

Render for that a crown of life to you.

225. The Plaudite, or End of Life.

If, after rude and boisterous seas,

My wearied pinnace here finds ease;

If so it be I’ve gained 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.

226. To the Most Virtuous Mistress Pot, who Many Times Entertained Him.

When I through all my many poems look,

And see yourself to beautify my book,

Methinks that only lustre doth appear

A light fulfilling all the region here.

Gild still with flames this firmament, and be

A lamp eternal to my poetry.

Which, if it now or shall hereafter shine,

’Twas by your splendour, lady, not by mine.

The oil was yours; and that I owe for yet:

He pays the half who does confess the debt.

227. To Music, to Becalm His Fever.

Charm me asleep and melt me so

With thy delicious numbers,

That, being ravished, 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.

228. Upon a Gentlewoman with a Sweet Voice.

So long you did not sing or touch your lute,

We knew ’twas flesh and blood that there sat mute.

But when your playing and your voice came in,

’Twas no more you then, but a cherubin.

229. Upon Cupid.

As lately I a garland bound,

‘Mongst roses I there Cupid found;

I took him, put him in my cup,

And drunk with wine, I drank him up.

Hence then it is that my poor breast

Could never since find any rest.

230. Upon Julia’s Breasts.

Display thy breasts, my Julia — there let me

Behold that circummortal purity,

Between whose glories there my lips I’ll lay,

Ravish’d in that fair via lactea.

Circummortal, more than mortal.

231. Best to Be Merry.

Fools are they who never know

How the times away do go;

But for us, who wisely see

Where the bounds of black death be,

Let’s live merrily, and thus

Gratify the Genius.

232. 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 plough

Loathed furrows in your brow:

And the dimness of your eye

Will no other thing imply

But you must die

As well as I.

234. Neglect.

Art quickens nature; care will make a face;

Neglected beauty perisheth apace.

235. Upon Himself.

Mop-eyed I am, as some have said,

Because I’ve lived so long a maid:

But grant that I should wedded be,

Should I a jot the better see?

No, I should think that marriage might,

Rather than mend, put out the light.

Mop-eyed, shortsighted.

236. Upon a Physician.

Thou cam’st to cure me, doctor, of my cold,

And caught’st thyself the more by twenty fold:

Prithee go home; and for thy credit be

First cured thyself, then come and cure me.

238. To the Rose. A 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.

240. To His Book.

Thou art a plant sprung up to wither never,

But like a laurel to grow green for ever.

241. Upon a Painted Gentlewoman.

Men say y’are fair, and fair ye are, ’tis true;

But, hark! we praise the painter now, not you.

243. Draw-Gloves.

At draw-gloves we’ll play,

And prithee let’s lay

A wager, and let it be this:

Who first to the sum

Of twenty shall come,

Shall have for his winning a kiss.

Draw-gloves, a game of talking by the fingers.

244. 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, dispossessed of pain,

Like to a slumb’ring bride, awake again.

245. To the High and Noble Prince George, Duke, Marquis, and Earl of Buckingham.

Never my book’s perfection did appear

Till I had got the name of Villars here:

Now ’tis so full that when therein I look

I see a cloud of glory fills my book.

Here stand it still to dignify our Muse,

Your sober handmaid, who doth wisely choose

Your name to be a laureate wreath to her

Who doth both love and fear you, honoured sir.

246. His Recantation.

Love, I recant,

And pardon crave

That lately I offended;

But ’twas,


To make a brave,

But no disdain intended.

No more I’ll vaunt,

For now I see

Thou only hast the power

To find

And bind

A heart that’s free,

And slave it in an hour.

247. The Coming of Good Luck.

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 sunbeams tickled by degrees.

248. 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.

249. On Love.

Love bade me ask a gift,

And I no more did move

But this, that I might shift

Still with my clothes my love:

That favour granted was;

Since which, though I love many,

Yet so it comes to pass

That long I love not any.

250. The Hock-Cart or Harvest Home. To the Right Honourable Mildmay, Earl of Westmoreland.

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.

Crowned with the ears of corn, now come,

And to the pipe sing harvest home.

Come forth, my lord, and see the cart

Dressed up with all the country art:

See here a maukin, there a sheet,

As spotless pure as it is sweet:

The horses, mares, and frisking fillies,

Clad all in linen white as lilies.

The harvest swains and wenches bound

For joy, to see the hock-cart crowned.

About the cart, hear how the rout

Of rural younglings raise the shout;

Pressing before, some coming after,

Those with a shout, and these with laughter.

Some bless the cart, some kiss the sheaves,

Some prank them up with oaken leaves:

Some cross the fill-horse, some with great

Devotion stroke the home-borne wheat:

While other rustics, less attent

To prayers than to merriment,

Run after with their breeches rent.

Well, on, brave boys, to your lord’s hearth,

Glitt’ring with fire, where, for your mirth,

Ye shall see first the large and chief

Foundation of your feast, fat beef:

With upper stories, mutton, veal

And bacon (which makes full the meal),

With sev’ral dishes standing by,

As here a custard, there a pie,

And here all-tempting frumenty.

And for to make the merry cheer,

If smirking wine be wanting here,

There’s that which drowns all care, stout beer;

Which freely drink to your lord’s health,

Then to the plough, the commonwealth,

Next to your flails, your fans, your fats,

Then to the maids with wheaten hats:

To the rough sickle, and crook’d scythe,

Drink, frolic boys, till all be blithe.

Feed, and grow fat; and as ye eat

Be mindful that the lab’ring neat,

As you, may have their fill of meat.

And know, besides, ye must revoke

The patient ox unto the yoke,

And all go back unto the plough

And harrow, though they’re hanged up now.

And, you must know, your lord’s word’s true,

Feed him ye must, whose food fills you;

And that this pleasure is like rain,

Not sent ye for to drown your pain,

But for to make it spring again.

Maukin, a cloth.

Fill-horse, shaft-horse.

Frumenty, wheat boiled in milk.

Fats, vats.

251. The Perfume.

To-morrow, Julia, I betimes must rise,

For some small fault to offer sacrifice:

The altar’s ready: fire to consume

The fat; breathe thou, and there’s the rich perfume.

252. Upon Her Voice.

Let but thy voice engender with the string,

And angels will be born while thou dost sing.

253. Not to Love.

He that will not love must be

My scholar, and learn this of me:

There be in love as many fears

As the summer’s corn has ears:

Sighs, and sobs, and sorrows more

Than the sand that makes the shore:

Freezing cold and fiery heats,

Fainting swoons and deadly sweats;

Now an ague, then a fever,

Both tormenting lovers ever.

Would’st thou know, besides all these,

How hard a woman ’tis to please,

How cross, how sullen, and how soon

She shifts and changes like the moon.

How false, how hollow she’s in heart:

And how she is her own least part:

How high she’s priz’d, and worth but small;

Little thou’lt love, or not at all.

254. 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.

255. To the Western Wind.

Sweet western wind, whose luck it is,

Made rival with the air,

To give Perenna’s lip a kiss,

And fan her wanton hair.

Bring me but one, I’ll promise thee,

Instead of common showers,

Thy wings shall be embalm’d by me,

And all beset with flowers.

256. Upon the Death of His Sparrow. An Elegy.

Why do not all fresh maids appear

To work love’s sampler only here,

Where spring-time smiles throughout the year?

Are not here rosebuds, pinks, all flowers

Nature begets by th’ sun and showers,

Met in one hearse-cloth to o’erspread

The body of the under-dead?

Phil, the late dead, the late dead dear,

O! may no eye distil a tear

For you once lost, who weep not here!

Had Lesbia, too-too kind, but known

This sparrow, she had scorn’d her own:

And for this dead which under lies

Wept out her heart, as well as eyes.

But, endless peace, sit here and keep

My Phil the time he has to sleep;

And thousand virgins come and weep

To make these flowery carpets show

Fresh as their blood, and ever grow,

Till passengers shall spend their doom:

Not Virgil’s gnat had such a tomb.

Phil, otherwise Philip or Phip, was a pet name for a sparrow.

Virgil’s gnat, the Culex attributed to Virgil.

257. 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 sweetheart to this?

No, no, this sorrow shown

By your tears shed

Would have this lecture read:

That things of greatest, so of meanest worth,

Conceiv’d with grief are, and with tears brought forth.

258. How Roses Came Red.

Roses at first were white,

Till they could not agree,

Whether my Sappho’s breast

Or they more white should be.

But, being vanquish’d quite,

A blush their cheeks bespread;

Since which, believe the rest,

The roses first came red.

259. Comfort to a Lady Upon the Death of Her Husband.

Dry your sweet cheek, long drown’d with sorrow’s rain,

Since, clouds dispers’d, suns gild the air again.

Seas chafe and fret, and beat, and overboil,

But turn soon after calm as balm or oil.

Winds have their time to rage; but when they cease

The leafy trees nod in a still-born peace.

Your storm is over; lady, now appear

Like to the peeping springtime of the year.

Off then with grave clothes; put fresh colours on,

And flow and flame in your vermilion.

Upon your cheek sat icicles awhile;

Now let the rose reign like a queen, and smile.

260. How Violets Came Blue.

Love on a day, wise poets tell,

Some time in wrangling spent,

Whether the violets should excel,

Or she, in sweetest scent.

But Venus having lost the day,

Poor girls, she fell on you:

And beat ye so, as some dare say,

Her blows did make ye blue.

262. To the Willow-Tree.

Thou art to all lost love the best,

The only true plant found,

Wherewith young men and maids distres’t,

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 lovers’ bane,

Poor maids rewarded be,

For their love lost, their only gain

Is but a wreath from thee.

And underneath thy cooling shade,

When weary of the light,

The love-spent youth and love-sick maid

Come to weep out the night.

263. 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 everything 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 a 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, ere knit together.

264. To the King.

If when these lyrics, Cæsar, you shall hear,

And that Apollo shall so touch your ear

As for to make this, that, or any one,

Number your own, by free adoption;

That verse, of all the verses here, shall be

The heir to this great realm of poetry.

265. To the Queen.

Goddess of youth, and lady of the spring,

Most fit to be the consort to a king,

Be pleas’d to rest you in this sacred grove

Beset with myrtles, whose each leaf drops love.

Many a sweet-fac’d wood-nymph here is seen,

Of which chaste order you are now the queen:

Witness their homage when they come and strew

Your walks with flowers, and give their crowns to you.

Your leafy throne, with lily-work possess,

And be both princess here and poetess.

266. The Poet’s Good Wishes for the Most Hopeful and Handsome Prince, the Duke of York.

May his pretty dukeship grow

Like t’a rose of Jericho:

Sweeter far than ever yet

Showers or sunshines could beget.

May the Graces and the Hours

Strew his hopes and him with flowers:

And so dress him up with love

As to be the chick of Jove.

May the thrice-three sisters sing

Him the sovereign of their spring:

And entitle none to be

Prince of Helicon but he.

May his soft foot, where it treads,

Gardens thence produce and meads:

And those meadows full be set

With the rose and violet.

May his ample name be known

To the last succession:

And his actions high be told

Through the world, but writ in gold.

267. To Anthea, who May Command Him Anything.

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.

268. Prevision or Provision.

That prince takes soon enough the victor’s room

Who first provides not to be overcome.

269. Obedience in Subjects.

The gods to kings the judgment give to sway:

The subjects only glory to obey.

270. More Potent, Less Peccant.

He that may sin, sins least: leave to transgress

Enfeebles much the seeds of wickedness.

271. Upon a Maid that Died the Day she was Married.

That morn which saw me made a bride,

The evening witness’d that I died.

Those holy lights, wherewith they guide

Unto the bed the bashful bride,

Serv’d but as tapers for to burn

And light my relics to their urn.

This epitaph, which here you see,

Supplied the epithalamy.

274. 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.

Y’ave 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,

Y’are left here to lament

Your poor estates, alone.

Round, a rustic dance.

275. Crosses.

Though good things answer many good intents,

Crosses do still bring forth the best events.

276. Miseries.

Though hourly comforts from the gods we see,

No life is yet life-proof from misery.

278. To His Household Gods.

Rise, household gods, and let us go;

But whither I myself not know.

First, let us dwell on rudest seas;

Next, with severest savages;

Last, let us make our best abode

Where human foot as yet ne’er trod:

Search worlds of ice, and rather there

Dwell than in loathed Devonshire.

279. To the Nightingale and Robin Redbreast.

When I departed am, ring thou my knell,

Thou pitiful and pretty Philomel:

And when I’m laid out for a corse, then be

Thou sexton, redbreast, for to cover me.

280. To the Yew and Cypress to Grace His Funeral.

Both you two have

Relation to the grave:

And where

The funeral-trump sounds, you are there,

I shall be made,

Ere long, a fleeting shade:

Pray, come

And do some honour to my tomb.

Do not deny

My last request; for I

Will be

Thankful to you, or friends, for me.

281. 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.

282. 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.

283. A Nuptial Song or Epithalamy on Sir Clipseby Crew and His Lady.

What’s that we see from far? the spring of day

Bloom’d from the east, or fair enjewell’d May

Blown out of April, or some new

Star filled with glory to our view,

Reaching at heaven,

To add a nobler planet to the seven?

Say, or do we not descry

Some goddess in a cloud of tiffany

To move, or rather the

Emergent Venus from the sea?

’Tis she! ’tis she! or else some more divine

Enlightened substance; mark how from the shrine

Of holy saints she paces on,

Treading upon vermilion

And amber: spicing the chaft air with fumes of Paradise.

Then come on, come on and yield

A savour like unto a blessed field

When the bedabbled morn

Washes the golden ears of corn.

See where she comes; and smell how all the street

Breathes vineyards and pomegranates: O how sweet!

As a fir’d altar is each stone,

Perspiring pounded cinnamon.

The phœnix’ nest,

Built up of odours, burneth in her breast.

Who, therein, would not consume

His soul to ash-heaps in that rich perfume?

Bestroking fate the while

He burns to embers on the pile.

Hymen, O Hymen! tread the sacred ground;

Show thy white feet and head with marjoram crown’d:

Mount up thy flames and let thy torch

Display the bridegroom in the porch,

In his desires

More towering, more disparkling than thy fires:

Show her how his eyes do turn

And roll about, and in their motions burn

Their balls to cinders: haste

Or else to ashes he will waste.

Glide by the banks of virgins, then, and pass

The showers of roses, lucky four-leav’d grass:

The while the cloud of younglings sing

And drown ye with a flowery spring;

While some repeat

Your praise and bless you, sprinkling you with wheat;

While that others do divine,

Bless’d is the bride on whom the sun doth shine;

And thousands gladly wish

You multiply as doth a fish.

And, beauteous bride, we do confess y’are wise

In dealing forth these bashful jealousies:

In love’s name do so; and a price

Set on yourself by being nice:

But yet take heed;

What now you seem be not the same indeed,

And turn apostate: love will,

Part of the way be met or sit stone-still.

On, then, and though you slow-ly go, yet, howsoever, go.

And now y’are entered; see the coddled cook

Runs from his torrid zone to pry and look

And bless his dainty mistress: see

The aged point out, “This is she

Who now must sway

The house (love shield her) with her yea and nay”:

And the smirk butler thinks it

Sin in’s napery not to express his wit;

Each striving to devise

Some gin wherewith to catch your eyes.

To bed, to bed, kind turtles, now, and write

This the short’st day, and this the longest night;

But yet too short for you: ’tis we

Who count this night as long as three,

Lying alone,

Telling the clock strike ten, eleven, twelve, one.

Quickly, quickly then prepare,

And let the young men and the bride-maids share

Your garters; and their joints

Encircle with the bridegroom’s points.

By the bride’s eyes, and by the teeming life

Of her green hopes, we charge ye that no strife

(Farther than gentleness tends) gets place

Among ye, striving for her lace:

O do not fall

Foul in these noble pastimes, lest ye call

Discord in, and so divide

The youthful bridegroom and the fragrant bride:

Which love forfend; but spoken

Be’t to your praise, no peace was broken.

Strip her of springtime, tender-whimpering maids,

Now autumn’s come, when all these flowery aids

Of her delays must end; dispose

That lady-smock, that pansy, and that rose

Neatly apart,

But for prick-madam and for gentle-heart,

And soft maidens’-blush, the bride

Makes holy these, all others lay aside:

Then strip her, or unto her

Let him come who dares undo her.

And to enchant ye more, see everywhere

About the roof a siren in a sphere,

As we think, singing to the din

Of many a warbling cherubin.

O mark ye how

The soul of nature melts in numbers: now

See, a thousand Cupids fly

To light their tapers at the bride’s bright eye.

To bed, or her they’ll tire,

Were she an element of fire.

And to your more bewitching, see, the proud

Plump bed bear up, and swelling like a cloud,

Tempting the two too modest; can

Ye see it brusle like a swan,

And you be cold

To meet it when it woos and seems to fold

The arms to hug it? Throw, throw

Yourselves into the mighty overflow

Of that white pride, and drown

The night with you in floods of down.

The bed is ready, and the maze of love

Looks for the treaders; everywhere is wove

Wit and new mystery; read, and

Put in practice, to understand

And know each wile,

Each hieroglyphic of a kiss or smile;

And do it to the full; reach

High in your own conceit, and some way teach

Nature and art one more

Play than they ever knew before.

If needs we must for ceremony’s sake,

Bless a sack-posset, luck go with it, take

The night-charm quickly, you have spells

And magics for to end, and hells

To pass; but such

And of such torture as no one would grutch

To live therein for ever: fry

And consume, and grow again to die

And live, and, in that case,

Love the confusion of the place.

But since it must be done, despatch, and sew

Up in a sheet your bride, and what if so

It be with rock or walls of brass

Ye tower her up, as Danae was;

Think you that this

Or hell itself a powerful bulwark is?

I tell ye no; but like a

Bold bolt of thunder he will make his way,

And rend the cloud, and throw

The sheet about like flakes of snow.

All now is hushed in silence: midwife-moon

With all her owl-eyed issue begs a boon,

Which you must grant; that’s entrance; with

Which extract, all we can call pith

And quintessence

Of planetary bodies, so commence,

All fair constellations

Looking upon ye, that two nations,

Springing from two such fires

May blaze the virtue of their sires.

Tiffany, gauze.

More disparkling, more widespreading.

Nice, fastidious.

Coddled, lit. boiled.

Lace, girdle.

Brusle, raise its feathers.

Grutch, grumble.

284. The Silken Snake.

For sport my Julia threw a lace

Of silk and silver at my face:

Watchet the silk was, and did make

A show as if’t had been a snake:

The suddenness did me afright,

But though it scar’d, it did not bite.

Lace, a girdle.

Watchet, pale blue.

285. Upon Himself.

I am sieve-like, and can hold

Nothing hot or nothing cold.

Put in love, and put in too

Jealousy, and both will through:

Put in fear, and hope, and doubt;

What comes in runs quickly out:

Put in secrecies withal,

Whate’er enters, out it shall:

But if you can stop the sieve,

For mine own part, I’d as lief

Maids should say or virgins sing,

Herrick keeps, as holds nothing.

286. Upon Love.

Love’s a thing, as I do hear,

Ever full of pensive fear;

Rather than to which I’ll fall,

Trust me, I’ll not like at all.

If to love I should intend,

Let my hair then stand an end:

And that terror likewise prove

Fatal to me in my love.

But if horror cannot slake

Flames which would an entrance make

Then the next thing I desire

Is, to love and live i’ th’ fire.

An end, on end.

287. Reverence to Riches.

Like to the income must be our expense;

Man’s fortune must be had in reverence.

288. Devotion Makes the Deity.

Who forms a godhead out of gold or stone

Makes not a god, but he that prays to one.

289. To All Young Men that Love.

I could wish you all who love,

That ye could your thoughts remove

From your mistresses, and be

Wisely wanton, like to me,

I could wish you dispossessed

Of that fiend that mars your rest,

And with tapers comes to fright

Your weak senses in the night.

I could wish ye all who fry

Cold as ice, or cool as I;

But if flames best like ye, then,

Much good do ’t ye, gentlemen.

I a merry heart will keep,

While you wring your hands and weep.

290. The Eyes.

’Tis a known principle in war,

The eyes be first that conquered are.

291. No Fault in Women.

No fault in women to refuse

The offer which they most would choose.

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.

293. Oberon’s Feast.

Shapcot! to thee 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 glittering grit to eat

His choice bits with; then in a trice

They make a feast less great than nice.

But all this while his eye is serv’d,

We must not think his ear was sterv’d;

But that there was in place to stir

His spleen, the chirring grasshopper,

The merry cricket, puling fly,

The piping gnat for minstrelsy.

And now we must imagine first,

The elves present, to quench his thirst,

A pure seed-pearl of infant dew

Brought and besweetened in a blue

And pregnant violet, which done,

His kitling eyes begin to run

Quite through the table, where he spies

The horns of papery butterflies:

Of which he eats, and tastes a little

Of that we call the cuckoo’s spittle.

A little fuzz-ball pudding stands

By, yet not blessed by his hands;

That was too coarse: but then forthwith

He ventures boldly on the pith

Of sugar’d rush, and eats the sagg

And well-bestrutted bee’s sweet bag:

Gladding his palate with some store

Of emmets’ eggs; what would he more?

But beards of mice, a newt’s stewed thigh,

A bloated earwig and a fly;

With the red-capp’d worm that’s shut

Within the concave of a nut,

Brown as his tooth. A little moth

Late fatten’d in a piece of cloth:

With withered cherries, mandrakes’ ears,

Moles’ eyes; to these the slain stag’s tears

The unctuous dewlaps of a snail,

The broke-heart of a nightingale

O’ercome in music; with a wine

Ne’er ravish’d from the flattering vine,

But gently press’d from the soft side

Of the most sweet and dainty bride,

Brought in a dainty daisy, which

He fully quaffs up to bewitch

His blood to height; this done, commended

Grace by his priest; the feast is ended.

Sagg, laden.

Bestrutted, swollen.

294. Event of Things Not in Our Power.

By time and counsel do the best we can,

Th’ event is never in the power of man.

295. Upon Her Blush.

When Julia blushes she does show

Cheeks like to roses when they blow.

296. Merits Make the Man.

Our honours and our commendations be

Due to the merits, not authority.

297. To Virgins.

Hear, ye virgins, and I’ll teach

What the times of old did preach.

Rosamond was in a bower

Kept, as Danae in a tower:

But yet Love, who subtle is,

Crept to that, and came to this.

Be ye lock’d up like to these,

Or the rich Hesperides,

Or those babies in your eyes,

In their crystal nunneries;

Notwithstanding Love will win,

Or else force a passage in:

And as coy be as you can,

Gifts will get ye, or the man.

Babies in your eyes, see Note to p. 17.

298. Virtue.

Each must in virtue strive for to excel;

That man lives twice that lives the first life well.

299. The Bellman.

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 o’clock, and almost two!

My masters all, good-day to you.

Scare-fires, alarms of fire.

300. Bashfulness.

Of all our parts, the eyes express

The sweetest kind of bashfulness.

301. To the Most Accomplished Gentleman, Master Edward Norgate, Clerk of the Signet to His Majesty. Epig.

For one so rarely tun’d to fit all parts,

For one to whom espous’d are all the arts,

Long have I sought for, but could never see

Them all concentr’d in one man, but thee.

Thus, thou that man art whom the fates conspir’d

To make but one, and that’s thyself, admir’d.

302. Upon Prudence Baldwin: Her Sickness.

Prue, my dearest maid, is sick,

Almost to be lunatic:

Æsculapius! come and bring

Means for her recovering;

And a gallant cock shall be

Offer’d up by her to thee.

Cock, the traditional offering to Æsculapius; cp. the last words of

Socrates; cp. Ben Jonson, Epig. xiii.

303. To Apollo. A Short Hymn.

Phœbus! when that I a verse

Or some numbers more rehearse,

Tune my words that they may fall

Each way smoothly musical:

For which favour there shall be

Swans devoted unto thee.

304. 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

Daffodils given up to thee.

306. On Himself.

Here down my wearied limbs I’ll lay;

My pilgrim’s staff, my weed of gray,

My palmer’s hat, my scallop’s shell,

My cross, my cord, and all, farewell.

For having now my journey done,

Just at the setting of the sun,

Here I have found a chamber fit,

God and good friends be thanked for it,

Where if I can a lodger be,

A little while from tramplers free,

At my up-rising next I shall,

If not requite, yet thank ye all.

Meanwhile, the holy-rood hence fright

The fouler fiend and evil sprite

From scaring you or yours this night.

307. Casualties.

Good things that come of course, far less do please

Than those which come by sweet contingencies.

308. Bribes and Gifts Get All.

Dead falls the cause if once the hand be mute;

But let that speak, the client gets the suit.

309. The End.

If well thou hast begun, go on fore-right;

It is the end that crowns us, not the fight.

310. 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.

312. Content, Not Cates.

’Tis not the food, but the content

That makes the table’s merriment.

Where trouble serves the board, we eat

The platters there as soon as meat.

A little pipkin with a bit

Of mutton or of veal in it,

Set on my table, trouble-free,

More than a feast contenteth me.

313. The Entertainment; Or, Porch-Verse, at the Marriage of Mr. Henry Northly and the Most Witty Mrs. Lettice Yard.

Welcome! but yet no entrance, till we bless

First you, then you, and both for white success.

Profane no porch, young man and maid, for fear

Ye wrong the Threshold-god that keeps peace here:

Please him, and then all good-luck will betide

You, the brisk bridegroom, you, the dainty bride.

Do all things sweetly, and in comely wise;

Put on your garlands first, then sacrifice:

That done, when both of you have seemly fed,

We’ll call on Night, to bring ye both to bed:

Where, being laid, all fair signs looking on,

Fish-like, increase then to a million;

And millions of spring-times may ye have,

Which spent, one death bring to ye both one grave.

314. The Good-Night or Blessing.

Blessings in abundance come

To the bride and to her groom;

May the bed and this short night

Know the fulness of delight!

Pleasures many here attend ye,

And, ere long, a boy Love send ye

Curled and comely, and so trim,

Maids, in time, may ravish him.

Thus a dew of graces fall

On ye both; good-night to all.

316. To Daffodils.

Fair daffodils, 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 evensong;

And, having prayed 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 anything.

We die,

As your hours do, and dry


Like to the summer’s rain;

Or as the pearls of morning’s dew,

Ne’er to be found again.

318. Upon a Lady that Died in Child-Bed, and Left a Daughter Behind Her.

As gilliflowers do but stay

To blow, and seed, and so away;

So you, sweet lady, sweet as May,

The garden’s glory, lived a while

To lend the world your scent and smile.

But when your own fair print was set

Once in a virgin flosculet,

Sweet as yourself, and newly blown,

To give that life, resigned your own:

But so as still the mother’s power

Lives in the pretty lady-flower.

319. A New-Year’s Gift Sent to Sir Simon 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 the stars the kingdom’s sick;

No gin to catch the state, or wring

The freeborn 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 milkmaids make about the hearth,

Of Christmas sports, the wassail-bowl,

That[‘s] tost up, after fox-i’-th’-hole;

Of blind-man-buff, and of the care

That young men have to shoe the mare;

Of Twelfth-tide cakes, of peas and beans,

Wherewith you make those merry scenes,

Whenas ye choose 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 choose;

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 chesnuts 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 rosebuds, 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 bagpipe all address,

Till sleep takes place of weariness.

And thus, throughout, with Christmas plays

Frolic the full twelve holidays.

Tittyries, i.e., the Tityre-tues; see Note.

Fox-i’-th’-hole, a game of hopping.

To shoe the mare, or, shoe the wild mare, a Christmas game.

Buxom, tender.

Liber Pater, Father Bacchus.

320. 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 everything.

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.

321. Evensong.

Begin with Jove; then is the work half done,

And runs most smoothly when ’tis well begun.

Jove’s is the first and last: the morn’s his due,

The midst is thine; but Jove’s the evening too;

As sure a matins does to him belong,

So sure he lays claim to the evensong.

322. The Bracelet to Julia.

Why I tie about thy wrist,

Julia, this my silken twist;

For what other reason is’t,

But to show thee how, in part,

Thou my pretty captive art?

But thy bondslave 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.

323. The Christian Militant.

A man prepar’d against all ills to come,

That dares to dead the fire of martyrdom;

That sleeps at home, and sailing there at ease,

Fears not the fierce sedition of the seas;

That’s counter-proof against the farm’s mishaps,

Undreadful too of courtly thunderclaps;

That wears one face, like heaven, and never shows

A change when fortune either comes or goes;

That keeps his own strong guard in the despite

Of what can hurt by day or harm by night;

That takes and redelivers every stroke

Of chance (as made up all of rock and oak);

That sighs at others’ death, smiles at his own

Most dire and horrid crucifixion.

Who for true glory suffers thus, we grant

Him to be here our Christian militant.

324. A Short Hymn to Lar.

Though I cannot give thee fires

Glittering to my free desires;

These accept, and I’ll be free,

Offering poppy unto thee.

325. Another to Neptune.

Mighty Neptune, may it please

Thee, the rector of the seas,

That my barque may safely run

Through thy watery region;

And a tunny-fish shall be

Offered up with thanks to thee.

327. His Embalming to Julia.

For my embalming, Julia, do but this;

Give thou my lips but their supremest kiss,

Or else transfuse thy breath into the chest

Where my small relics must for ever rest;

That breath the balm, the myrrh, the nard shall be,

To give an incorruption unto me.

328. Gold Before Goodness.

How rich a man is all desire to know;

But none inquires if good he be or no.

329. 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 everywhere.

1. Has it a speaking virtue? 2. Yes.

1. How speaks it, say? 2. Do you but this;

Part your joined lips, then speaks your kiss

Chor. And this love’s sweetest language is.

1. Has it a body? 2. Aye, and wings

With thousand rare encolourings;

And, as it flies, it gently sings,

Chor. Love honey yields, but never stings.

330. The Admonition.

Seest thou those diamonds which she wears

In that rich carcanet;

Or those, on her dishevell’d hairs,

Fair pearls in order set?

Believe, young man, all those were tears

By wretched wooers sent,

In mournful hyacinths and rue,

That figure discontent;

Which when not warmed by her view,

By cold neglect, each one

Congeal’d to pearl and stone;

Which precious spoils upon her

She wears as trophies of her honour.

Ah then, consider, what all this implies:

She that will wear thy tears would wear thine eyes.

Carcanet, necklace.

331. To His Honoured Kinsman, Sir William Soame. Epig.

I can but name thee, and methinks I call

All that have been, or are canonical

For love and bounty to come near, and see

Their many virtues volum’d up in thee;

In thee, brave man! whose incorrupted fame

Casts forth a light like to a virgin flame;

And as it shines it throws a scent about,

As when a rainbow in perfumes goes out.

So vanish hence, but leave a name as sweet

As benjamin and storax when they meet.

Benjamin, gum benzoin.

Storax or Styrax, another resinous gum.

332. On Himself.

Ask me why I do not sing

To the tension of the string

As I did not long ago,

When my numbers full did flow?

Grief, ay, me! hath struck my lute

And my tongue, at one time, mute.

333. To Lar.

No more shall I, since I am driven hence,

Devote to thee my grains of frankincense;

No more shall I from mantle-trees hang down,

To honour thee, my little parsley crown;

No more shall I (I fear me) to thee bring

My chives of garlic for an offering;

No more shall I from henceforth hear a choir

Of merry crickets by my country fire.

Go where I will, thou lucky Lar stay here,

Warm by a glitt’ring chimney all the year.

Chives, shreds.

334. The Departure of the Good Demon.

What can I do in poetry

Now the good spirit’s gone from me?

Why, nothing now but lonely sit

And over-read what I have writ.

335. Clemency.

For punishment in war it will suffice

If the chief author of the faction dies;

Let but few smart, but strike a fear through all;

Where the fault springs there let the judgment fall.

336. His Age, Dedicated to His Peculiar Friend, M. John Wickes, Under the Name of Posthumus.

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 ere 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 curs’d 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.

W’ave 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 Anchus 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

Baiæ, 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 ceiling free

From that cheap candle bawdery;

We’ll eat our bean with that full mirth

As we were lords of all the earth.

Well then, on what seas we are toss’d,

Our comfort is, we can’t be lost.

Let the winds drive

Our barque, 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 ptisick, 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 sleet,

And weather by our aches, grown

Now old enough to be our own

True calendars, as puss’s ear

Washed o’er’s, to tell what change is near:

Then to assuage

The gripings of the chine by age,

I’ll call my young

Iülus 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,

Enclos’d within a crystal shrine;

A primrose next;

A piece, then, of a higher text,

For to beget

In me a more transcendent 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 Iülus’ hairs,

Doting, I’ll weep and say, in truth,

Baucis, these were my sins of youth.

Then next I’ll 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 spic’d, 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 frolicked 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 untam’d 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.

Posthumus, the name is taken from Horace, Ode ii. 14, from which the

beginning of this lyric is translated.

Repullulate, be born again.

Anchus and rich Tullus. Herrick is again translating from Horace (Ode

iv. 7, 14).

Baiæ, the favourite sea-side resort of the Romans in the time of


Pollio, Vedius Pollio, who fed his lampreys with human flesh. Ob.,

B.C. 15.

Bawdery, dirt (with no moral meaning).

Circular, self-sufficing, the “in se ipso totus teres atque rotundus”

of Horace. Sat. ii. 7, 86.

Iülus, the son of Æneas.

Pith, marrow.

Thyrse, bacchic staff.

Pricket, a buck in his second year.

337. A Short Hymn to Venus.

Goddess, I do love a girl,

Ruby-lipp’d and tooth’d with pearl;

If so be I may but prove

Lucky in this maid I love,

I will promise there shall be

Myrtles offer’d up to thee.

338. To a Gentlewoman on Just Dealing.

True to yourself and sheets, you’ll have me swear;

You shall, if righteous dealing I find there.

Do not you fall through frailty; I’ll be sure

To keep my bond still free from forfeiture.

339. The Hand and Tongue.

Two parts of us successively command:

The tongue in peace; but then in war the hand.

340. Upon a Delaying Lady.

Come, come away,

Or let me go;

Must I here stay

Because y’are 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.

341. To the Lady Mary Villars, Governess to the Princess Henrietta.

When I of Villars do but hear the name,

It calls to mind that mighty Buckingham,

Who was your brave exalted uncle here,

Binding the wheel of fortune to his sphere,

Who spurned at envy, and could bring with ease

An end to all his stately purposes.

For his love then, whose sacred relics show

Their resurrection and their growth in you;

And for my sake, who ever did prefer

You above all those sweets of Westminster;

Permit my book to have a free access

To kiss your hand, most dainty governess.

342. Upon His Julia.

Will ye hear what I can say

Briefly of my Julia?

Black and rolling is her eye,

Double-chinn’d and forehead high;

Lips she has all ruby red,

Cheeks like cream enclareted;

And a nose that is the grace

And proscenium of her face.

So that we may guess by these

The other parts will richly please.

343. To Flowers.

In time of life I graced ye with my verse;

Do now your flowery honours to my hearse.

You shall not languish, trust me; virgins here

Weeping shall make ye flourish all the year.

344. To My ill Reader.

Thou say’st my lines are hard,

And I the truth will tell —

They are both hard and marr’d

If thou not read’st them well.

345. The Power in the People.

Let kings command and do the best they may,

The saucy subjects still will bear the sway.

346. A Hymn to Venus and Cupid.

Sea-born goddess, let me be

By thy son thus grac’d 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 syrup, that I may,

In your temple when I pray,

Kiss the altar and confess

There’s in love no bitterness.

347. On Julia’s Picture.

How am I ravish’d! when I do but see

The painter’s art in thy sciography?

If so, how much more shall I dote thereon

When once he gives it incarnation?

Sciography, the profile or section of a building.

348. Her Bed.

See’st thou that cloud as silver clear,

Plump, soft, and swelling everywhere?

’Tis Julia’s bed, and she sleeps there.

349. Her Legs.

Fain would I kiss my Julia’s dainty leg,

Which is as white and hairless as an egg.

350. Upon Her Alms.

See how the poor do waiting stand

For the expansion of thy hand.

A wafer dol’d by thee will swell

Thousands to feed by miracle.

351. Rewards.

Still to our gains our chief respect is had;

Reward it is that makes us good or bad.

352. Nothing New.

Nothing is new; we walk where others went;

There’s no vice now but has his precedent.

353. The Rainbow.

Look how the rainbow doth appear

But in one only hemisphere;

So likewise after our decease

No more is seen the arch of peace.

That cov’nant’s here, the under-bow,

That nothing shoots but war and woe.

354. The Meadow-Verse; Or, Anniversary to Mistress Bridget Lowman.

Come with the spring-time forth, fair maid, and be

This year again the meadow’s deity.

Yet ere ye enter give us leave to set

Upon your head this flowery coronet;

To make this neat distinction from the rest,

You are the prime and princess of the feast;

To which with silver feet lead you the way,

While sweet-breath nymphs attend on you this day.

This is your hour, and best you may command,

Since you are lady of this fairy land.

Full mirth wait on you, and such mirth as shall

Cherish the cheek but make none blush at all.

Meadow-verse, to be recited at a rustic feast.

355. The Parting Verse, the Feast There Ended.

Loth to depart, but yet at last each one

Back must now go to’s habitation;

Not knowing thus much when we once do sever,

Whether or no that we shall meet here ever.

As for myself, since time a thousand cares

And griefs hath filed upon my silver hairs,

’Tis to be doubted whether I next year

Or no shall give ye a remeeting here.

If die I must, then my last vow shall be,

You’ll with a tear or two remember me.

Your sometime poet; but if fates do give

Me longer date and more fresh springs to live,

Oft as your field shall her old age renew,

Herrick shall make the meadow-verse for you.

356. Upon Judith. Epig.

Judith has cast her old skin and got new,

And walks fresh varnish’d to the public view;

Foul Judith was and foul she will be known

For all this fair transfiguration.

359. To the Right Honourable Philip, Earl of Pembroke and Montgomery.

How dull and dead are books that cannot show

A prince of Pembroke, and that Pembroke you!

You who are high born, and a lord no less

Free by your fate than fortune’s mightiness,

Who hug our poems, honour’d sir, and then

The paper gild and laureate the pen.

Nor suffer you the poets to sit cold,

But warm their wits and turn their lines to gold.

Others there be who righteously will swear

Those smooth-paced numbers amble everywhere,

And these brave measures go a stately trot;

Love those, like these, regard, reward them not.

But you, my lord, are one whose hand along

Goes with your mouth or does outrun your tongue;

Paying before you praise, and, cockering wit,

Give both the gold and garland unto it.

Cockering, pampering.

360. An Hymn to Juno.

Stately goddess, do thou please,

Who are chief at marriages,

But to dress the bridal bed

When my love and I shall wed;

And a peacock proud shall be

Offered up by us to thee.

362. Upon Sappho Sweetly Playing and Sweetly Singing.

When thou dost play and sweetly sing —

Whether it be the voice or string

Or both of them that do agree

Thus to entrance and ravish me —

This, this I know, I’m oft struck mute,

And die away upon thy lute.

364. Chop-Cherry.

Thou gav’st me leave to kiss,

Thou gav’st me leave to woo;

Thou mad’st me think, by this

And that, thou lov’dst me too.

But I shall ne’er forget

How, for to make thee merry,

Thou mad’st me chop, but yet

Another snapp’d the cherry.

Chop-cherry, another name of cherry-bob.

365. To the Most Learned, Wise, and Arch-Antiquary, M. John Selden.

I, who have favour’d many, come to be

Grac’d now, at last, or glorified by thee,

Lo! I, the lyric prophet, who have set

On many a head the delphic coronet,

Come unto thee for laurel, having spent

My wreaths on those who little gave or lent.

Give me the daphne, that the world may know it,

Whom they neglected thou hast crown’d a poet.

A city here of heroes I have made

Upon the rock whose firm foundation laid,

Shall never shrink; where, making thine abode,

Live thou a Selden, that’s a demi-god.

Daphne, i.e., the laurel

366. Upon Himself.

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.

367. Upon Wrinkles.

Wrinkles no more are or no less

Than beauty turned to sourness.

370. Pray and Prosper.

First offer incense, then thy field and meads

Shall smile and smell the better by thy beads.

The spangling dew, dredg’d 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.

Beads, prayers.

Mell, honey.

Sincere silver, pure silver.

371. His LachrymÆ; Or, Mirth Turned to Mourning.

Call me no more,

As heretofore,

The music of a feast;

Since now, alas!

The mirth that was

In me is dead or ceas’d.

Before I went,

To banishment,

Into the loathed west,

I could rehearse

A lyric verse,

And speak it with the best.

But time, ay me!

Has laid, I see,

My organ fast asleep,

And turn’d my voice

Into the noise

Of those that sit and weep.

375. To the Most Fair and Lovely Mistress Anne Soame, Now Lady Abdie.

So smell those odours that do rise

From out the wealthy spiceries;

So smells the flower of blooming clove,

Or roses smother’d in the stove;

So smells the air of spiced wine,

Or essences of jessamine;

So smells the breath about the hives

When well the work of honey thrives,

And all the busy factors come

Laden with wax and honey home;

So smell those neat and woven bowers

All over-arch’d with orange flowers,

And almond blossoms that do mix

To make rich these aromatics;

So smell those bracelets and those bands

Of amber chaf’d between the hands,

When thus enkindled they transpire

A noble perfume from the fire;

The wine of cherries, and to these

The cooling breath of respasses;

The smell of morning’s milk and cream,

Butter of cowslips mix’d with them;

Of roasted warden or bak’d pear,

These are not to be reckon’d here,

Whenas the meanest part of her,

Smells like the maiden pomander.

Thus sweet she smells, or what can be

More lik’d by her or lov’d by me.

Factors, workers.

Respasses, raspberries.

Pomander, ball of scent.

376. Upon His Kinswoman, Mistress Elizabeth Herrick.

Sweet virgin, that I do not set

The pillars up of weeping jet

Or mournful marble, let thy shade

Not wrathful seem, or fright the maid

Who hither at her wonted hours

Shall come to strew thy earth with flowers.

No; know, bless’d maid, when there’s not one

Remainder left of brass or stone,

Thy living epitaph shall be,

Though lost in them, yet found in me;

Dear, in thy bed of roses then,

Till this world shall dissolve as men,

Sleep while we hide thee from the light,

Drawing thy curtains round: Good-night.

377. 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 scourg’d with taunts

Of some rough groom, who, yirkt with corns, says: “Sir,

Y’ave dipped too long i’ th’ vinegar;

And with our broth, and bread, and bits, sir friend,

Y’ave fared well: pray make an end;

Two days y’ave 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 — y’are here

Welcome as thunder to our beer;

Manners know 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 armsful, 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 danger’s 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 bullock’s 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 taste unto the lower end

Of thy glad table: not a dish more known

To thee than unto anyone.

But as thy meat so thy immortal wine

Makes the smirk face of each to shine

And spring fresh rosebuds, 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 temperate 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 knowest order, ethics, and has read

All economics, know’st to lead

A house-dance neatly, and canst truly show

How far a figure ought to go,

Forward or backward, sideward, 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 foundation’s 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 rais’d 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 ceiling or to build

A sweating-closet to anoint the silk-soft skin, or bathe in asses’ milk;

No orphan’s pittance left him serv’d 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 hallowed 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 man to keep a god in man;

And when wise poets shall search out to see

Good men, they find them all in thee.

Vigil, watchman.

Button’d-staff, staff with a knob at its end.

Yirkt, scourged.

Redeem, buy back.

Suppling, tender.

Trebius, friend of the epicure Lucullus; cp. Juv. v. 19.

378. To His Valentine on St. Valentine’s Day.

Oft have I heard both youths and virgins say

Birds choose their mates, and couple too this day;

But by their flight I never can divine

When I shall couple with my valentine.

382. Upon M. Ben. Jonson. Epig.

After the rare arch-poet, Jonson, died,

The sock grew loathsome, and the buskin’s pride,

Together with the stage’s glory, stood

Each like a poor and pitied widowhood.

The cirque profan’d was, and all postures rack’d;

For men did strut, and stride, and stare, not act.

Then temper flew from words, and men did squeak,

Look red, and blow, and bluster, but not speak;

No holy rage or frantic fires did stir

Or flash about the spacious theatre.

No clap of hands, or shout, or praise’s proof

Did crack the play-house sides, or cleave her roof.

Artless the scene was, and that monstrous sin

Of deep and arrant ignorance came in:

Such ignorance as theirs was who once hiss’d

At thy unequall’d play, the Alchemist;

Oh, fie upon ’em! Lastly, too, all wit

In utter darkness did, and still will sit,

Sleeping the luckless age out, till that she

Her resurrection has again with thee.

383. Another.

Thou had’st the wreath before, now take the tree,

That henceforth none be laurel-crown’d but thee.

384. To His Nephew, to Be Prosperous in His Art of Painting.

On, as thou hast begun, brave youth, and get

The palm from Urbin, Titian, Tintoret,

Brugel and Coxu, and the works outdo

Of Holbein and that mighty Rubens too.

So draw and paint as none may do the like,

No, not the glory of the world, Vandyke.

Urbin, Raphael.

Brugel, Jan Breughel, Dutch landscape painter (1569–1625), or his

father or brother.

Coxu, Michael van Coxcie, Flemish painter (1497–1592).

386. A Vow to Mars.

Store of courage to me grant,

Now I’m turn’d a combatant;

Help me, so that I my shield,

Fighting, lose not in the field.

That’s the greatest shame of all

That in warfare can befall.

Do but this, and there shall be

Offer’d up a wolf to thee.

387. To His Maid, Prew.

These summer-birds did with thy master stay

The times of warmth, but then they flew away,

Leaving their poet, being now grown old,

Expos’d to all the coming winter’s cold.

But thou, kind Prew, did’st with my fates abide

As well the winter’s as the summer’s tide;

For which thy love, live with thy master here,

Not one, but all the seasons of the year.

388. A Canticle to Apollo.

Play, Phœbus, on thy lute;

And we will all sit 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.

389. A Just Man.

A just man’s like a rock that turns the wrath

Of all the raging waves into a froth.

390. Upon a Hoarse Singer.

Sing me to death; for till thy voice be clear,

’Twill never please the palate of mine ear.

391. How Pansies or Heart’s-Ease Came First.

Frolic virgins once these were,

Over-loving, living here;

Being here their ends denied,

Ran for sweethearts mad, and died.

Love, in pity of their tears,

And their loss in blooming years,

For their restless here-spent hours,

Gave them heart’s-ease turn’d to flowers.

392. To His Peculiar Friend, Sir Edward Fish, Knight Baronet.

Since, for thy full deserts, with all the rest

Of these chaste spirits that are here possest

Of life eternal, time has made thee one

For growth in this my rich plantation,

Live here; but know ’twas virtue, and not chance,

That gave thee this so high inheritance.

Keep it for ever, grounded with the good,

Who hold fast here an endless livelihood.

393. Lar’s Portion and the Poet’s Part.

At my homely country-seat

I have there a little wheat,

Which I work to meal, and make

Therewithal a holy cake:

Part of which I give to Lar,

Part is my peculiar.

Peculiar, his own property.

394. Upon Man.

Man is compos’d 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.

395. Liberty.

Those ills that mortal men endure

So long, are capable of cure,

As they of freedom may be sure;

But, that denied, a grief, though small,

Shakes the whole roof, or ruins all.

396. Lots to Be Liked.

Learn this of me, where’er thy lot doth fall,

Short lot or not, to be content with all.

397. Griefs.

Jove may afford us thousands of reliefs,

Since man expos’d is to a world of griefs.

399. The Dream.

By dream I saw one of the three

Sisters of fate appear to me;

Close to my bedside she did stand,

Showing me there a firebrand;

She told me too, as that did spend,

So drew my life unto an end.

Three quarters were consum’d of it;

Only remained a little bit,

Which will be burnt up by-and-by;

Then, Julia, weep, for I must die.

402. Clothes Do but Cheat and Cozen Us.

Away with silks, away with lawn,

I’ll have no scenes or curtains drawn;

Give me my mistress as she is,

Dress’d in her nak’d simplicities;

For as my heart e’en so mine eye

Is won with flesh, not drapery.

403. To Dianeme.

Show me thy feet; show me thy legs, thy thighs;

Show me those fleshy principalities;

Show me that hill where smiling love doth sit.

Having a living fountain under it;

Show me thy waist, then let me therewithal,

By the assention of thy lawn, see all.

404. Upon Electra.

When out of bed my love doth spring,

’Tis but as day a-kindling;

But when she’s up and fully dress’d,

’Tis then broad day throughout the east.

405. To His Book.

Have I not blest thee? Then go forth, nor fear

Or spice, or fish, or fire, or close-stools here.

But with thy fair fates leading thee, go on

With thy most white predestination.

Nor think these ages that do hoarsely sing

The farting tanner and familiar king,

The dancing friar, tatter’d in the bush;

Those monstrous lies of little Robin Rush,

Tom Chipperfeild, and pretty lisping Ned,

That doted on a maid of gingerbread;

The flying pilchard and the frisking dace,

With all the rabble of Tim Trundell’s race

(Bred from the dunghills and adulterous rhymes),

Shall live, and thou not superlast all times.

No, no; thy stars have destin’d thee to see

The whole world die and turn to dust with thee.

He’s greedy of his life who will not fall

Whenas a public ruin bears down all.

The farting tanner, etc., see Note.

406. Of Love.

I do not love, nor can it be

Love will in vain spend shafts on me;

I did this godhead once defy,

Since which I freeze, but cannot fry.

Yet out, alas! the death’s the same,

Kill’d by a frost or by a flame.

407. Upon Himself.

I dislik’d but even now;

Now I love I know not how.

Was I idle, and that while

Was I fir’d with a smile?

I’ll to work, or pray; and then

I shall quite dislike again.

408. Another.

Love he that will, it best likes me

To have my neck from love’s yoke free.

412. The Mad Maid’s Song.

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 and well-a-day!

For pity, sir, find out that bee

Which bore my love away.

I’ll seek him in your bonnet brave,

I’ll seek him in your eyes;

Nay, now I think th’ave made his grave

I’ th’ bed of strawberries.

I’ll seek him there; I know ere this

The cold, cold earth doth shake him;

But I will go or send a kiss

By you, sir, to awake him.

Pray, hurt him not, though he be dead,

He knows well who do love him,

And who with green turfs rear his head,

And who do rudely move him.

He’s soft and tender (pray take heed);

With bands of cowslips bind him,

And bring him home; but ’tis decreed

That I shall never find him.

413. To Springs and Fountains.

I heard ye could cool heat, and came

With hope you would allay the same;

Thrice I have wash’d but feel no cold,

Nor find that true which was foretold.

Methinks, like mine, your pulses beat

And labour with unequal heat;

Cure, cure yourselves, for I descry

Ye boil with love as well as I.

414. Upon Julia’s Unlacing Herself.

Tell if thou canst, and truly, whence doth come

This camphor, storax, spikenard, galbanum;

These musks, these ambers, and those other smells,

Sweet as the vestry of the oracles.

I’ll tell thee: while my Julia did unlace

Her silken bodice but a breathing space,

The passive air such odour then assum’d,

As when to Jove great Juno goes perfum’d,

Whose pure immortal body doth transmit

A scent that fills both heaven and earth with it.

415. To Bacchus, a Canticle.

Whither dost thou whorry 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.

Whorry, carry rapidly.

416. The Lawn.

Would I see lawn, clear as the heaven, and thin?

It should be only in my Julia’s skin,

Which so betrays her blood as we discover

The blush of cherries when a lawn’s cast over.

417. The Frankincense.

When my off’ring next I make,

Be thy hand the hallowed cake,

And thy breast the altar whence

Love may smell the frankincense.

420. To Sycamores.

I’m sick of love, O let me lie

Under your shades to sleep or die!

Either is welcome, so I have

Or here my bed, or here my grave.

Why do you sigh, and sob, and keep

Time with the tears that I do weep?

Say, have ye sense, or do you prove

What crucifixions are in love?

I know ye do, and that’s the why

You sigh for love as well as I.

421. A Pastoral Sung to the King: 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 quintell up;

And he who us’d to lead the country-round,

Youthful Mirtillo, here he comes grief-drown’d.

Ambo. Let’s cheer him up. Sil. Behold him weeping-ripe.

Mir. Ah! Amaryllis, farewell mirth and pipe;

Since thou art gone, no more I mean to play

To these smooth lawns my mirthful roundelay.

Dear Amaryllis! Mon. Hark! Sil. Mark! Mir. This earth grew sweet

Where, Amaryllis, thou didst set thy feet.

Ambo. Poor pitied youth! Mir. And here the breath of kine

And sheep grew more sweet by that breath of thine.

This flock of wool and this rich lock of hair,

This ball of cowslips, these she gave me here.

Sil. Words sweet as love itself. Montano, hark!

Mir. This way she came, and this way too she went;

How each thing smells divinely redolent!

Like to a field of beans when newly blown,

Or like a meadow being lately mown.

Mon. A sweet-sad passion ——

Mir. In dewy mornings when she came this way

Sweet bents would bow to give my love the day;

And when at night she folded had her sheep,

Daisies would shut, and, closing, sigh and weep.

Besides (ay me!) since she went hence to dwell,

The voices’ daughter ne’er spake syllable.

But she is gone. Sil. Mirtillo, tell us whither.

Mir. Where she and I shall never meet together.

Mon. Forfend it Pan, and, Pales, do thou please

To give an end. Mir. To what? Sil. Such griefs as these.

Mir. Never, O never! Still I may endure

The wound I suffer, never find a cure.

Mon. Love for thy sake will bring her to these hills

And dales again. Mir. No, I will languish still;

And all the while my part shall be to weep,

And with my sighs, call home my bleating sheep:

And in the rind of every comely tree

I’ll carve thy name, and in that name kiss thee.

Mon. Set with the sun thy woes. Sil. The day grows old,

And time it is our full-fed flocks to fold.

Chor. The shades grow great, but greater grows our sorrow;

But let’s go steep

Our eyes in sleep,

And meet to weep


Quintell, quintain or tilting board.

Bents, grasses.

Pales, the goddess of sheepfolds.

422. The Poet Loves a Mistress, but Not to Marry.

I do not love to wed,

Though I do like to woo;

And for a maidenhead

I’ll beg and buy it too.

I’ll praise and I’ll approve

Those maids that never vary;

And fervently I’ll love,

But yet I would not marry.

I’ll hug, I’ll kiss, I’ll play,

And, cock-like, hens I’ll tread,

And sport it any way

But in the bridal bed.

For why? that man is poor

Who hath but one of many,

But crown’d he is with store

That, single, may have any.

Why then, say, what is he,

To freedom so unknown,

Who, having two or three,

Will be content with one?

425. The Willow Garland.

A willow garland thou did’st send

Perfum’d, last day, to me,

Which did but only this portend —

I was forsook by thee.

Since so it is, I’ll tell thee what,

To-morrow thou shalt see

Me wear the willow; after that,

To die upon the tree.

As beasts unto the altars go

With garlands dress’d, so I

Will, with my willow-wreath, also

Come forth and sweetly die.

427. A Hymn to Sir Clipseby Crew.

’Twas not love’s dart,

Or any blow

Of want, or foe,

Did wound my heart

With an eternal smart;

But only you,

My sometimes known


My dearest Crew,

That me unkindly slew.

May your fault die,

And have no name

In books of fame;

Or let it lie

Forgotten now, as I.

We parted are

And now no more,

As heretofore,

By jocund Lar

Shall be familiar.

But though we sever,

My Crew shall see

That I will be

Here faithless never,

But love my Clipseby ever.

430. Empires.

Empires of kings are now, and ever were,

As Sallust saith, coincident to fear.

431. 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.

436. The Crowd and Company.

In holy meetings there a man may be

One of the crowd, not of the company.

438. Policy in Princes.

That princes may possess a surer seat,

’Tis fit they make no one with them too great.

440. Upon the Nipples of Julia’s Breast.

Have ye beheld (with much delight)

A red rose peeping through a white?

Or else a cherry, double grac’d,

Within a lily centre plac’d?

Or ever mark’d the pretty beam

A strawberry shows half-drown’d in cream?

Or seen rich rubies blushing through

A pure smooth pearl and orient too?

So like to this, nay all the rest,

Is each neat niplet of her breast.

441. To Daisies, Not to Shut So Soon.

Shut not so soon; the dull-ey’d 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 shepherd’s 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.

442. To the Little Spinners.

Ye pretty housewives, would ye know

The work that I would put ye to?

This, this it should be: for to spin

A lawn for me, so fine and thin

As it might serve me for my skin.

For cruel Love has me so whipp’d

That of my skin I all am stripp’d:

And shall despair that any art

Can ease the rawness or the smart,

Unless you skin again each part.

Which mercy if you will but do,

I call all maids to witness to

What here I promise: that no broom

Shall now or ever after come

To wrong a spinner or her loom.

Spinners, spiders.

443. Oberon’s Palace.

After the feast, my Shapcot, see

The fairy court I give to thee;

Where we’ll present our Oberon, led

Half-tipsy to the fairy bed,

Where Mab he finds, who there doth lie,

Not without mickle majesty.

Which done, and thence remov’d the light,

We’ll wish both them and thee good-night.

Full as a bee with thyme, and red

As cherry harvest, now high fed

For lust and action, on he’ll go

To lie with Mab, though all say no.

Lust has no ears; he’s sharp as thorn,

And fretful, carries hay in’s horn,

And lightning in his eyes; and flings

Among the elves, if moved, the stings

Of peltish wasps; well know his guard —

Kings, though they’re hated, will be fear’d.

Wine lead[s] him on. Thus to a grove,

Sometimes devoted unto love,

Tinselled with twilight, he and they,

Led by the shine of snails, a way

Beat with their num’rous feet, which, by

Many a neat perplexity,

Many a turn and many a cross-Track they redeem a bank of moss,

Spongy and swelling, and far more

Soft than the finest Lemster ore,

Mildly disparkling like those fires

Which break from the enjewell’d tyres

Of curious brides; or like those mites

Of candi’d dew in moony nights.

Upon this convex all the flowers

Nature begets by th’ sun and showers,

Are to a wild digestion brought,

As if love’s sampler here was wrought:

Or Citherea’s ceston, which

All with temptation doth bewitch.

Sweet airs move here, and more divine

Made by the breath of great-eyed kine,

Who, as they low, impearl with milk

The four-leaved grass or moss like silk.

The breath of monkeys met to mix

With musk-flies are th’ aromatics

Which ‘cense this arch; and here and there

And farther off, and everywhere

Throughout that brave mosaic yard,

Those picks or diamonds in the card

With peeps of hearts, of club, and spade

Are here most neatly inter-laid

Many a counter, many a die,

Half-rotten and without an eye

Lies hereabouts; and, for to pave

The excellency of this cave,

Squirrels’ and children’s teeth late shed

Are neatly here enchequered

With brownest toadstones, and the gum

That shines upon the bluer plum.

The nails fallen off by whitflaws: art’s

Wise hand enchasing here those warts

Which we to others, from ourselves,

Sell, and brought hither by the elves.

The tempting mole, stolen from the neck

Of the shy virgin, seems to deck

The holy entrance, where within

The room is hung with the blue skin

Of shifted snake: enfriez’d throughout

With eyes of peacocks’ trains and trout-Flies’ curious wings; and these among

Those silver pence that cut the tongue

Of the red infant, neatly hung.

The glow-worm’s eyes; the shining scales

Of silv’ry fish; wheat straws, the snail’s

Soft candle light; the kitling’s eyne;

Corrupted wood; serve here for shine.

No glaring light of bold-fac’d day,

Or other over-radiant ray,

Ransacks this room; but what weak beams

Can make reflected from these gems

And multiply; such is the light,

But ever doubtful day or night.

By this quaint taper light he winds

His errors up; and now he finds

His moon-tann’d Mab, as somewhat sick,

And (love knows) tender as a chick.

Upon six plump dandillions, high-Rear’d, lies her elvish majesty:

Whose woolly bubbles seem’d to drown

Her Mabship in obedient down.

For either sheet was spread the caul

That doth the infant’s face enthral,

When it is born (by some enstyl’d

The lucky omen of the child),

And next to these two blankets o’er-Cast of the finest gossamore.

And then a rug of carded wool,

Which, sponge-like drinking in the dull

Light of the moon, seemed to comply,

Cloud-like, the dainty deity.

Thus soft she lies: and overhead

A spinner’s circle is bespread

With cob-web curtains, from the roof

So neatly sunk as that no proof

Of any tackling can declare

What gives it hanging in the air.

The fringe about this are those threads

Broke at the loss of maidenheads:

And, all behung with these, pure pearls,

Dropp’d from the eyes of ravish’d girls

Or writhing brides; when (panting) they

Give unto love the straiter way.

For music now, he has the cries

Of feigned-lost virginities;

The which the elves make to excite

A more unconquered appetite.

The king’s undrest; and now upon

The gnat’s watchword the elves are gone.

And now the bed, and Mab possess’d

Of this great little kingly guest;

We’ll nobly think, what’s to be done,

He’ll do no doubt; this flax is spun.

Mickle, much.

Carries hay in’s horn (fœnum habet in cornu), is dangerous.

Peltish, angry.

Redeem, gain.

Lemster ore, Leominster wool.

Tyres, head-dresses.

Picks, diamonds on playing-cards were so called from their points.

Peeps, pips.

Whitflaws, whitlows.

Corrupted, i.e., phosphorescent.

Winds his errors up, brings his wanderings to an end.

Dandillions, dandelions.

Comply, embrace.

Spinner, spider.

Proof, sign.

444. To His Peculiar Friend, Mr. Thomas Shapcott, Lawyer.

I’ve paid thee what I promis’d; that’s not all;

Besides I give thee here a verse that shall

(When hence thy circummortal part is gone),

Arch-like, hold up thy name’s inscription.

Brave men can’t die, whose candid actions are

Writ in the poet’s endless calendar:

Whose vellum and whose volume is the sky,

And the pure stars the praising poetry.


Circummortal, more than mortal.

Candid, fair.

445. To Julia in the Temple.

Besides us two, i’ th’ temple here’s not one

To make up now a congregation.

Let’s to the altar of perfumes then go,

And say short prayers; and when we have done so,

Then we shall see, how in a little space

Saints will come in to fill each pew and place.

446. To Oenone.

What conscience, say, is it in thee,

When I a heart had one,

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 show that thou art just,

Take me and mine together.

447. His Weakness in Woes.

I cannot suffer; and in this my part

Of patience wants. Grief breaks the stoutest heart.

448. Fame Makes Us Forward.

To print our poems, the propulsive cause

Is fame — the breath of popular applause.

449. To Groves.

Ye silent shades, whose each tree here

Some relique of a saint doth wear,

Who, for some sweetheart’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

Encarv’d upon the leaves and rind.

Give way, give way to me, who come

Scorch’d with the self-same martyrdom:

And have deserv’d as much (love knows)

As to be canonis’d ‘mongst those

Whose deeds and deaths here written are

Within your greeny calendar:

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 carv’d on every tree;

By sweet Saint Phyllis 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 remembered in your story.

Phyllis, the Thracian princess who hanged herself for love of


Iphis, a Cyprian youth who hanged himself for love of Anaxaretes.

450. 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.

451. To the Right Gracious Prince, Lodowick, Duke of Richmond and Lennox.

Of all those three brave brothers fall’n i’ th’ war

(Not without glory), noble sir, you are,

Despite of all concussions, left the stem

To shoot forth generations like to them.

Which may be done, if, sir, you can beget

Men in their substance, not in counterfeit,

Such essences as those three brothers; known

Eternal by their own production.

Of whom, from fame’s white trumpet, this I’ll tell,

Worthy their everlasting chronicle:

Never since first Bellona us’d a shield,

Such three brave brothers fell in Mars his field.

These were those three Horatii Rome did boast,

Rome’s were these three Horatii we have lost.

One Cœur-deLion had that age long since;

This, three; which three, you make up four, brave prince.

452. To Jealousy.

O jealousy, that art

The canker of the heart;

And mak’st all hell

Where thou do’st dwell;

For pity be

No fury, or no firebrand to me.

Far from me I’ll remove

All thoughts of irksome love:

And turn to snow,

Or crystal grow,

To keep still free,

O! soul-tormenting jealousy, from thee.

453. To Live Freely.

Let’s live in haste; use pleasures while we may;

Could life return, ‘twould never lose a day.

455. His Alms.

Here, here I live,

And somewhat give

Of what I have

To those who crave,

Little or much,

My alms is such;

But if my deal

Of oil and meal

Shall fuller grow,

More I’ll bestow;

Meantime be it

E’en but a bit,

Or else a crumb,

The scrip hath some.

Deal, portion.

456. Upon Himself.

Come, leave this loathed country life, and then

Grow up to be a Roman citizen.

Those mites of time, which yet remain unspent,

Waste thou in that most civil government.

Get their comportment and the gliding tongue

Of those mild men thou art to live among;

Then, being seated in that smoother sphere,

Decree thy everlasting topic there;

And to the farm-house ne’er return at all:

Though granges do not love thee, cities shall.

457. 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.

458. Upon Love.

Love, I have broke

Thy yoke,

The neck is free;

But when I’m next


Then shackle me.

’Tis better yet

To fret

The feet or hands,

Than to enthral

Or gall

The neck with bands.

459. To the Right Honourable Mildmay, Earl of Westmoreland.

You are a lord, an earl, nay more, a man

Who writes sweet numbers well as any can;

If so, why then are not these verses hurled,

Like Sybil’s leaves, throughout the ample world?

What is a jewel if it be not set

Forth by a ring or some rich carcanet?

But being so, then the beholders cry:

See, see a gem as rare as Belus’ eye.

Then public praise does run upon the stone,

For a most rich, a rare, a precious one.

Expose your jewels then unto the view,

That we may praise them, or themselves prize you.

Virtue concealed, with Horace you’ll confess,

Differs not much from drowsy slothfulness.

Belus’ eye, the eye onyx. “The stone called Belus’ eie is white, and

hath within it a black apple.” (Holland’s Pliny.)

460. The Plunder.

I am of all bereft,

Save but some few beans left,

Whereof, at last, to make

For me and mine a cake,

Which eaten, they and I

Will say our grace, and die.

461. Littleness No Cause of Leanness.

One feeds on lard, and yet is lean,

And I but feasting with a bean

Grow fat and smooth. The reason is:

Jove prospers my meat more than his.

464. The Jimmall Ring or True-Love Knot.

Thou sent’st to me a true love-knot, but I

Returned a ring of jimmals to imply

Thy love had one knot, mine a triple tie.

Jimmal or gimmal, double or triple ring.

465. The Parting Verse or Charge to His Supposed Wife when he Travelled.

Go hence, and with this parting kiss,

Which joins two souls, remember this:

Though thou be’st young, kind, soft, and fair

And may’st draw thousands with a hair;

Yet let these glib temptations be

Furies to others, friends to me.

Look upon all, and though on fire

Thou set their hearts, let chaste desire

Steer thee to me, and think, me gone,

In having all, that thou hast none.

Nor so immured would I have

Thee live, as dead and in thy grave;

But walk abroad, yet wisely well

Stand for my coming, sentinel.

And think, as thou do’st walk the street,

Me or my shadow thou do’st meet.

I know a thousand greedy eyes

Will on thy feature tyrannise

In my short absence, yet behold

Them like some picture, or some mould

Fashion’d like thee, which, though ’t have ears

And eyes, it neither sees or hears.

Gifts will be sent, and letters, which

Are the expressions of that itch,

And salt, which frets thy suitors; fly

Both, lest thou lose thy liberty;

For, that once lost, thou’t fall to one,

Then prostrate to a million.

But if they woo thee, do thou say,

As that chaste Queen of Ithaca

Did to her suitors, this web done,

(Undone as oft as done), I’m won;

I will not urge thee, for I know,

Though thou art young, thou canst say no,

And no again, and so deny

Those thy lust-burning incubi.

Let them enstyle thee fairest fair,

The pearl of princes, yet despair

That so thou art, because thou must

Believe love speaks it not, but lust;

And this their flattery does commend

Thee chiefly for their pleasure’s end.

I am not jealous of thy faith,

Or will be, for the axiom saith:

He that doth suspect does haste

A gentle mind to be unchaste.

No, live thee to thy self, and keep

Thy thoughts as cold as is thy sleep,

And let thy dreams be only fed

With this, that I am in thy bed;

And thou, then turning in that sphere,

Waking shalt find me sleeping there.

But yet if boundless lust must scale

Thy fortress, and will needs prevail,

And wildly force a passage in,

Banish consent, and ’tis no sin

Of thine; so Lucrece fell and the

Chaste Syracusian Cyane.

So Medullina fell; yet none

Of these had imputation

For the least trespass, ‘cause the mind

Here was not with the act combin’d.

The body sins not, ’tis the will

That makes the action, good or ill.

And if thy fall should this way come,

Triumph in such a martyrdom.

I will not over-long enlarge

To thee this my religious charge.

Take this compression, so by this

Means I shall know what other kiss

Is mixed with mine, and truly know,

Returning, if’t be mine or no:

Keep it till then; and now, my spouse,

For my wished safety pay thy vows

And prayers to Venus; if it please

The great blue ruler of the seas,

Not many full-faced moons shall wane,

Lean-horn’d, before I come again

As one triumphant, when I find

In thee all faith of womankind.

Nor would I have thee think that thou

Had’st power thyself to keep this vow,

But, having ‘scaped temptation’s shelf,

Know virtue taught thee, not thyself.

Queen of Ithaca, Penelope.

Incubi, adulterous spirits.

Cyane, a nymph of Syracuse, ravished by her father whom (and herself)

she slew.

Medullina, a Roman virgin who endured a like fate.

Compression, embrace.

466. To His Kinsman, Sir Thos. Soame.

Seeing thee, Soame, I see a goodly man,

And in that good a great patrician.

Next to which two, among the city powers

And thrones, thyself one of those senators;

Not wearing purple only for the show,

As many conscripts of the city do,

But for true service, worthy of that gown,

The golden chain, too, and the civic crown.

Conscripts, “patres conscripti,” aldermen.

467. 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.

468. Man’s Dying-Place Uncertain.

Man knows where first he ships himself, but he

Never can tell where shall his landing be.

469. Nothing Free-Cost.

Nothing comes free-cost here; Jove will not let

His gifts go from him, if not bought with sweat.

470. Few Fortunate.

Many we are, and yet but few possess

Those fields of everlasting happiness.

471. To Perenna.

How long, Perenna, wilt thou see

Me languish for the love of thee?

Consent, and play a friendly part

To save, when thou may’st kill a heart.

472. To the Ladies.

Trust me, ladies, I will do

Nothing to distemper you;

If I any fret or vex,

Men they shall be, not your sex.

473. The Old Wives’ Prayer.

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.

475. Upon His Departure Hence.

Thus I

Pass by,

And die:

As one


And gone:

I’m made

A shade,

And laid

I’ th’ grave:

There have

My cave,

Where tell

I dwell.


476. The Wassail.

Give way, give way, ye gates, and win

An easy blessing to your bin

And basket, by our entering in.

May both with manchet stand replete;

Your larders, too, so hung with meat,

That though a thousand, thousand eat,

Yet, ere twelve moons shall whirl about

Their silv’ry spheres, there’s none may doubt

But more’s sent in than was served out.

Next, may your dairies prosper so

As that your pans no ebb may know;

But if they do, the more to flow,

Like to a solemn sober stream

Bank’d all with lilies, and the cream

Of sweetest cowslips filling them.

Then, may your plants be prest with fruit,

Nor bee, or hive you have be mute;

But sweetly sounding like a lute.

Next, may your duck and teeming hen

Both to the cock’s tread say Amen;

And for their two eggs render ten.

Last, may your harrows, shears, and ploughs,

Your stacks, your stocks, your sweetest mows,

All prosper by our virgin vows.

Alas! we bless, but see none here

That brings us either ale or beer;

In a dry house all things are near.

Let’s leave a longer time to wait,

Where rust and cobwebs bind the gate,

And all live here with needy fate.

Where chimneys do for ever weep

For want of warmth, and stomachs keep,

With noise, the servants’ eyes from sleep.

It is in vain to sing, or stay

Our free feet here; but we’ll away:

Yet to the Lares this we’ll say:

The time will come when you’ll be sad

And reckon this for fortune bad,

T’ave lost the good ye might have had.

Manchet, fine white bread.

Prest, laden.

Near, penurious.

Leave to wait, cease waiting.

477. Upon a Lady Fair but Fruitless.

Twice has Pudica been a bride, and led

By holy Hymen to the nuptial bed.

Two youths she’s known thrice two, and twice three years;

Yet not a lily from the bed appears:

Nor will; for why, Pudica this may know,

Trees never bear unless they first do blow.

478. How Springs Came First.

These springs were maidens once that lov’d,

But lost to that they most approv’d:

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 chang’d but in their name.

479. To Rosemary and Bays.

My wooing’s ended: now my wedding’s near

When gloves are giving, gilded be you there.

481. Upon a Scar in a Virgin’s Face.

’Tis heresy in others: in your face

That scar’s no schism, but the sign of grace.

482. Upon His Eyesight Failing Him.

I begin to wane in sight;

Shortly I shall bid good-night:

Then no gazing more about,

When the tapers once are out.

483. To His Worthy Friend, M. Thos. Falconbirge.

Stand with thy graces forth, brave man, and rise

High with thine own auspicious destinies:

Nor leave the search, and proof, till thou canst find

These, or those ends, to which thou wast design’d.

Thy lucky genius and thy guiding star

Have made thee prosperous in thy ways thus far:

Nor will they leave thee till they both have shown

Thee to the world a prime and public one.

Then, when thou see’st thine age all turn’d to gold,

Remember what thy Herrick thee foretold,

When at the holy threshold of thine house

He boded good luck to thy self and spouse.

Lastly, be mindful, when thou art grown great,

That towers high rear’d dread most the lightning’s threat:

Whenas the humble cottages not fear

The cleaving bolt of Jove the thunderer.

484. Upon Julia’s Hair Fill’d with Dew.

Dew sat 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

Danc’d by the streams.

485. Another on Her.

How can I choose but love and follow her

Whose shadow smells like milder pomander?

How can I choose but kiss her, whence does come

The storax, spikenard, myrrh, and laudanum?

Pomander, ball of scent.

486. Loss from the Least.

Great men by small means oft are overthrown;

He’s lord of thy life who contemns his own.

487. Reward and Punishments.

All things are open to these two events,

Or to rewards, or else to punishments.

488. Shame No Statist.

Shame is a bad attendant to a state:

He rents his crown that fears the people’s hate.

489. To Sir Clipseby Crew.

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 have still the manners left

For to thank you, noble sir,

For those gifts you do confer

Upon him who only can

Be in prose a grateful man.

490. Upon Himself.

I could never love indeed;

Never see mine own heart bleed:

Never crucify my life,

Or for widow, maid, or wife.

I could never seek to please

One or many mistresses:

Never like their lips to swear

Oil of roses still smelt there.

I could never break my sleep,

Fold mine arms, sob, sigh, or weep:

Never beg, or humbly woo

With oaths and lies, as others do.

I could never walk alone;

Put a shirt of sackcloth on:

Never keep a fast, or pray

For good luck in love that day.

But have hitherto liv’d free

As the air that circles me:

And kept credit with my heart,

Neither broke i’ th’ whole, or part.

491. Fresh Cheese and Cream.

Would ye have fresh cheese and cream?

Julia’s breast can give you them:

And, if more, each nipple cries:

To your cream here’s strawberries.

492. An Eclogue or Pastoral Between Endymion Porter and Lycidas Herrick, Set and Sung.

End. Ah! Lycidas, come tell me why

Thy whilom merry oat

By thee doth so neglected lie,

And never purls a note?

I prithee speak. Lyc. I will. End. Say on.

Lyc. ’Tis thou, and only thou,

That art the cause, Endymion.

End. For love’s sake, tell me how.

Lyc. In this regard: that thou do’st play

Upon another plain,

And for a rural roundelay

Strik’st now a courtly strain.

Thou leav’st our hills, our dales, our bowers,

Our finer fleeced sheep,

Unkind to us, to spend thine hours

Where shepherds should not keep.

I mean the court: Let Latmos be

My lov’d Endymion’s court.

End. But I the courtly state would see.

Lyc. Then see it in report.

What has the court to do with swains,

Where Phyllis is not known?

Nor does it mind the rustic strains

Of us, or Corydon.

Break, if thou lov’st us, this delay.

End. Dear Lycidas, e’re long

I vow, by Pan, to come away

And pipe unto thy song.

Then Jessamine, with Florabell,

And dainty Amaryllis,

With handsome-handed Drosomell

Shall prank thy hook with lilies.

Lyc. Then Tityrus, and Corydon,

And Thyrsis, they shall follow

With all the rest; while thou alone

Shalt lead like young Apollo.

And till thou com’st, thy Lycidas,

In every genial cup,

Shall write in spice: Endymion ’twas

That kept his piping up.

And, my most lucky swain, when I shall live to see

Endymion’s moon to fill up full, remember me:

Meantime, let Lycidas have leave to pipe to thee.

Oat, oaten pipe.

Prank, bedeck.

Drosomell, honey dew.

493. To a Bed of Tulips.

Bright tulips, we do know

You had your coming hither,

And fading-time does show

That ye must quickly wither.

Your sisterhoods may stay,

And smile here for your hour;

But die ye must away,

Even as the meanest flower.

Come, virgins, then, and see

Your frailties, and bemoan ye;

For, lost like these, ’twill be

As time had never known ye.

494. A Caution.

That love last long, let it thy first care be

To find a wife that is most fit for thee.

Be she too wealthy or too poor, be sure

Love in extremes can never long endure.

495. 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.

496. To His Honoured Kinsman, Sir Richard Stone.

To this white temple of my heroes here,

Beset with stately figures everywhere

Of such rare saintships, who did here consume

Their lives in sweets, and left in death perfume,

Come, thou brave man! And bring with thee a stone

Unto thine own edification.

High are these statues here, besides no less

Strong than the heavens for everlastingness:

Where build aloft; and, being fix’d by these,

Set up thine own eternal images.

497. Upon a Fly.

A golden fly one show’d to me,

Clos’d in a box of ivory,

Where both seem’d proud: the fly to have

His burial in an ivory grave;

The ivory took state to hold

A corpse as bright as burnish’d gold.

One fate had both, both equal grace;

The buried, and the burying-place.

Not Virgil’s gnat, to whom the spring

All flowers sent to’s burying;

Not Martial’s bee, which in a bead

Of amber quick was buried;

Nor that fine worm that does inter

Herself i’ th’ silken sepulchre;

Nor my rare Phil,* that lately was

With lilies tomb’d up in a glass;

More honour had than this same fly,

Dead, and closed up in ivory.

Virgil’s gnat, see 256.

Martial’s bee, see Note.

* Sparrow. (Note in the original edition.)

499. To Julia.

Julia, when thy Herrick dies,

Close thou up thy poet’s eyes:

And his last breath, let it be

Taken in by none but thee.

500. To Mistress Dorothy Parsons.

If thou ask me, dear, wherefore

I do write of thee no more,

I must answer, sweet, thy part

Less is here than in my heart.

502. How he Would Drink His Wine.

Fill me my wine in crystal; thus, and thus

I see’t in’s puris naturalibus:

Unmix’d. I love to have it smirk and shine;

’Tis sin I know, ’tis sin to throttle wine.

What madman’s he, that when it sparkles so,

Will cool his flames or quench his fires with snow?

503. How Marigolds Came Yellow.

Jealous girls these sometimes were,

While they liv’d or lasted here:

Turn’d to flowers, still they be

Yellow, mark’d for jealousy.

504. The Broken Crystal.

To fetch me wine my Lucia went,

Bearing a crystal continent:

But, making haste, it came to pass

She brake in two the purer glass,

Then smil’d, and sweetly chid her speed;

So with a blush beshrew’d the deed.

Continent, holder.

505. Precepts.

Good precepts we must firmly hold,

By daily learning we wax old.

506. To the Right Honourable Edward, Earl of Dorset.

If I dare write to you, my lord, who are

Of your own self a public theatre,

And, sitting, see the wiles, ways, walks of wit,

And give a righteous judgment upon it,

What need I care, though some dislike me should,

If Dorset say what Herrick writes is good?

We know y’are learn’d i’ th’ Muses, and no less

In our state-sanctions, deep or bottomless.

Whose smile can make a poet, and your glance

Dash all bad poems out of countenance;

So that an author needs no other bays

For coronation than your only praise,

And no one mischief greater than your frown

To null his numbers, and to blast his crown.

Few live the life immortal. He ensures

His fame’s long life who strives to set up yours.

507. Upon Himself.

Thou’rt hence removing (like a shepherd’s tent),

And walk thou must the way that others went:

Fall thou must first, then rise to life with these,

Mark’d in thy book for faithful witnesses.

508. Hope Well and have Well: Or, Fair After Foul Weather.

What though the heaven be lowering now,

And look with a contracted brow?

We shall discover, by-and-by,

A repurgation of the sky;

And when those clouds away are driven,

Then will appear a cheerful heaven.

509. Upon Love.

I held Love’s head while it did ache;

But so it chanc’d to be,

The cruel pain did his forsake,

And forthwith came to me.

Ay 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?

510. To His Kinswoman, Mrs. Penelope Wheeler.

Next is your lot, fair, to be number’d one,

Here, in my book’s canonisation:

Late you come in; but you a saint shall be,

In chief, in this poetic liturgy.

511. Another Upon Her.

First, for your shape, the curious cannot show

Any one part that’s dissonant in you:

And ‘gainst your chaste behaviour there’s no plea,

Since you are known to be Penelope.

Thus fair and clean you are, although there be

A mighty strife ‘twixt form and chastity.

Form, beauty.

513. Cross and Pile.

Fair and foul days trip cross and pile; the fair

Far less in number than our foul days are.

Trip cross and pile, come haphazard, like the heads and tails of coins.

514. To the Lady Crew, 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.

515. 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 will 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 pris’ners be

From shackles free:

And weeping widows long oppress’d

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 reworn,

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 Platonick year,

And then meet here.

Platonick year, the 36,000th year, in which all persons and things

return to their original state.

516. To Mistress Mary Willand.

One more by thee, love, and desert have sent,

T’ enspangle this expansive firmament.

O flame of beauty! come, appear, appear

A virgin taper, ever shining here.

517. Change Gives Content.

What now we like anon we disapprove:

The new successor drives away old love.

519. On Himself.

Born I was to meet with age,

And to walk life’s pilgrimage.

Much I know of time is spent,

Tell I can’t what’s resident.

Howsoever, cares, adieu!

I’ll have nought to say to you:

But I’ll spend my coming hours

Drinking wine and crown’d with flowers.

Resident, remaining.

520. Fortune Favours.

Fortune did never favour one

Fully, without exception;

Though free she be, there’s something yet

Still wanting to her favourite.

521. To Phyllis, to Love and Live with Him.

Live, live with me, and thou shall 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 be a gown

Made of the fleece’s purest down.

The tongues of kids shall be thy meat,

Their milk thy drink; and thou shalt eat

The paste of filberts for thy bread,

With cream of cowslips buttered;

Thy feasting-tables shall be hills

With daisies spread and daffodils,

Where thou shalt sit, and red-breast by,

For meat, shall give thee melody.

I’ll give thee chains and carcanets

Of primroses and violets.

A bag and bottle thou shalt have,

That richly wrought, and this as brave;

So that as either shall express

The wearer’s no mean shepherdess.

At shearing-times, and yearly wakes,

When Themilis his pastime makes,

There thou shalt be; and be the wit,

Nay, more, the feast, and grace of it.

On holidays, when virgins meet

To dance the heyes with nimble feet,

Thou shall come forth, and then appear

The queen of roses for that year;

And having danced, ‘bove all the best,

Carry the garland from the rest.

In wicker baskets maids shall bring

To thee, my dearest shepherling,

The blushing apple, bashful pear,

And shame-fac’d plum, all simp’ring there.

Walk in the groves, and thou shalt find

The name of Phyllis in the rind

Of every straight and smooth-skin tree;

Where kissing that, I’ll twice kiss thee.

To thee a sheep-hook I will send,

Be-prank’d with ribands to this end;

This, this alluring hook might be

Less for to catch a sheep than me.

Thou shalt have possets, wassails fine,

Not made of ale, but spiced wine,

To make thy maids and self free mirth,

All sitting near the glitt’ring hearth.

Thou shalt have ribands, roses, rings,

Gloves, garters, stockings, shoes, and strings

Of winning colours, that shall move

Others to lust, but me to love.

These, nay, and more, thine own shall be

If thou wilt love, and live with me.

Carcanets, necklaces.

Wakes, village feasts on the dedication day of the church.

The heyes, a winding, country dance.

Be-prank’d, bedecked.

522. To His Kinswoman, Mistress Susanna Herrick.

When I consider, dearest, thou dost stay

But here a-while, 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.

523. Upon Mistress Susanna Southwell, Her Cheeks.

Rare are thy cheeks, Susanna, which do show

Ripe cherries smiling, while that others blow.

524. Upon Her Eyes.

Clear are her eyes,

Like purest skies,

Discovering from thence

A baby there

That turns each sphere,

Like an Intelligence.

A baby, see Note to 38, “To his mistress objecting to him neither

toying nor talking”.

525. 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.

526. To His Honoured Friend, Sir John Mince.

For civil, clean, and circumcised wit,

And for the comely carriage of it,

Thou art the man, the only man best known,

Mark’d for the true wit of a million:

From whom we’ll reckon. Wit came in but since

The calculation of thy birth, brave Mince.

527. Upon His Grey Hairs.

Fly me not, though I be grey:

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.

528. Accusation.

If accusation only can draw blood,

None shall be guiltless, be he ne’er so good.

529. Pride Allowable in Poets.

As thou deserv’st, be proud; then gladly let

The Muse give thee the Delphic coronet.

530. A Vow to Minerva.

Goddess, I begin an art;

Come thou in, with thy best part

For to make the texture lie

Each way smooth and civilly;

And a broad-fac’d owl shall be

Offer’d up with vows to thee.

Civilly, orderly.

Owl, the bird sacred to Athene or Minerva.

534. To Electra.

’Tis evening, my sweet,

And dark, let us meet;

Long time w’ave here been a-toying,

And never, as yet,

That season could get

Wherein t’ave had an enjoying.

For pity or shame,

Then let not love’s flame

Be ever and ever a-spending;

Since now to the port

The path is but short,

And yet our way has no ending.

Time flies away fast,

Our hours do waste,

The while we never remember

How soon our life, here,

Grows old with the year

That dies with the next December.

535. Discord Not Disadvantageous.

Fortune no higher project can devise

Than to sow discord ‘mongst the enemies.

536. ill Government.

Preposterous is that government, and rude,

When kings obey the wilder multitude.

Preposterous, lit. hind-part before.

537. To Marigolds.

Give way, and be ye ravish’d by the sun,

And hang the head whenas the act is done,

Spread as he spreads, wax less as he does wane;

And as he shuts, close up to maids again.

538. 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.

539. To Julia, the Flaminica Dialis or Queen-Priest.

Thou know’st, my Julia, that it is thy turn

This morning’s incense to prepare and burn.

The chaplet and Inarculum* here be,

With the white vestures, all attending thee.

This day the queen-priest thou art made, t’ appease

Love for our very many trespasses.

One chief transgression is, among the rest,

Because with flowers her temple was not dressed;

The next, because her altars did not shine

With daily fires; the last, neglect of wine;

For which her wrath is gone forth to consume

Us all, unless preserved by thy perfume.

Take then thy censer, put in fire, and thus,

O pious priestess! make a peace for us.

For our neglect Love did our death decree;

That we escape. Redemption comes by thee.

* A twig of a pomegranate, which the queen-priest did use to wear on her head at sacrificing. (Note in the original edition.)

540. Anacreontic.

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.

541. Meat Without Mirth.

Eaten I have; and though I had good cheer,

I did not sup, because no friends were there.

Where mirth and friends are absent when we dine

Or sup, there wants the incense and the wine.

542. Large Bounds Do but Bury Us.

All things o’er-ruled are here by chance:

The greatest man’s inheritance,

Where’er the lucky lot doth fall,

Serves but for place of burial.

543. Upon Ursley.

Ursley, she thinks those velvet patches grace

The candid temples of her comely face;

But he will say, whoe’er those circlets seeth,

They be but signs of Ursley’s hollow teeth.

544. An Ode to Sir Clipseby 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


To grace the frantic thyrse;

And having drunk, we raise a shout


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,


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 Clipseby Crew.

Securely, free from care.

Thyrse, a Bacchic staff.

Instant, oncoming.

Numbers, verses.

545. To His Worthy Kinsman, Mr. Stephen Soame.

Nor is my number full till I inscribe

Thee, sprightly Soame, one of my righteous tribe;

A tribe of one lip, leaven, and of one

Civil behaviour, and religion;

A stock of saints, where ev’ry one doth wear

A stole of white, and canonised here;

Among which holies be thou ever known,

Brave kinsman, mark’d out with the whiter stone

Which seals thy glory, since I do prefer

Thee here in my eternal calender.

546. To His Tomb-Maker.

Go I must; when I am gone,

Write but this upon my stone:

Chaste I lived, without a wife,

That’s the story of my life.

Strewings need none, every flower

Is in this word, bachelour.

547. Great Spirits Supervive.

Our mortal parts may wrapp’d in sear-cloths lie:

Great spirits never with their bodies die.

548. None Free from Fault.

Out of the world he must, who once comes in.

No man exempted is from death, or sin.

549. Upon Himself Being Buried.

Let me sleep this night away,

Till the dawning of the day;

Then at th’ opening of mine eyes

I, and all the world, shall rise.

550. Pity to the Prostrate.

’Tis worse than barbarous cruelty to show

No part of pity on a conquered foe.

552. His Content in the Country.

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 Prew 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 rest, and never fear

The landlord or the usurer.

The quarter-day does ne’er affright

Our peaceful slumbers in the night.

We eat our own and batten more,

Because we feed on no man’s score;

But pity those whose flanks grow great,

Swell’d with the lard of others’ meat.

We bless our fortunes when we see

Our own beloved privacy;

And like our living, where we’re known

To very few, or else to none.

Prew, i.e., his servant, Prudence Baldwin.

553. The Credit of the Conqueror.

He who commends the vanquished, speaks the power

And glorifies the worthy conqueror.

554. On Himself.

Some parts may perish, die thou canst not all:

The most of thee shall ‘scape the funeral.

556. The Fairies.

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.

557. To His Honoured Friend, M. John Weare, Councillor.

Did I or love, or could I others draw

To the indulgence of the rugged law,

The first foundation of that zeal should be

By reading all her paragraphs in thee,

Who dost so fitly with the laws unite,

As if you two were one hermaphrodite.

Nor courts[t] thou her because she’s well attended

With wealth, but for those ends she was intended:

Which were — and still her offices are known —

Law is to give to ev’ry one his own;

To shore the feeble up against the strong,

To shield the stranger and the poor from wrong.

This was the founder’s grave and good intent:

To keep the outcast in his tenement,

To free the orphan from that wolf-like man,

Who is his butcher more than guardian;

To dry the widow’s tears, and stop her swoons,

By pouring balm and oil into her wounds.

This was the old way; and ’tis yet thy course

To keep those pious principles in force.

Modest I will be; but one word I’ll say,

Like to a sound that’s vanishing away,

Sooner the inside of thy hand shall grow

Hisped and hairy, ere thy palm shall know

A postern-bribe took, or a forked fee,

To fetter Justice, when she might be free.

Eggs I’ll not shave; but yet, brave man, if I

Was destin’d forth to golden sovereignty,

A prince I’d be, that I might thee prefer

To be my counsel both and chancellor.

Hisped (hispidus), rough with hairs.

Postern-bribe, a back-door bribe.

Forked fee, a fee from both sides in a case; cp. Ben Jonson’s

Volpone: “Give forked counsel, take provoking gold on either hand”.

Eggs I’ll not shave, a proverb.

560. 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;

And man’s pulse stop’d, all passions sleep in peace.

561. Lines have Their Linings, and Books Their Buckram.

As in our clothes, so likewise he who looks,

Shall find much farcing buckram in our books.

Farcing, stuffing.

562. 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 show

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.

Civility, order.

564. Upon His Kinswoman, Mistress Bridget Herrick.

Sweet Bridget blush’d, and therewithal

Fresh blossoms from her cheeks did fall.

I thought at first ’twas but a dream,

Till after I had handled them

And smelt them, then they smelt to me

As blossoms of the almond tree.

565. Upon Love.

I played with Love, as with the fire

The wanton Satyr did;

Nor did I know, or could descry

What under there was hid.

That Satyr he but burnt his lips;

But mine’s the greater smart,

For kissing Love’s dissembling chips

The fire scorch’d my heart.

The Wanton Satyr. See Sir E. Dyer’s The Shepherd’s Conceit of Prometheus:—

“Prometheus, when first from heaven high

He brought down fire, ere then on earth not seen,

Fond of delight, a Satyr standing by

Gave it a kiss, as it like sweet had been.

. . .

The difference is — the Satyr’s lips, my heart,

He for a time, I evermore, have smart.”

So Euphues: “Satirus not knowing what fire was would needs embrace it and was burnt;” and Sir John Davies, False and True Knowledge.

566. Upon a Comely and Curious Maid.

If men can say that beauty dies,

Marbles will swear that here it lies.

If, reader, then thou canst forbear

In public loss to shed a tear,

The dew of grief upon this stone

Will tell thee pity thou hast none.

567. Upon the Loss of His Finger.

One of the five straight branches of my hand

Is lop’d already, and the rest but stand

Expecting when to fall, which soon will be;

First dies the leaf, the bough next, next the tree.

568. Upon Irene.

Angry if Irene be

But a minute’s life with me:

Such a fire I espy

Walking in and out her eye,

As at once I freeze and fry.

569. Upon Electra’s Tears.

Upon her cheeks she wept, and from those showers

Sprang up a sweet nativity of flowers.

569. 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,

T’ 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.

Suppling, softening.

Mercury, god of eloquence and inventor of the lyre.

570. To Silvia.

No more, my Silvia, do I mean to pray

For those good days that ne’er will come away.

I want belief; O gentle Silvia, be

The patient saint, and send up vows for me.

573. The Poet Hath Lost His Pipe.

I cannot pipe as I was wont to do,

Broke is my reed, hoarse is my singing, too;

My wearied oat I’ll hang upon the tree,

And give it to the sylvan deity.

574. True Friendship.

Wilt thou my true friend be?

Then love not mine, but me.

575. The Apparition of His Mistress Calling Him to Elysium.

Desunt nonnulla ——

Come then, and like two doves with silv’ry wings,

Let our souls fly to th’ shades where ever 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 ambergris and gums

This, that, and ev’ry thicket doth transpire,

More sweet than storax from the hallowed fire,

Where ev’ry tree a wealthy issue bears

Of fragrant apples, blushing plums, or pears;

And all the shrubs, with sparkling spangles, shew

Like morning sunshine tinselling the dew.

Here in green meadows sits eternal May,

Purfling the margents, while perpetual day

So double gilds the air, as that no night

Can ever rust th’ enamel of the light.

Here, naked younglings, handsome striplings, run

Their goals for virgins’ kisses; which when done,

Then unto dancing forth the learned round

Commixed they meet, with endless roses crown’d.

And here we’ll sit on primrose-banks, and see

Love’s chorus led by Cupid; and we’ll be

Two loving followers, too, unto the grove

Where poets sing the stories of our love.

There thou shalt hear divine Musæus sing

Of Hero and Leander; then I’ll bring

Thee to the stand, where honour’d Homer reads

His Odysseys and his high Iliads;

About whose throne the crowd of poets throng

To hear the incantation of his tongue:

To Linus, then to Pindar; and that done,

I’ll bring thee, Herrick, to Anacreon,

Quaffing his full-crown’d bowls of burning wine,

And in his raptures speaking lines of thine,

Like to his subject; and as his frantic

Looks show him truly Bacchanalian-like

Besmear’d with grapes, welcome he shall thee thither,

Where both may rage, both drink and dance together.

Then stately Virgil, witty Ovid, by

Whom fair Corinna sits, and doth comply

With ivory wrists his laureate head, and steeps

His eye in dew of kisses while he sleeps;

Then soft Catullus, sharp-fang’d Martial,

And towering Lucan, Horace, Juvenal,

And snaky Persius, these, and those, whom rage

(Dropt for the jars of heaven) fill’d t’ engage

All times unto their frenzies — thou shalt there

Behold them in a spacious theatre.

Among which glories, crowned with sacred bays

And flatt’ring ivy, two recite their plays —

Beaumont and Fletcher, swans to whom all ears

Listen, while they, like syrens in their spheres,

Sing their Evadne; and still more for thee

There yet remains to know than thou can’st see

By glim’ring of a fancy. Do but come,

And there I’ll show thee that capacious room

In which thy father Jonson now is plac’d,

As in a globe of radiant fire, and grac’d

To be in that orb crown’d, that doth include

Those prophets of the former magnitude,

And he one chief; but hark, I hear the cock

(The bellman of the night) proclaim the clock

Of late struck one, and now I see the prime

Of day break from the pregnant east: ’tis time

I vanish; more I had to say,

But night determines here, away.

Purfling, trimming, embroidering.

Round, rustic dance.

Comply, encircle.

Their Evadne, the sister of Melantius in their play “The Maid’s Tragedy”.

576. Life is the Body’s Light.

Life is the body’s light, which once declining,

Those crimson clouds i’ th’ cheek 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.

Tabbies, shot silks.

579. 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 hers, I’m pleas’d 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.

580. 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 mix’d 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.

581. The Tithe. To the Bride.

If nine times you your bridegroom kiss,

The tenth you know the parson’s is.

Pay then your tithe, and doing thus,

Prove in your bride-bed numerous.

If children you have ten, Sir John

Won’t for his tenth part ask you one.

Sir John, the parson.

582. A Frolic.

Bring me my rosebuds, drawer, come;

So, while I thus sit crown’d,

I’ll drink the aged Cæcubum,

Until the roof turn round.

Drawer, waiter.

Cæcubum, Cæcuban, an old Roman wine.

583. Change Common to All.

All things subjected are to fate;

Whom this morn sees most fortunate,

The evening sees in poor estate.

584. To Julia.

The saints’-bell calls, and, Julia, I must read

The proper lessons for the saints now dead:

To grace which service, Julia, there shall be

One holy collect said or sung for thee.

Dead when thou art, dear Julia, thou shalt have

A trentall sung by virgins o’er thy grave:

Meantime we two will sing the dirge of these,

Who dead, deserve our best remembrances.

Trentall, a service for the dead.

585. No Luck in Love.

I do love I know not what,

Sometimes this and sometimes that;

All conditions I aim at.

But, as luckless, I have yet

Many shrewd disasters met

To gain her whom I would get.

Therefore now I’ll love no more

As I’ve doted heretofore:

He who must be, shall be poor.

586. In the Dark None Dainty.

Night hides our thefts, all faults then pardon’d be;

All are alike fair when no spots we see.

Lais and Lucrece in the night-time are

Pleasing alike, alike both singular:

Joan and my lady have at that time one,

One and the self-same priz’d complexion:

Then please alike the pewter and the plate,

The chosen ruby, and the reprobate.

Lais and Lucrece, opposite types of incontinence and purity. Cp.

665, 885.

587. A Charm, or an Allay for Love.

If so be a toad be laid

In a sheep’s-skin newly flay’d,

And that tied to man, ’twill sever

Him and his affections ever.

590. To His Brother-In-Law, Master John Wingfield.

For being comely, consonant, and free

To most of men, but most of all to me;

For so decreeing that thy clothes’ expense

Keeps still within a just circumference;

Then for contriving so to load thy board

As that the messes ne’er o’erlade the lord;

Next for ordaining that thy words not swell

To any one unsober syllable:

These I could praise thee for beyond another,

Wert thou a Winstfield only, not a brother.

Consonant, harmonious.

591. The Headache.

My head doth ache,

O Sappho! take

Thy fillet,

And bind the pain,

Or bring some bane

To kill it.

But less that part

Than my poor heart

Now is sick;

One kiss from thee

Will counsel be

And physic.

592. On Himself.

Live by thy muse thou shalt, when others die

Leaving no fame to long posterity:

When monarchies transshifted are, and gone,

Here shall endure thy vast dominion.

593. Upon a Maid.

Hence a blessed soul is fled,

Leaving here the body dead;

Which since here they can’t combine,

For the saint we’ll keep the shrine.

596. Upon the Troublesome Times.

O times most bad,

Without the scope

Of hope

Of better to be had!

Where shall I go,

Or whither run

To shun

This public overthrow?

No places are,

This I am sure,


In this our wasting war.

Some storms we’ve past,

Yet we must all

Down fall,

And perish at the last.

597. Cruelty Base in Commanders.

Nothing can be more loathsome than to see

Power conjoin’d with Nature’s cruelty.

599. Upon Lucia.

I ask’d my Lucia but a kiss,

And she with scorn denied me this;

Say then, how ill should I have sped,

Had I then ask’d her maidenhead?

600. Little and Loud.

Little you are, for woman’s sake be proud;

For my sake next, though little, be not loud.

601. Shipwreck.

He who has suffered shipwreck fears to sail

Upon the seas, though with a gentle gale.

602. Pains Without Profit.

A long life’s-day I’ve taken pains

For very little, or no gains;

The evening’s come, here now I’ll stop,

And work no more, but shut up shop.

603. To His Book.

Be bold, my book, nor be abash’d, or fear

The cutting thumb-nail or the brow severe;

But by the Muses swear all here is good

If but well read, or, ill read, understood.

604. His Prayer to Ben Jonson.

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, shall be

Writ in my Psalter.

605. Poverty and Riches.

Give Want her welcome if she comes; we find

Riches to be but burdens to the mind.

606. Again.

Who with a little cannot be content,

Endures an everlasting punishment.

607. The Covetous Still Captives.

Let’s live with that small pittance that we have;

Who covets more, is evermore a slave.

608. Laws.

When laws full power have to sway, we see

Little or no part there of tyranny.

609. Of Love.

I’ll get me hence,

Because no fence

Or fort that I can make here,

But love by charms,

Or else by arms

Will storm, or starving take here.

611. To His Muse.

Go woo young Charles no more to look

Than but to read this in my book:

How Herrick begs, if that he can-Not like the muse, to love the man,

Who by the shepherds sung, long since,

The star-led birth of Charles the Prince.

Long since, i.e., in the “Pastoral upon the Birth of Prince

Charles” (213), where see Note.

612. 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 everything

Puts on the semblance here of sorrowing.

Sick is the land to the heart, and doth endure

More dangerous faintings by her desp’rate cure.

But if that golden age would come again,

And Charles here rule, as he before did reign;

If smooth and unperplexed 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.

Knock at a star (sublimi feriam sidera vertice). Horace Ode, i. 1.

613. To Vulcan.

Thy sooty godhead I desire

Still to be ready with thy fire;

That should my book despised be,

Acceptance it might find of thee.

614. Like Pattern, Like People.

This is the height of justice: that to do

Thyself which thou put’st other men unto.

As great men lead, the meaner follow on,

Or to the good, or evil action.

615. Purposes.

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.

616. To the Maids to Walk Abroad.

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 what strange tricks love can do,

By quickly making one of two.

Thus we will sit and talk, but tell

No cruel truths of Philomel,

Or Phyllis, whom hard fate forc’d on

To kill herself for Demophon.

But fables we’ll relate: how Jove

Put on all shapes to get a love;

As now a satyr, then a swan;

A bull but then, and now a man.

Next we will act how young men woo,

And sigh, and kiss as lovers do;

And talk of brides, and who shall make

That wedding-smock, this bridal cake,

That dress, this sprig, that leaf, this vine,

That smooth and silken columbine.

This done, we’ll draw lots who shall buy

And gild the bays and rosemary;

What posies for our wedding rings;

What gloves we’ll give and ribandings:

And smiling at ourselves, decree,

Who then the joining priest shall be.

What short, sweet prayers shall be said;

And how the posset shall be made

With cream of lilies, not of kine,

And maiden’s-blush, for spiced wine.

Thus, having talked, we’ll next commend

A kiss to each, and so we’ll end.

Draw-gloves, talking on the fingers.

Philomela, daughter of Pandion, changed into a nightingale.

Phyllis, the S. Phyllis of a former lyric (To Groves).

Gild the bays, see Note to 479.

617. His Own Epitaph.

As wearied pilgrims, once possest

Of long’d-for lodging, go to rest,

So I, now having rid my way,

Fix here my button’d staff and stay.

Youth, I confess, hath me misled;

But age hath brought me right to bed.

Button’d, knobbed.

618. A Nuptial Verse to Mistress Elizabeth Lee, Now Lady Tracy.

Spring with the lark, most comely bride, and meet

Your eager bridegroom with auspicious feet.

The morn’s far spent, and the immortal sun

Corals his cheek to see those rites not done.

Fie, lovely maid! indeed you are too slow,

When to the temple Love should run, not go.

Dispatch your dressing then, and quickly wed;

Then feast, and coy’t a little, then to bed.

This day is Love’s day, and this busy night

Is yours, in which you challenged are to fight

With such an arm’d, but such an easy foe,

As will, if you yield, lie down conquer’d too.

The field is pitch’d, but such must be your wars,

As that your kisses must outvie the stars.

Fall down together vanquished both, and lie

Drown’d in the blood of rubies there, not die.

Corals, reddens.

619. 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 mislight 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 silv’ry feet

My soul I’ll pour into thee.

620. To Sir Clipseby Crew.

Give me wine, and give me meat,

To create in me a heat,

That my pulses high may beat.

Cold and hunger never yet

Could a noble verse beget;

But your bowls with sack replete.

Give me these, my knight, and try

In a minute’s space how I

Can run mad and prophesy.

Then, if any piece prove new

And rare, I’ll say, my dearest Crew,

It was full inspired by you.

621. Good Luck Not Lasting.

If well the dice run, let’s applaud the cast:

The happy fortune will not always last.

622. A Kiss.

What is a kiss? Why this, as some approve:

The sure, sweet cement, glue, and lime of love.

623. Glory.

I make no haste to have my numbers read:

Seldom comes glory till a man be dead.

624. Poets.

Wantons we are, and though our words be such,

Our lives do differ from our lines by much.

625. No Despite to the Dead.

Reproach we may the living, not the dead:

’Tis cowardice to bite the buried.

626. To His Verses.

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

Some race of old humanity

Left, of the large heart and long hand,

Alive, as noble Westmorland,

Or gallant Newark, which brave two

May fost’ring fathers be to you.

If not, expect to be no less

Ill us’d, than babes left fatherless.

Westmorland, Newark, see Notes.

627. His Charge to Julia at His Death.

Dearest of thousands, now the time draws near

That with my lines my life must full-stop here.

Cut off thy hairs, and let thy tears be shed

Over my turf when I am buried.

Then for effusions, let none wanting be,

Or other rites that do belong to me;

As love shall help thee, when thou dost go hence

Unto thy everlasting residence.

Effusions, the “due drink-offerings” of the lyric “To his lovely

mistresses” (634).

628. Upon Love.

In a dream, Love bade me go

To the galleys there to row;

In the vision I ask’d why?

Love as briefly did reply,

’Twas better there to toil, than prove

The turmoils they endure that love.

I awoke, and then I knew

What Love said was too-too true;

Henceforth therefore I will be,

As from love, from trouble free.

None pities him that’s in the snare,

And, warned before, would not beware.

629. The Cobblers’ Catch.

Come sit we by the fire’s side,

And roundly drink we here;

Till that we see our cheeks ale-dy’d

And noses tann’d with beer.

633. Connubii Flores, or the Well-Wishes at Weddings.

Chorus Sacerdotum. From the temple to your home

May a thousand blessings come!

And a sweet concurring stream

Of all joys to join with them.

Chorus Juvenum. Happy Day,

Make no long stay


In thy sphere;

But give thy place to Night,

That she,

As thee,

May be

Partaker of this sight.

And since it was thy care

To see the younglings wed,

’Tis fit that Night the pair

Should see safe brought to bed.

Chorus Senum. Go to your banquet then, but use delight,

So as to rise still with an appetite.

Love is a thing most nice, and must be fed

To such a height, but never surfeited.

What is beyond the mean is ever ill:

’Tis best to feed Love, but not overfill;

Go then discreetly to the bed of pleasure,

And this remember, virtue keeps the measure.

Chorus Virginum. Lucky signs we have descri’d

To encourage on the bride,

And to these we have espi’d,

Not a kissing Cupid flies

Here about, but has his eyes

To imply your love is wise.

Chorus Pastorum. Here we present a fleece

To make a piece

Of cloth;

Nor, fair, must you be both

Your finger to apply

To housewifery.

Then, then begin

To spin:

And, sweetling, mark you, what a web will come

Into your chests, drawn by your painful thumb.

Chorus Matronarum. Set you to your wheel, and wax

Rich by the ductile wool and flax.

Yarn is an income, and the housewives’ thread

The larder fills with meat, the bin with bread.

Chorus Senum. Let wealth come in by comely thrift

And not by any sordid shift;

’Tis haste

Makes waste:

Extremes have still their fault:

The softest fire makes the sweetest malt:

Who grips too hard the dry and slippery sand

Holds none at all, or little in his hand.

Chorus Virginum. Goddess of pleasure, youth and peace,

Give them the blessing of increase:

And thou, Lucina, that dost hear

The vows of those that children bear:

Whenas her April hour draws near,

Be thou then propitious there.

Chorus Juvenum. Far hence be all speech that may anger move:

Sweet words must nourish soft and gentle love.

Chorus Omnium. Live in the love of doves, and having told

The raven’s years, go hence more ripe than old.

Nice, dainty.

Painful, painstaking; for the passage cp. Catull. Nupt. Pel. et

Thet. 311–314.

634. To His Lovely Mistresses.

One night i’ th’ year, my dearest beauties, come

And bring those due 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.

Fold mine arms, cp. “crossing his arms in this sad knot”


635. 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 enchas’d 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.

638. The Beggar to Mab, the Fairy Queen.

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 a bee;

Or commend a cricket’s hip,

Or his huckson, to my scrip.

Give for bread a little bit

Of a pea that ‘gins to chit,

And my full thanks take for it.

Flour of fuzz-balls, that’s too good

For a man in needihood;

But the meal of milldust can

Well content a craving man.

Any orts the elves refuse

Well will serve the beggar’s use.

But if this may seem too much

For an alms, then give me such

Little bits that nestle there

In the prisoner’s panier.

So a blessing light upon

You and mighty Oberon:

That your plenty last till when

I return your alms again.

Mickle, much.

Souce, salt-pickle.

Huckson, huckle-bone.

Chit, sprout.

Orts, scraps of food.

Prisoner’s panier, the basket which poor prisoners used to hang out of the gaol windows for alms in money or kind.

639. An End Decreed.

Let’s be jocund while we may,

All things have an ending day;

And when once the work is done,

Fates revolve no flax they’ve spun.

Revolve, i.e., bring back.

640. Upon a Child.

Here a pretty baby lies

Sung asleep with lullabies;

Pray be silent, and not stir

Th’ easy earth that covers her.

641. Painting Sometimes Permitted.

If Nature do deny

Colours, let Art supply.

642. Farewell Frost, or Welcome the Spring.

Fled are the frosts, and now the fields appear

Re-cloth’d 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 notes, her Terean sufferings.

What gentle winds perspire! As if here

Never had been the northern plunderer

To strip the trees and fields, to their distress,

Leaving them to a pitied nakedness.

And look how when a frantic storm doth tear

A stubborn oak, or holm, long growing there,

But lull’d to calmness, then succeeds a breeze

That scarcely stirs the nodding leaves of trees:

So when this war, which tempest-like doth spoil

Our salt, our corn, our honey, wine and oil,

Falls to a temper, and doth mildly cast

His inconsiderate frenzy off, at last,

The gentle dove may, when these turmoils cease,

Bring in her bill, once more, the branch of peace.

Gems, buds.

Daulian minstrel, the nightingale Philomela.

Terean sufferings, i.e., at the hands of Tereus.

643. The Hag.

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 burr

She takes for a spur,

With a lash of a bramble she rides now;

Through brakes and through briars,

O’er ditches and mires,

She follows the spirit that guides now.

No beast for his food

Dare now range the wood,

But hush’d in his lair he lies lurking;

While mischiefs, by these,

On land and on seas,

At noon of night are a-working.

The storm will arise

And trouble the skies;

This night, and more for the wonder,

The ghost from the tomb

Affrighted shall come,

Call’d out by the clap of the thunder.

644. Upon an Old Man: A Residentiary.

Tread, sirs, as lightly as ye can

Upon the grave of this old man.

Twice forty, bating but one year

And thrice three weeks, he lived here.

Whom gentle fate translated hence

To a more happy residence.

Yet, reader, let me tell thee this,

Which from his ghost a promise is,

If here ye will some few tears shed,

He’ll never haunt ye now he’s dead.

Residentiary, old inhabitant.

645. Upon Tears.

Tears, though they’re here below the sinner’s brine,

Above they are the angels’ spiced wine.

646. Physicians.

Physicians fight not against men; but these

Combat for men by conquering the disease.

647. The PrimitiÆ To Parents.

Our household-gods our parents be;

And manners good require that we

The first fruits give to them, who gave

Us hands to get what here we have.

649. Upon Lucy. Epig.

Sound teeth has Lucy, pure as pearl, and small,

With mellow lips, and luscious therewithal.

651. To Silvia.

I am holy while I stand

Circum-crost by thy pure hand;

But when that is gone, again

I, as others, am profane.

Circum-crost, marked round with a cross.

652. To His Closet-Gods.

When I go hence, ye Closet–Gods, I fear

Never again to have ingression here

Where I have had whatever thing could be

Pleasant and precious to my muse and me.

Besides rare sweets, I had a book which none

Could read the intext but myself alone.

About the cover of this book there went

A curious-comely clean compartlement,

And, in the midst, to grace it more, was set

A blushing, pretty, peeping rubelet.

But now ’tis closed; and being shut and seal’d,

Be it, O be it, never more reveal’d!

Keep here still, Closet–Gods, ‘fore whom I’ve set

Oblations oft of sweetest marmelet.

Ingression, entrance.

Intext, contents.

653. A Bacchanalian Verse.

Fill me a mighty bowl

Up to the brim,

That I may drink

Unto my Jonson’s soul.

Crown it again, again;

And thrice repeat

That happy heat,

To drink to thee, my Ben.

Well I can quaff, I see,

To th’ number five

Or nine; but thrive

In frenzy ne’er like thee.

To the number five or nine, see Note.

654. Long-Looked-For Comes at Last.

Though long it be, years may repay the debt;

None loseth that which he in time may get.

655. To Youth.

Drink wine, and live here blitheful, while ye may:

The morrow’s life too late is; live today.

656. Never Too Late to Die.

No man comes late unto that place from whence

Never man yet had a regredience.

Regredience, return.

657. A Hymn to the Muses.

O you the virgins nine!

That do our souls incline

To noble discipline!

Nod to this vow of mine.

Come, then, and now inspire

My viol and my lyre

With your eternal fire,

And make me one entire

Composer in your choir.

Then I’ll your altars strew

With roses sweet and new;

And ever live a true

Acknowledger of you.

658. On Himself.

I’ll sing no more, nor will I longer write

Of that sweet lady, or that gallant knight.

I’ll sing no more of frosts, snows, dews and showers;

No more of groves, meads, springs and wreaths of flowers.

I’ll write no more, nor will I tell or sing

Of Cupid and his witty cozening:

I’ll sing no more of death, or shall the grave

No more my dirges and my trentalls have.

Trentalls, service for the dead.

660. To Momus.

Who read’st this book that I have writ,

And can’st not mend but carp at it;

By all the Muses! thou shalt be

Anathema to it and me.

661. Ambition.

In ways to greatness, think on this,

That slippery all ambition is.

662. The Country Life, to the Honoured M. End. Porter, Groom of the Bedchamber 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 dost rove

To bring from thence the scorched clove;

Nor, with the loss of thy lov’d rest,

Bring’st home the ingot from the West.

No, thy ambition’s masterpiece

Flies no thought higher than a fleece;

Or how to pay thy hinds, and clear

All scores, and so to end the year:

But walk’st about thine own dear bounds,

Not envying others larger grounds:

For well thou know’st ’tis not th’ extent

Of land makes life, but sweet content.

When now the cock (the ploughman’s horn)

Calls forth the lily-wristed morn,

Then to thy corn-fields thou dost go,

Which though well soil’d, yet thou dost know

That the best compost for the lands

Is the wise master’s feet and hands.

There at the plough thou find’st thy team

With a hind whistling there to them;

And cheer’st them up by singing how

The kingdom’s portion is the plough.

This done, then to th’ enamelled meads

Thou go’st, and as thy foot there treads,

Thou see’st a present God-like power

Imprinted in each herb and flower;

And smell’st the breath of great-ey’d kine,

Sweet as the blossoms of the vine.

Here thou behold’st thy large sleek neat

Unto the dew-laps up in meat;

And, as thou look’st, the wanton steer,

The heifer, cow, and ox draw near

To make a pleasing pastime there.

These seen, thou go’st to view thy flocks

Of sheep, safe from the wolf and fox,

And find’st their bellies there as full

Of short sweet grass as backs with wool,

And leav’st them, as they feed and fill,

A shepherd piping on a hill.

For sports, for pageantry and plays

Thou hast thy eves and holidays;

On which the young men and maids meet

To exercise their dancing feet;

Tripping the comely country round,

With daffodils and daisies crown’d.

Thy wakes, thy quintels here thou hast,

Thy May-poles, too, with garlands grac’d;

Thy morris dance, thy Whitsun ale,

Thy shearing feast which never fail;

Thy harvest-home, thy wassail bowl,

That’s toss’d up after fox i’ th’ hole;

Thy mummeries, thy Twelfth-tide kings

And queens, thy Christmas revellings,

Thy nut-brown mirth, thy russet wit,

And no man pays too dear for it.

To these, thou hast thy times to go

And trace the hare i’ th’ treacherous snow;

Thy witty wiles to draw, and get

The lark into the trammel net;

Thou hast thy cockrood and thy glade

To take the precious pheasant made;

Thy lime-twigs, snares and pit-falls then

To catch the pilfering birds, not men.

O happy life! if that their good

The husbandmen but understood!

Who all the day themselves do please,

And younglings, with such sports as these,

And lying down have nought t’ affright

Sweet sleep, that makes more short the night.

Cætera desunt ——

Soil’d, manured.

Compost, preparation.

Fox i’ th’ hole, a hopping game in which boys beat each other with gloves.

Cockrood, a run for snaring woodcocks.

Glade, an opening in the wood across which nets were hung to catch game. (Willoughby, Ornithologie, i. 3.)

663. 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.

664. To His Worthy Friend, M. Arthur Bartly.

When after many lusters thou shalt be

Wrapt up in sear-cloth with thine ancestry;

When of thy ragg’d escutcheons shall be seen

So little left, as if they ne’er had been;

Thou shalt thy name have, and thy fame’s best trust,

Here with the generation of my Just.

Luster, a period of five years.

665. What Kind of Mistress he Would have.

Be the mistress of my choice

Clean in manners, clear in voice;

Be she witty more than wise,

Pure enough, though not precise;

Be she showing in her dress

Like a civil wilderness;

That the curious may detect

Order in a sweet neglect;

Be she rolling in her eye,

Tempting all the passers-by;

And each ringlet of her hair

An enchantment, or a snare

For to catch the lookers-on;

But herself held fast by none.

Let her Lucrece all day be,

Thais in the night to me.

Be she such as neither will

Famish me, nor overfill.

667. The Rosemary Branch.

Grow for two ends, it matters not at all,

Be ’t for my bridal or my burial.

669. Upon Crab. Epig.

Crab faces gowns with sundry furs; ’tis known

He keeps the fox fur for to face his own.

670. A Paranæticall, or Advisive Verse, to His Friend, M. 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 sheafs 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.

Adulce, sweeten.

Strut, swell.

671. Once Seen and No More.

Thousands each day pass by, which we,

Once past and gone, no more shall see.

672. Love.

This axiom I have often heard,

Kings ought to be more lov’d than fear’d.

673. To M. Denham on His Prospective Poem.

Or look’d I back unto the times hence flown

To praise those Muses and dislike our own —

Or did I walk those Pæan-gardens through,

To kick the flowers and scorn their odours too —

I might, and justly, be reputed here

One nicely mad or peevishly severe.

But by Apollo! as I worship wit,

Where I have cause to burn perfumes to it;

So, I confess, ’tis somewhat to do well

In our high art, although we can’t excel

Like thee, or dare the buskins to unloose

Of thy brave, bold, and sweet Maronian muse.

But since I’m call’d, rare Denham, to be gone,

Take from thy Herrick this conclusion:

’Tis dignity in others, if they be

Crown’d poets, yet live princes under thee;

The while their wreaths and purple robes do shine

Less by their own gems than those beams of thine.

Pæan-gardens, gardens sacred to Apollo.

Nicely, fastidiously.

674. A Hymn to the Lares.

It was, and still my care is,

To worship ye, the Lares,

With crowns of greenest parsley

And garlic chives, not scarcely;

For favours here to warm me,

And not by fire to harm me;

For gladding so my hearth here

With inoffensive mirth here;

That while the wassail bowl here

With North-down ale doth troul here,

No syllable doth fall here

To mar the mirth at all here.

For which, O chimney-keepers!

(I dare not call ye sweepers)

So long as I am able

To keep a country table,

Great be my fare, or small cheer,

I’ll eat and drink up all here.

Troul, pass round.

675. Denial in Women No Disheartening to Men.

Women, although they ne’er so goodly make it,

Their fashion is, but to say no, to take it.

676. Adversity.

Love is maintain’d by wealth; when all is spent,

Adversity then breeds the discontent.

677. To Fortune.

Tumble me down, and I will sit

Upon my ruins, smiling yet;

Tear me to tatters, yet I’ll be

Patient in my necessity.

Laugh at my scraps of clothes, and shun

Me, as a fear’d infection;

Yet, scare-crow-like, I’ll walk as one

Neglecting thy derision.

678. To Anthea.

Come, Anthea, know thou this,

Love at no time idle is;

Let’s be doing, though we play

But at push-pin half the day;

Chains of sweet bents let us make

Captive one, or both, to take:

In which bondage we will lie,

Souls transfusing thus, and die.

Push-pin, a childish game in which one player placed a pin and the other pushed it.

Bents, grasses.

679. Cruelties.

Nero commanded; but withdrew his eyes

From the beholding death and cruelties.

680. Perseverance.

Hast thou begun an act? ne’er then give o’er:

No man despairs to do what’s done before.

681. Upon His Verses.

What offspring other men have got,

The how, where, when, I question not.

These are the children I have left,

Adopted some, none got by theft;

But all are touch’d, like lawful plate,

And no verse illegitimate.

Touch’d, tested.

682. Distance Betters Dignities.

Kings must not oft be seen by public eyes:

State at a distance adds to dignities.

683. Health.

Health is no other, as the learned hold,

But a just measure both of heat and cold.

684. To Dianeme. A Ceremony in Gloucester.

I’ll to thee a simnel bring,

‘Gainst thou go’st a-mothering:

So that when she blesseth thee,

Half that blessing thou’lt give me.

Simnel, a cake, originally made of fine flour, eaten at Mid–Lent.

A-mothering, visiting relations in Mid–Lent, but see Note.

685. To the King.

Give way, give way! now, now my Charles shines here

A public light, in this immensive sphere;

Some stars were fix’d before, but these are dim

Compar’d, in this my ample orb, to him.

Draw in your feeble fires, while that he

Appears but in his meaner majesty.

Where, if such glory flashes from his name,

Which is his shade, who can abide his flame!

Princes, and such like public lights as these,

Must not be look’d on but at distances:

For, if we gaze on these brave lamps too near,

Our eyes they’ll blind, or if not blind, they’ll blear.

Immensive, immeasurable.

686. 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 trentall 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 clos’d her up, as in a tomb.

Trentall, a service for the dead.

687. The Rainbow, or Curious Covenant.

Mine eyes, like clouds, were drizzling rain;

And as they thus did entertain

The gentle beams from Julia’s sight

To mine eyes levell’d opposite,

O thing admir’d! there did appear

A curious rainbow smiling there;

Which was the covenant that she

No more would drown mine eyes or me.

688. The Last Stroke Strikes Sure.

Though by well warding many blows we’ve pass’d,

That stroke most fear’d is which is struck the last.

689. Fortune.

Fortune’s a blind profuser of her own,

Too much she gives to some, enough to none.

690. Stool-Ball.

At stool-ball, Lucia, let us play

For sugar-cakes and wine:

Or for a tansy let us pay,

The loss, or thine, or mine.

If thou, my dear, a winner be

At trundling of the ball,

The wager thou shall have, and me,

And my misfortunes all.

But if, my sweetest, I shall get,

Then I desire but this:

That likewise I may pay the bet

And have for all a kiss.

Stool-ball, a game of ball played by girls.

Tansy, a cake made of eggs, cream, and herbs.

691. To Sappho.

Let us now take time and play,

Love, and live here while we may;

Drink rich wine, and make good cheer,

While we have our being here;

For once dead and laid i’ th’ grave,

No return from thence we have.

692. On Poet Prat. Epig.

Prat he writes satires, but herein’s the fault,

In no one satire there’s a mite of salt.

693. Upon Tuck. Epig.

At post and pair, or slam, Tom Tuck would play

This Christmas, but his want wherewith says nay.

Post and pair, or slam, old games of cards. Ben Jonson calls the former a “thrifty and right worshipful game”.

694. Biting of Beggars.

Who, railing, drives the lazar from his door,

Instead of alms, sets dogs upon the poor.

695. The May-Pole.

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,

Then multiply all like to fishes.

696. 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 postillion;

Those strong-hoof’d mules which we behold

Rein’d in with purple, pearl, and gold,

And shod with silver, prove to be

The drawers of the axletree.

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.

697. Adversity.

Adversity hurts none, but only such

Whom whitest fortune dandled has too much.

698. Want.

Need is no vice at all, though here it be

With men a loathed inconveniency.

699. Grief.

Sorrows divided amongst many, less

Discruciate a man in deep distress.

Discruciate, torture.

700. Love Palpable.

I press’d my Julia’s lips, and in the kiss

Her soul and love were palpable in this.

701. No Action Hard to Affection.

Nothing hard or harsh can prove

Unto those that truly love.

702. Mean Things Overcome Mighty.

By the weak’st means things mighty are o’erthrown.

He’s lord of thy life who contemns his own.

705. The Bracelet of Pearl: To Silvia.

I brake thy bracelet ‘gainst my will,

And, wretched, I did see

Thee discomposed then, and still

Art discontent with me.

One gem was lost, and I will get

A richer pearl for thee,

Than ever, dearest Silvia, yet

Was drunk to Antony.

Or, for revenge, I’ll tell thee what

Thou for the breach shall do;

First crack the strings, and after that

Cleave thou my heart in two.

706. How Roses Came Red.

’Tis said, as Cupid danc’d among

The gods he down the nectar flung,

Which on the white rose being shed

Made it for ever after red.

707. Kings.

Men are not born kings, but are men renown’d;

Chose first, confirm’d next, and at last are crown’d.

708. First Work, and then Wages.

Preposterous is that order, when we run

To ask our wages ere our work be done.

Preposterous, lit. hind part before.

709. Tears and Laughter.

Knew’st thou one month would take thy life away,

Thou’dst weep; but laugh, should it not last a day.

710. Glory.

Glory no other thing is, Tully says,

Than a man’s frequent fame spoke out with praise.

711. Possessions.

Those possessions short-liv’d are,

Into the which we come by war.

713. His Return to London.

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, bless’d place of my nativity!

Thus, thus with hallowed foot I touch the ground,

With thousand blessings by thy fortune crown’d.

O fruitful Genius! that bestowest here

An everlasting plenty, year by year.

O place! O people! Manners! fram’d to please

All nations, customs, kindreds, languages!

I am a free-born Roman; suffer, then,

That I amongst you live a citizen.

London my home is: though by hard fate sent

Into a long and irksome banishment;

Yet since call’d back; henceforward let me be,

O native country, repossess’d by thee!

For, rather than I’ll to the West return,

I’ll beg of thee first here to have mine urn.

Weak I am grown, and must in short time fall;

Give thou my sacred relics burial.

714. Not Every Day Fit for Verse.

’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 enrag’d, my lines are hurled,

Like the Sybil’s, through the world.

Look how next the holy fire

Either slakes, or doth retire;

So the fancy cools, till when

That brave spirit comes again.

Fantastic pannicles, brain cells of the imagination.

Sybil’s, the oracles of the Cumæan Sybil were written on leaves,

which the wind blew about her cave. — Virg. Æn. iv.

715. Poverty the Greatest Pack.

To mortal men great loads allotted be,

But of all packs, no pack like poverty.

716. A Bucolic, or Discourse of Neatherds.

1. Come, blitheful neatherds, let us lay

A wager who the best shall play,

Of thee or I, the roundelay

That fits the business of the day.

Chor. And Lalage the judge shall be,

To give the prize to thee, or me.

2. Content, begin, and I will bet

A heifer smooth, and black as jet,

In every part alike complete,

And wanton as a kid as yet.

Chor. And Lalage, with cow-like eyes,

Shall be disposeress of the prize.

1. Against thy heifer, I will here

Lay to thy stake a lusty steer

With gilded horns, and burnish’d clear.

Chor. Why, then, begin, and let us hear

The soft, the sweet, the mellow note

That gently purls from either’s oat.

2. The stakes are laid: let’s now apply

Each one to make his melody.

Lal. The equal umpire shall be I,

Who’ll hear, and so judge righteously.

Chor. Much time is spent in prate; begin,

And sooner play, the sooner win.

[1 Neatherd plays

2. That’s sweetly touch’d, I must confess,

Thou art a man of worthiness;

But hark how I can now express

My love unto my neatherdess.

[He sings

Chor. A sugar’d note! and sound as sweet

As kine when they at milking meet.

1. Now for to win thy heifer fair,

I’ll strike thee such a nimble air

That thou shalt say thyself ’tis rare,

And title me without compare.

Chor. Lay by a while your pipes, and rest,

Since both have here deserved best.

2. To get thy steerling, once again

I’ll play thee such another strain

That thou shalt swear my pipe does reign

Over thine oat as sovereign.

[He sings

Chor. And Lalage shall tell by this,

Whose now the prize and wager is.

1. Give me the prize. 2. The day is mine.

1. Not so; my pipe has silenc’d thine:

And hadst thou wager’d twenty kine,

They were mine own. Lal. In love combine.

Chor. And lay ye down your pipes together,

As weary, not o’ercome by either.

And lay ye down your pipes. The original edition reads And lay we down our pipes.

717. True Safety.

’Tis not the walls or purple that defends

A prince from foes, but ’tis his fort of friends.

718. A Prognostic.

As many laws and lawyers do express

Nought but a kingdom’s ill-affectedness;

Even so, those streets and houses do but show

Store of diseases where physicians flow.

719. Upon Julia’s Sweat.

Would ye oil of blossoms get?

Take it from my Julia’s sweat:

Oil of lilies and of spike?

From her moisture take the like.

Let her breathe, or let her blow,

All rich spices thence will flow.

Spike, lavender.

720. Proof to No Purpose.

You see this gentle stream that glides,

Shov’d on by quick-succeeding tides;

Try if this sober stream you can

Follow to th’ wilder ocean;

And see if there it keeps unspent

In that congesting element.

Next, from that world of waters, then

By pores and caverns back again

Induct that inadult’rate same

Stream to the spring from whence it came.

This with a wonder when ye do,

As easy, and else easier too,

Then may ye recollect the grains

Of my particular remains,

After a thousand lusters hurl’d

By ruffling winds about the world.

721. Fame.

’Tis still observ’d that fame ne’er sings

The order, but the sum of things.

722. By Use Comes Easiness.

Oft bend the bow, and thou with ease shalt do

What others can’t with all their strength put to.

723. To the Genius of His House.

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 benison.

Fulfill the larders, and with strengthening bread

Be evermore these bins replenished.

Next, like a bishop consecrate my ground,

That lucky fairies here may dance their round;

And after that, lay down some silver pence

The master’s charge and care to recompense.

Charm then the chambers, make the beds for ease,

More than for peevish, pining sicknesses.

Fix the foundation fast, and let the roof

Grow old with time but yet keep weather-proof.

724. His Grange, or Private Wealth.

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 Prew, 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 egg to lay.

A goose

I have, which with a jealous ear

Lets loose

Her tongue to tell that danger’s near.

A lamb

I keep, tame, with my morsels fed,

Whose dam

An orphan left him, lately dead.

A cat

I keep that plays about my house,

Grown fat

With eating many a miching mouse.

To these

A Tracy* I do keep whereby

I please

The more my rural privacy;

Which are

But toys to give my heart some ease;

Where care

None is, slight things do lightly please.

My Prew, Prudence Baldwin.

Creeking, clucking.

Miching, skulking.

* His spaniel. (Note in the original edition.)

725. Good Precepts or Counsel.

In all thy need be thou possess’d

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,

Then lutes and harps shall stroke the ear.

726. Money Makes the Mirth.

When all birds else do of their music fail,

Money’s the still sweet-singing nightingale.

727. Up Tails All.

Begin with a kiss,

Go on too with this;

And thus, thus, thus let us smother

Our lips for awhile,

But let’s not beguile

Our hope of one for the other.

This play, be assur’d,

Long enough has endur’d,

Since more and more is exacted;

For Love he doth call

For his uptails all;

And that’s the part to be acted.

Uptails all, the refrain of a song beginning “Fly Merry News”: see Note.

729. Upon Lucia Dabbled in the Dew.

My Lucia in the dew did go,

And prettily bedabbled so,

Her clothes held up, she showed withal

Her decent legs, clean, long, and small.

I follow’d after to descry

Part of the nak’d sincerity;

But still the envious scene between

Denied the mask I would have seen.

Decent, in the Latin sense, comely; sincerity, purity.

Scene, a curtain or “drop-scene”.

Mask, a play.

730. Charon and Philomel; a Dialogue Sung.

Ph. Charon! O gentle Charon! let me woo thee

By tears and pity now to come unto me.

Ch. What voice so sweet and charming do I hear?

Say what thou art. Ph. I prithee first draw near.

Ch. A sound I hear, but nothing yet can see;

Speak, where thou art. Ph. O Charon pity me!

I am a bird, and though no name I tell,

My warbling note will say I’m Philomel.

Ch. What’s that to me? I waft nor fish or fowls,

Nor beasts, fond thing, but only human souls.

Ph. Alas for me! Ch. Shame on thy witching note

That made me thus hoist sail and bring my boat:

But I’ll return; what mischief brought thee hither?

Ph. A deal of love and much, much grief together.

Ch. What’s thy request? Ph. That since she’s now beneath

Who fed my life, I’ll follow her in death.

Ch. And is that all? I’m gone. Ph. By love I pray thee.

Ch. Talk not of love; all pray, but few souls pay me.

Ph. I’ll give thee vows and tears. Ch. Can tears pay scores

For mending sails, for patching boat and oars?

Ph. I’ll beg a penny, or I’ll sing so long

Till thou shalt say I’ve paid thee with a song.

Ch. Why then begin; and all the while we make

Our slothful passage o’er the Stygian Lake,

Thou and I’ll sing to make these dull shades merry,

Who else with tears would doubtless drown my ferry.

Fond, foolish.

She’s now beneath, her mother Zeuxippe?

733. A Ternary of Littles, Upon a Pipkin of Jelly Sent to a Lady.

A little saint best fits a little shrine,

A little prop best fits a little vine:

As my small cruse best fits my little wine.

A little seed best fits a little soil,

A little trade best fits a little toil:

As my small jar best fits my little oil.

A little bin best fits a little bread,

A little garland fits a little head:

As my small stuff best fits my little shed.

A little hearth best fits a little fire,

A little chapel fits a little choir:

As my small bell best fits my little spire.

A little stream best fits a little boat,

A little lead best fits a little float:

As my small pipe best fits my little note.

A little meat best fits a little belly,

As sweetly, lady, give me leave to tell ye,

This little pipkin fits this little jelly.

734. Upon the Roses in Julia’s Bosom.

Thrice happy roses, so much grac’d to have

Within the bosom of my love your grave.

Die when ye will, your sepulchre is known,

Your grave her bosom is, the lawn the stone.

735. Maids’ Nays are Nothing.

Maids’ nays are nothing, they are shy

But to desire what they deny.

736. The Smell of the Sacrifice.

The gods require the thighs

Of beeves for sacrifice;

Which roasted, we the steam

Must sacrifice to them,

Who though they do not eat,

Yet love the smell of meat.

737. 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, but 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.

Gyges’ ring, which made the wearer invisible.

738. To Women, to Hide Their Teeth If They Be Rotten or Rusty.

Close keep your lips, if that you mean

To be accounted inside clean:

For if you cleave them we shall see

There in your teeth much leprosy.

739. In Praise of Women.

O Jupiter, should I speak ill

Of woman-kind, first die I will;

Since that I know, ‘mong all the rest

Of creatures, woman is the best.

740. 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 smil’d,

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.

Continent, anything that holds, here the bosom of her dress.

741. The Candour of Julia’s Teeth.

White as Zenobia’s teeth, the which the girls

Of Rome did wear for their most precious pearls.

Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra, conquered by the Romans, A.D. 273.

742. Upon Her Weeping.

She wept upon her cheeks, and weeping so,

She seem’d to quench love’s fire that there did glow.

743. Another Upon Her Weeping.

She by the river sat, and sitting there,

She wept, and made it deeper by a tear.

744. Delay.

Break off delay, since we but read of one

That ever prospered by cunctation.

Cunctation, delay: the word is suggested by the name of Fabius Cunctator, the conqueror of the Carthaginians, addressed by Virg. (Æn. vi. 846) as “Unus qui nobis cunctando restituis rem”.

745. To Sir John Berkley, Governor of Exeter.

Stand forth, brave man, since fate has made thee here

The Hector over aged Exeter,

Who for a long, sad time has weeping stood

Like a poor lady lost in widowhood,

But fears not now to see her safety sold,

As other towns and cities were, for gold

By those ignoble births which shame the stem

That gave progermination unto them:

Whose restless ghosts shall hear their children sing,

“Our sires betrayed their country and their king”.

True, if this city seven times rounded was

With rock, and seven times circumflank’d with brass,

Yet if thou wert not, Berkley, loyal proof,

The senators, down tumbling with the roof,

Would into prais’d, but pitied, ruins fall,

Leaving no show where stood the capitol.

But thou art just and itchless, and dost please

Thy Genius with two strengthening buttresses,

Faith and affection, which will never slip

To weaken this thy great dictatorship.

Progermination, budding out.

Itchless, i.e., with no itch for bribes.

746. To Electra. Love Looks for Love.

Love love begets, then never be

Unsoft to him who’s smooth to thee.

Tigers and bears, I’ve heard some say,

For proffer’d love will love repay:

None are so harsh, but if they find

Softness in others, will be kind;

Affection will affection move,

Then you must like because I love.

747. Regression Spoils Resolution.

Hast thou attempted greatness? then go on:

Back-turning slackens resolution.

748. Contention.

Discreet and prudent we that discord call

That either profits, or not hurts at all.

749. Consultation.

Consult ere thou begin’st; that done, go on

With all wise speed for execution.

Consult, take counsel. The word and the epigram are suggested by Sallust’s “Nam et, prius quam incipias, consulto, et ubi consulueris, mature facto opus est,” Cat. i.

750. 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 sweetheart 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 ev’ry scene.

751. Our Own Sins Unseen.

Other men’s sins we ever bear in mind;

None sees the fardell of his faults behind.

Fardell, bundle.

752. No Pains, No Gains.

If little labour, little are our gains:

Man’s fortunes are according to his pains.

754. Virtue Best United.

By so much, virtue is the less,

By how much, near to singleness.

755. The Eye.

A wanton and lascivious eye

Betrays the heart’s adultery.

756. To Prince Charles Upon His Coming to Exeter.

What fate decreed, time now has made us see,

A renovation of the west by thee.

That preternatural fever, which did threat

Death to our country, now hath lost his heat,

And, calms succeeding, we perceive no more

Th’ unequal pulse to beat, as heretofore.

Something there yet remains for thee to do;

Then reach those ends that thou wast destin’d to.

Go on with Sylla’s fortune; let thy fate

Make thee like him, this, that way fortunate:

Apollo’s image side with thee to bless

Thy war (discreetly made) with white success.

Meantime thy prophets watch by watch shall pray,

While young Charles fights, and fighting wins the day:

That done, our smooth-paced poems all shall be

Sung in the high doxology of thee.

Then maids shall strew thee, and thy curls from them

Receive with songs a flowery diadem.

Sylla’s fortune, in allusion to Sylla’s surname of Felix.

Doxology, glorifying.

757. A Song.

Burn, or drown me, choose ye whether,

So I may but die together;

Thus to slay me by degrees

Is the height of cruelties.

What needs twenty stabs, when one

Strikes me dead as any stone?

O show mercy then, and be

Kind at once to murder me.

758. Princes and Favourites.

Princes and fav’rites are most dear, while they

By giving and receiving hold the play;

But the relation then of both grows poor,

When these can ask, and kings can give no more.

759. Examples; Or, Like Prince, Like People.

Examples lead us, and we likely see;

Such as the prince is, will his people be.

760. Potentates.

Love and the Graces evermore do wait

Upon the man that is a potentate.

761. The Wake.

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 shall see,

Marian, too, in pageantry,

And a mimic to devise

Many grinning properties.

Players there will be, and those

Base in action as in clothes;

Yet with strutting they will please

The incurious villages.

Near the dying of the day

There will be a cudgel-play,

Where a coxcomb will be broke

Ere a good word can be spoke:

But the anger ends all here,

Drenched in ale, or drown’d in beer.

Happy rustics! best content

With the cheapest merriment,

And possess no other fear

Than to want the wake next year.

Marian, Maid Marian of the Robin Hood ballads.

Action, i.e., dramatic action.

Incurious, careless, easily pleased.

Coxcomb, to cause blood to flow from the opponent’s head was the test of victory.

762. The Peter-Penny.

Fresh strewings allow

To my sepulchre now,

To make my lodging the sweeter;

A staff or a wand

Put then in my hand,

With a penny to pay S. Peter.

Who has not a cross

Must sit with the loss,

And no whit further must venture;

Since the porter he

Will paid have his fee,

Or else not one there must enter.

Who at a dead lift

Can’t send for a gift

A pig to the priest for a roaster,

Shall hear his clerk say,

By yea and by nay,

No penny, no paternoster.

S. Peter, as the gate-ward of heaven.

Cross, a coin.

763. To Doctor Alabaster.

Nor art thou less esteem’d that I have plac’d,

Amongst mine honour’d, thee almost the last:

In great processions many lead the way

To him who is the triumph of the day,

As these have done to thee who art the one,

One only glory of a million:

In whom the spirit of the gods does dwell,

Firing thy soul, by which thou dost foretell

When this or that vast dynasty must fall

Down to a fillet more imperial;

When this or that horn shall be broke, and when

Others shall spring up in their place again;

When times and seasons and all years must lie

Drowned in the sea of wild eternity;

When the black doomsday books, as yet unseal’d,

Shall by the mighty angel be reveal’d;

And when the trumpet which thou late hast found

Shall call to judgment. Tell us when the sound

Of this or that great April day shall be,

And next the Gospel we will credit thee.

Meantime like earth-worms we will crawl below,

And wonder at those things that thou dost know.

For an account of Alabaster see Notes: the allusions here are to his apocalyptic writings.

Horn, used as a symbol of prosperity.

The trumpet which thou late hast found, i.e., Alabaster’s “Spiraculum Tubarum seu Fons Spiritualium Expositionum,” published 1633.

April day, day of weeping, or perhaps rather of “opening” or revelation.

764. Upon His Kinswoman, Mrs. M. s.

Here lies a virgin, and as sweet

As e’er was wrapt in winding sheet.

Her name if next you would have known,

The marble speaks it, Mary Stone:

Who dying in her blooming years,

This stone for name’s sake melts to tears.

If, fragrant virgins, you’ll but keep

A fast, while jets and marbles weep,

And praying, strew some roses on her,

You’ll do my niece abundant honour.

765. Felicity Knows No Fence.

Of both our fortunes good and bad we find

Prosperity more searching of the mind:

Felicity flies o’er the wall and fence,

While misery keeps in with patience.

766. Death Ends All Woe.

Time is the bound of things; where’er we go

Fate gives a meeting, Death’s the end of woe.

767. 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 philters with;

By time that hastens on

Things to perfection;

And by yourself, the best

Conjurement of the rest:

O my Electra! be

In love with none, but me.

Tods of wool, literally, tod of wool=twenty-eight pounds, here used of the fleecy clouds.

Tinctures, colours.

Three forms of Hecate, the Diva triformis of Hor. Od. iii. 22. Luna in heaven, Diana on earth, Persephone in the world below.

Aspects, i.e., of the planets.

768. Courage Cooled.

I cannot love as I have lov’d before;

For I’m grown old and, with mine age, grown poor.

Love must be fed by wealth: this blood of mine

Must needs wax cold, if wanting bread and wine.

769. The Spell.

Holy water come and bring;

Cast in salt, for seasoning:

Set the brush for sprinkling:

Sacred spittle bring ye hither;

Meal and it now mix together,

And a little oil to either.

Give the tapers here their light,

Ring the saints’-bell, to affright

Far from hence the evil sprite.

770. 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.

771. A Good Husband.

A Master of a house, as I have read,

Must be the first man up, and last in bed.

With the sun rising he must walk his grounds;

See this, view that, and all the other bounds:

Shut every gate; mend every hedge that’s torn,

Either with old, or plant therein new thorn;

Tread o’er his glebe, but with such care, that where

He sets his foot, he leaves rich compost there.

772. A Hymn to Bacchus.

I sing thy praise, Iacchus,

Who with thy thyrse dost thwack us:

And yet thou so dost back us

With boldness, that we fear

No Brutus ent’ring here,

Nor Cato the severe.

What though the lictors threat us,

We know they dare not beat us,

So long as thou dost heat us.

When we thy orgies sing,

Each cobbler is a king,

Nor dreads he any thing:

And though he do not rave,

Yet he’ll the courage have

To call my Lord Mayor knave;

Besides, too, in a brave,

Although he has no riches,

But walks with dangling breeches

And skirts that want their stitches,

And shows his naked flitches,

Yet he’ll be thought or seen

So good as George-a-Green;

And calls his blouze, his queen;

And speaks in language keen.

O Bacchus! let us be

From cares and troubles free;

And thou shalt hear how we

Will chant new hymns to thee.

Orgies, hymns to Bacchus.

Brave, boast.

George-a-Green, the legendary pinner of Wakefield, renowned for the use of the quarterstaff.

Blouze, a fat wench.

773. Upon Puss and Her ‘Prentice. Epig.

Puss and her ’prentice both at drawgloves play;

That done, they kiss, and so draw out the day:

At night they draw to supper; then well fed,

They draw their clothes off both, so draw to bed.

Drawgloves, the game of talking on the fingers.

774. Blame the Reward of Princes.

Among disasters that dissension brings,

This not the least is, which belongs to kings:

If wars go well, each for a part lays claim;

If ill, then kings, not soldiers, bear the blame.

775. Clemency in Kings.

Kings must not only cherish up the good,

But must be niggards of the meanest blood.

776. Anger.

Wrongs, if neglected, vanish in short time,

But heard with anger, we confess the crime.

777. A Psalm or Hymn to the Graces.

Glory be to the Graces!

That do in public places

Drive thence whate’er encumbers

The list’ning to my numbers.

Honour be to the Graces!

Who do with sweet embraces,

Show they are well contented

With what I have invented.

Worship be to the Graces!

Who do from sour faces,

And lungs that would infect me,

For evermore protect me.

778. A Hymn to the Muses.

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 priesthood crown with bays

Green, to the end of days.

779. Upon Julia’s Clothes.

Whenas in silks my Julia goes,

Then, then, methinks, how sweetly flows

The liquefaction of her clothes.

Next, when I cast mine eyes and see

That brave vibration each way free;

O how that glittering taketh me!

780. Moderation.

In things a moderation keep:

Kings ought to shear, not skin their sheep.

781. To Anthea.

Let’s call for Hymen, if agreed thou art;

Delays in love but crucify the heart.

Love’s thorny tapers yet neglected lie:

Speak thou the word, they’ll kindle by-and-bye.

The nimble hours woo us on to wed,

And Genius waits to have us both to bed.

Behold, for us the naked Graces stay

With maunds of roses for to strew the way:

Besides, the most religious prophet stands

Ready to join, as well our hearts as hands.

Juno yet smiles; but if she chance to chide,

Ill luck ’twill bode to th’ bridegroom and the bride.

Tell me, Anthea, dost thou fondly dread

The loss of that we call a maidenhead?

Come, I’ll instruct thee. Know, the vestal fire

Is not by marriage quench’d, but flames the higher.

Maunds, baskets.

Fondly, foolishly.

782. Upon Prew, His Maid.

In this little urn is laid

Prudence Baldwin, once my maid:

From whose happy spark here let

Spring the purple violet.

783. The Invitation.

To sup with thee thou did’st 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 looked for fowl of price,

The bastard phœnix, bird of paradise,

And for no less than aromatic wine

Of maiden’s-blush, commix’d with jessamine.

Clean was the hearth, the mantel larded jet;

Which wanting Lar, and smoke, hung weeping wet;

At last, i’ th’ noon of winter, did appear

A ragg’d-soust-neat’s-foot with sick vinegar:

And in a burnished flagonet stood by,

Beer small as comfort, dead as charity.

At which amaz’d, and pondering on the food,

How cold it was, and how it chill’d my blood;

I curs’d the master, and I damn’d the souce,

And swore I’d got the ague of the house.

Well, when to eat thou dost me next desire,

I’ll bring a fever, since thou keep’st no fire.

Tire, feed on.

Lautitious, sumptuous.

Maiden’s-blush, the pink-rose.

Larded jet, i.e., blacked.

Soust, pickled.

784. Ceremonies for Christmas.

Come, bring with a noise,

My merry, merry boys,

The Christmas log to the firing;

While my good dame, she

Bids ye all be free,

And drink to your hearts’ desiring.

With the last year’s brand

Light the new block, and

For good success in his spending

On your psaltries play,

That sweet luck may

Come while the log is a-teending.

Drink now the strong beer,

Cut the white loaf here;

The while the meat is a-shredding

For the rare mince-pie,

And the plums stand by

To fill the paste that’s a-kneading.

Psaltries, a kind of guitar.

Teending, kindling.

785. Christmas-Eve, Another Ceremony.

Come guard this night the Christmas-pie,

That the thief, though ne’er so sly,

With his flesh-hooks, don’t come nigh

To catch it

From him, who all alone sits there,

Having his eyes still in his ear,

And a deal of nightly fear,

To watch it.

786. Another to the Maids.

Wash your hands, or else the fire

Will not teend to your desire;

Unwash’d hands, ye maidens, know,

Dead the fire, though ye blow.

Teend, kindle.

787. Another.

Wassail the trees, that they may bear

You many a plum and many a pear:

For more or less fruits they will bring,

As you do give them wassailing.

788. Power and Peace.

’Tis never, or but seldom known,

Power and peace to keep one throne.

789. To His Dear Valentine, Mistress Margaret Falconbridge.

Now is your turn, my dearest, to be set

A gem in this eternal coronet:

’Twas rich before, but since your name is down

It sparkles now like Ariadne’s crown.

Blaze by this sphere for ever: or this do,

Let me and it shine evermore by you.

790. To Oenone.

Sweet Oenone, do but say

Love thou dost, though love says nay.

Speak me fair; for lovers be

Gently kill’d by flattery.

791. Verses.

Who will not honour noble numbers, when

Verses out-live the bravest deeds of men?

792. Happiness.

That happiness does still the longest thrive,

Where joys and griefs have turns alternative.

793. Things of Choice Long a-Coming.

We pray ’gainst war, yet we enjoy no peace;

Desire deferr’d is that it may increase.

794. Poetry Perpetuates the Poet.

Here I myself might likewise die,

And utterly forgotten lie,

But that eternal poetry

Repullulation gives me here

Unto the thirtieth thousand year,

When all now dead shall reappear.

Repullulation, rejuvenescence.

Thirtieth thousand year, an allusion to the doctrine of the Platonic year.

797. Kisses.

Give me the food that satisfies a guest:

Kisses are but dry banquets to a feast.

798. Orpheus.

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 happened, 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.

803. To Sappho.

Sappho, I will choose 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.

804. To His Faithful Friend, M. John Crofts, Cup-Bearer to the King.

For all thy many courtesies to me,

Nothing I have, my Crofts, to send to thee

For the requital, save this only one

Half of my just remuneration.

For since I’ve travell’d all this realm throughout

To seek and find some few immortals out

To circumspangle this my spacious sphere,

As lamps for everlasting shining here;

And having fix’d thee in mine orb a star,

Amongst the rest, both bright and singular,

The present age will tell the world thou art,

If not to th’ whole, yet satisfi’d in part.

As for the rest, being too great a sum

Here to be paid, I’ll pay’t i’ th’ world to come.

805. The Bride-Cake.

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.

806. To Be Merry.

Let’s now take our time

While w’are 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.

807. Burial.

Man may want land to live in; but for all

Nature finds out some place for burial.

808. Lenity.

’Tis the Chirurgeon’s praise, and height of art,

Not to cut off, but cure the vicious part.

809. Penitence.

Who after his transgression doth repent,

Is half, or altogether innocent.

810. Grief.

Consider sorrows, how they are aright:

Grief, if’t be great, ’tis short; if long, ’tis light.

811. The Maiden-Blush.

So look the mornings when the sun

Paints them with fresh vermilion:

So cherries blush, and Kathern pears,

And apricots in youthful years:

So corals look more lovely red,

And rubies lately polished:

So purest diaper doth shine,

Stain’d by the beams of claret wine:

As Julia looks when she doth dress

Her either cheek with bashfulness.

Kathern pears, i.e., Catharine pears.

812. The Mean.

Imparity doth ever discord bring;

The mean the music makes in everything.

813. Haste Hurtful.

Haste is unhappy; what we rashly do

Is both unlucky, aye, and foolish, too.

Where war with rashness is attempted, there

The soldiers leave the field with equal fear.

814. Purgatory.

Readers, we entreat ye pray

For the soul of Lucia;

That in little time she be

From her purgatory free:

In the interim she desires

That your tears may cool her fires.

815. The Cloud.

Seest thou that cloud that rides in state,

Part ruby-like, part candidate?

It is no other than the bed

Where Venus sleeps half-smothered.

Candidate, robed in white.

817. The Amber Bead.

I saw a fly within a bead

Of amber cleanly buried;

The urn was little, but the room

More rich than Cleopatra’s tomb.

818. To My Dearest Sister, M. Mercy Herrick.

Whene’er I go, or whatsoe’er befalls

Me in mine age, or foreign funerals,

This blessing I will leave thee, ere I go:

Prosper thy basket and therein thy dough.

Feed on the paste of filberts, or else knead

And bake the flour of amber for thy bread.

Balm may thy trees drop, and thy springs run oil,

And everlasting harvest crown thy soil!

These I but wish for; but thyself shall see

The blessing fall in mellow times on thee.

819. 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

Cloth’d 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!

820. Suffer that Thou Canst Not Shift.

Does fortune rend thee? Bear with thy hard fate:

Virtuous instructions ne’er are delicate.

Say, does she frown? still countermand her threats:

Virtue best loves those children that she beats.

821. To the Passenger.

If I lie unburied, sir,

These my relics pray inter:

’Tis religion’s part to see

Stones or turfs to cover me.

One word more I had to say:

But it skills not; go your way;

He that wants a burial room

For a stone, has Heaven his tomb.

Religion’s, orig. ed. religious.

823. To the King, Upon His Taking of Leicester.

This day is yours, great Charles! and in this war

Your fate, and ours, alike victorious are.

In her white stole now Victory does rest

Ensphered with palm on your triumphant crest.

Fortune is now your captive; other Kings

Hold but her hands; you hold both hands and wings.

824. To Julia, in Her Dawn, or Daybreak.

By the next kindling of the day,

My Julia, thou shalt see,

Ere Ave–Mary thou canst say

I’ll come and visit thee.

Yet ere thou counsel’st with thy glass,

Appear thou to mine eyes

As smooth, and nak’d, as she that was

The prime of paradise.

If blush thou must, then blush thou through

A lawn, that thou mayst look

As purest pearls, or pebbles do

When peeping through a brook.

As lilies shrin’d in crystal, so

Do thou to me appear;

Or damask roses when they grow

To sweet acquaintance there.

825. Counsel.

’Twas Cæsar’s saying: Kings no less conquerors are

By their wise counsel, than they be by war.

826. Bad Princes Pill the People.

Like those infernal deities which eat

The best of all the sacrificed meat;

And leave their servants but the smoke and sweat:

So many kings, and primates too there are,

Who claim the fat and fleshy for their share

And leave their subjects but the starved ware.

827. Most Words, Less Works.

In desp’rate cases all, or most, are known

Commanders, few for execution.

828. 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, compos’d of gentle mould,

Art so unkind to me;

What dismal stories will be told

Of those that cruel be?

Admire, wonder.

830. His Loss.

All has been plundered from me but my wit:

Fortune herself can lay no claim to it.

831. Draw and Drink.

Milk still your fountains and your springs: for why?

The more th’are drawn, the less they will grow dry.

833. To Oenone.

Thou say’st Love’s dart

Hath pricked thy heart;

And thou dost languish too:

If one poor prick

Can make thee sick,

Say, what would many do?

836. To Electra.

Shall I go to Love and tell,

Thou art all turned icicle?

Shall I say her altars be

Disadorn’d and scorn’d by thee?

O beware! in time submit;

Love has yet no wrathful fit:

If her patience turns to ire,

Love is then consuming fire.

837. To Mistress Amy Potter.

Ay me! I love; give him your hand to kiss

Who both your wooer and your poet is.

Nature has precompos’d us both to love:

Your part’s to grant; my scene must be to move.

Dear, can you like, and liking love your poet?

If you say “Aye,” blush-guiltiness will show it.

Mine eyes must woo you, though I sigh the while:

True love is tongueless as a crocodile.

And you may find in love these different parts —

Wooers have tongues of ice, but burning hearts.

838. 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.

Supremest, last.

839. Upon Love.

Love is a circle, and an endless sphere;

From good to good, revolving here and there.

840. Beauty.

Beauty’s no other but a lovely grace

Of lively colours flowing from the face.

841. Upon Love.

Some salve to every sore we may apply;

Only for my wound there’s no remedy.

Yet if my Julia kiss me, there will be

A sovereign balm found out to cure me.

844. To His Book.

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 injur’d leaves serve well,

To make loose gowns for mackerel:

Or see the grocers in a trice,

Make hoods of thee to serve out spice.

845. Readiness.

The readiness of doing doth express

No other but the doer’s willingness.

846. Writing.

When words we want, Love teacheth to indite;

And what we blush to speak, she bids us write.

847. Society.

Two things do make society to stand:

The first commerce is, and the next command.

848. Upon a Maid.

Gone she is a long, long way,

But she has decreed a day

Back to come, and make no stay:

So we keep, till her return,

Here, her ashes, or her urn.

849. Satisfaction for Sufferings.

For all our works a recompense is sure:

’Tis sweet to think on what was hard t’ endure.

850. The Delaying Bride.

Why so slowly do you move

To the centre of your love?

On your niceness though we wait,

Yet the hours say ’tis late:

Coyness takes us, to a measure;

But o’eracted deads the pleasure.

Go to bed, and care not when

Cheerful day shall spring again.

One brave captain did command,

By his word, the sun to stand:

One short charm, if you but say,

Will enforce the moon to stay,

Till you warn her hence, away,

T’ have your blushes seen by day.

Niceness, delicacy.

851. To M. Henry Lawes, the Excellent Composer of His Lyrics.

Touch but thy lyre, my Harry, and I hear

From thee some raptures of the rare Gotiere;

Then if thy voice commingle with the string,

I hear in thee rare Laniere to sing;

Or curious Wilson: tell me, canst thou be

Less than Apollo, that usurp’st such three?

Three, unto whom the whole world give applause;

Yet their three praises praise but one; that’s Lawes.

Gotiere, Wilson, see above, 111.

Laniere, Nicholas Laniere (1590?-1670?), musician and painter,

appointed Master of the King’s Music in 1626.

852. Age Unfit for Love.

Maidens tell me I am old;

Let me in my glass behold

Whether smooth or not I be,

Or if hair remains to me.

Well, or be’t or be’t not so,

This for certainty I know,

Ill it fits old men to play,

When that Death bids come away.

853. The Bedman, or Gravemaker.

Thou hast made many houses for the dead;

When my lot calls me to be buried,

For love or pity, prithee let there be

I’ th’ churchyard made one tenement for me.

854. 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.

855. Need.

Who begs to die for fear of human need,

Wisheth his body, not his soul, good speed.

856. To Julia.

I am zealless; prithee pray

For my welfare, Julia,

For I think the gods require

Male perfumes, but female fire.

Male perfumes, perfumes of the best kind.

857. On Julia’s Lips.

Sweet are my Julia’s lips and clean,

As if o’erwashed in Hippocrene.

858. Twilight.

Twilight no other thing is, poets say,

Than the last part of night and first of day.

859. To His Friend, Mr. J. Jincks.

Love, love me now, because I place

Thee here among my righteous race:

The bastard slips may droop and die

Wanting both root and earth; but thy

Immortal self shall boldly trust

To live for ever with my Just.

With my Just, cp. 664.

860. On Himself.

If that my fate has now fulfill’d my year,

And so soon stopt my longer living here;

What was’t, ye gods, a dying man to save,

But while he met with his paternal grave!

Though while we living ‘bout the world do roam,

We love to rest in peaceful urns at home,

Where we may snug, and close together lie

By the dead bones of our dear ancestry.

861. Kings and Tyrants.

‘Twixt kings and tyrants there’s this difference known:

Kings seek their subjects’ good, tyrants their own.

862. Crosses.

Our crosses are no other than the rods,

And our diseases, vultures of the gods:

Each grief we feel, that likewise is a kite

Sent forth by them, our flesh to eat, or bite.

863. Upon Love.

Love brought me to a silent grove

And show’d me there a tree,

Where some had hang’d themselves for love,

And gave a twist to me.

The halter was of silk and gold,

That he reach’d forth unto me;

No otherwise than if he would

By dainty things undo me.

He bade me then that necklace use;

And told me, too, he maketh

A glorious end by such a noose,

His death for love that taketh.

’Twas but a dream; but had I been

There really alone,

My desp’rate fears in love had seen

Mine execution.

864. No Difference I’ Th’ Dark.

Night makes no difference ‘twixt the priest and clerk;

Joan as my lady is as good i’ th’ dark.

865. The Body.

The body is the soul’s poor house or home,

Whose ribs the laths are, and whose flesh the loam.

866. To Sappho.

Thou say’st thou lov’st me, Sappho; I say no;

But would to Love I could believe ’twas so!

Pardon my fears, sweet Sappho; I desire

That thou be righteous found, and I the liar.

867. Out of Time, Out of Tune.

We blame, nay, we despise her pains

That wets her garden when it rains:

But when the drought has dried the knot,

Then let her use the wat’ring-pot.

We pray for showers, at our need,

To drench, but not to drown our seed.

Knot, quaintly shaped flower-bed.

868. To His Book.

Take mine advice, and go not near

Those faces, sour as vinegar.

For these, and nobler numbers can

Ne’er please the supercilious man.

869. To His Honoured Friend, Sir Thomas Heale.

Stand by the magic of my powerful rhymes

‘Gainst all the indignation of the times.

Age shall not wrong thee; or one jot abate

Of thy both great and everlasting fate.

While others perish, here’s thy life decreed,

Because begot of my immortal seed.

870. The Sacrifice, by Way of Discourse Betwixt Himself and Julia.

Herr. Come and let’s in solemn wise

Both address to sacrifice:

Old religion first commands

That we wash our hearts, and hands.

Is the beast exempt from stain,

Altar clean, no fire profane?

Are the garlands, is the nard

Ready here?

Jul. All well prepar’d,

With the wine that must be shed,

‘Twixt the horns, upon the head

Of the holy beast we bring

For our trespass-offering.

Herr. All is well; now next to these

Put we on pure surplices;

And with chaplets crown’d, we’ll roast

With perfumes the holocaust:

And, while we the gods invoke,

Read acceptance by the smoke.

871. To Apollo.

Thou mighty lord and master of the lyre,

Unshorn Apollo, come and reinspire

My fingers so, the lyric-strings to move,

That I may play and sing a hymn to Love.

872. On Love.

Love is a kind of war: hence those who fear!

No cowards must his royal ensigns bear.

873. Another.

Where love begins, there dead thy first desire:

A spark neglected makes a mighty fire.

874. A Hymn to Cupid.

Thou, thou that bear’st the sway,

With whom the sea-nymphs play;

And Venus, every way:

When I embrace thy knee,

And make short pray’rs to thee,

In love then prosper me.

This day I go to woo;

Instruct me how to do

This work thou put’st me to.

From shame my face keep free;

From scorn I beg of thee,

Love, to deliver me:

So shall I sing thy praise,

And to thee altars raise,

Unto the end of days.

875. To Electra.

Let not thy tombstone e’er be laid by me:

Nor let my hearse be wept upon by thee:

But let that instant when thou diest be known

The minute of mine expiration.

One knell be rung for both; and let one grave

To hold us two an endless honour have.

876. How His Soul Came Ensnared.

My soul would one day go and seek

For roses, and in Julia’s cheek

A richesse of those sweets she found,

As in another Rosamond.

But gathering roses as she was,

Not knowing what would come to pass,

It chanc’d 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.

Richesse, wealth.

877. Factions.

The factions of the great ones call,

To side with them, the commons all.

880. Kisses Loathsome.

I abhor the slimy kiss,

Which to me most loathsome is.

Those lips please me which are placed

Close, but not too strictly laced:

Yielding I would have them; yet

Not a wimbling tongue admit:

What should poking-sticks make there,

When the ruffe is set elswhere?

881. Upon Julia’s Hair Bundled up in a Golden Net.

Tell me, what needs those rich deceits,

These golden toils, and trammel nets,

To take thine hairs when they are known

Already tame, and all thine own?

’Tis I am wild, and more than hairs

Deserve these meshes and those snares.

Set free thy tresses, let them flow

As airs do breathe or winds do blow:

And let such curious net-works be

Less set for them than spread for me.

883. 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 comminglèd,

As whether — this I cannot tell —

My sight was pleas’d 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.

885. A Defence for Women.

Naught are all women: I say no,

Since for one bad, one good I know:

For Clytemnestra most unkind,

Loving Alcestis there we find:

For one Medea that was bad,

A good Penelope was had:

For wanton Lais, then we have

Chaste Lucrece, a wife as grave:

And thus through womankind we see

A good and bad. Sirs, credit me.

887. Slavery.

’Tis liberty to serve one lord; but he

Who many serves, serves base servility.

888. Charms.

Bring the holy crust of bread,

Lay it underneath the head;

’Tis a certain charm to keep

Hags away, while children sleep.

889. Another.

Let the superstitious wife

Near the child’s heart lay a knife:

Point be up, and haft be down

(While she gossips in the town);

This, ‘mongst other mystic charms,

Keeps the sleeping child from harms.

890. Another to Bring in the Witch.

To house the hag, you must do this:

Commix with meal a little piss

Of him bewitch’d; then forthwith make

A little wafer or a cake;

And this rawly bak’d will bring

The old hag in. No surer thing.

891. Another Charm for Stables.

Hang up hooks and shears to scare

Hence the hag that rides the mare,

Till they be all over wet

With the mire and the sweat:

This observ’d, the manes shall be

Of your horses all knot-free.

892. Ceremonies for Candlemas Eve.

Down with the rosemary and bays,

Down with the mistletoe;

Instead of holly, now up-raise

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

Unto the crisped yew.

When yew is out, then birch comes in,

And many flowers beside;

Both of a fresh and fragrant kin

To honour Whitsuntide.

Green rushes, then, and sweetest bents,

With cooler oaken boughs,

Come in for comely ornaments

To readorn the house.

Thus times do shift; each thing his turn does hold:

New things succeed, as former things grow old.

Bents, grasses.

893. The Ceremonies for Candlemas Day.

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.

894. Upon Candlemas Day.

End now the white loaf and the pie,

And let all sports with Christmas die.

Teend, kindle.

897. To Bianca, to Bless Him.

Would I woo, and would I win?

Would I well my work begin?

Would I evermore be crowned

With the end that I propound?

Would I frustrate or prevent

All aspects malevolent?

Thwart all wizards, and with these

Dead all black contingencies:

Place my words and all works else

In most happy parallels?

All will prosper, if so be

I be kiss’d or bless’d by thee.

898. Julia’s Churching, or Purification.

Put on thy holy filletings, and so

To th’ temple with the sober midwife go.

Attended thus, in a most solemn wise,

By those who serve the child-bed mysteries,

Burn first thine incense; next, whenas thou see’st

The candid stole thrown o’er the pious priest,

With reverend curtsies come, and to him bring

Thy free (and not decurted) offering.

All rites well ended, with fair auspice come

(As to the breaking of a bride-cake) home,

Where ceremonious Hymen shall for thee

Provide a second epithalamy.

She who keeps chastely to her husband’s side

Is not for one, but every night his bride;

And stealing still with love and fear to bed,

Brings him not one, but many a maidenhead.

Candid, white.

Decurted, curtailed.

899. To His Book.

Before the press scarce one could see

A little-peeping-part of thee;

But since thou’rt printed, thou dost call

To show thy nakedness to all.

My care for thee is now the less,

Having resign’d thy shamefac’dness.

Go with thy faults and fates; yet stay

And take this sentence, then away:

Whom one belov’d will not suffice,

She’ll run to all adulteries.

900. Tears.

Tears most prevail; with tears, too, thou may’st move

Rocks to relent, and coyest maids to love.

901. To His Friend to Avoid Contention of Words.

Words beget anger; anger brings forth blows;

Blows make of dearest friends immortal foes.

For which prevention, sociate, let there be

Betwixt us two no more logomachy.

Far better ’twere for either to be mute,

Than for to murder friendship by dispute.

Logomachy, contention of words.

902. Truth.

Truth is best found out by the time and eyes;

Falsehood wins credit by uncertainties.

904. The Eyes Before the Ears.

We credit most our sight; one eye doth please

Our trust far more than ten ear-witnesses.

905. Want.

Want is a softer wax, that takes thereon

This, that, and every base impression.

906. To a Friend.

Look in my book, and herein see

Life endless signed to thee and me.

We o’er the tombs and fates shall fly;

While other generations die.

907. Upon M. William Lawes, the Rare Musician.

Should I not put on blacks, when each one here

Comes with his cypress and devotes a tear?

Should I not grieve, my Lawes, when every lute,

Viol, and voice is by thy loss struck mute?

Thy loss, brave man! whose numbers have been hurl’d,

And no less prais’d than spread throughout the world.

Some have thee call’d Amphion; some of us

Nam’d thee Terpander, or sweet Orpheus:

Some this, some that, but all in this agree,

Music had both her birth and death with thee.

Blacks, mourning garments.

908. A Song Upon Silvia.

From me my Silvia ran away,

And running therewithal

A primrose bank did cross her way,

And gave my love a fall.

But trust me now, I dare not say

What I by chance did see;

But such the drap’ry did betray

That fully ravished me.

909. The Honeycomb.

If thou hast found an honeycomb,

Eat thou not all, but taste on some:

For if thou eat’st it to excess,

That sweetness turns to loathsomeness.

Taste it to temper, then ’twill be

Marrow and manna unto thee.

910. Upon Ben Jonson.

Here lies Jonson with the rest

Of the poets: but the best.

Reader, would’st thou more have known?

Ask his story, not this stone.

That will speak what this can’t tell

Of his glory. So farewell.

911. An Ode for Him.

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 send to us

Thy wit’s great overplus;

But teach us yet

Wisely to husband it,

Lest we that talent spend:

And having once brought to an end

That precious stock; the store

Of such a wit the world should have no more.

The Sun, etc., famous taverns.

912. Upon a Virgin.

Spend, harmless shade, thy nightly hours

Selecting here both herbs and flowers;

Of which make garlands here and there

To dress thy silent sepulchre.

Nor do thou fear the want of these

In everlasting properties,

Since we fresh strewings will bring hither,

Far faster than the first can wither.

913. Blame.

In battles what disasters fall,

The king he bears the blame of all.

914. A Request to the Graces.

Ponder my words, if so that any be

Known guilty here of incivility:

Let what is graceless, discompos’d, and rude,

With sweetness, smoothness, softness, be endu’d.

Teach it to blush, to curtsy, 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.

915. Upon Himself.

I lately fri’d, but now behold

I freeze as fast, and shake for cold.

And in good faith I’d thought it strange

T’ have found in me this sudden change;

But that I understood by dreams

These only were but Love’s extremes;

Who fires with hope the lover’s heart,

And starves with cold the self-same part.

916. Multitude.

We trust not to the multitude in war,

But to the stout, and those that skilful are.

917. Fear.

Man must do well out of a good intent;

Not for the servile fear of punishment.

918. To M. Kellam.

What! can my Kellam drink his sack

In goblets to the brim,

And see his Robin Herrick lack,

Yet send no bowls to him?

For love or pity to his muse,

That she may flow in verse,

Contemn to recommend a cruse,

But send to her a tierce.

919. Happiness to Hospitality; Or, a Hearty Wish to Good Housekeeping.

First, may the hand of bounty bring

Into the daily offering

Of full provision such a store,

Till that the cook cries: Bring no more.

Upon your hogsheads never fall

A drought of wine, ale, beer, at all;

But, like full clouds, may they from thence

Diffuse their mighty influence.

Next, let the lord and lady here

Enjoy a Christ’ning year by year;

And this good blessing back them still,

T’ have boys, and girls too, as they will.

Then from the porch may many a bride

Unto the holy temple ride:

And thence return, short prayers said,

A wife most richly married.

Last, may the bride and bridegroom be

Untouch’d by cold sterility;

But in their springing blood so play,

As that in lusters few they may,

By laughing too, and lying down,

People a city or a town.

Wish, om. orig. ed.

Lusters, quinquenniums.

920. Cunctation in Correction.

The lictors bundled up their rods; beside,

Knit them with knots with much ado unti’d,

That if, unknitting, men would yet repent,

They might escape the lash of punishment.

921. Present Government Grievous.

Men are suspicious, prone to discontent:

Subjects still loathe the present government.

922. Rest Refreshes.

Lay by the good a while; a resting field

Will, after ease, a richer harvest yield;

Trees this year bear: next, they their wealth withhold:

Continual reaping makes a land wax old.

923. Revenge.

Man’s disposition is for to requite

An injury, before a benefit:

Thanksgiving is a burden and a pain;

Revenge is pleasing to us, as our gain.

924. The First Mars or Makes.

In all our high designments ’twill appear,

The first event breeds confidence or fear.

925. Beginning Difficult.

Hard are the two first stairs unto a crown:

Which got, the third bids him a king come down.

926. Faith Four-Square.

Faith is a thing that’s four-square; let it fall

This way or that, it not declines at all.

927. The Present Time Best Pleaseth.

Praise they that will times past; I joy to see

Myself now live: this age best pleaseth me.

928. Clothes are Conspirators.

Though from without no foes at all we fear,

We shall be wounded by the clothes we wear.

929. Cruelty.

’Tis but a dog-like madness in bad kings,

For to delight in wounds and murderings:

As some plants prosper best by cuts and blows,

So kings by killing do increase their foes.

930. Fair After Foul.

Tears quickly dry, griefs will in time decay:

A clear will come after a cloudy day.

931. Hunger.

Ask me what hunger is, and I’ll reply,

’Tis but a fierce desire of hot and dry.

932. Bad Wages for Good Service.

In this misfortune kings do most excel,

To hear the worst from men when they do well.

933. The End.

Conquer we shall, but we must first contend;

’Tis not the fight that crowns us, but the end.

934. The Bondman.

Bind me but to thee with thine hair,

And quickly I shall be

Made by that fetter or that snare

A bondman unto thee.

Or if thou tak’st that bond away,

Then bore me through the ear,

And by the law I ought to stay

For ever with thee here.

935. Choose for the Best.

Give house-room to the best; ’tis never known

Virtue and pleasure both to dwell in one.

936. To Silvia.

Pardon my trespass, Silvia; I confess

My kiss out-went the bounds of shamefastness:

None is discreet at all times; no, not Jove

Himself, at one time, can be wise and love.

937. Fair Shows Deceive.

Smooth was the sea, and seem’d to call

Two pretty girls to play withal:

Who paddling there, the sea soon frown’d,

And on a sudden both were drown’d.

What credit can we give to seas,

Who, kissing, kill such saints as these?

938. His Wish.

Fat be my hind; unlearned be my wife;

Peaceful my night; my day devoid of strife:

To these a comely offspring I desire,

Singing about my everlasting fire.

Hind, country servant.

939. Upon Julia Washing Herself in the River.

How fierce was I, when I did see

My Julia wash herself in thee!

So lilies thorough crystal look:

So purest pebbles in the brook:

As in the river Julia did,

Half with a lawn of water hid.

Into thy streams myself I threw,

And struggling there, I kiss’d thee too;

And more had done, it is confess’d,

Had not thy waves forbade the rest.

940. A Mean in Our Means.

Though frankincense the deities require,

We must not give all to the hallowed fire.

Such be our gifts, and such be our expense,

As for ourselves to leave some frankincense.

941. Upon Clunn.

A roll of parchment Clunn about him bears,

Charg’d with the arms of all his ancestors:

And seems half ravish’d, when he looks upon

That bar, this bend; that fess, this cheveron;

This manch, that moon; this martlet, and that mound;

This counterchange of pearl and diamond.

What joy can Clunn have in that coat, or this,

Whenas his own still out at elbows is?

942. Upon Cupid.

Love, like a beggar, came to me

With hose and doublet torn:

His shirt bedangling from his knee,

With hat and shoes outworn.

He ask’d an alms; I gave him bread,

And meat too, for his need:

Of which, when he had fully fed,

He wished me all good speed.

Away he went, but as he turn’d

(In faith I know not how)

He touch’d me so, as that I burn[‘d],

And am tormented now.

Love’s silent flames and fires obscure

Then crept into my heart;

And though I saw no bow, I’m sure

His finger was the dart.

946. An 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.

947. 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’st show.

For which, my Charles, it is my pride to be

Not so much known, as to be lov’d of thee.

Long may I live so, and my wreath of bays

Be less another’s laurel than thy praise.

948. Women Useless.

What need we marry women, when

Without their use we may have men,

And such as will in short time be

For murder fit, or mutiny?

As Cadmus once a new way found,

By throwing teeth into the ground;

From which poor seed, and rudely sown,

Sprung up a war-like nation:

So let us iron, silver, gold,

Brass, lead, or tin throw into th’ mould;

And we shall see in little space

Rise up of men a fighting race.

If this can be, say then, what need

Have we of women or their seed?

949. Love is a Syrup.

Love is a syrup; and whoe’er we see

Sick and surcharg’d with this satiety,

Shall by this pleasing trespass quickly prove

There’s loathsomeness e’en in the sweets of love.

950. Leaven.

Love is a leaven; and a loving kiss

The leaven of a loving sweetheart is.

951. Repletion.

Physicians say repletion springs

More from the sweet than sour things.

952. 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. Benedicite.

953. No Man Without Money.

No man such rare parts hath that he can swim,

If favour or occasion help not him.

954. 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.

955. To M. Leonard Willan, His Peculiar Friend.

I will be short, and having quickly hurl’d

This line about, live thou throughout the world;

Who art a man for all scenes; unto whom,

What’s hard to others, nothing’s troublesome.

Can’st write the comic, tragic strain, and fall

From these to pen the pleasing pastoral:

Who fli’st at all heights: prose and verse run’st through;

Find’st here a fault, and mend’st the trespass too:

For which I might extol thee, but speak less,

Because thyself art coming to the press:

And then should I in praising thee be slow,

Posterity will pay thee what I owe.

956. To His Worthy Friend, M. John Hall, Student of Gray’s Inn.

Tell me, young man, or did the Muses bring

Thee less to taste than to drink up their spring,

That none hereafter should be thought, or be

A poet, or a poet-like but thee?

What was thy birth, thy star that makes thee known,

At twice ten years, a prime and public one?

Tell us thy nation, kindred, or the whence

Thou had’st and hast thy mighty influence,

That makes thee lov’d, and of the men desir’d,

And no less prais’d than of the maids admired.

Put on thy laurel then; and in that trim

Be thou Apollo or the type of him:

Or let the unshorn god lend thee his lyre,

And next to him be master of the choir.

957. To Julia.

Offer thy gift; but first the law commands

Thee, Julia, first, to sanctify thy hands:

Do that, my Julia, which the rites require,

Then boldly give thine incense to the fire.

958. To the Most Comely and Proper M. Elizabeth Finch.

Handsome you are, and proper you will be

Despite of all your infortunity:

Live long and lovely, but yet grow no less

In that your own prefixed comeliness:

Spend on that stock: and when your life must fall,

Leave others beauty to set up withal.

Proper, well-made.

960. To His Book.

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.

Absyrtus-like, the brother of Medea, cut in pieces by her that his father might be delayed by gathering his limbs.

961. To the King, Upon His Welcome to Hampton Court. Set and Sung.

Welcome, great Cæsar, welcome now you are

As dearest peace after destructive war:

Welcome as slumbers, or as beds of ease

After our long and peevish sicknesses.

O pomp of glory! Welcome now, and come

To repossess once more your long’d-for home.

A thousand altars smoke: a thousand thighs

Of beeves here ready stand for sacrifice.

Enter and prosper; while our eyes do wait

For an ascendent throughly auspicate:

Under which sign we may the former stone

Lay of our safety’s new foundation:

That done, O Cæsar! live and be to us

Our fate, our fortune, and our genius;

To whose free knees we may our temples tie

As to a still protecting deity:

That should you stir, we and our altars too

May, great Augustus, go along with you.

Chor. Long live the King! and to accomplish this,

We’ll from our own add far more years to his.

Ascendent, the most influential position of a planet in astrology.

Auspicate, propitious.

962. Ultimus Heroum: Or, to the Most Learned, and to the Right Honourable, Henry, Marquis of Dorchester.

And as time past when Cato the severe

Enter’d the circumspacious theatre,

In reverence of his person everyone

Stood as he had been turn’d from flesh to stone;

E’en so my numbers will astonished be

If but looked on; struck dead, if scann’d by thee.

963. To His Muse; Another to the Same.

Tell that brave man, fain thou would’st have access

To kiss his hands, but that for fearfulness;

Or else because th’art like a modest bride,

Ready to blush to death, should he but chide.

966. To His Learned Friend, M. Jo. Harmar, Physician to the College of Westminster.

When first I find those numbers thou dost write,

To be most soft, terse, sweet, and perpolite:

Next, when I see thee tow’ring in the sky,

In an expansion no less large than high;

Then, in that compass, sailing here and there,

And with circumgyration everywhere;

Following with love and active heat thy game,

And then at last to truss the epigram;

I must confess, distinction none I see

Between Domitian’s Martial then, and thee.

But this I know, should Jupiter again

Descend from heaven to reconverse with men;

The Roman language full, and superfine,

If Jove would speak, he would accept of thine.

Perpolite, well polished.

967. Upon His Spaniel Tracy.

Now thou art dead, no eye shall ever see,

For shape and service, spaniel like to thee.

This shall my love do, give thy sad death one

Tear, that deserves of me a million.

968. The Deluge.

Drowning, drowning, I espy

Coming from my Julia’s eye:

’Tis some solace in our smart,

To have friends to bear a part:

I have none; but must be sure

Th’ inundation to endure.

Shall not times hereafter tell

This for no mean miracle?

When the waters by their fall

Threaten’d ruin unto all,

Yet the deluge here was known

Of a world to drown but one.

971. Strength to Support Sovereignty.

Let kings and rulers learn this line from me:

Where power is weak, unsafe is majesty.

973. Crutches.

Thou see’st me, Lucia, this year droop;

Three zodiacs filled 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, underpropp’d, 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.

Zodiacs, used as symbols of the astronomical year.

Beadsman’s, almshouseman’s.

974. To Julia.

Holy waters hither bring

For the sacred sprinkling:

Baptise me and thee, and so

Let us to the altar go,

And, ere we our rites commence,

Wash our hands in innocence.

Then I’ll be the Rex Sacrorum,

Thou the Queen of Peace and Quorum.

Quorum, i.e., quorum of justices of the peace, sportively added for the rhyme’s sake.

975. Upon Case.

Case is a lawyer, that ne’er pleads alone,

But when he hears the like confusion,

As when the disagreeing Commons throw

About their House, their clamorous Aye or No:

Then Case, as loud as any serjeant there,

Cries out: My lord, my lord, the case is clear.

But when all’s hush’d, Case, than a fish more mute,

Bestirs his hand, but starves in hand the suit.

976. To Perenna.

I a dirge will pen to thee;

Thou a trentall make for me:

That the monks and friars together,

Here may sing the rest of either:

Next, I’m sure, the nuns will have

Candlemas to grace the grave.

Trentall, services for the dead.

977. To His Sister-In-Law, M. Susanna Herrick.

The person crowns the place; your lot doth fall

Last, yet to be with these a principal.

Howe’er it fortuned; know for truth, I meant

You a fore-leader in this testament.

978. Upon the Lady Crew.

This stone can tell the story of my life,

What was my birth, to whom I was a wife:

In teeming years, how soon my sun was set.

Where now I rest, these may be known by jet.

For other things, my many children be

The best and truest chronicles of me.

979. On Tomasin Parsons.

Grow up in beauty, as thou dost begin,

And be of all admired, Tomasin.

980. Ceremony Upon Candlemas Eve.

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 least branch there left behind:

For look, how many leaves there be

Neglected, there (maids, trust to me)

So many goblins you shall see.

981. Suspicion Makes Secure.

He that will live of all cares dispossess’d,

Must shun the bad, aye, and suspect the best.

983. To His Kinsman, M. Tho. Herrick, who Desired to Be in His Book.

Welcome to this my college, and though late

Thou’st got a place here (standing candidate)

It matters not, since thou art chosen one

Here of my great and good foundation.

984. A Bucolic Betwixt Two: Lacon and Thyrsis.

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 full fill the milking-pail?

Say, what is’t that thou dost ail?

Thyr. None of these; but out, alas!

A mischance is come to pass,

And I’ll tell thee what it was:

See, mine eyes are weeping-ripe.

Lacon. Tell, and I’ll lay down my pipe.

Thyr. I have lost my lovely steer,

That to me was far more dear

Than these kine which I milk here:

Broad of forehead, large of eye,

Party-colour’d like a pie;

Smooth in each limb as a die;

Clear of hoof, and clear of horn:

Sharply pointed as a thorn,

With a neck by yoke unworn;

From the which hung down by strings,

Balls of cowslips, daisy rings,

Interplac’d with ribbonings:

Faultless every way for shape;

Not a straw could him escape;

Ever gamesome as an ape,

But yet harmless as a sheep.

Pardon, Lacon, if I weep;

Tears will spring where woes are deep.

Now, ay me! ay me! Last night

Came a mad dog and did bite,

Aye, and kill’d my dear delight.

Lacon. Alack, for grief!

Thyr. But I’ll be brief.

Hence I must, for time doth call

Me, and my sad playmates all,

To his ev’ning funeral.

Live long, Lacon, so adieu!

Lacon. Mournful maid, farewell to you;

Earth afford ye flowers to strew.

Pie, i.e., a magpie.

985. Upon Sappho.

Look upon Sappho’s lip, and you will swear

There is a love-like leaven rising there.

988. A Bacchanalian Verse.

Drink up

Your cup,

But not spill wine;

For if you


’Tis an ill sign;

That we


You are cloy’d here,

If so, no


But avoid here.

989. Care a Good Keeper.

Care keeps the conquest; ’tis no less renown

To keep a city than to win a town.

990. Rules for Our Reach.

Men must have bounds how far to walk; for we

Are made far worse by lawless liberty.

991. To Bianca.

Ah, Bianca! now I see

It is noon and past with me:

In a while it will strike one;

Then, Bianca, I am gone.

Some effusions let me have

Offer’d on my holy grave;

Then, Bianca, let me rest

With my face towards the East.

992. To the Handsome Mistress Grace Potter.

As is your name, so is your comely face

Touch’d everywhere 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.

993. Anacreontic.

I must

Not trust

Here to any;



By so many:

As one


By my losses;


Will I

With my crosses;

Yet still

I will

Not be grieving,

Since thence

And hence

Comes relieving.

But this

Sweet is

In our mourning;

Times bad

And sad

Are a-turning:

And he

Whom we

See dejected,

Next day

We may

See erected.

994. More Modest, More Manly.

’Tis still observ’d those men most valiant are,

That are most modest ere they come to war.

995. Not to Covet Much where Little is the Charge.

Why should we covet much, whenas we know

W’ave more to bear our charge than way to go?

996. Anacreontic Verse.

Brisk methinks I am, and fine

When I drink my cap’ring wine:

Then to love I do incline,

When I drink my wanton wine:

And I wish all maidens mine,

When I drink my sprightly wine:

Well I sup and well I dine,

When I drink my frolic wine;

But I languish, lower, and pine,

When I want my fragrant wine.

998. Patience in Princes.

Kings must not use the axe for each offence:

Princes cure some faults by their patience.

999. Fear Gets Force.

Despair takes heart, when there’s no hope to speed:

The coward then takes arms and does the deed.

1000. Parcel-Gilt Poetry.

Let’s strive to be the best; the gods, we know it,

Pillars and men, hate an indifferent poet.

1001. Upon Love, by Way of Question and Answer.

I bring ye love: Quest. What will love do?

Ans. Like and dislike ye.

I bring ye love: Quest. What will love do?

Ans. Stroke ye to strike ye.

I bring ye love: Quest. What will love do?

Ans. Love will befool ye.

I bring ye love: Quest. What will love do?

Ans. Heat ye to cool ye.

I bring ye love: Quest. What will love do?

Ans. Love gifts will send ye.

I bring ye love: Quest. What will love do?

Ans. Stock ye to spend ye.

I bring ye love: Quest. What will love do?

Ans. Love will fulfil ye.

I bring ye love: Quest. What will love do?

Ans. Kiss ye to kill ye.

1002. To the Lord Hopton, on His Fight in Cornwall.

Go on, brave Hopton, to effectuate that

Which we, and times to come, shall wonder at.

Lift up thy sword; next, suffer it to fall,

And by that one blow set an end to all.

1003. His Grange.

How well contented in this private grange

Spend I my life, that’s subject unto change:

Under whose roof with moss-work wrought, there I

Kiss my brown wife and black posterity.

Grange, a farmstead.

1004. Leprosy in Houses.

When to a house I come, and see

The Genius wasteful, more than free:

The servants thumbless, yet to eat

With lawless tooth the flour of wheat:

The sons to suck the milk of kine,

More than the teats of discipline:

The daughters wild and loose in dress,

Their cheeks unstained with shamefac’dness:

The husband drunk, the wife to be

A bawd to incivility;

I must confess, I there descry,

A house spread through with leprosy.

Thumbless, lazy: cp. painful thumb, supra.

1005. Good Manners at Meat.

This rule of manners I will teach my guests:

To come with their own bellies unto feasts;

Not to eat equal portions, but to rise

Farced with the food that may themselves suffice.

Farced, stuffed.

1006. Anthea’s Retractation.

Anthea laugh’d, and fearing lest excess

Might stretch the cords of civil comeliness,

She with a dainty blush rebuk’d her face,

And call’d each line back to his rule and space.

1007. Comforts in Crosses.

Be not dismayed though crosses cast thee down;

Thy fall is but the rising to a crown.

1008. Seek and Find.

Attempt the end, and never stand to doubt;

Nothing’s so hard but search will find it out.

1009. Rest.

On with thy work, though thou be’st hardly press’d:

Labour is held up by the hope of rest.

1010. Leprosy in Clothes.

When flowing garments I behold

Inspir’d with purple, pearl and gold,

I think no other, but I see

In them a glorious leprosy

That does infect and make the rent

More mortal in the vestiment.

As flowery vestures do descry

The wearer’s rich immodesty:

So plain and simple clothes do show

Where virtue walks, not those that flow.

1012. Great Maladies, Long Medicines.

To an old sore a long cure must go on:

Great faults require great satisfaction.

1013. His Answer to a Friend.

You ask me what I do, and how I live?

And, noble friend, this answer I must give:

Drooping, I draw on to the vaults of death,

O’er which you’ll walk, when I am laid beneath.

1014. The Beggar.

Shall I a daily beggar be,

For love’s sake asking alms of thee?

Still shall I crave, and never get

A hope of my desired bit?

Ah, cruel maids! I’ll go my way,

Whereas, perchance, my fortunes may

Find out a threshold or a door

That may far sooner speed the poor:

Where thrice we knock, and none will hear,

Cold comfort still I’m sure lives there.

1015. Bastards.

Our bastard children are but like to plate

Made by the coiners — illegitimate.

1016. His Change.

My many cares and much distress

Has made me like a wilderness;

Or, discompos’d, I’m like a rude

And all confused multitude:

Out of my comely manners worn,

And, as in means, in mind all torn.

1017. The Vision.

Methought I saw, as I did dream in bed,

A crawling vine about Anacreon’s head.

Flushed was his face; his hairs with oil did shine;

And, as he spake, his mouth ran o’er with wine.

Tippled he was, and tippling lisped withal;

And lisping reeled, and reeling like to fall.

A young enchantress close by him did stand,

Tapping his plump thighs with a myrtle wand:

She smil’d; he kiss’d; and kissing, cull’d her too,

And being cup-shot, more he could not do.

For which, methought, in pretty anger she

Snatched off his crown, and gave the wreath to me;

Since when, methinks, my brains about do swim,

And I am wild and wanton like to him.

Cull’d, embraced.

Cup-shot, drunk.

1018. 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.

1019. On His Book.

The bound, almost, now of my book I see,

But yet no end of these therein, or me:

Here we begin new life, while thousands quite

Are lost, and theirs, in everlasting night.

1020. A Sonnet of Perilla.

Then did I live when I did see

Perilla smile on none but me.

But, ah! by stars malignant crossed,

The life I got I quickly lost;

But yet a way there doth remain

For me embalm’d to live again,

And that’s to love me; in which state

I’ll live as one regenerate.

1021. Bad May Be Better.

Man may at first transgress, but next do well:

Vice doth in some but lodge a while, not dwell.

1022. Posting to Printing.

Let others to the printing press run fast;

Since after death comes glory, I’ll not haste.

1023. Rapine Brings Ruin.

What’s got by justice is established sure:

No kingdoms got by rapine long endure.

1024. 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 chang’d above,

She likes not there.

As she did here,

Thy love.

Forbear, therefore,

And lull asleep

Thy woes, and weep

No more.

1026. Saint Distaff’s Day, or the Morrow After Twelfth Day.

Partly work and partly play

Ye must on S. Distaff’s day:

From the plough soon free your team,

Then come home and fodder them.

If the maids a-spinning go,

Burn the flax and fire the tow;

Scorch their plackets, but beware

That ye singe no maidenhair.

Bring in pails of water, then,

Let the maids bewash the men.

Give S. Distaff all the right,

Then bid Christmas sport good-night;

And next morrow everyone

To his own vocation.

Plackets, petticoats.

1027. Sufferance.

In the hope of ease to come,

Let’s endure one martyrdom.

1028. His Tears to Thamesis.

I send, I send here my supremest kiss

To thee, my silver-footed Thamesis.

No more shall I reiterate thy Strand,

Whereon so many stately structures stand:

Nor in the summer’s sweeter evenings go

To bathe in thee, as thousand others do;

No more shall I along thy crystal glide

In barge with boughs and rushes beautifi’d,

With soft-smooth virgins for our chaste disport,

To Richmond, Kingston, and to Hampton Court.

Never again shall I with finny oar

Put from, or draw unto the faithful shore:

And landing here, or safely landing there,

Make way to my beloved Westminster,

Or to the golden Cheapside, where the earth

Of Julia Herrick gave to me my birth.

May all clean nymphs and curious water-dames

With swan-like state float up and down thy streams:

No drought upon thy wanton waters fall

To make them lean and languishing at all.

No ruffling winds come hither to disease

Thy pure and silver-wristed Naiades.

Keep up your state, ye streams; and as ye spring,

Never make sick your banks by surfeiting.

Grow young with tides, and though I see ye never,

Receive this vow, so fare ye well for ever.

Reiterate, retread.

1029. Pardons.

Those ends in war the best contentment bring,

Whose peace is made up with a pardoning.

1030. Peace Not Permanent.

Great cities seldom rest; if there be none

T’ invade from far, they’ll find worse foes at home.

1031. Truth and Error.

’Twixt truth and error there’s this difference known;

Error is fruitful, truth is only one.

1032. Things Mortal Still Mutable.

Things are uncertain, and the more we get,

The more on icy pavements we are set.

1033. Studies to Be Supported.

Studies themselves will languish and decay,

When either price or praise is ta’en away.

1034. Wit Punished, Prospers Most.

Dread not the shackles: on with thine intent;

Good wits get more fame by their punishment.

1035. Twelfth Night: Or, King and Queen.

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 lot,

And who shall not

Be Twelfth-day queen for the night here.

Which known, let us make

Joy-sops with the cake;

And let not a man then be seen here,

Who unurg’d will not drink

To the base from the brink

A health to the king and the queen here.

Next crown the bowl full

With gentle lamb’s wool:

Add sugar, nutmeg, and ginger,

With store of ale too;

And thus ye must do

To make the wassail a swinger.

Give then to the king

And queen wassailing:

And though with ale ye be whet here,

Yet part ye from hence,

As free from offence

As when ye innocent met here.

1036. His Desire.

Give me a man that is not dull

When all the world with rifts is full;

But unamaz’d dares clearly sing,

Whenas the roof’s a-tottering:

And, though it falls, continues still

Tickling the cittern with his quill.

Cittern, a kind of lute; quill, the plectrum for striking it.

1037. Caution in Counsel.

Know when to speak; for many times it brings

Danger to give the best advice to kings.

1038. Moderation.

Let moderation on thy passions wait;

Who loves too much, too much the lov’d will hate.

1039. Advice the Best Actor.

Still take advice; though counsels, when they fly

At random, sometimes hit most happily.

1040. Conformity is Comely.

Conformity gives comeliness to things:

And equal shares exclude all murmurings.

1041. Laws.

Who violates the customs, hurts the health,

Not of one man, but all the commonwealth.

1042. The Mean.

’Tis much among the filthy to be clean;

Our heat of youth can hardly keep the mean.

1043. Like Loves His Like.

Like will to like, each creature loves his kind;

Chaste words proceed still from a bashful mind.

1044. His Hope or Sheet Anchor.

Among these tempests great and manifold

My ship has here one only anchor-hold;

That is my hope, which if that slip, I’m one

Wildered in this vast wat’ry region.

1045. Comfort in Calamity.

’Tis no discomfort in the world to fall,

When the great crack not crushes one, but all.

1046. Twilight.

The twilight is no other thing, we say,

Than night now gone, and yet not sprung the day.

1047. False Mourning.

He who wears blacks, and mourns not for the dead,

Does but deride the party buried.

Blacks, mourning garments.

1048. The Will Makes the Work; Or, Consent Makes the Cure.

No grief is grown so desperate, but the ill

Is half way cured if the party will.

1049. Diet.

If wholesome diet can recure a man,

What need of physic or physician?

1050. Smart.

Stripes, justly given, yerk us with their fall;

But causeless whipping smarts the most of all.

1051. The Tinker’s Song.

Along, come along,

Let’s meet in a throng

Here of tinkers;

And quaff up a bowl

As big as a cowl

To beer drinkers.

The pole of the hop

Place in the aleshop

To bethwack us,

If ever we think

So much as to drink

Unto Bacchus.

Who frolic will be

For little cost, he

Must not vary

From beer-broth at all,

So much as to call

For Canary.

1052. His Comfort.

The only comfort of my life

Is, that I never yet had wife;

Nor will hereafter; since I know

Who weds, o’er-buys his weal with woe

1053. Sincerity.

Wash clean the vessel, lest ye sour

Whatever liquor in ye pour.

1054. To Anthea.

Sick is Anthea, sickly is the spring,

The primrose sick, and sickly everything;

The while my dear Anthea does but droop,

The tulips, lilies, daffodils do stoop:

But when again she’s got her healthful hour,

Each bending then will rise a proper flower.

1055. Nor Buying or Selling.

Now, if you love me, tell me,

For as I will not sell ye,

So not one cross to buy thee

I’ll give, if thou deny me.

Cross, a coin.

1056. To His Peculiar Friend, M. Jo. Wicks.

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,

To sour the bread, and turn the beer

To an exalted vinegar:

Or should’st thou prize me as a dish

Of thrice-boiled worts, or third-day’s fish;

I’d rather hungry go and come,

Than to thy house be burdensome;

Yet, in my depth of grief, I’d be

One that should drop his beads for thee.

Worts, cabbages.

Drop his beads, i.e., pray.

1057. The More Mighty, the More Merciful.

Who may do most, does least: the bravest will

Show mercy there, where they have power to kill.

1058. After Autumn, Winter.

Die ere long, I’m sure, I shall;

After leaves, the tree must fall.

1059. A Good Death.

For truth I may this sentence tell,

No man dies ill, that liveth well.

1060. Recompense.

Who plants an olive, but to eat the oil?

Reward, we know, is the chief end of toil.

1061. On Fortune.

This is my comfort when she’s most unkind:

She can but spoil me of my means, not mind.

1062. To Sir George Parry, Doctor of the civil Law.

I have my laurel chaplet on my head

If, ‘mongst these many numbers to be read,

But one by you be hugg’d and cherished.

Peruse my measures thoroughly, and where

Your judgment finds a guilty poem, there

Be you a judge; but not a judge severe.

The mean pass by, or over, none contemn;

The good applaud; the peccant less condemn,

Since absolution you can give to them.

Stand forth, brave man, here to the public sight;

And in my book now claim a twofold right:

The first as doctor, and the last as knight.

1063. Charms.

This I’ll tell ye by the way:

Maidens, when ye leavens lay,

Cross your dough, and your dispatch

Will be better for your batch.

1064. Another.

In the morning when ye rise,

Wash your hands and cleanse your eyes.

Next be sure ye have a care

To disperse the water far;

For as far as that doth light,

So far keeps the evil sprite.

1065. Another.

If ye fear to be affrighted

When ye are by chance benighted,

In your pocket for a trust

Carry nothing but a crust:

For that holy piece of bread

Charms the danger and the dread.

1067. Gentleness.

That prince must govern with a gentle hand

Who will have love comply with his command.

1068. A Dialogue Between Himself and Mistress Eliza Wheeler, Under the Name of Amaryllis.

Her. 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.

Ama. In country meadows pearl’d with dew,

And set about with lilies,

There, filling maunds with cowslips, you

May find your Amaryllis.

Her. What have the meads to do with thee,

Or with thy youthful hours?

Live thou at Court, where thou mayst be

The queen of men, not flowers.

Let country wenches make ’em fine

With posies, since ’tis fitter

For thee with richest gems to shine,

And like the stars to glitter.

Ama. You set too high a rate upon

A shepherdess so homely.

Her. Believe it, dearest, there’s not one

I’ th’ Court that’s half so comely.

I prithee stay. Ama. I must away;

Let’s kiss first, then we’ll sever.

Ambo. And though we bid adieu today,

We shall not part for ever.

Maunds, baskets.

1069. To Julia.

Help me, Julia, for to pray,

Matins sing, or matins say:

This, I know, the fiend will fly

Far away, if thou be’st by.

Bring the holy water hither,

Let us wash and pray together;

When our beads are thus united,

Then the foe will fly affrighted.

Beads, prayers.

1070. To Roses in Julia’s Bosom.

Roses, you can never die,

Since the place wherein ye lie,

Heat and moisture mix’d are so

As to make ye ever grow.

1071. To the Honoured Master Endymion Porter.

When to thy porch I come and ravish’d see

The state of poets there attending thee,

Those bards and I, all in a chorus sing:

We are thy prophets, Porter, thou our king.

1072. Speak in Season.

When times are troubled, then forbear; but speak

When a clear day out of a cloud does break.

1073. Obedience.

The power of princes rests in the consent

Of only those who are obedient:

Which if away, proud sceptres then will lie

Low, and of thrones the ancient majesty.

1074. Another of the Same.

No man so well a kingdom rules as he

Who hath himself obeyed the sovereignty.

1075. Of Love.

1. Instruct me now what love will do.

2. ’Twill make a tongueless man to woo.

1. Inform me next, what love will do.

2. ’Twill strangely make a one of two.

1. Teach me besides, what love will do.

2. ’Twill quickly mar, and make ye too.

1. Tell me now last, what love will do.

2. ’Twill hurt and heal a heart pierc’d through.

1076. Upon Trap.

Trap of a player turn’d a priest now is:

Behold a sudden metamorphosis.

If tithe-pigs fail, then will he shift the scene,

And from a priest turn player once again.

1080. The School or Pearl of Putney, the Mistress of All Singular Manners, Mistress Portman.

Whether I was myself, or else did see

Out of myself that glorious hierarchy;

Or whether those, in orders rare, or these

Made up one state of sixty Venuses;

Or whether fairies, syrens, nymphs they were,

Or muses on their mountain sitting there;

Or some enchanted place, I do not know,

Or Sharon, where eternal roses grow.

This I am sure: I ravished stood, as one

Confus’d in utter admiration.

Methought I saw them stir, and gently move,

And look as all were capable of love;

And in their motion smelt much like to flowers

Inspir’d by th’ sunbeams after dews and showers.

There did I see the reverend rectress stand,

Who with her eye’s gleam, or a glance of hand,

Those spirits raised; and with like precepts then,

As with a magic, laid them all again.

A happy realm! When no compulsive law,

Or fear of it, but love keeps all in awe.

Live you, great mistress of your arts, and be

A nursing mother so to majesty,

As those your ladies may in time be seen,

For grace and carriage, everyone a queen.

One birth their parents gave them; but their new,

And better being, they receive from you.

Man’s former birth is graceless; but the state

Of life comes in, when he’s regenerate.

1081. To Perenna.

Thou say’st I’m dull; if edgeless so I be,

I’ll whet my lips, and sharpen love on thee.

1082. On Himself.

Let me not live if I not love:

Since I as yet did never prove

Where pleasures met, at last do find

All pleasures meet in womankind.

1083. On Love.

That love ‘twixt men does ever longest last

Where war and peace the dice by turns do cast.

1084. Another on Love.

Love’s of itself too sweet; the best of all

Is, when love’s honey has a dash of gall.

1086. Upon Chub.

When Chub brings in his harvest, still he cries,

“Aha, my boys! here’s meat for Christmas pies!”

Soon after he for beer so scores his wheat,

That at the tide he has not bread to eat.

1087. Pleasures Pernicious.

Where pleasures rule a kingdom, never there

Is sober virtue seen to move her sphere.

1088. On Himself.

A wearied pilgrim, I have wandered 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 grey hairs doth his lusters tell,

Lives not those years, but he that lives them well.

One man has reach’d his sixty years, but he

Of all those threescore, has not liv’d half three.

He lives, who lives to virtue; men who cast

Their ends for pleasure, do not live, but last.

Luster, five years.

1089. To M. Laurence Swetnaham.

Read thou my lines, my Swetnaham; if there be

A fault, ’tis hid if it be voic’d by thee.

Thy mouth will make the sourest numbers please:

How will it drop pure honey speaking these!

1090. 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 return’d before I go.

1091. On Himself.

I will no longer kiss,

I can no longer stay;

The way of all flesh is

That I must go this day.

Since longer I can’t live,

My frolic youths, adieu;

My lamp to you I’ll give,

And all my troubles too.

1092. To the Most Accomplished Gentleman, M. Michael Oulsworth.

Nor think that thou in this my book art worst,

Because not plac’d here with the midst, or first.

Since fame that sides with these, or goes before

Those, that must live with thee for evermore;

That fame, and fame’s rear’d pillar, thou shalt see

In the next sheet, brave man, to follow thee.

Fix on that column then, and never fall,

Held up by Fame’s eternal pedestal.

In the next sheet. See 1129.

1093. To His Girls, who Would have Him Sportful.

Alas! I can’t, for tell me, how

Can I be gamesome, aged now?

Besides, ye see me daily grow

Here, winter-like, to frost and snow;

And I, ere long, my girls, shall see

Ye quake for cold to look on me.

1094. Truth and Falsehood.

Truth by her own simplicity is known,

Falsehood by varnish and vermilion.

1095. His Last Request to Julia.

I have been wanton and too bold, I fear,

To chafe o’ermuch 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 choose my burial room:

My fates are ended; when thy Herrick dies,

Clasp thou his book, then close thou up his eyes.

1096. On Himself.

One ear tingles; some there be

That are snarling now at me:

Be they those that Homer bit,

I will give them thanks for it.

1097. Upon Kings.

Kings must be dauntless; subjects will contemn

Those who want hearts and wear a diadem.

1098. To His Girls.

Wanton wenches, do not bring

For my hairs black colouring:

For my locks, girls, let ’em be

Grey or white, all’s one to me.

1100. To His Brother, Nicholas Herrick.

What others have with cheapness seen and ease

In varnish’d maps, by th’ help of compasses,

Or read in volumes and those books with all

Their large narrations incanonical,

Thou hast beheld those seas and countries far,

And tell’st to us what once they were, and are.

So that with bold truth thou can’st now relate

This kingdom’s fortune, and that empire’s fate:

Can’st talk to us of Sharon, where a spring

Of roses have an endless flourishing;

Of Sion, Sinai, Nebo, and with them

Make known to us the new Jerusalem;

The Mount of Olives, Calvary, and where

Is, and hast seen, thy Saviour’s sepulchre.

So that the man that will but lay his ears

As inapostate to the thing he hears,

Shall by his hearing quickly come to see

The truth of travels less in books than thee.

Large, exaggerated.

Incanonical, untrustworthy.

1101. The Voice and Viol.

Rare is the voice itself: but when we sing

To th’ lute or viol, then ’tis ravishing.

1102. War.

If kings and kingdoms once distracted be,

The sword of war must try the sovereignty

1103. A King and No King.

That prince who may do nothing but what’s just,

Rules but by leave, and takes his crown on trust.

1104. Plots Not Still Prosperous.

All are not ill plots that do sometimes fail;

Nor those false vows which ofttimes don’t prevail.

1105. Flattery.

What is’t that wastes a prince? example shows,

’Tis flattery spends a king, more than his foes.

1109. Excess.

Excess is sluttish: keep the mean; for why?

Virtue’s clean conclave is sobriety.

Conclave, guard.

1111. The Soul is the Salt.

The body’s salt the soul is; which when gone,

The flesh soon sucks in putrefaction.

1117. Abstinence.

Against diseases here the strongest fence

Is the defensive virtue, abstinence.

1118. No Danger to Men Desperate.

When fear admits no hope of safety, then

Necessity makes dastards valiant men.

1119. Sauce for Sorrows.

Although our suffering meet with no relief,

An equal mind is the best sauce for grief.

1120. To Cupid.

I have a leaden, thou a shaft of gold;

Thou kill’st with heat, and I strike dead with cold.

Let’s try of us who shall the first expire;

Or thou by frost, or I by quenchless fire:

Extremes are fatal where they once do strike,

And bring to th’ heart destruction both alike.

1121. Distrust.

Whatever men for loyalty pretend,

’Tis wisdom’s part to doubt a faithful friend.

1123. The Mount of the Muses.

After thy labour take thine ease,

Here with the sweet Pierides.

But if so be that men will not

Give thee the laurel crown for lot;

Be yet assur’d, thou shall have one

Not subject to corruption.

1124. 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.

1125. To His Book.

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.

1126. The End of His Work.

Part of the work remains; one part is past:

And here my ship rides, having anchor cast.

1127. To Crown it.

My wearied bark, O let it now be crown’d!

The haven reach’d to which I first was bound.

1128. On Himself.

The work is done: young men and maidens, set

Upon my curls the myrtle coronet

Washed with sweet ointments: thus at last I come

To suffer in the Muses’ martyrdom;

But with this comfort, if my blood be shed,

The Muses will wear blacks when I am dead.

Blacks, mourning garments.

1129. The Pillar of Fame.

Fame’s pillar here, at last, we set,

Outduring marble, brass, or jet.

Charm’d and enchanted so

As to withstand the blow

Of o v e r t h r o w;

Nor shall the seas,

Or o u t r a g e s

Of storms o’erbear

What we uprear.

Tho’ kingdoms fall,

This pillar never shall

Decline or waste at all;

But stand for ever by his own

Firm and well-fix’d foundation.

To his book’s end this last line he’d have placed:

Jocund his muse was, but his life was chaste.

Notes to Hesperides.

2. Whither, mad maiden, etc. From Martial, I. iv. 11, 12:—

Aetherias, lascive, cupis volitare per auras:

I, fuge; sed poteras tutior esse domi.

But for the Court. Cp. Martial, I. iv. 3, 4.

4. While Brutus standeth by. “Brutus and Cato are commonplaces of examples of severe virtue”: Grosart. But Herrick is translating. This is from Martial, XI. xvi. 9, 10:—

Erubuit posuitque meum Lucretia librum,

Sed coram Bruto; Brute, recede, leget.

8. When he would have his verses read. The thought throughout this poem is taken from Martial, X. xix., beginning:—

Nec doctum satis et parum severum,

Sed non rusticulum nimis libellum

Facundo mea Plinio, Thalia,

I perfer:

where the address to Thalia perhaps explains Herrick’s “do not thou rehearse”. The important lines are:—

Sed ne tempore non tuo disertam

Pulses ebria januam, videto.

. . .   . . .   . . .

Seras tutior ibis ad lucernas.

Hæc hora est tua, cum furit Lyæus,

Cum regnat rosa, cum madent capilli:

Tunc me vel rigidi legant Catones.

When laurel spirts i’ th’ fire. Burning bay leaves was a Christmas observance. Herrick sings:—

“Of crackling laurel, which foresounds

A plenteous harvest to your grounds”:

where compare Tibull. II. v. 81–84. It was also used by maids as a love omen.

Thyrse . . . sacred Orgies. Herrick’s glosses show that the passage he had in mind was Catullus, lxiv. 256–269:—

Harum pars tecta quatiebant cuspide thyrsos

. . .   . . .   . . .

Pars obscura cavis celebrabant orgia cistis,

Orgia, quæ frustra cupiunt audire profani.

10. No man at one time can be wise and love. Amare et sapere vix deo conceditur. (Publius Syrus.) The quotation is found in both Burton and Montaigne.

12. Who fears to ask, etc. From Seneca, Hippol. 594–95. Qui timide rogat . . . docet negare.

15. Goddess Isis . . . with her scent. Cp. Plutarch, De Iside et Osiride, 15.

17. He acts the crime. Seneca: Nil interest faveas sceleri an illud facias.

18. Two things odious. From Ecclus. xxv. 2.

31. A Sister . . . about I’ll lead. “Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife?” 1 Cor. ix. 5.

35. Mercy and Truth live with thee. 2 Sam. xv. 20.

38. To please those babies in your eyes. The phrase “babies [i.e., dolls] in the eyes” is probably only a translation of its metaphor, involved in the use of the Latin pupilla (a little girl), or “pupil,” for the central spot of the eye. The metaphor doubtless arose from the small reflections of the inlooker, which appear in the eyes of the person gazed at; but we meet with it both intensified, as in the phrase “to look babies in the eyes” (= to peer amorously), and with its origin disregarded, as in Herrick, where the “babies” are the pupils, and have an existence independent of any inlooker.

Small griefs find tongue. Seneca, Hippol. 608:

Curæ leves loquuntur, ingentes stupent.

Full casks. So G. Herbert, Jacula Prudentum (1640): Empty vessels sound most.

48. Thus woe succeeds a woe as wave a wave. Horace, Ep. II. ii. 176: Velut unda supervenit unda. Κυματα κακôν and κακôν τρικυμια are common phrases in Greek tragedy.

49. Cherry-pit. Printed in the 1654 edition of Witts Recreations, where it appears as:—

Nicholas and Nell did lately sit

Playing for sport at cherry-pit;

They both did throw, and, having thrown,

He got the pit and she the stone”.

51. Ennobled numbers. This poem is often quoted to prove that Herrick’s country incumbency was good for his verse; but if the reference be only to his sacred poems or Noble Numbers these would rather prove the opposite.

52. O earth, earth, earth, hear thou my voice. Jerem. xxii. 29: O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the Lord.

56. Love give me more such nights as these. A reminiscence of Marlowe’s version of Ovid, Amor. I. v. 26: “Jove send me more such afternoons as this”.

64. To him that has, etc. The quotation is not from the Bible, but from Martial, v. 81:—

“Semper pauper eris, si pauper es, Aemiliane.

Dantur opes nulli nunc nisi divitibus.”

Cp. also Davison’s Poet. Rhap., i. 95. Ed. Bullen.

72. Upon his Sister-inlaw, Mistress Elizabeth Herrick, wife to his brother Thomas (see infra, 106).

74. Love makes me write what shame forbids to speak. Ovid, Phædra to Hippol.: Dicere quæ puduit scribere jussit amor.

Give me a kiss. Herrick is here imitating the well-known lines of Catullus to Lesbia (Carm. v.):—

Da mi basia mille, deinde centum,

Dein mille altera, dein secunda centum,

Deinde usque altera mille, deinde centum,

Dein, cum millia multa fecerimus,

Conturbabimus illa, ne sciamus, etc.

77. To the King, upon his coming with his army into the west. Essex had marched into the west in June, 1644, relieved Lyme, and captured royal fortresses in Dorset and Devon. Charles followed him into “the drooping west,” and, in September, the Parliamentary infantry were forced to surrender, while Essex himself escaped by sea. Herrick’s “white omens” were thus fulfilled.

79. To the King and Queen upon their unhappy distances. Henrietta Maria escaped abroad with the crown jewels in 1642, returned the next year and rejoined Charles in the west in 1644, whence she escaped again to France. This poem has been supposed to refer to domestic dissensions; but the “ball of strife” is surely the Civil War in general, and the reference to the parting of 1644.

81. The Cheat of Cupid. Herrick is here translating “Anacreon,” 31 [3]:—

Μεσονυκτιοισ ποθ’ ηôραισ

στρεφεθ’ ηêνικ’ Αρκτοσ êδê

κατα χειρα τêν Βοôτου,

μεροπôν δε φυλα παντα

κεαται κοπô δαμεντα, 5

τοτ’ Ερôσ επισταθεισ μευ

θυρεôν εκοπτ’ οχêασ.

τισ, εφêν, θυρασ αρασσει?

κατα μευ σχιζεισ ονειρουσ.

ηο δ’ Ερôσ, ανοιγε, φêσιν; 10

βρεφοσ ειμι, μê φοβêσαι;

βρεχομαι δε κασελêνον

κατα νυκτα πεπλανêμαι.

ελεêσα ταυτ’ ακουσασ,

ανα δ’ ευθυ λυχνον ηαψασ 15

ανεôξα, και βρεφοσ μεν

εσορô φεροντα τοξον

πτερυγασ τε και φαρετρêν.

παρα δ’ ηιστιêν καθισα,

παλαμαισ τε χειρασ αυτου 20

ανεθαλπον, εκ δε χαιτêσ

απεθλιβον ηυγρον ηυδôρ.

ηο δ’, επει κρυοσ μεθêκεν,

φερε, φêσι, πειρασôμεν

τοδε τοξον, ει τι μοι νυν 25

βλαβεται βραχεισα νευρê.

τανυει δε και με τυπτει

μεσον ηêπαρ, ηôσπερ οιστροσ;

ανα δ’ ηαλλεται καχαζôν,

ξενε δ’, ειπε, συνχαρêθι; 30

κερασ αβλαβεσ μεν ηêμιν,

συ δε καρδιêν πονêσεισ.

Some of his phrases, however, prove that he was occasionally more indebted to the Latin version of Stephanus than to the original.

82. That for seven lusters I did never come. The fall of Herrick’s father from a window, fifteen months after the poet’s birth, was imputed at the time to suicide; and it has been reasonably conjectured that some mystery may have attached to the place of his burial. If “seven lusters” can be taken literally for thirty-five years, this poem was written in 1627.

83. Delight in Disorder. Cp. Ben Jonson’s “Still to be neat, still to be drest,” in its turn imitated from one of the Basia of Johannes Bonefonius.

85. Upon Love. Printed in Witts Recreations, 1654. The only variant is “To tell me” for “To signifie” in the third line.

86. To Dean Bourn. “We found many persons in the village who could repeat some of his lines, and none who were not acquainted with his ‘Farewell to Dean Bourn,’ which they said he uttered as he crossed the brook upon being ejected by Cromwell from the vicarage, to which he had been presented by Charles the First. But they added, with an air of innocent triumph, ‘he did see it again,’ as was the fact after the restoration.” Barron Field in Quarterly Review, August, 1810. Herrick was ejected in 1648.

A rocky generation! a people currish. Cp. Burton, II. iii. 2: a rude . . . uncivil, wild, currish generation.

91. That man loves not who is not zealous too. Augustine, Adv. Adimant. 13: Qui non zelat, non amat.

92. The Bag of the Bee. Printed in Witts Recreations, 1654, and in Henry Bold’s Wit a-sporting in a Pleasant Grove of new Fancies, 1657. Set to music by Henry Lawes.

93. Luxurious love by wealth is nourished. Ovid, Remed. Amor. 746: Divitiis alitur luxuriosus amor.

95. Homer himself. Indignor quandoque bonus dormitat Homerus. Horace, De Art. Poet. 359.

100. To bread and water none is poor. Seneca, Excerpt. ii. 887: Panem et aquam Natura desiderat; nemo ad haec pauper est.

Nature with little is content. Seneca, Ep. xvi.: Exiguum Natura desiderat. Ep. lx.: parvo Natura dimittitur.

106. A Country Life: To his brother, M. Tho. Herrick. “Thomas, baptized May 12, 1588, was placed by his uncle and guardian, Sir William Heyrick, with Mr. Massam, a merchant in London; but in 1610 he appears to have returned into the country and to have settled in a small farm. It is supposed that this Thomas was the father of Thomas Heyrick, who in 1668 resided at Market Harborough and issued a trader’s token there, and grandfather to the Thomas who was curate of Harborough and published some sermons and poems.” Hill’s Market Harborough, p. 122.

A MS. version of this poem is contained in Ashmole 38, from which Dr. Grosart gives a full collation on pp. cli.-cliii. of his Memorial Introduction. The MS. appears to follow an unrevised version of the poem, and contains a few couplets which Herrick afterwards thought fit to omit. The most important passage comes after line 92: “Virtue had, and mov’d her sphere”.

“Nor know thy happy and unenvied state

Owes more to virtue than to fate,

Or fortune too; for what the first secures,

That as herself, or heaven, endures.

The two last fail, and by experience make

Known, not they give again, they take.”

Thrice and above blest. Felices ter et amplius, Hor. I. Od. xiii. 7.

My soul’s half: Animæ dimidium meæ, Hor. I. Od. iii. 8. The poem is full of such reminiscences: “With holy meal and spirting (MS. crackling) salt” is the “Farre pio et saliente mica” of III. Od. xxiii. 20; “Untaught to suffer poverty” the “Indocilis pauperiem pati” of I. Od. i. 18; “A heart thrice wall’d” comes from I. Od. iii. 9: Illi robur et æs triplex, etc. Similar instances might be multiplied. Note, too, the use of “Lar” and “Genius”.

Jove for our labour all things sells us. Epicharm. apud Xenoph. Memor. II. i. 20, τôν πονôν Πôλουσιν ηêμιν παντα ταγαθ’ ηοι θεοι. Quoted by Montaigne, II. xx.

Wisely true to thine own self. Possibly a Shakespearian reminiscence of the “to thine own self be true” in the speech of Polonius to Laertes, Hamlet, I. iii. 78.

A wise man every way lies square. Cp. Arist. Eth. I. x. 11, ηôς αλêθôς αγαθος και τετραγôνος ανευ ψογου.

For seldom use commends the pleasure. Voluptates commendat rarior usus. Juvenal, Sat. xi. ad fin.

Nor fear or wish your dying day. Summum nec metuas diem, nec optes. Mart. X. xlvii. 13.

112. To the Earl of Westmoreland. Mildmay Fane succeeded his father, Thomas Fane, the first earl, in March, 1628. At the outbreak of the Civil War he sided with the king, but after a short imprisonment made his submission to the Parliament, and was relieved of the sequestration of his estates. He subsequently printed privately a volume of poems, called Otia Sacra, which has been reedited by Dr. Grosart.

117. To the Patron of Poets, M. End. Porter. Five of Herrick’s poems are addressed to Endymion Porter, who seems to have been looked to as a patron by all the singers of his day. According to the inscription on a medal of him executed by Varin in 1635, he was then forty-eight, so that he was born in 1587, coming into the world at Aston-under-Hill in Gloucestershire. He went with Charles on his trip to Spain, and after his accession became groom of his bedchamber, was active in the king’s service during the Civil War, and died in 1649. He was a collector of works of art both for himself and for the king, and encouraged Rob. Dover’s Cotswold games by presenting him with a suit of the king’s clothes. À Wood tells us this, and mentions also that he was a friend of Donne, that Gervase Warmsely dedicated his Virescit Vulnere Virtus to him in 1628, and that in conjunction with the Earl of St. Alban’s he also received the dedication of Davenant’s Madagascar.

Let there be patrons, etc. Burton, I. ii. 3, § 15. ’Tis an old saying: “Sint Mæcenates, non deerunt, Flacce, Marones” (Mart. VIII. lvi. 5).

Fabius, Cotta, and Lentulus are examples of Roman patrons of poetry, themselves distinguished. Cp. Juvenal, vii. 94.

119. His tapers thus put out. So Ovid, Am. iii. 9:—

Ecce puer Veneris fert eversamque pharetram

Et fractos arcus, et sine luce facem.

121. Four things make us happy here. From

Υγιαινειν μεν αριστον ανδρι θνατô;

δευτερον δε φυαν καλον γενεσθαι;

το τριτον δε πλουτειν αδολôσ;

και το τεταρτον, ηêβαν μετα τôν φιλôν.

(Bergk, Anth. Lyr., Scol. 8.)

123. The Tear sent to her from Staines. This is printed in Witts Recreations with no other variation than in the title, which there runs: “A Teare sent his Mistresse”. Dr. Grosart notes that Staines was at the time a royal residence.

128. His Farewell to Sack. A manuscript version of this poem at the British Museum omits many lines (7, 8, 11–22, 29–36), and contains few important variants. “Of the yet chaste and undefiled bride” is a poor anticipation of line 6, and “To raise the holy madness” for “To rouse the sacred madness” is also weak. For the line and a half:—

“Prithee not smile

Or smile more inly, lest thy looks beguile,”

we have the very inferior passage:—

“I prithee draw in

Thy gazing fires, lest at their sight the sin

Of fierce idolatry shoot into me, and

I turn apostate to the strict command

Of nature; bid me now farewell, or smile

More ugly, lest thy tempting looks beguile”.

This MS. version is followed in the first published text in Witts Recreations, 1645.

130. Upon Mrs. Eliz. Wheeler. “The lady complimented in this poem was probably a relation by marriage. Herrick’s first cousin, Martha, the seventh daughter of his uncle Robert, married Mr. John Wheeler.” Nott.

132. Fold now thine arms. A sign of grief. Cp. “His arms in this sad knot”. Tempest.

134. Mr. J. Warr. This John Warr is probably the same as the “honoured friend, Mr. John Weare, Councellour,” of a later poem. Dr. Grosart quotes an “Epitaph upon his honoured friend, Master Warre,” by Randolph. Nothing is known of him, but I find in the Oxford Register that a John Warr matriculated at Exeter College, 16th May, 1619, and proceeded M.A. in 1624. He may possibly be Herrick’s friend.

137. Dowry with a wife. Cp. Ovid, Ars Am. ii. 155: Dos est uxoria lites.

139. The Wounded Cupid. This is taken from Anacreon, 33 [40]:—

Ερôσ ποτ’ εν ρηοδοισιν

κοιμôμενêν μελιτταν

ουκ ειδεν, αλλ’ ετοôθê

τον δακτυλον; παταχθεισ

τασ χειρασ ôλολυξεν;

δραμôν δε και πετασθεισ

προσ τêν καλêν Κυθêρêν

ολôλα, ματερ, ειπεν,

ολôλα καποθνêσκô;

οφισ μ’ ετυψε μικροσ

πτερôτοσ, ηον καλουσιν

μελιτταν ηοι γεôργοι.

ηα δ’ ειπεν; ει το κεντρον

πονει το τασ μελιττασ,

ποσον δοκεισ πονουσιν,

Ερôσ, ηοσουσ συ βαλλεισ?

142. A Virgin’s face she had. Herrick is imitating a charming passage from the first Æneid (ll. 315–320), in which Æneas is confronted by Venus:—

Virginis os habitumque gerens et virginis arma,

Spartanae vel qualis equos Threissa fatigat

Harpalyce volucremque fuga praevertitur Eurum.

Namque umeris de more habilem suspenderat arcum

Venatrix, dederatque comam diffundere ventis,

Nuda genu nodoque sinus collecta fluentis.

With a wand of myrtle, etc. Cp. Anacreon, 7 [29]:—

Υακινθινê με ρηαβδô

χαλεπôσ, Ερôς ρηαπιζôν . . . ειπε;

Συ γαρ ου δυνê φιλêσαι.

146. Upon the Bishop of Lincoln’s Imprisonment. John Williams (1582–1650), Bishop of Lincoln, 1621; Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal, 1621–1625; suspended and imprisoned, 1637–1640, on a frivolous charge of having betrayed the king’s secrets; Archbishop of York, 1641. Save from this poem and the Carol printed in the Appendix we know nothing of his relations with Herrick. He had probably stood in the way of the poet’s obtaining holy orders or preferment. When Herrick was appointed to the cure of Dean Prior in 1629, Williams had already lost favour at the Court.

147. Cynthius pluck ye by the ear. Cp. Virg. Ecl. vi. 3: Cynthius aurem Vellit et admonuit; and Milton’s Lycidas, 77: “Ph[oe]bus replied and touched my trembling ears”.

The lazy man the most doth love. Cp. Ovid, Remed. Amor. 144: Cedit amor rebus: res age, tutus eris. Nott. But Ovid could also write: Qui nolet fieri desidiosus amet (1 Am. ix. 46).

149. Sir Thomas Southwell, of Hangleton, Sussex, knighted 1615, died before December 16, 1642.

Those tapers five. Mentioned by Plutarch, Qu. Rom. 2. For their significance see Ben Jonson’s Masque of Hymen.

O’er the threshold force her in. The custom of lifting the bride over the threshold, probably to avert an ill-omened stumble, has prevailed among the most diverse races. For the anointing of the doorposts Brand quotes Langley’s translation of Polydore Vergil: “The bryde anoynted the poostes of the doores with swynes’ grease, because she thought by that meanes to dryve awaye all misfortune, whereof she had her name in Latin ‘Uxor ab unguendo’”.

To gather nuts. A Roman marriage custom mentioned in Catullus, Carm. lxi. 124–127, the In Nuptias Juliæ et Manlii, which Herrick keeps in mind all through this ode.

With all lucky birds to side. Bona cum bona nubit alite virgo. Cat. Carm. lxi. 18.

But when ye both can say Come. The wish in this case appears to have been fulfilled, as Lady Southwell administered to her husband’s estate, Dec. 16, 1642, and her own estate was administered on the thirtieth of the following January.

Two ripe shocks of corn. Cp. Job v. 26.

153. His wish. From Hor. Epist. I. xviii. 111, 112:—

Sed satis est orare Jovem quæ donat et aufert;

Det vitam, det opes; æquum mî animum ipse parabo:

where Herrick seems to have read qui for quæ.

157. No Herbs have power to cure Love. Ovid, Met. i. 523; id. Her. v. 149: Nullis amor est medicabilis herbis. For the ‘only one sovereign salve’ cp. Seneca, Hippol. 1189: Mors amoris una sedamen.

159. The Cruel Maid. Printed in Witts Recreations, 1650, with no other variant than the mistaken omission of “how” in l. 7. I do not think that it has been yet pointed out that the whole poem is a close imitation of Theocritus, xxiii. 19–47:—

Αγριε παι και στυγνε, κ.τ.λ.

Possibly Herrick meant to translate the whole poem, which would explain his initial And. But cp. Ben Jonson’s Engl. Gram. ch. viii.: “‘And’ in the beginning of a sentence serveth instead of an admiration”.

164. To a Gentlewoman objecting to him his gray hairs. Mr. Hazlitt quotes an early MS. copy headed: “An old man to his younge Mrs.”. The variants, as he observes, are mostly for the worse. The poem may have been suggested to Herrick by Anacreon, 6 [11]:—

Λεγουσιν ηαι γυναικεσ,

Ανακρεôν, γερôν ει;

λαβôν εσοπτρον αθρει

κομασ μεν ουκετ’ ουσασ κ.τ.λ.

168. Jos. Lo. Bishop of Exeter. Joseph Hall, 1574–1656, author of the satires.

169. The Countess of Carlisle. Lucy, the second wife of James, first Earl of Carlisle, the Lady Carlisle of Browning’s Strafford.

170. I fear no earthly powers. Probably suggested by Anacreon [36], beginning: τι με τους νομους διδασκεισ; Cp. also 7 [15]: Ου μοι μελει τα Γυγεô.

172. A Ring presented to Julia. Printed without variation in Witts Recreations, 1650, under the title: “With a O to Julia”.

174. Still thou reply’st: The Dead. Cp. Martial, VIII. lxix. 1, 2:—

Miraris veteres, Vacerra, solos

Nec laudas nisi mortuos poetas.

178. Corinna’s going a-Maying. Herrick’s poem is a charming expansion of Chaucer’s theme: “For May wol have no slogardye a night”. The account of May-day customs in Brand (vol. i. pp. 212–234) is unusually full, and all Herrick’s allusions can be illustrated from it. Dr. Nott compares the last stanza to Catullus, Carm. v.; but parallels from the classic poets could be multiplied indefinitely.

The God unshorn of l. 2 is from Hor. I. Od. xxi. 2: Intonsum pueri dicite Cynthium.

181. A dialogue between Horace and Lydia. Hor. III. Od. ix.

Ramsey. Organist of Trinity College, Cambridge, 1628–1634. Some of his music still exists in MS.

185. An Ode to Master Endymion Porter, upon his brother’s death. Endymion Porter is said to have had an only brother, Giles, who died in the king’s service at Oxford, i.e., between 1642 and 1646, and it has been taken for granted that this ode refers to his death. The supposition is possibly right, but if so, the ode, despite its beauty, is so gratingly and extraordinarily selfish that we may wonder if the dead brother is not the William Herrick of the next poem. The first verse is, of course, a soliloquy of Herrick’s, not, as Dr. Grosart suggests, addressed to him by Porter. Dr. Nott again parallels Catullus, Carm. v.

186. To his dying brother, Master William Herrick. According to Dr. Grosart and Mr. Hazlitt the poet had an elder brother, William, baptized at St. Vedast’s, Foster Lane, Nov. 24, 1585 (he must have been born some months earlier, if this date be right, for his sister Martha was baptized in the following January), and alive in 1629, when he acted as one of the executors of his mother’s will. But, it is said, there was also another brother named William, born in 1593, after his father’s death, “at Harry Campion’s house at Hampton”. I have not been able to find the authority for this last statement, which, as it asserts the coexistence of two brothers, of the same name, is certainly surprising. According to Dr. Grosart, it is the younger William who “died young” and was addressed in this poem, but I must own to feeling some doubt in the matter.

193. The Lily in a Crystal. The poem may be taken as an expansion of Martial, VIII. lxviii. 5–8:—

Condita perspicuâ vivit vindemia gemmâ

Et tegitur felix, nec tamen uva latet:

Femineum lucet sic per bombycina corpus,

Calculus in nitidâ sic numeratur aquâ.

197. The Welcome to Sack. Two MSS. at the British Museum (Harl. 6931 and Add. 19,268) contain copies of this important poem. These copies differ considerably from the printed version, are proved by small variations to be independent of each other, and at the same time agree in all important points. We may conclude, therefore, that they represent an earlier version of the poem, subsequently revised by Herrick before the issue of Hesperides. In the subjoined copy, in which the two MSS. are corrected from each other, italics show the variations, asterisks mark lines omitted in Hesperides, and a dagger the absence of lines subsequently added.

“So swift streams meet, so springs with gladder smiles

Meet after long divorcement made by isles:

When love (the child of likeness) urgeth on

Their crystal waters to an union.

So meet stol’n kisses when the moonie night

Calls forth fierce lovers to their wisht delight:

So kings and queens meet, when desire convinces

All thoughts, save those that tend to getting princes.

As I meet thee, Soul of my life and fame!

Eternal Lamp of Love, whose radiant flame

Out-darts the heaven’s Osiris; and thy gems

Darken the splendour of his mid-day beams.

Welcome, O welcome, my illustrious spouse!

Welcome as are the ends unto my vows:

Nay, far more welcome than the happy soil

The sea-scourged merchant, after all his toil,

Salutes with tears of joy, when fires display

The smoking chimneys of his Ithaca.

Where hast thou been so long from my embraces,

Poor pitied exile? Tell me, did thy Graces

Fly discontented hence, and for a time

Choose rather for to bless some other clime?

†*Oh, then, not longer let my sweet defer

*Her buxom smiles from me, her worshipper!

Why have those amber looks, the which have been

Time-past so fragrant, sickly now call’d in

Like a dull twilight? Tell me, *hath my soul

*Prophaned in speech or done an act that is foul

*Against thy purer essence? For that fault

I’ll expiate with sulphur, hair and salt:

And with the crystal humour of the spring

Purge hence the guilt, and kill the quarrelling.

Wilt thou not smile, nor tell me what’s amiss?

Have I been cold to hug thee, too remiss,

Too temperate in embracing? Tell me, has desire

To-thee-ward died in the embers, and no fire

Left in the raked-up ashes, as a mark

To testify the glowing of a spark?

I must confess I left thee, and appeal

’Twas done by me more to increase my zeal,

And double my affection[†]; as do those

Whose love grows more inflamed by being froze.

But to forsake thee, [†] could there ever be

A thought of such-like possibility?

When all the world may know that vines shall lack

Grapes, before Herrick leave Canary sack.

*Sack is my life, my leaven, salt to all

*My dearest dainties, nay, ’tis the principal

*Fire unto all my functions, gives me blood,

*An active spirit, full marrow, and, what is good,

Sack makes me sprightful, airy to be borne,

Like Iphyclus, upon the tops of corn.

Sack makes me nimble, as the wingèd hours,

To dance and caper o’er the tops of flowers,

And ride the sunbeams. Can there be a thing

Under the cope of heaven that can bring

More joy unto my soul, or can present

My Genius with a fuller blandishment?

Illustrious Idol! Can the Egyptians seek

Help from the garlick, onion and the leek,

And pay no vows to thee, who art the best

God, and far more transcending than the rest?

Had Cassius, that weak water-drinker, known

Thee in the Vine, or had but tasted one

Small chalice of thy nectar, he, even he

As the wise Cato had approved of thee.

Had not Jove’s son, the rash Tyrinthian swain

(Invited to the Thesbian banquet), ta’ne

Full goblets of thy [†] blood; his *lustful sprite

Had not kept heat for fifty maids that night.

†As Queens meet Queens, so let sack come to me

Or as Cleopatra unto Anthonie,

When her high visage did at once present

To the Triumvir love and wonderment.

Swell up my feeble sinews, let my blood

†Fill each part full of fire,* let all my good

Parts be encouraged, active to do

What thy commanding soul shall put me to,

And till I turn apostate to thy love,

Which here I vow to serve, never remove

Thy blessing from me; but Apollo’s curse

Blast all mine actions; or, a thing that’s worse,

When these circumstants have the fate to see

The time when I prevaricate from thee,

Call me the Son of Beer, and then confine

Me to the tap, the toast, the turf; let wine

Ne’er shine upon me; let my verses all

Haste to a sudden death and funeral:

And last, dear Spouse, when I thee disavow,

May ne’er prophetic Daphne crown my brow.”

Certainly this manuscript version is in every way inferior to that printed in the Hesperides, and Herrick must be reckoned among the poets who are able to revise their own work.

The smoky chimneys of his Ithaca. Ovid, I. de Ponto, ix. 265:—

Non dubia est Ithaci prudentia sed tamen optat

Fumum de patriis posse videre focis.

Upon the tops of corn. Virgil (Æn. vii. 808–9) uses the same comparison of Camilla: Illa vel intactae segetis per summa volaret Gramina, nec teneras cursu laesisset aristas.

Could the Egyptians seek Help from the garlick, onion and the leek. Cp. Numbers xi. 5, and Juv., xi. 9–11.

Cassius, that weak water-drinker. Not, as Dr. Grosart queries: “Cassius Iatrosophista, or Cassius Felix?” but C. Cassius Longinus, the murderer of Cæsar. Cp. Montaigne, II. 2, and Seneca, Ep. 83: “Cassius totâ vitâ aquam bibit” there quoted.

201. To trust to good verses. Carminibus confide bonis. Ovid, Am. III. ix. 39.

The Golden Pomp is come. Aurea pompa venit, Ovid, Am. III. ii. 44. “Now reigns the rose” (nunc regnat rosa) is a common phrase in Martial and elsewhere. For the “Arabian dew,” cp. Ovid, Sappho to Phaon, 98: Arabo noster rore capillus olet.

A text . . . Behold Tibullus lies. Jacet ecce Tibullus: Vix manet e tanto parva quod urna capit. Ovid, Am. III. ix. 39.

203. Lips Tongueless. Dr. Nott parallels Catullus, Carm. lii. (lv.):—

Si linguam clauso tenes in ore,

Fructus projicies amoris omnes:

Verbosa gaudet Venus loquela.

208. Gather ye rosebuds while ye may. Set to music by William Lawes in Playford’s second book of “Ayres,” 1652. Printed in Witts Recreations, 1654, with the variants: “Gather your Rosebuds” in l. 1; l. 4, may for will; l. 6, he is getting for he’s a-getting; l. 8, nearer to his setting for nearer he’s to setting. The opening lines are from Ausonius, ccclxi. 49, 50 (quoted by Burton, Anat. Mel. III. 2, 5 § 5):—

Collige, virgo, rosas, dum flos novus, et nova pubes,

Et memor esto aevum sic properare tuum:

cp. also l. 43:—

Quam longa una dies, ætas tam longa rosarum.

209. Has not whence to sink at all. Seneca, Ep. xx.: Redige te ad parva ex quibus cadere non possis. Cp. Alain Delisle: Qui decumbit humi non habet unde cadat.

211. His poetry his pillar. A variation upon the Horatian theme:—

“Exegi monumentum aere perennius

Regalique situ pyramidum altius”.

(III. Od. xxx.)

212. What though the sea be calm. Almost literally translated from Seneca, Ep. iv.: Noli huic tranquillitati confidere: momento mare evertitur: eodem die ubi luserunt navigia sorbentur.

213. At noon of day was seen a silver star. “King Charles the First went to St. Paul’s Church the 30th day of May, 1630, to give praise for the birth of his son, attended with all his Peers and a most royal Train, where a bright star appeared at High Noon in the sight of all.” (Stella Meridiana, 1661.)

213. And all most sweet, yet all less sweet than he. It is characteristic of Herrick that in his Noble Numbers (“The New–Year’s Gift”) he repeats this line, applying it to Christ.

The swiftest grace is best. Ôκειαι χαριτες γλυκερôτεραι. Anth. Pal. x. 30.

214. Know thy when. So in The Star-song Herrick sings: “Thou canst clear All doubts and manifest the where”.

219. Lord Bernard Stewart, fourth son of Esme, third Duke of Lennox, and himself created Earl of Lichfield by Charles I. He commanded the king’s troop of guards, and was killed at the battle of Rowton Heath, outside Chester, Sept. 24, 1645.

Clarendon (History of the Rebellion, ix. 19) thus records his death and character: “Here fell many gentlemen and officers of name, with the brave Earl of Litchfield, who was the third brother of that illustrious family that sacrificed his life in this quarrel. He was a very faultless young man, of a most gentle, courteous, and affable nature, and of a spirit and courage invincible; whose loss all men lamented, and the king bore it with extraordinary grief.”

Trentall. Properly a set of thirty masses for the repose of a dead man’s soul. Here and elsewhere Herrick uses the word as an equivalent for dirge, but Sidney distinguished them: “Let dirige be sung and trentalls rightly read. For love is dead,” etc. “Hence, hence profane,” is the Latin, procul o procul este profani of Virg. Æn. vi. 258, where “profane” is only equivalent to uninitiated.

223. The Fairy Temple. For a brief note on Herrick’s fairy poems, see Appendix. On the dedication to Mr. John Merrifield, Counsellor-at-Law, Dr. Grosart remarks: “Nothing seems to be now known of Merrifield. It is just possible that — as throughout the poem — the name was an invented one, ‘Merry Field’.” But the records of the Inner Temple show that the Merrifields were a legal family from Woolmiston, near Crewkerne, Somersetshire. John (son of Richard) Merrifield, the father, was admitted to the Inner Temple in 1581, and John, the son, in 1611. This latter must be Herrick’s Counsellor. He rose to be a Master of the Bench in 1638 and Sergeant-at-Law in 1660. He died October, 1666, aged 75, at Crewkerne. On the other hand, it can hardly be doubted that Dr. Grosart is right in regarding the names of the fairy saints as quite imaginary. He nevertheless suggests SS. Titus, Neot, Idus, Ida, Fridian or Fridolin, Trypho, Felan and Felix as the possible prototypes of “Saint Tit, Saint Nit, Saint Is,” etc. It should be noted that “Tit and Nit” occur with “Wap and Win” and other obviously made-up names, in Drayton’s Nymphidia.

229. Upon Cupid. Taken from Anacreon, 5 [59].

Στεφος πλεκôν ποθ’ ηευρον

εν τοις ρηοδοις Ερôτα;

και τôν πτερôν κατασχôν

εβαπτισ’ εις τον οινον;

λαβôν δ’ επινον αυτον,

και νυν εσô μελôν μου

πτεροισι γαργαλιζει.

234. Care will make a face. Ovid, Ar. Am. iii. 105: Cura dabit faciem, facies neglecta peribit.

235. Upon Himself. Printed in Witts Recreations, 1654, under the title: On an old Batchelor, and with the variants, married for wedded, l. 3, one for a in l. 4, and Rather than mend me, blind me quite in l. 6.

238. To the Rose. Printed in Witts Recreations, 1654, with the variants peevish for flowing in l. 4, say, if she frets, that I have bonds in l. 6, that can tame although not kill in l. 10, and now for thus in l. 11. The opening couplet is from Martial, VII. lxxxix.:—

I, felix rosa, mollibusque sertis

Nostri cinge comas Apollinaris.

241. Upon a painted Gentlewoman. Printed in Witts Recreations, 1650, under the title, On a painted madame.

250. Mildmay, Earl of Westmoreland. See Note to 112. According to the date of the earl’s succession, this poem must have been written after 1628.

253. He that will not love, etc. Ovid, Rem. Am. 15, 16:—

Si quis male fert indignae regna puellae,

Ne pereat nostrae sentiat artis opem.

How she is her own least part. Ib. 344: Pars minima est ipsa puella sui, quoted by Bacon, Burton, Lyly, and Montaigne.

Printed in Witts Recreations, 1654, with the variants, ‘freezing colds and fiery heats,’ and ‘and how she is in every part’.

256. Had Lesbia, etc. See Catullus, Carm. iii.

260. How violets came blue. Printed in Witts Recreations, 1654, as How the violets came blue. The first two lines read:—

“The violets, as poets tell,

With Venus wrangling went”.

Other variants are did for sho’d in l. 3; Girl for Girls; you for ye; do for dare.

264. That verse, etc. Herrick repeats this assurance in a different context in the second of his Noble Numbers, His Prayer for Absolution.

269. The Gods to Kings the judgment give to sway. From Tacitus, Ann. vi. 8 (M. Terentius to Tiberius): Tibi summum rerum judicium dii dedere; nobis obsequi gloria relicta est.

270. He that may sin, sins least. Ovid, Amor. III. iv. 9, 10:—

Cui peccare licet, peccat minus: ipsa potestas

Semina nequitiae languidiora facit.

271. Upon a maid that died the day she was married. Cp. Meleager, Anth. Pal. vii. 182:

Ου γαμον αλλ’ Αιδαν επινυμφιδιον Κλεαριστα

δεξατο παρθενιας ηαμματα λυομενα;

Αρτι γαρ ηεσπεριοι νυμφας επι δικλισιν αχευν

λôτοι, και θαλαμôν επλαταγευντο θυραι;

Êôοι δ’ ολολυγμον ανεκραγον, εκ δ’ Υμεναιος

σιγαθεις γοερον φθεγμα μεθαρμοσατο,

Ηαι δ’ αυται και φενγος εδαδουχουν παρα παστô

πευκαι και φθιμενα νερθεν εφαινον ηοδον.

278. To his Household Gods. Obviously written at the time of his ejection from his living.

283. A Nuptial Song on Sir Clipseby Crew. Of this Epithalamium (written in 1625 for the marriage of Sir Clipseby Crew, knighted by James I. at Theobald’s in 1620, with Jane, daughter of Sir John Pulteney), two manuscript versions, substantially agreeing, are preserved at the British Museum (Harl. MS. 6917, and Add. 25, 303). Seven verses are transcribed in these manuscripts which Herrick afterwards saw fit to omit, and almost every verse contains variants of importance. It is impossible to convey the effect of the earlier version by a mere collation, and I therefore transcribe it in full, despite its length. As before, variants and additions are printed in italics. The numbers in brackets are those of the later version, as given in Hesperides. The marginal readings are variants of Add. 25, 303, from the Harleian manuscript.

1 [1].

“What’s that we see from far? the spring of Day

Bloom’d from the East, or fair enamell’d May

Blown out of April; or some new

Star fill’d with glory to our view,

Reaching at Heaven,

To add a nobler Planet to the seven?

Say or do we not descry

Some Goddess in a Cloud of Tiffany

To move, or rather the

Emerging Venus from the sea?

2 [2].

“’Tis she! ’tis she! or else some more Divine

Enlightened substance; mark how from the shrine

Of holy Saints she paces on

Throwing about Vermilion

And Amber: spiceing the chafte-air with fumes of Paradise.

Then come on, come on, and yield

A savour like unto a blessed field,

When the bedabbled morn

Washes the golden ears of corn.


Lead on fair paranymphs, the while her eyes,

Guilty of somewhat, ripe the strawberries

And cherries in her cheeks, there’s cream

Already spilt, her rays must gleam

Gently thereon,

And so beget lust and temptation

To surfeit and to hunger.

Help on her pace; and, though she lag, yet stir

Her homewards; well she knows

Her heart’s at home, howe’er she goes.

4 [3].

“See where she comes; and smell how all the street

Breathes Vine-yards and Pomegranates: O how sweet,

As a fir’d Altar, is each stone

Spirting forth pounded Cinnamon.

The Ph[oe]nix nest,

Built up of odours, burneth in her breast.

Who would not then consume

His soul to ashes in that rich perfume? [ash-heaps

Bestroking Fate the while

He burns to embers on the Pile.

5 [4].

“Hymen, O Hymen! tread the sacred round [ground

Shew thy white feet, and head with Marjoram crowned:

Mount up thy flames, and let thy Torch

Display thy Bridegroom in the porch

In his desires

More towering, more besparkling than thy fires: [disparkling

Shew her how his eyes do turn

And roll about, and in their motions burn

Their balls to cinders: haste

Or, like a firebrand, he will waste.


See how he waves his hand, and through his eyes

Shoots forth his jealous soul, for to surprise

And ravish you his Bride, do you

Not now perceive the soul of C[lipseby] C[rew],

Your mayden knight,

With kisses to inspire

You with his just and holy ire.

7 [5].

If so, glide through the ranks of Virgins, pass

The Showers of Roses, lucky four-leaved grass:

The while the cloud of younglings sing,

And drown you with a flowery spring:

While some repeat

Your praise, and bless you, sprinkling you with Wheat,

While that others do divine,

‘Blest is the Bride on whom the Sun doth shine’;

And thousands gladly wish

You multiply as do the fish.


Why then go forward, sweet Auspicious Bride,

And come upon your Bridegroom like a Tide

Bearing down Time before you; hye

Swell, mix, and loose your souls; imply

Like streams which flow

Encurled together, and no difference show

In their [most] silver waters; run

Into your selves like wool together spun.

Or blend so as the sight

Of two makes one Hermaphrodite.

9 [6].

“And, beauteous Bride, we do confess you are wise

On drawing forth those bashful jealousies [doling

In love’s name, do so; and a price

Set on yourself by being nice.

But yet take heed

What now you seem be not the same indeed,

And turn Apostata: Love will

Part of the way be met, or sit stone still;

On them, and though y’are slow

In going yet, howsoever go.


How long, soft Bride, shall your dear C[lipseby] make

Love to your welcome with the mystic cake,

How long, oh pardon, shall the house

And the smooth Handmaids pay their vows

With oil and wine

For your approach, yet see their Altars pine?

How long shall the page to please

You stand for to surrender up the keys

Of the glad house? Come, come,

Or Lar will freeze to death at home.


Welcome at last unto the Threshold, Time

Throned in a saffron evening, seems to chime

All in, kiss and so enter. If

A prayer must be said, be brief,

The easy Gods

For such neglect have only myrtle rods

To stroke, not strike; fear you

Not more, mild Nymph, than they would have you do;

But dread that you do more offend

In that you do begin than end.

12 [7].

“And now y’are entered, see the coddled cook

Runs from his Torrid Zone to pry and look

And bless his dainty mistress; see

How th’ aged point out: ‘This is she

Who now must sway

Us (and God shield her) with her yea and nay,’

And the smirk Butler thinks it

Sin in his nap’ry not t’ express his wit;

Each striving to devise

Some gin wherewith to catch her eyes.


What though your laden Altar now has won

The credit from the table of the Sun

For earth and sea; this cost

On you is altogether lost

Because you feed

Not on the flesh of beasts, but on the seed

Of contemplation: your,

Your eyes are they, wherewith you draw the pure

Elixir to the mind

Which sees the body fed, yet pined.

14 [14].

“If you must needs for ceremonie’s sake

Bless a sack posset, Luck go with you, take

The night charm quickly; you have spells

And magic for to end, and Hells

To pass, but such

And of such torture as no God would grutch

To live therein for ever: fry,

Aye and consume, and grow again to die,

And live, and in that case

Love the damnation of that place. [the

15 [8].

“To Bed, to Bed, sweet Turtles now, and write

This the shortest day,† this the longest night

And yet too short for you; ’tis we

Who count this night as long as three,

Lying alone

Hearing the clock go Ten, Eleven, Twelve, One:

Quickly, quickly then prepare.

And let the young men and the Bridemaids share

Your garters, and their joints

Encircle with the Bridegroom’s points.

16 [9].

“By the Bride’s eyes, and by the teeming life

Of her green hopes, we charge you that no strife,

Further than virtue lends, gets place

Among you catching at her Lace.

Oh, do not fall

Foul in these noble pastimes, lest you call

Discord in, and so divide

The gentle Bridegroom and the fragrous Bride,

Which Love forefend: but spoken

Be’t to your praise: ‘No peace was broken’.


“Strip her of spring-time, tender whimpering maids,

Now Autumn’s come, when all those flowery aids

Of her delays must end, dispose

That Lady-smock, that pansy and that Rose

Neatly apart;

But for prick-madam, and for gentle-heart,

And soft maiden-blush, the Bride

Makes holy these, all others lay aside:

Then strip her, or unto her

Let him come who dares undo her.

18 [11].

“And to enchant you more, view everywhere [ye

About the roof a Syren in a sphere,

As we think, singing to the din

Of many a warbling cherubin:

List, oh list! how

Even heaven gives up his soul between you now, [ye

Mark how thousand Cupids fly

To light their Tapers at the Bride’s bright eye;

To bed, or her they’ll tire,

Were she an element of fire.

19 [12].

“And to your more bewitching, see the proud

Plump bed bear up, and rising like a cloud,

Tempting thee, too, too modest; can

You see it brussle like a swan

And you be cold

To meet it, when it woos and seems to fold

The arms to hug you? throw, throw

Yourselves into that main, in the full flow

Of the white pride, and drown

The stars with you in floods of down.

20 [13].

You see ‘tis ready, and the maze of love

Looks for the treaders; everywhere is wove

Wit and new mystery, read and

Put in practice, to understand

And know each wile,

Each Hieroglyphic of a kiss or smile;

And do it in the full, reach

High in your own conceipts, and rather teach

Nature and Art one more

Sport than they ever knew before.

21. To the Maidens:]

And now y’ have wept enough, depart; yon stars [the

Begin to pink, as weary that the wars

Know so long Treaties; beat the Drum

Aloft, and like two armies, come

And guild the field,

Fight bravely for the flame of mankind, yield

Not to this, or that assault,

For that would prove more Heresy than fault

In combatants to fly

‘Fore this or that hath got the victory.

22 [15].

“But since it must be done, despatch and sew

Up in a sheet your Bride, and what if so

It be with rib of Rock and Brass,

Yea tower her up, as Danae was, [ye

Think you that this,

Or Hell itself, a powerful Bulwark is?

I tell you no; but like a [ye

Bold bolt of thunder he will make his way,

And rend the cloud, and throw

The sheet about, like flakes of snow.

23 [16].

“All now is hushed in silence: Midwife-moon

With all her Owl-ey’d issue begs a boon

Which you must grant; that’s entrance with

Which extract, all we † call pith

And quintessence

Of Planetary bodies; so commence,

All fair constellations

Looking upon you that the Nations

Springing from to such Fires

May blaze the virtue of their Sires.”


The variants in this version are not very important; one of the most noteworthy, round for ground, in stanza 5 [4], was overlooked by Dr. Grosart in his collation. Of the seven stanzas subsequently omitted several are of great beauty. There are few happier images in Herrick than that of Time throned in a saffron evening in stanza 11. It is only when the earlier version is read as a whole that Herrick’s taste in omitting is vindicated. Each stanza is good in itself, but in the MSS. the poem drags from excessive length, and the reduction of its twenty-three stanzas to sixteen greatly improves it.

286. Ever full of pensive fear. Ovid, Heroid. i. 12: Res est solliciti plena timoris amor.

287. Reverence to riches. Perhaps from Tacit. Ann. ii. 33: Neque in familia et argento quæque ad usum parantur nimium aliquid aut modicum, nisi ex fortuna possidentis.

288. Who forms a godhead. From Martial, VIII. xxiv. 5:—

Qui fingit sacros auro vel marmore vultus

Non facit ille deos: qui rogat, ille facit.

290. The eyes be first that conquered are. From Tacitus, Germ. 43: Primi in omnibus proeliis oculi vincuntur.

293. Oberon’s Feast. For a note on Herrick’s Fairy Poems and on the Description of the King and Queene of the Fayries (1635), in which part of this poem was first printed, see Appendix. Add. MS. 22, 603, at the British Museum, and Ashmole MS. 38, at the Bodleian, contain early versions of the poem substantially agreeing. I transcribe the Museum copy:—

“A little mushroom table spread

After the dance, they set on bread,

A yellow corn of hecky wheat

With some small sandy grit to eat

His choice bits; with which in a trice

They make a feast less great than nice.

But all the while his eye was served

We dare not think his ear was sterved:

But that there was in place to stir

His fire the pittering Grasshopper;

The merry Cricket, puling Fly,

The piping Gnat for minstralcy.

The Humming Dor, the dying Swan,

And each a choice Musician.

And now we must imagine first,

The Elves present to quench his thirst

A pure seed-pearl of infant dew,

Brought and beswetted in a blue

And pregnant violet; which done,

His kitling eyes begin to run

Quite through the table, where he spies

The horns of papery Butterflies:

Of which he eats, but with a little

Neat cool allay of Cuckoo’s spittle;

A little Fuz-ball pudding stands

By, yet not blessed by his hands —

That was too coarse, but he not spares

To feed upon the candid hairs

Of a dried canker, with a sagg

And well bestuffed Bee’s sweet bag:

Stroking his pallet with some store

Of Emmet eggs. What would he more,

But Beards of Mice, an Ewt’s stew’d thigh,

A pickled maggot and a dry

Hipp, with a Red cap worm, that’s shut

Within the concave of a Nut

Brown as his tooth, and with the fat

And well-boiled inchpin of a Bat.

A bloated Earwig with the Pith

Of sugared rush aglads him with;

But most of all the Glow-worm’s fire.

As most betickling his desire

To know his Queen, mixt with the far-Fetcht binding-jelly of a star.

The silk-worm’s seed, a little moth

Lately fattened in a piece of cloth;

Withered cherries; Mandrake’s ears;

Mole’s eyes; to these the slain stag’s tears;

The unctuous dewlaps of a Snail;

The broke heart of a Nightingale

O’er-come in music; with a wine

Ne’er ravished from the flattering Vine,

But gently pressed from the soft side

Of the most sweet and dainty Bride,

Brought in a daisy chalice, which

He fully quaffs off to bewitch

His blood too high. This done, commended

Grace by his Priest, the feast is ended.”

The Shapcott to whom this Oberon’s Feast and Oberon’s Palace are dedicated is Herrick’s “peculiar friend, Master Thomas Shapcott, Lawyer,” of a later poem. Dr. Grosart again suggests that it may have been a character-name, but, as in the case of John Merrifield, the owner was a West country-man and a member of the Inner Temple, where he was admitted in 1632 as the “son and heir of Thomas Shapcott,” of Exeter.

298. That man lives twice. From Martial, X. xxiii. 7:—

Ampliat aetatis spatium sibi vir bonus: hoc est

Vivere bis vita posse priore frui.

301. Master Edward Norgate, Clerk of the Signet of his Majesty:

Son to Robert Norgate, D.D., Master of Bene’t College, Cambridge. He was employed by the Earl of Arundel to purchase pictures, and on one occasion found himself at Marseilles without remittances, and had to tramp through France on foot. According to the Calendars of State Papers in 1625, it was ordered that, “forasmuch as his Majesty’s letters to the Grand Signior, the King of Persia, the Emperor of Russia, the Great Mogul, and other remote Princes, had been written, limned, and garnished with gold and colours by scriveners abroad, thenceforth they should be so written, limned, and garnished by Edward Norgate, Clerk of the Signet in reversion”. Six years later this order was renewed, the “Kings of Bantam, Macassar, Barbary, Siam, Achine, Fez, and Sus” being added to the previous list, and Norgate being now designated as a Clerk of the Signet Extraordinary. In the same year, having previously been Bluemantle Pursuivant, he was promoted to be Windsor Herald, in which capacity he received numerous fees during the next few years, and was excused ship money. He still, however, retained his clerkship, for he writes in 1639: “The poor Office of Arms is fain to blazon the Council books and Signet”. The phrase occurs in a series of nineteen letters of extraordinary interest, which Norgate wrote from the North, chiefly to his friend, Robert Reade, secretary to Windebank, on the course of affairs. In Sept., 1641, “Ned Norgate” was ordered personally to attend the king. “It is his Majesty’s pleasure that the master should wait and not the men, and that they shall find.” Henceforth I find no certain reference to him; according to Fuller he died at the Herald’s Office in 1649. It would be interesting if we could be sure that this Edward Norgate is the same as the one who in 1611 was appointed Tuner of his Majesty’s “virginals, organs, and other instruments,” and in 1637 received a grant of £140 for the repair of the organ at Hampton Court. Herrick’s love of music makes us expect to find a similar trait in his friends.

313. The Entertainment, or Porch Verse. The words Ye wrong the threshold-god and the allusion to the porch in the Clipsby Crew Epithalamium (stanza 4) show that there is no reference here (as Brand thinks, ii. 135) to the old custom of reading part of the marriage service at the church door or porch (cp. Chaucer: “Husbands at churchë door she had had five”). The porch of the house is meant, and the allusions are to the ceremonies at the threshold (cp. the Southwell Epithalamium). Dr. Grosart quotes from the Dean Prior register the entry of the marriage of Henry Northleigh, gentleman, and Mistress Lettice Yard on September 5, 1639, by licence from the Archbishop of Canterbury.

319. No noise of late-spawned Tittyries. In the Camden Society’s edition of the Diary of Walter Yonge, p. 70 (kindly shown me by the Rev. J. H. Ward), we have a contemporary account of the Club known as the Tityre Tues, which took its name from the first words of Virgil’s first Eclogue. “The beginning of December, 1623, there was a great number in London, haunting taverns and other debauched places, who swore themselves in a brotherhood and named themselves Tityre Tues. The oath they gave in this manner: he that was to be sworn did put his dagger into a pottle of wine, and held his hand upon the pommel thereof, and then was to make oath that he would aid and assist all other of his fellowship and not disclose their council. There were divers knights, some young noblemen and gentlemen of this brotherhood, and they were to know one the other by a black bugle which they wore, and their followers to be known by a blue ribbond. There are discovered of them about 80 or 100 persons, and have been examined by the Privy Council, but nothing discovered of any intent they had. It is said that the king hath given commandment that they shall be reexamined.” In Mennis’s Musarum Deliciæ the brotherhood is celebrated in a poem headed “The Tytre Tues; or, a Mocke Song. To the tune of Chive Chase. By Mr. George Chambers.” The second verse runs:—

“They call themselves the Tytere-tues,

And wore a blue rib-bin;

And when a-drie would not refuse

To drink. O fearful sin!

“The council, which is thought most wise,

Did sit so long upon it,

That they grew weary and did rise,

And could make nothing on it.”

According to a letter of Chamberlain to Carleton, indexed among the State Papers, the Tityres were a secret society first formed in Lord Vaux’s regiment in the Low Countries, and their “prince” was called Ottoman. Another entry shows that the “Bugle” mentioned by Yonge was the badge of a society originally distinct from the Tityres, which afterwards joined with it. The date of Herrick’s poem is thus fixed as December, 1623/4, and this is confirmed by another sentence in the same passage in Yonge’s Diary, in which he says: “The Jesuits and Papists do wonderfully swarm in the city, and rumours lately have been given out for firing the Navy and House of Munition, on which are set a double guard”. The Parliament to which Herrick alludes was actually summoned in January, 1624, to meet on February 12. Sir Simeon Steward, to whom the poem is addressed, was of the family of the Stewards of Stantney, in the Isle of Ely. He was knighted with his father, Mark Steward, in 1603, and afterwards became a fellow-commoner of Trinity Hall, Cambridge. He was at different times Sheriff and Deputy–Lieutenant for Cambridgeshire, and while serving in the latter capacity got into some trouble for unlawful exactions. In 1627 he wrote a poem on the King of the Fairies Clothes in the same vein as Herrick’s fairy pieces.

321. Then is the work half done. As Dr. Grosart suggests, Herrick may have had in mind the “Dimidium facti qui c[oe]pit habet” of Horace, I. Epist. ii. 40. But here the emphasis is on beginning well, there on beginning.

Begin with Jove is doubtless from the “Ab Jove principium, Musæ,” of Virg. Ecl. iii. 60.

323. Fears not the fierce sedition of the seas. A reminiscence of Horace, III. Od. i. 25–32.

328. Gold before goodness. Printed in Witts Recreations, 1650, as A Foolish Querie. The sentiment is from Seneca, Ep. cxv.: An dives, omnes quærimus; nemo, an bonus. Cp. Juvenal, III. 140 sqq.; Plaut. Menæchm. IV. ii. 6.

331. To his honoured kinsman, Sir William Soame. The second son of Sir Stephen Soame, Lord Mayor of London in 1598. Herrick’s father and Sir Stephen married sisters.

As benjamin and storax when they meet. Instances of the use of “Benjamin” for gum benzoin will be found in the Dictionaries. Dr. Grosart’s gloss, “Benjamin, the favourite youngest son of the Patriarch,” is unfortunate.

336. His Age: dedicated to . . . M. John Wickes under the name of Posthumus. There is an important version of this poem in Egerton MS., 2725, where it is entitled Mr. Herrick’s Old Age to Mr. Weekes. I do not think it has been collated before. Stanzas i.-vi. contain few variants; ii. 6 reads: “Dislikes to care for what’s behind”; iii. 6: “Like a lost maidenhead,” for “Like to a lily lost”; v. 8: “With the best and whitest stone”; vi. 1: “We’ll not be poor”. After this we have two stanzas omitted in 1648:—

“We have no vineyards which do bear

Their lustful clusters all the year,

Nor odoriferous

Orchards, like to Alcinous;

Nor gall the seas

Our witty appetites to please

With mullet, turbot, gilt-head bought

At a high rate and further brought.

“Nor can we glory of a great

And stuffed magazine of wheat;

We have no bath

Of oil, but only rich in faith

O’er which the hand

Of fortune can have no command,

But what she gives not, she not takes,

But of her own a spoil she makes.”

Stanza vii., l. 2, has “close” for “both”; l. 3 “see” for “have”; l. 6, “open” for “that cheap”; l. 7, “full” for “same”. Stanzas x.-xvii. have so many variants that I am obliged to transcribe them in full, though they show Herrick not at his best, and the poem is not one to linger over:—


“Live in thy peace; as for myself,

When I am bruisèd on the shelf

Of Time, and read

Eternal daylight o’er my head:

When with the rheum,

With cough and ptisick, I consume

Into an heap of cinders: then

The Ages fled I’ll call again,


“And with a tear compare these last

And cold times unto those are past,

While Baucis by

With her lean lips shall kiss them dry

Then will we sit

By the fire, foretelling snow and sleet

And weather by our aches, grown

†Old enough to be our own


“True Calendar [ ]

Is for to know what change is near,

Then to assuage

The gripings in the chine by age,

I’ll call my young

Iülus to sing such a song

I made upon my mistress’ breast;

Or such a blush at such a feast.


“Then shall he read my Lily fine

Entomb’d within a crystal shrine:

My Primrose next:

A piece then of a higher text;

For to beget

In me a more transcendent heat

Than that insinuating fire

Which crept into each reverend Sire,


“When the high Helen her fair cheeks

Showed to the army of the Greeks;

At which I’ll rise

(Blind though as midnight in my eyes),

And hearing it,

Flutter and crow, and, in a fit

Of young concupiscence, and feel

New flames within the aged steal.


“Thus frantic, crazy man (God wot),

I’ll call to mind the times forgot

And oft between

Sigh out the Times that we have seen!

And shed a tear,

And twisting my Iülus hair,

Doting, I’ll weep and say (in truth)

Baucis, these were the sins of youth.


“Then will I cause my hopeful Lad

(If a wild Apple can be had)

To crown the Hearth

(Lar thus conspiring with our mirth);

Next to infuse

Our better beer into the cruse:

Which, neatly spiced, we’ll first carouse

Unto the Vesta of the house.


“Then the next health to friends of mine

In oysters, and Burgundian wine,

Hind, Goderiske, Smith,

And Nansagge, sons of clune[M] and pith,

Such who know well

To board the magic bowl, and spill

All mighty blood, and can do more

Than Jove and Chaos them before.”

[M] Clune = “clunis,” a haunch.

This John Wickes or Weekes is spoken of by Anthony à Wood as a “jocular person” and a popular preacher. He enters Wood’s Fasti by right of his cooptation as a D.D. in 1643, while the court was at Oxford; his education had been at Cambridge. He was a prebendary of Bristol and Dean of St. Burian in Cornwall, and suffered some persecution as a royalist. Herrick later on, when himself shedless and cottageless, addresses another poem to him as his “peculiar friend,”

To whose glad threshold and free door

I may, a poet, come, though poor.

A friend suggests that Hind may have been John Hind, an Anacreontic poet and friend of Greene, and has found references to a Thomas Goodricke of St. John’s Coll., Camb., author of two poems on the accession of James I., and a Martin Nansogge, B.A. of Trinity Hall, 1614, afterwards vicar of Cornwood, Devon. Smith is certainly James Smith, who, with Sir John Mennis, edited the Musarum Deliciæ, in which the first poem is addressed “to Parson Weekes: an invitation to London,” and contains a reference to —

“That old sack

Young Herrick took to entertain

The Muses in a sprightly vein”.

The early part of this poem contains, along with the name Posthumus, many Horatian reminiscences: cp. especially II. Od. xiv. 1–8, and IV. Od. vii. 14. It may be noted that in the imitation of the latter passage in stanza iv. the MS. copy at the Museum corrects the misplacement of the epithet, reading:—

“But we must on and thither tend

Where Tullus and rich Ancus blend,” etc.,

for “Where Ancus and rich Tullus”.

Again the variant, “Open candle baudery,” in verse 7, is an additional argument against Dr. Grosart’s explanation: “Obscene words and figures made with candle-smoke,” the allusion being merely to the blackened ceilings produced by cheap candles without a shade.

337. A Short Hymn to Venus. Printed in Witts Recreations, 1650, as A vow to Cupid, with variants: l. 1, Cupid for Goddess; l. 2, like for with; l. 3, that I may for I may but; l. 5, do for will.

340. Upon a delaying lady. Printed in Witts Recreations, 1650, as A Check to her delay.

341. The Lady Mary Villars, niece of the first Duke of Buckingham, married successively Charles, son of Philip, Earl of Pembroke, Esme Stuart, Duke of Richmond and Lennox, and Thomas Howard. Died 1685.

355. Hath filed upon my silver hairs. Cp. Ben Jonson, The King’s Entertainment:—

“What all the minutes, hours, weeks, months, and years

That hang in file upon these silver hairs

Could not produce,” etc.

359. Philip, Earl of Pembroke and Montgomery. Philip Herbert (born 1584, died 1650), despite his foul mouth, ill temper, and devotion to sport (“He would make an excellent chancellor to the mews were Oxford turned into a kennel of hounds,” wrote the author of Mercurius Menippeus when Pembroke succeeded Laud as chancellor), was also a patron of literature. He was one of the “incomparable pair of brethren” to whom the Shakespeare folio of 1623 was dedicated, and he was a good friend to Massinger. His fondness for scribbling in the margins of books may, or may not, be considered as further evidence of a respect for literature.

366. Thou shall not all die. Horace’s “non omnis moriar”.

367. Upon Wrinkles. Printed in Witts Recreations, 1650, under the title To a Stale Lady. The first line there reads:—

“Thy wrinkles are no more nor less”.

375. Anne Soame, now Lady Abdie, eldest daughter of Sir Thomas Soame, and second wife of Sir Thomas Abdy, Bart., of Felix Hall, Essex. Herrick’s poem is modelled on Mart. III. lxv.

376. Upon his Kinswoman, Mistress Elizabeth Herrick, daughter of the poet’s brother Nicholas.

377. A Panegyric to Sir Lewis Pemberton of Rushden, in Northamptonshire, sheriff of the county in 1622; married Alice, daughter of Tho. Bowles. Died 1641. With this poem cp. Ben Jonson’s Epig. ci.

But great and large she spreads by dust and sweat. Dr. Grosart very appositely quotes Montaigne: “For it seemeth that the verie name of vertue presupposeth difficultie and inferreth resistance, and cannot well exercise it selfe without an enemie” (Florio’s tr., p. 233). But I think the two passages have a common origin in some version of Hesiod’s τêς αρετêς ηιδρôτα θεοι προπαροιθεν εθêκαν, which is twice quoted by Plato.

382. After the rare arch-poet, Jonson, died. Perhaps suggested by the Epitaph of Plautus on himself, ap. Gell. i. 24:—

Postquam est mortem aptus Plautus, comoedia luget;

Scena deserta, dein risus, ludu’ jocusque,

Et numeri innumeri simul omnes collacrumarunt.

384. To his nephew, to be prosperous in painting. This artistic nephew may have been a Wingfield, son of Mercy Herrick, who married John Wingfield, of Brantham, Suffolk; or one of three sons of Nicholas Herrick and Susanna Salter, or Thomas, or some unknown son of Thomas Herrick. There is no record of any painter Herrick’s achievements.

392. Sir Edward Fish, Knight Baronet, of Chertsey, in Surrey. Died 1658.

405. Nor fear or spice or fish. Herrick is remembering Persius, i. 43: Nec scombros metuentia carmina, nec thus. To form the paper jacket or tunica which wrapt the mackerel in Roman cookery seems to have been the ultimate employment of many poems. Cp. Mart. III. l. 9; IV. lxxxvii. 8; and Catullus, XCV. 8.

The farting Tanner and familiar King. The ballad here alluded to is that of King Edward IV. and the tanner of Tamworth, printed in Prof. Child’s collection. “The dancing friar tattered in the bush” of the next line is one of the heroes of the old ballad of The Fryar and the Boye, printed by Wynkyn de Worde, and included in the Appendix to Furnivall and Hales’ edition of the Percy folio. The boy was the possessor of a “magic flute,” and, having got the friar into a bush, made him dance there.

“Jack, as he piped, laughed among,

The Friar with briars was vilely stung,

He hopped wondrous high.

At last the Friar held up his hand

And said: I can no longer stand,

Oh! I shall dancing die.”

“Those monstrous lies of little Robin Rush” is explained by Dr. Grosart as an allusion to “The Historie of Friar Rush, how he came to a House of Religion to seek a Service, and being entertained by the Prior was made First Cook, being full of pleasant Mirth and Delight for young people”. Of “Tom Chipperfield and pretty lisping Ned” I can find nothing. “The flying Pilchard and the frisking Dace” probably belong to the fish monsters alluded to in the Tempest. In “Tim Trundell” Herrick seems for the sake of alliteration to have taken a liberty with the Christian name of a well-known ballad publisher.

He’s greedy of his life. From Seneca, Thyestes, 884–85:—

Vitæ est avidus quisquis non vult

Mundo secum pereunte mori.

407. Upon Himself. 408. Another. Both printed in Witts Recreations, 1650, the second under the title of Love and Liberty. This last is taken from Corn. Gall. Eleg. i. 6, quoted by Montaigne, iii. 5:—

Et mihi dulce magis resoluto vivere collo.

412. The Mad Maid’s Song. A manuscript version of this song is contained in Harleian MS. 6917, fol. 48, ver. 80. The chief variants are: st. i. l. 2, morrow for morning; l. 4, all dabbled for bedabbled; st. ii. l. 1, cowslip for primrose; l. 3, tears for flowers; l. 4, was for is; st. v. l. 1, hope for know; st. vii. l. 2, balsam for cowslips.

415. Whither dost thou whorry me. Quo me, Bacche, rapis tui Plenum? Hor. III. Od. xxv. 1.

430. As Sallust saith, i.e., the pseudo-Sallust in the Epist. ad Cai. Cæs. de Repub. Ordinanda.

431. Every time seems short. Epigr. in Farnabii, Florileg. [a. 1629]:—

Τοισι μεν ευ πραττουσιν ηαπας ηο βιος βραχυς εστιν;

Τοις δε κακôσ, μια νυξ απλετος εστι χρονοσ.

443. Oberon’s Palace. — After the feast (my Shapcott) see. See 223, 293, from which it is a pity that this poem should have been divorced. Of the Palace there are as many as three MS. versions, viz., Add. 22, 603 (p. 59), and Add. 25, 303 (p. 157), at the British Museum, both of which I have collated, and Ashmole MS. 38, which I only know through my predecessors. The three MSS. appear to agree very harmoniously, and they unite in increasing our knowledge of Herrick by a passage of twenty-seven lines, following on the words “And here and there and farther off,” and in lieu of the next four and a half lines in Hesperides. They read as follows:—

“Some sort of pear,

Apple or plum, is neatly laid

(As if it was a tribute paid)

By the round urchin; some mixt wheat

The which the ant did taste, not eat;

Deaf nuts, soft Jews’-ears, and some thin

Chippings, the mice filched from the bin

Of the gray farmer, and to these

The scraps of lentils, chitted peas,

Dried honeycombs, brown acorn cups,

Out of the which he sometimes sups

His herby broth, and there close by

Are pucker’d bullace, cankers (?), dry

Kernels, and withered haws; the rest

Are trinkets fal’n from the kite’s nest,

As butter’d bread, the which the wild

Bird snatched away from the crying child,

Blue pins, tags, fesenes, beads and things

Of higher price, as half-jet rings,

Ribbons and then some silken shreaks

The virgins lost at barley-breaks.

Many a purse-string, many a thread

Of gold and silver therein spread,

Many a counter, many a die,

Half rotten and without an eye,

Lies here about, and, as we guess,

Some bits of thimbles seem to dress

The brave cheap work; and for to pave

The excellency of this cave,

Squirrels and children’s teeth late shed,

Serve here, both which enchequered

With castors’ doucets, which poor they

Bite off themselves to ‘scape away:

Brown toadstones, ferrets’ eyes, the gum

That shines,” etc.

The italicised words in the last few lines appear in Hesperides; all the rest are new. Other variants are: “The grass of Lemster ore soberly sparkling” for “the finest Lemster ore mildly disparkling”; “girdle” for “ceston”; “The eyes of all doth strait bewitch” for “All with temptation doth bewitch”; “choicely hung” for “neatly hung”; “silver roach” for “silvery fish”; “cave” for “room”; “get reflection” for “make reflected”; “Candlemas” for “taper-light”; “moon-tane” for “moon-tanned,” etc., etc.

Kings though they’re hated. The “Oderint dum metuant” of the Atreus of Accius, quoted by Cicero and Seneca.

446. To Oenone. Printed in Witts Recreations, 1650, under the title: “The Farewell to Love and to his Mistress,” and with the unlucky misprint “court” for “covet” (also “for” for “but”) in the stanza iii. l. i.

447. Grief breaks the stoutest heart. Frangit fortia corda dolor. Tibull. III. ii. 6.

451. To the right gracious Prince, Lodowick, Duke of Richmond and Lennox. There appears to me to be a blunder here which Dr. Grosart and Mr. Hazlitt do not elucidate, by recording the birth of Lodowick, first Duke of Richmond, in 1574, his succession to the Lennox title in 1583, creation as Duke of Richmond in May, 1623, and death in the following February. For this first duke was no “stem” left “of all those three brave brothers fallen in the war,” and the allusion here is undoubtedly to his nephews — George, Lord d’Aubigny, who fell at Edgehill; Lord John Stewart, who fell at Alresford; and Lord Bernard Stewart (Earl of Lichfield), who fell at Rowton Heath. In elucidation of Herrick’s Dirge (219) over the last of these three brothers, I have already quoted Clarendon’s remark, that he was “the third brother of that illustrious family that sacrificed his life in this quarrel,” and it cannot be doubted that Herrick is here alluding to the same fact. The poem must therefore have been written after 1645, i.e., more than twenty years after the death of Duke Lodowick. But the duke then living was James, who succeeded his father Esme in 1624, was recreated Duke of Richmond in 1641, and did not die till 1655. It is true that there was a brother named Lodovic, but he was an abbot in France and never succeeded to the title. Herrick, therefore, seems to have blundered in the Christian name.

453. Let’s live in haste. From Martial, VII. xlvii. 11, 12:—

Vive velut rapto: fugitivaque gaudia carpe:

Perdiderit nullum vita reversa diem.

457. While Fates permit. From Seneca, Herc. Fur. 177:—

Dum Fata sinunt,

Vivite laeti: properat cursu

Vita citato, volucrique die

Rota praecipitis vertitur anni.

459. With Horace (IV. Od. ix. 29):—

Paulùm sepultae distat inertiae

Celata virtus.

465. The parting Verse or charge to his Supposed Wife when he travelled. MS. variants of this poem are found at the British Museum in Add. 22, 603, and in Ashmole MS. 38. Their title, “Mr. Herrick’s charge to his wife,” led Mr. Payne Collier to rashly identify with the poet a certain Robert Herrick married at St. Clement Danes, 1632, to a Jane Gibbons. The variants are numerous, but not very important. In l. 4 we have “draw wooers” for “draw thousands”; ll. 11–16 are transposed to after l. 28; and “Are the expressions of that itch” is written “As emblems will express that itch”; ll. 27, 28 appear as:—

“For that once lost thou needst must fall

To one, then prostitute to all:

And we then have the transposed passage:—

Nor so immurèd would I have

Thee live, as dead, or in thy grave;

But walk abroad, yet wisely well

Keep ‘gainst my coming sentinel.

And think each man thou seest doth doom

Thy thoughts to say, I back am come.

Farther on we have the rather pretty variant:—

“Let them call thee wondrous fair,

Crown of women, yet despair”.

Eight lines lower “virtuous” is read for “gentle,” and the omission of some small words throws some light on a change in Herrick’s metrical views as he grew older. The words omitted are bracketed:—

“[And] Let thy dreams be only fed

With this, that I am in thy bed.

And [thou] then turning in that sphere,

Waking findst [shall find] me sleeping there.

But [yet] if boundless lust must scale

Thy fortress and must needs prevail

’Gainst thee and force a passage in,” etc.

Other variants are: “Creates the action” for “That makes the action”; “Glory” for “Triumph”; “my last signet” for “this compression”; “turn again in my full triumph” for “come again, As one triumphant,” and “the height of womankind” for “all faith of womankind”.

The body sins not, ’tis the will, etc. A maxim of law Latin: Actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea.

466. To his Kinsman, Sir Thos. Soame, son of Sir Stephen Soame, Lord Mayor of London, 1589, and of Anne Stone, Herrick’s aunt. Sir Thomas was Sheriff of London, 1635, M.P. for the City, 1640, and died Jan., 1670. See Cussan’s Hertfortshire. (Hundred of Edwinstree, p. 100.)

470. Few Fortunate. A variant on the text (Matt. xx. 16): “Many be called but few chosen”.

479. To Rosemary and Bays. The use of rosemary and bays at weddings forms a section in Brand’s chapter on marriage customs (ii. 119). For the gilding he quotes from a wedding sermon preached in 1607 by Roger Hacket: “Smell sweet, O ye flowers, in your native sweetness: be not gilded with the idle art of man”. The use of gloves at weddings forms the subject of another section in Brand (ii. 125). He quotes Ben Jonson’s Silent Woman; “We see no ensigns of a wedding here, no character of a bridal; where be our scarves and our gloves?”

483. To his worthy friend, M. Thomas Falconbrige. As Herrick hints at his friend’s destiny for a public career, it seemed worth while to hunt through the Calendar of State Papers for a chance reference to this Falconbridge, who so far has evaded editors. He is apparently the Mr. Thomas Falconbridge who appears in various papers between 1640 and 1644, as passing accounts, and in the latter year was “Receiver–General at Westminster”.

Towers reared high, etc. Cp. Horace, Od. II. x. 9–12.

Saepius ventis agitatur ingens

Pinus, et celsae graviore casu

Decidunt turres, feriuntque summos

Fulgura montes.

486. He’s lord of thy life, etc. Seneca, Epist. Mor. iv.: Quisquis vitam suam contempsit tuae dominus est. Quoted by Montaigne, I. xxiii.

488. Shame is a bad attendant to a state. From Seneca, Hippol. 431: Malus est minister regii imperii pudor.

He rents his crown that fears the people’s hate. Also from Seneca, Oedipus, 701: Odia qui nimium timet regnare nescit.

496. To his honoured kinsman, Sir Richard Stone, son of John Stone, sergeant-at-law, the brother of Julian Stone, Herrick’s mother. He died in 1660.

To this white temple of my heroes. Ben Jonson’s admirers were proud to call themselves “sealed of the tribe of Ben,” and Herrick, a devout Jonsonite, seems to have imitated the idea so far as to plan sometimes, as here, a Temple, sometimes a Book (see infra, 510), sometimes a City (365), a Plantation (392), a Calendar (545), a College (983), of his own favourite friends, to whom his poetry was to give immortality. The earliest direct reference to this plan is in his address to John Selden, the antiquary (365), in which he writes:—

“A city here of heroes I have made

Upon the rock whose firm foundation laid

Shall never shrink; where, making thine abode,

Live thou a Selden, that’s a demi-god”.

It is noteworthy that the poems which contain the clearest reference to this Temple (or its variants) are mostly addressed to kinsfolk, e.g., this to Sir Richard Stone, to Mrs. Penelope Wheeler, to Mr. Stephen Soame, and to Susanna and Thomas Herrick. Other recipients of the honour are Sir Edward Fish and Dr. Alabaster, Jack Crofts, Master J. Jincks, etc.

497. All flowers sent, etc. See Virgil’s — or the Virgilian —Culex, ll. 397–410.

Martial’s bee. See Epig. IV. xxxii.

De ape electro inclusa.

Et latet et lucet Phaethontide condita gutta,

Ut videatur apis nectare clausa suo.

Dignum tantorum pretium tulit illa laborum.

Credibile est ipsam sic voluisse mori.

500. To Mistress Dorothy Parsons. This “saint” from Herrick’s Temple may certainly be identified with the second of the three children (William, Dorothy, and Thomasine) of Mr. John Parsons, organist and master of the choristers at Westminster Abbey, where he was buried in 1623. Herrick addresses another poem to her sister Thomasine:—

“Grow up in beauty, as thou dost begin,

And be of all admired, Thomasine”.

502. ’Tis sin to throttle wine. Martial, I. xix. 5: Scelus est jugulare Falernum.

506. Edward, Earl of Dorset, Knight of the Garter, grandson of Thomas Sackville, author of Gorboduc. He succeeded his brother, Richard Sackville, the third earl, in 1624, and died in 1652. Clarendon describes a duel which he fought with Lord Bruce in Flanders.

Of your own self a public theatre. Cp. Burton (Democ. to Reader) “Ipse mihi theatrum”.

510. To his Kinswoman, Mrs. Penelope Wheeler. See Note on 130.

511. A mighty strife ‘twixt form and chastity. Lis est cum formâ magna pudicitiæ. Quoted from Ovid by Burton, who translates: “Beauty and honesty have ever been at odds”.

514. To the Lady Crew, upon the death of her child. This must be the child buried in Westminster Abbey, according to the entry in the register “1637/8, Feb. 6. Sir Clipsy Crewe’s daughter, in the North aisle of the monuments.” Colonel Chester annotates: “She was a younger daughter, and was born at Crewe, 27th July, 1631. She died on the 4th of February, and must have been an independent heiress, as her father administered to her estate on the 24th May following.”

515. Here needs no Court for our Request. An allusion to the Court of Requests, established in the time of Richard II. as a lesser Court of Equity for the hearing of “all poor men’s suits”. It was abolished in 1641, at the same time as the Star Chamber.

517. The new successor drives away old love. From Ovid, Rem. Am. 462: Successore novo vincitur omnis amor.

519. Born I was to meet with age. Cp. 540. From Anacreon, 38 [24]:—

Επειδê βροτος ετεχθêν,

Βιοτου τριβον ηοδευειν,

Χρονον εγνôν ηον παρêλθον,

Ηον δ’ εχô δραμειν ουκ οιδα;

Μεθετε με, φροντιδεσ;

Μêδεν μοι και ηυμιν εστô.

Πριν εμε φθασê το τερμα,

Παιξô, γελασô, χορευσô,

Μετα του καλου Λυαιου.

520. Fortune did never favour one. From Dionys. Halicarn. as quoted by Burton, II. iii. 1, § 1.

521. To Phillis to love and live with him. A variant on Marlowe’s theme: “Come live with me and be my love”. Donne’s The Bait (printed in Grosart’s edition, vol. ii. p. 206) is another.

522. To his Kinswoman, Mistress Susanna Herrick, wife of his elder brother Nicholas.

523. Susanna Southwell. Probably a daughter of Sir Thomas Southwell, for whom Herrick wrote the Epithalamium (No. 149).

525. Her pretty feet, etc. Cp. Suckling’s “Ballad upon a Wedding”:—

“Her feet beneath her petticoat,

Like little mice stole in and out,

As if they feared the light”.

526. To his Honoured Friend, Sir John Mynts. John Mennis, a Vice–Admiral of the fleet and knighted in 1641, refused to join in the desertion of the fleet to the Parliament. After the Restoration he was made Governor of Dover and Chief Comptroller of the Navy. He was one of the editors of the collection called Musarum Deliciæ (1656), in the first poem of which there is an allusion to —

“That old sack

Young Herrick took to entertain

The Muses in a sprightly vein”.

527. Fly me not, etc. From Anacreon, 49 [34]:—

Μê με φυγêσ, ηορôσα

Ταν πολιαν εθειραν; . . .

Ηορα καν στεφανοισιν

Ηοπôς πρεπει τα λευκα

Ρηοδοις κριν’ εμπλακεντα.

529. As thou deserv’st be proud. Cp. Hor. III. Od. xxx. 14:—

Sume superbiam

Quaesitam meritis et mihi Delphica

Lauro cinge volens, Melpomene, comam.

534. To Electra. Printed in Witts Recreations, 1650, where it is entitled To Julia.

536. Ill Government. . . . When kings obey, etc. From Seneca, Octav. 581:—

Male imperatur, cum regit vulgus duces.

545. To his Worthy Kinsman, Mr. Stephen Soame (the son or, less probably, the brother of Sir Thomas Soame): One of my righteous tribe. Cp. Note to 496.

547. Great spirits never with their bodies die. Tacit. Agric. 46:—“Si quis piorum manibus locus, si, ut sapientibus placet, non cum corpore extinguuntur magnae animae”.

554. Die thou canst not all. Hor. IV. Od. xxx. 6,7.

556. The Fairies. Cp. the old ballad of Robin Goodfellow:—

“When house or hearth doth sluttish lie,

I pinch the maids both black and blue”;

and Ben Jonson’s Entertainment at Althorpe, etc.

557. M. John Weare, Councellour. Probably the same as “the much-lamented Mr. J. Warr” of 134.

Law is to give to every one his own. Cicero, De Fin. v.: Animi affectio suum cuique tribuens Justitia dicitur.

564. His Kinswoman, Bridget Herrick, eldest daughter of his brother Nicholas.

565. The Wanton Satyr. See Sir E. Dyer’s The Shepherd’s Conceit of Prometheus:—

“Prometheus, when first from heaven high

He brought down fire, ere then on earth not seen,

Fond of delight, a Satyr standing by

Gave it a kiss, as it like sweet had been.

. . .   . . .   . . .

The difference is — the Satyr’s lips, my heart,

He for a time, I evermore, have smart.”

So Euphues: “Satirus not knowing what fire was would needs embrace it and was burnt;” and Sir John Davies, False and True Knowledge.

Hic teneat nostras anchora jacta rates.

569. And of any wood ye see, You can make a Mercury. Pythagoras allegorically said that Mercury’s statue could not be made of every sort of wood: cp. Rabelais, iv. 62.

575. The Apparition of his Mistress calling him to Elysium. An earlier version of this poem was printed in the 1640 edition of Shakespeare’s poems under the title, His Mistris Shade, having been licensed for separate publication at Stationers’ Hall the previous year. The variants are numerous, and some of them important. l. 1, of silver for with silv’rie; l. 3, on the Banks for in the Meads; l. 8, Spikenard through for Storax from; l. 10 reads: “Of mellow Apples, ripened Plums and Pears”: l. 17, the order of “naked younglings, handsome striplings” is reversed; in place of l. 20 we have:—

“So soon as each his dangling locks hath crown’d

With Rosie Chaplets, Lilies, Pansies red,

Soft Saffron Circles to perfume the head”;

l. 23, to for too unto; l. 24, their for our; ll. 29, 30:—

“Unto the Prince of Shades, whom once his Pen

Entituled the Grecian Prince of Men”;

l. 31, thereupon for and that done; l. 36, render him true for show him truly; l. 37, will for shall; l. 38, “Where both may laugh, both drink, both rage together”; l. 48, Amphitheatre for spacious theatre; l. 49, synod for glories, followed by:—

“crown’d with sacred Bays

And flatt’ring joy, we’ll have to recite their plays,

Shakespeare and Beamond, Swans to whom the Spheres

Listen while they call back the former year[s]

To teach the truth of scenes, and more for thee,

There yet remains, brave soul, than thou can’st see,”


l. 56, illustrious for capacious; l. 57, shall be for now is [Jonson died 1637]; ll. 59–61:—

“To be of that high Hierarchy where none

But brave souls take illumination

Immediately from heaven; but hark the cock,” etc.;

l. 62, feel for see; l. 63, through for from.

579. My love will fit each history. Cp. Ovid, Amor. II. iv. 44: Omnibus historiis se meus aptat amor.

580. The sweets of love are mixed with tears. Cp. Propert. I. xii. 16: Nonnihil adspersis gaudet Amor lacrimis.

583. Whom this morn sees most fortunate, etc. Seneca, Thyest. 613: Quem dies vidit veniens superbum Hunc dies vidit fugiens jacentem.

586. Night hides our thefts, etc. Ovid, Ars Am. i. 249:—

Nocte latent mendæ vitioque ignoscitur omni,

Horaque formosam quamlibet illa facit.

590. To his brother-inlaw, Master John Wingfield. Of Brantham, Suffolk, husband of the poet’s sister, Mercy. See 818, and Sketch of Herrick’s Life in vol. i.

599. Upon Lucia. Cp. “The Resolution” in Speculum Amantis, ed. A. H. Bullen.

604. Old Religion. Certainly not Roman Catholicism, though Jonson was a Catholic. Herrick uses the noun and its adjective rather curiously of the dead: cp. 82, “To the reverend shade of his religious Father,” and 138, “When thou shalt laugh at my religious dust”. There may be something of this use here, or we may refer to his ancient cult of Jonson. But the use of the phrase in 870 makes the exact shade of meaning difficult to fix.

605. Riches to be but burdens to the mind. Seneca De Provid. 6: Democritus divitias projecit, onus illas bonae mentis existimans.

607. Who covets more is evermore a slave. Hor. I. Ep. x. 41: Serviet aeternum qui parvo nesciet uti.

615. No Wrath of Men. Cp. Hor. Od. III. iii. 1–8.

616. To the Maids to walk abroad. Printed in Witts Recreations, 1650, under the title: Abroad with the Maids.

618. Mistress Elizabeth Lee, now Lady Tracy. Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas, first Lord Leigh of Stoneleigh, in Warwickshire, married John, third Viscount Tracy. She survived her husband two years, and died in 1688.

624. Poets. Wantons we are, etc. From Ovid, Trist. ii. 353–4:—

Crede mihi, mores distant a carmine nostri:

Vita verecunda est, Musa jocosa, mihi.

625. ’Tis cowardice to bite the buried. Cp. Ben Jonson, The Poetaster, I. 1: “Envy the living, not the dead, doth bite”; perhaps from Ovid, Am. I. xv. 39: Pascitur in vivis livor; post fata quiescit.

626. Noble Westmoreland. See Note to 112.

Gallant Newark. Robert Pierrepoint was created Viscount Newark in 1627 and Earl of Kingston in the following year. But Herrick is perhaps addressing his son, Henry Pierrepoint, afterwards Marquis of Dorchester (see 962 and Note), who during the first Earl of Kingston’s life would presumably have borne his second title.

633. Sweet words must nourish soft and gentle love. Ovid, Ars Am. ii. 152: Dulcibus est verbis mollis alendus amor.

639. Fates revolve no flax they’ve spun. Seneca, Herc. Fur. 1812: Duræ peragunt pensa sorores, Nec sua retro fila revolvunt.

642. Palms . . . gems. A Latinism. Cp. Ovid, Fasti, i. 152: Et nova de gravido palmite gemma tumet.

645. Upon Tears. Cp. S. Bernard: P[oe]nitentium lacrimæ vinum angelorum.

649. Upon Lucy. Printed in Witts Recreations, 1650, under the title, On Betty.

653. To th’ number five or nine. Probably Herrick is mistaking the references in Greek and Latin poets to the mixing of their wine and water (e.g., Hor. Od. III. xix. 11–17) for the drinking of so many cups.

654. Long-looked-for comes at last. Cp. G. Herbert, preface to Sibbes’ Funeral Sermon on Sir Thomas Crew (1638): “That ancient adage, ‘Quod differtur non aufertur’ for ‘Long-looked-for comes at last’”.

655. The morrow’s life too late is, etc. Mart. I. xvi. 12: Sera nimis vita est crastina: vive hodie.

662. O happy life, etc. From Virg. Georg. ii. 458–9:—

O fortunatos nimium sua si bona norint


It is not uncharacteristic that these fervid praises of country life were left unfinished.

664. Arthur Bartly. Not yet identified.

665. Let her Lucrece all day be. From Martial XI. civ. 21, 22:—

Lucretia toto

Sis licet usque die: Laida nocte volo.

Neither will Famish me, nor overfill. Mart. I. lviii. 4: Nec volo quod cruciat, nec volo quod satiat.

667. Be’t for my Bridal or my Burial. Cp. Brand, vol. ii., and Coles’ Introduction to the Knowledge of Plants: “Rosemary and bayes are used by the commons both at funerals and weddings”.

672. Kings ought to be more lov’d than fear’d. Seneca, Octavia, 459: Decet timeri Cæsarem. At plus diligi.

673. To Mr. Denham, on his prospective poem. Sir John Denham published in 1642 his Cooper’s Hill, a poem on the view over the Thames towards London, from a hill near Windsor.

675. Their fashion is, but to say no, etc. Cp. Montaigne’s Essais, II. 3, p. 51; Florio’s tr. p. 207: “Let it suffice that in doing it they say no and take it”.

676. Love is maintained by wealth. Ovid, Rem. Am. 746: Divitiis alitur luxuriosus amor.

679. Nero commanded, but withdrew his eyes. Tacit. Agric. 45: Nero subtraxit oculos, jussitque scelera, non spectavit.

683. But a just measure both of Heat and Cold. This is a version of the medieval doctrine of the four humours. So Chaucer says of his Doctor of Physic:—

“He knew the cause of every maladye,

Were it of hoot or cold, or moyste, or drye,

And where engendered and of what humour”.

684. ’Gainst thou go’st a-mothering. The Epistle for Mid–Lent Sunday was from Galat. iv. 21, etc., and contained the words: “Jerusalem, quæ est Mater nostra”. On that Sunday people made offerings at their Mother Church. After the Reformation the natural mother was substituted for the spiritual, and the day was set apart for visiting relations. Excellent simnel cakes (Low Lat., siminellus, fine flour) are still made in the North, where the current derivation of the word is from Sim and Nell!

685. To the King. Probably written in 1645, when Charles was for a short time in the West.

689. Too much she gives to some, enough to none. Mart. XII. x.; Fortuna multis dat nimis, satis nulli.

696. Men mind no state in sickness. There is a general resemblance in this poem to the latter part of Hor. III. Od. i., but I have an uneasy sense that Herrick is translating.

697. Adversity. Printed in Witts Recreations, 1650.

702. Mean things overcome mighty. Cp. 486 and Note.

706. How roses came red. Cp. Burton, Anat. Mel. III. ii. 3: “Constantine (Agricult. xi. 18) makes Cupid himself to be a great dancer: by the same token that he was capering among the gods, he flung down a bowl of nectar, which, distilling upon the white rose, ever since made it red”.

709. Tears and Laughter. Bishop Jebb quotes a Latin couplet inscribed on an old inn at Four Crosses, Staffordshire:—

Fleres si scires unum tua tempora mensem:

Rides, cum non sit forsitan una dies.

710. Tully says. Cic. Tusc. Disp. III. ii. 3: Gloria est frequens de aliquo, fama cum laude.

713. His return to London. Written at the same time as his Farewell to Dean Bourn, i.e., after his ejection in 1648, the year of the publication of the Hesperides.

715. No pack like poverty. Burton, Anat. Mel. iii. 3: Ουδεν πενιασ βαρυτερον εστι φορτιον. “No burden, saith Menander, is so intolerable as poverty.”

718. As many laws, etc. Tacit. Ann. iii. 27: Corruptissima in republica plurimæ leges.

723. Lay down some silver pence. Cp. Bishop Corbet’s The Faeryes Farewell:—

“And though they sweep their hearths no less

Than maids were wont to do,

Yet who of late for cleanliness

Finds sixpence in her shoe?”

725. Times that are ill . . . Clouds will not ever, etc., two reminiscences of Horace, II. Od. x. 17, and ix.

727. Up tails all. This tune will be found in Chappell’s Popular Music of the Olden Time, vol. i. p. 196. He notes that it was a favourite with Herrick, who wrote four other poems in the metre, viz.: The Hag is Astride, The Maypole is up, The Peter-penny, and Twelfth Night: or, King and Queen. The tune is found in Queen Elizabeth’s Virginal Book, and in the Dancing Master (1650–1690). It is alluded to by Ben Jonson, and was a favourite with the Cavaliers.

730. Charon and Philomel. This dialogue is found with some slight variations of text in Rawlinson’s MS. poet. 65. fol. 32. The following variants may be noted: l. 5, voice for sound; l. 7, shade for bird; l. 11, warbling for watching; l. 12, hoist up for thus hoist; l. 13, be gone for return; l. 18, praise for pray; l. 19, sighs for vows; l. 24, omit slothful. The dialogue is succeeded in the MS. by an old catch (probably written before Herrick was born):—

“A boat! a boat! haste to the ferry!

For we go over to be merry,

To laugh and quaff, and drink old sherry”.

After the catch comes the following dialogue, written (it would seem) in imitation of Herrick’s Charon and Philomel: the speakers’ names are not marked:—

“Charon! O Charon! the wafter of all souls to bliss or bane!

Who calls the ferryman of Hell?

Come near and say who lives in bliss and who in pain.

Those that die well eternal bliss shall follow.

Those that die ill their own black deeds shall swallow.

Shall thy black barge those guilty spirits row

That kill themselves for love? Oh, no! oh, no!

My cordage cracks when such foul sins draw near,

No wind blows fair, nor I my boat can steer.

What spirits pass and in Elysium reign?

Those harmless souls that love and are beloved again.

That soul that lives in love and fain would die to win,

Shall he go free? Oh, no! it is too foul a sin.

He must not come aboard, I dare not row,

Storms of despair my boat will overblow.

But when thy mistress (?) shall close up thine eyes then come aboard,

Then come aboard and pass; till then be wise and sing.”

“Then come aboard” from the penultimate line and “and sing” from the last should clearly be struck out.

739. O Jupiter, etc. Eubulus in Athenaeus, xiii. 559: Ô Ζευ πολυτιμêτ’, ειτ’ εγô κακôς ποτε | ερô γυναικασ? νê Δι’ απολοιμêν αρα; | παντôν αριστον κτêματôν| ερô γυναικασ? νê Δι’ απολοιμêν αρα; | παντôν αριστον κτêματôν. Comp. 885.

743. Another upon her Weeping. Printed in Witts Recreations, 1650, under the title: On Julia’s Weeping.

745. To Sir John Berkeley, Governour of Exeter. Youngest son of Sir Maurice Berkeley, of Bruton, in Somersetshire; knighted in Berwick in 1638; commander-inchief of all the Royalist forces in Devonshire, 1643; captured Exeter Sept. 4 of that year, and held it till April 13, 1646. Created Baron Berkeley of Stratton, in Cornwall, 1658; died 1678.

749. Consultation. As noted in the text, this is from Sallust, Cat. i.

751. None sees the fardell of his faults behind. Cp. Catullus, xxii. 20, 21:—

Suus cuique attributus est error,

Sed non videmus manticae quod in tergo est,

or, perhaps more probably from Seneca, de Irá, ii. 28: Aliena vitia in oculis habemus; à tergo nostra sunt.

755. The Eye. Æschyl. Fragm. in Plutarch, Amat. 21: Νεας γυναικος ου με μê λαθê φλεγôν Οφθαλμοσ, ηêτις ανδρος ê γεγευμενê.

756. To Prince Charles upon his coming to Exeter. In August, 1645.

761. The Wake. Printed in Witts Recreations, 1650, under the title: Alvar and Anthea.

763. To Doctor Alabaster. William Alabaster, or Alablaster, born at Hadleigh, Suffolk (1567); educated at Westminster and Trinity College, Cambridge; a friend of Spencer; was converted to Roman Catholicism while chaplain to the Earl of Essex in Spain, 1596. In 1607 he began his series of apocalyptic writings by an Apparatus in Revelationem Jesu Christi. On visiting Rome he was imprisoned by the Inquisition, escaped, and returned to Protestantism. Besides his theological works, he published (in 1637) a Lexicon Pentaglotton. Died April, 1640.

766. Time is the bound of things, etc. From Seneca, Consol. ad Marc. xix.: Excessit filius tuus terminos intra quos servitur . . . mors omnium dolorum solutio est et finis.

771. As I have read must be the first man up, etc. Hor. I. Ep. vi. 48: Hoc primus repetas opus, hoc postremus omittas.

Rich compost. Cp. the same thought in 662.

772. A Hymn to Bacchus. Printed, with the misprint Bacchus for Iacchus in l. 1, in Witts Recreations, 1650.

Brutus . . . Cato. Cp. Note to 4 and 8.

774. If wars go well, etc. Tacitus, Ann. iii. 53: cùm rectè factorum sibi quisque gratiam trahant, unius [Principis scil.] invidiâ ab omnibus peccatur.

775. Niggards of the meanest blood. Seneca, de Clem. i. 1: Summa parsimonia etiam vilissimi sanguinis.

776. Wrongs, if neglected, etc. Tacit. Ann. iv. 34: [Probra] spreta exolescunt, si irascare agnita videntur.

780. Kings ought to shear, etc. A saying of Tiberius quoted by Suetonius: Boni pastoris est tondere oves, non deglubere. Herrick probably took it from Ben Jonson’s Discoveries.

784–7. Ceremonies for Christmas. More will be found about the Yule-log in Ceremonies for Candlemas Day (893); cp. also The Wassail (476).

788. Power and Peace. From Tacitus, Ann. iv. 4: Quanquam arduum sit eodem loci potentiam et concordiam esse.

789. Mistress Margaret Falconbridge. A daughter, probably, of the Thomas Falconbridge of number 483.

797. Kisses. Printed in Witts Recreations, 1650, with omission of me in l. 1.

804. John Crofts, Cup-bearer to the King. Third son of Sir John Crofts, of Saxham, Suffolk. We hear of him in the king’s service as early as 1628, and two years later Lord Conway, in thanking Wm. Weld for some verses sent him, hopes “the lines are strong enough to bind Robert Maule and Jack Crofts from ever more using the phrase”. So Jack was probably a bit of a poet himself. He may be the Mr. Crofts for assaulting whom George, Lord Digby, was imprisoned a month and more, in 1634.

807. Man may want land to live in. Tacitus, Ann. xiii. 56: Addidit [Boiocalus] Deësse nobis terra in quâ vivamus, in quâ moriamur non potest, quoted by Montaigne, II. 3.

809. Who after his transgression doth repent. Seneca, Agam. 243: Quem poenitet peccasse paene est innocens.

810. Grief, if’t be great ’tis short. Seneca, quoted by Burton (II. iii. 1, § 1): “Si longa est, levis est; si gravis est, brevis est. If it be long, ’tis light; if grievous, it cannot last.”

817. The Amber Bead. Cp. Martial’s epigram quoted in Note to 497. The comparison to Cleopatra is from Mart. IV. xxxii.

818. To my dearest sister, M. Mercy Herrick. Not quite five years his senior. She married John Wingfield, of Brantham, Suffolk, to whom also Herrick addresses a poem.

820. Suffer that thou canst not shift. From Seneca; the title from Ep. cvii.: Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis, the epigram from De Provid. 4, as translated by Thomas Lodge, 1614, “Vertuous instructions are never delicate. Doth fortune beat and rend us? Let us suffer it”— whence Herrick reproduces the printer’s error, Vertuous for Vertues (Virtue’s).

821. For a stone has Heaven his tomb. Cp. Sir T. Browne, Relig. Med. § 40: “Nor doe I altogether follow that rodomontado of Lucan (Phars. vii. 819): Coelo tegitur qui non habet urnam,

He that unburied lies wants not his hearse,

For unto him a tomb’s the universe”.

823. To the King upon his taking of Leicester. May 31, 1645, a brief success before Naseby.

825. ’Twas Cæsar’s saying. Tiberius ap. Tacit. Ann. ii. 26: Se novies a divo Augusto in Germaniam missum plura consilio quam vi perfecisse.

830. His Loss. A reference to his ejection from Dean Prior.

837. Mistress Amy Potter. Daughter of Barnabas Potter, Bishop of Carlisle, Herrick’s predecessor at Dean Prior.

839. Love is a circle . . . from good to good. So Burton, III. i. 1, § 2: Circulus a bono in bonum.

844. TO HIS BOOK. Make haste away. Martial, III. ii. Ad Librum suum — Festina tibi vindicem parare, Ne nigram cito raptus in culinam Cordyllas madidâ tegas papyro, Vel thuris piperisque sis cucullus. To make loose gowns for mackerel. From Catullus, xcv. 1:—

At Volusi annales Paduam morientur ad ipsam,

Et laxas scombris saepe dabunt tunicas.

846. And what we blush to speak, etc. Ovid, Phaedra to Hipp. 10: Dicere quae puduit scribere jussit amor.

849. ’Tis sweet to think, etc. Seneca, Herc. Fur. 657–58: Quae fuit durum pati Meminisse dulce est.

851. To Mr. Henry Lawes, the excellent composer of his lyrics. Henry Lawes (1595–1662), the friend of Milton, admitted a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal, 1625. In the Noble Numbers he is mentioned as the composer of Herrick’s Christmas Carol and the first of his two New–Year’s Gifts. Lawes also set to music Herrick’s Not to Love, To Mrs. Eliz. Wheeler (Among the Myrtles as I walked), The Kiss, The Primrose, To a Gentlewoman objecting to him his Grey Hairs, and doubtless others.

852. Maidens tell me I am old. From Anacreon:

Λεγουσιν ηαι γυναικεσ

Ανακρεôν γερôν ει κ.τ.λ.

With a significant variation —“Ill it fits”— for μαλλον πρεπει.

859. Master J. Jincks. Not identified.

861. Kings seek their subjects’ good, tyrants their own. Aristot. Politics, iii. 7: καλειν ειôθαμεν τôν μεν μοναρχιôν τêν προς το κοινον αποβλεπουσαν συμφερον βασιλειαν . . . ηê τυραννις εστι μοναρχια προς το συμφερον το του μοναρχουντοσ.

869. Sir Thomas Heale. Probably a son of the Sir Thomas Hele, of Fleet, Co. Devon, who died in 1624. This Sir Thomas was created a baronet in 1627, and according to Dr. Grosart was one of the Royalist commanders at the siege of Plymouth. He died 1670.

872. Love is a kind of war. Ovid, Ars Am. II. 233, 34:—

Militiae species amor est: discedite segnes!

Non sunt haec timidis signa tuenda viris.

873. A spark neglected, etc. Ovid, Rem. Am. 732–34:—

E minimo maximus ignis erit.

Sic nisi vitaris quicquid renovabit amorem,

Flamma redardescet quae modo nulla fuit.

874. An Hymn to Cupid. From Anacreon:—

Ôναξ, ηô δαμαλêς Ερôς

και Νυμφαι κυανôπιδες

πορφυρεê τ’ Αφροδιτê

συμπαιζουσιν . . . γουνουμαι σε, κ.τ.λ.

885. Naught are all women. Burton, III. ii. 5. § 5.

907. Upon Mr. William Lawes, the rare musician. Elder brother of the more famous Henry Lawes; appointed a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal, 1602, and also one of Charles I.‘s musicians-inordinary. When the Civil War broke out he joined the king’s army and was killed by a stray shot during the siege of Chester, 1645. He set Herrick’s Gather ye rosebuds to music.

914. Numbers ne’er tickle, etc. Martial, I. xxxvi.:—

Lex haec carminibus data est jocosis,

Ne possint, nisi pruriant, juvare.

918. M. Kellam. As yet unidentified. Dr. Grosart suggests that he may have been one of Herrick’s parishioners, and the name sounds as of the west country.

920. Cunctation in correction. Is Herrick translating? According to a relief at Rome the lictors’ rods were bound together not only by a red thong twisted from top to bottom, but by six straps as well.

922. Continual reaping makes a land wax old. Ovid, Ars Am. iii. 82: Continua messe senescit ager.

923. Revenge. Tacitus, Hist. iv. 3: Tanto proclivius est injuriae quàm beneficio vicem exsolvere; quia gratia oneri, ultio in quaestu habetur.

927. Praise they that will times past. Ovid, Ars Am. iii. 121:—

Prisca juvent alios: ego me nunc denique natum

Gratulor; haec aetas moribus apta meis.

928. Clothes are conspirators. I can suggest no better explanation of this oracular epigram than that the tailor’s bill is an enemy of a slender purse.

929. Cruelty. Seneca de Clem. i. 24: Ferina ista rabies est, sanguine gaudere et vulneribus; (i. 8), Quemadmodum praecisae arbores plurimis ramis repullulant [H. uses repullulate, tion, 336, 794], et multa satorum genera, ut densiora surgant, reciduntur; ita regia crudelitas auget inimicorum numerum tollendo. Ben Jonson, Discoveries (Clementia): “The lopping of trees makes the boughs shoot out quicker; and the taking away of some kind of enemies increaseth the number”.

931. A fierce desire of hot and dry. Cp. note on 683.

932. To hear the worst, etc. Antisthenes ap. Diog. Laert. VI. i. 4, § 3: Ακουσας ποτε ηοτι Πλατôν αυτον κακôς λεγει Βασιλικον εφê καλôς ποιουντα κακôς ακουειν, quoted by Burton, II. iii. 7.

934. The Bondman. Cp. Exodus xxi. 5, 6: “And if the servant shall plainly say: I love my master, my wife, and my children: I will not go out free: Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the doorpost; and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall serve him for ever”.

936. My kiss outwent the bonds of shamefastness. Cp. Sidney’s Astrophel and Stella, sonnet 82. For not Jove himself, etc., cp. 10, and note.

938. His wish. From Martial, II. xc. 7–10:—

Sit mihi verna satur: sit non doctissima conjux:

Sit nox cum somno, sit sine lite dies, etc.

939. Upon Julia washing herself in the river. Imitated from Martial, IV. xxii.:—

Primos passa toros et adhuc placanda marito

Merserat in nitidos se Cleopatra lacus,

Dum fugit amplexus: sed prodidit unda latentem,

Lucebat, totis cum tegeretur aquis.

Condita sic puro numerantur lilia vitro,

Sic prohibet tenuis gemma latere rosas,

Insilui mersusque vadis luctantia carpsi

Basia: perspicuae plus vetuistis aquae.

940. Though frankincense, etc. Ovid, de Medic. Fac. 83, 84:—

Quamvis thura deos irataque numina placent,

Non tamen accensis omnia danda focis.

947. To his honoured and most ingenious friend, Mr. Charles Cotton. Dr. Grosart annotates: “The translator of Montaigne, and associate of Izaak Walton”; but as the younger Cotton was only eighteen when Hesperides was printed, it is perhaps more probable that the father is meant, though we may note that Herrick and the younger Cotton were joint-contributors in 1649 to the Lacrymæ Musarum, published in memory of Lord Hastings. For a tribute to the brilliant abilities of the elder Cotton, see Clarendon’s Life (i. 36; ed. 1827).

948. Women Useless. A variation on a theme as old as Euripides. Cp. Medea, 573–5:—

χρêν γαρ αλλοθεν ποθεν βροτους

παιδας τεκνουσθαι, θêλυ δ’ ουκ ειναι γενοσ;

χουτôς αν ουκ êν ουδεν ανθρôποις κακον.

952. Weep for the dead, for they have lost the light, cp. Ecclus. xxii. 11.

955. To M. Leonard Willan, his peculiar friend. A wretched poet; author of “The Phrygian Fabulist; or the Fables of Æsop” (1650), “Astraea; or True Love’s Mirror” (1651), etc.

956. Mr. John Hall, Student of Gray’s Inn. Hall remained at Cambridge till 1647, and this poem, which addresses him as a “Student of Gray’s Inn,” must therefore have been written almost while Hesperides was passing through the press. Hall’s Horæ Vacivæ, or Essays, published in 1646, had at once given him high rank among the wits.

958. To the most comely and proper M. Elizabeth Finch. No certain identification has been proposed.

961. To the King, upon his welcome to Hampton Court, set and sung. The allusion can only be to the king’s stay at Hampton Court in 1647. Good hope was then entertained of a peaceful settlement, and Herrick’s ode, enthusiastic as it is, expresses little more than this.

For an ascendent, etc.: This and the next seven lines are taken from phrases on pp. 29–33 of the Notes and Observations on some passages of Scripture, by John Gregory (see note on N. N. 178). According to Gregory, “The Ascendent of a City is that sign which riseth in the Heavens at the laying of the first stone”.

962. Henry, Marquis of Dorchester. Henry Pierrepoint, second Earl of Kingston, succeeded his father (Herrick’s Newark) July 30, 1643, and was created Marquis of Dorchester, March, 1645. “He was a very studious nobleman and very learned, particularly in law and physics.” (See Burke’s Extinct Peerages, iii. 435.)

When Cato, the severe, entered the circumspacious theatre. The allusion is to the visit of Cato to the games of Flora, given by Messius. When his presence in the theatre was known, the dancing-women were not allowed to perform in their accustomed lack of costume, whereupon the moralist obligingly retired, amidst applause.

966. M. Jo. Harmar, physician to the College of Westminster. John Harmar, born at Churchdown, near Gloucester, about 1594, was educated at Winchester and Magdalen College, Oxford; was a master at Magdalen School, the Free School at St. Albans, and at Westminster, and Professor of Greek at Oxford under the Commonwealth. He died 1670. Wood characterises him as a butt for the wits and a flatterer of great men, and notes that he was always called by the name of Doctor Harmar, though he took no higher degree than M.A. But in 1632 he supplicated for the degree of M.B., and Dr. Grosart’s note —“Herrick, no doubt, playfully transmuted ‘Doctor’ into ‘Physician’"— is misleading. He may have cared for the minds and bodies of the Westminster boys at one and the same time.

The Roman language. . . . If Jove would speak, etc. Cp. Ben Jonson’s Discoveries: “that testimony given by L. Aelius Stilo upon Plautus who affirmed, “Musas si latine loqui voluissent Plautino sermone fuisse loquuturas”. And Cicero [in Plutarch, § 24] “said of the Dialogues of Plato, that Jupiter, if it were his nature to use language, would speak like him”.

967. Upon his spaniel, Tracy. Cp. supra, 724.

971. Strength, etc. Tacitus, Ann. xiii. 19: Nihil rerum mortalium tam instabile ac fluxum est, quàm fama potentiae, non suâ vi nixa.

975. Case is a lawyer, etc. Martial, I. xcviii. Ad Naevolum Causidicum. Cùm clamant omnes, loqueris tu, Naevole, tantùm. . . . Ecce, tacent omnes; Naevole, dic aliquid.

977. To his sister-inlaw, M. Susanna Herrick. Cp. supra, 522. The subject is again the making up of the book of the poet’s elect.

978. Upon the Lady Crew. Cp. Herrick’s Epithalamium for her marriage with Sir Clipsby Crew, 283. She died 1639, and was buried in Westminster Abbey.

979. On Tomasin Parsons. Daughter of the organist of Westminster Abbey: cp. 500 and Note.

983. To his kinsman, M. Thomas Herrick, who desired to be in his book. Cp. 106 and Note.

989. Care keeps the conquest. Perhaps jotted down with reference to the Governorship of Exeter by Sir John Berkeley: see Note to 745.

992. To the handsome Mistress Grace Potter. Probably sister to the Mistress Amy Potter celebrated in 837, where see Note.

995. We’ve more to bear our charge than way to go. Seneca, Ep. 77: quantulumcunque haberem, tamen plus superesset viatici quam viae, quoted by Montaigne, II. xxviii.

1000. The Gods, pillars, and men. Horace’s Mediocribus esse poetis Non homines, non di, non concessere columnae (Ars Poet. 373). Latin poets hung up their epigrams in public places.

1002. To the Lord Hopton on his fight in Cornwall. Sir Ralph Hopton won two brilliant victories for the Royalists, at Bradock Down and Stratton, January and May, 1643, and was created Baron Hopton in the following September. Originally a Parliamentarian, he was one of the king’s ablest and most loyal servants.

1008. Nothing’s so hard but search will find it out. Terence, Haut. IV. ii. 8: Nihil tam difficile est quin quaerendo investigari posset.

1009. Labour is held up by the hope of rest. Ps. Sallust, Epist. ad C. Caes.: Sapientes laborem spe otii sustentant.

1022. Posting to Printing. Mart. V. x. 11, 12:—

Vos, tamen, o nostri, ne festinate, libelli:

Si post fata venit gloria, non propero.

1023. No kingdoms got by rapine long endure. Seneca, Troad. 264: Violenta nemo imperia continuit dies.

1026. Saint Distaff’s Day. “Saint Distaff is perhaps only a coinage of our poet’s to designate the day when, the Christmas vacation being over, good housewives, with others, resumed their usual employment.” (Nott.) The phrase is explained in dictionaries and handbooks, but no other use of it is quoted than this. Herrick’s poem was pilfered by Henry Bold (a notorious plagiarist) in Wit a-sporting in a pleasant Grove of New Fancies, 1657.

1028. My beloved Westminster. As mentioned in the brief “Life” of Herrick prefixed to vol. i., all the references in this poem seem to refer to Herrick’s courtier-days, between leaving Cambridge and going to Devonshire. He then, doubtless, resided in Westminster for the sake of proximity to Whitehall. It has been suggested, however, that the reference is to Westminster School, but we have no evidence that Herrick was educated there.

Golden Cheapside. My friend, Mr. Herbert Horne, in his admirably-chosen selection from the Hesperides, suggests that the allusion here is to the great gilt cross at the end of Wood Street. The suggestion is ingenious; but as Cheapside was the goldsmiths’ quarter this would amply justify the epithet, which may indeed only refer to Cheapside as a money-winning street, as we might say Golden Lombard Street.

1032. Things are uncertain. Tiberius, in Tacitus, Annal. i. 72: Cuncta mortalium incerta; quantoque plus adeptus foret, tanto se magis in lubrico.

1034. Good wits get more fame by their punishment. Cp. Tacit. Ann. iv. 35, sub fin.: Punitis ingeniis gliscit auctoritas, etc., quoted by Bacon and Milton.

1035. Twelfth Night: or King and Queen. Herrick alludes to these “Twelfth–Tide Kings and Queens” in writing to Endymion Porter (662), and earlier still, in the “New–Year’s Gift to Sir Simeon Steward” (319) he speaks —

“Of Twelfth–Tide cakes, of Peas and Beans,

Wherewith ye make those merry scenes,

Whenas ye choose your King and Queen”.

Brand (i. 27) illustrates well from “Speeches to the Queen at Sudley” in Nichols’ Progresses of Queen Elizabeth.

Melib[oe]us. Cut the cake: who hath the bean shall be king, and where the pea is, she shall be queen.

Nisa. I have the pea and must be queen.

Mel. I the bean, and king. I must command.”

1045. Comfort in Calamity. An allusion to the ejection from their benefices which befel most of the loyal clergy at the same time as Herrick. It is perhaps worth noting that in the second volume of this edition, and in the last hundred poems printed in the first, wherever a date can be fixed it is always in the forties. Equally late poems occur, though much less frequently, among the first five hundred, but there the dated poems belong, for the most part, to the years 1623–1640. Now, in April 29, 1640, as stated in the brief “Life” prefixed to vol. i., there was entered at Stationers’ Hall, “The severall poems written by Master Robert Herrick,” a book which, as far as is known, never saw the light. It was probably, however, to this book that Herrick addressed the poem (405) beginning:—

“Have I not blest thee? Then go forth, nor fear

Or spice, or fish, or fire, or close-stools here”;

and we may fairly regard the first five hundred poems of Hesperides as representing the intended collection of 1640, with a few additions, and the last six hundred as for the most part later, and I must add, inferior work. This is borne out by the absence of any manuscript versions of poems in the second half of the book. Herrick’s verses would only be passed from hand to hand when he was living among the wits in London.

1046. Twilight. Ovid, Amores, I. v. 5, 6: Crepuscula . . . ubi nox abiit, nec tamen orta dies.

1048. Consent makes the cure. Seneca, Hippol. 250: Pars sanitatis velle sanari fuit.

1050. Causeless whipping. Ovid, Heroid. v. 7, 8: Leniter ex merito quicquid patiare, ferendum est; Quae venit indignae poena, dolenda venit. Quoted by Montaigne, III. xiii.

1052. His comfort. Terence, Adelph. I. i. 18: Ego . . . quod fortunatum isti putant, Uxorem nunquam habui.

1053. Sincerity. From Hor. Ep. I. ii. 54: Sincerum est nisi vas, quodcunque infundis acescit. Quoted by Montaigne, III. xiii.

1056. To his peculiar friend, M. Jo. Wicks. See 336 and Note. Written after Herrick’s ejection. We know that the poet’s uncle, Sir William Herrick, suffered greatly in estate during the Civil War, and it may have been the same with other friends and relatives. But there can be little doubt that the poet found abundant hospitality on his return to London.

1059. A good Death. August. de Disciplin. Christ. 13: Non potest malè mori, qui benè vixerit.

1061. On Fortune. Seneca, Medea, 176: Fortuna opes auferre non animum potest.

1062. To Sir George Parry, Doctor of the Civil Law. According to Dr. Grosart, Parry “was admitted to the College of Advocates, London, 3rd Nov., 1628; but almost nothing has been transmitted concerning him save that he married the daughter and heir of Sir Giles Sweet, Dean of Arches”. I can hardly doubt that he must be identified with the Dr. George Parry, Chancellor to the Bishop of Exeter, who in 1630 was accused of excommunicating persons for the sake of fees, but was highly praised in 1635 and soon after appointed a Judge Marshal. If so, his wife was a widow when she came to him, as she is spoken of in 1638 as “Lady Dorothy Smith, wife of Sir Nicholas Smith, deceased”. She brought him a rich dower, and her death greatly confused his affairs.

1067. Gentleness. Seneca, Phoen. 659: Qui vult amari, languidâ regnet manu. And Ben Jonson, Panegyre (1603): “He knew that those who would with love command, Must with a tender yet a steadfast hand, Sustain the reins”.

1068. Mrs. Eliza Wheeler. See 130 and Note.

1071. To the Honoured Master Endymion Porter. For Porter’s patronage of poetry see 117 and Note.

1080. The Mistress of all singular Manners, Mistress Portman. Dr. Grosart notes that a Mrs. Mary Portman was buried at Putney Parish Church, June 27, 1671, and this was perhaps Herrick’s schoolmistress, the “pearl of Putney”.

1087. Where pleasures rule a kingdom. Cicero, De Senect. xii. 41: Neque omnino in voluptatis regno virtutem posse consistere. He lives who lives to virtue. Comp. Sallust, Catil. 2, s. fin.

1088. Twice five-and-twenty (bate me but one year). As Herrick was born in 1591, this poem must have been written in 1640.

1089. To M. Laurence Swetnaham. Unless the various entries in the parish registers of St. Margaret’s, Westminster, refer to different men, this Lawrence Swetnaham was the third son of Thomas Swettenham of Swettenham in Cheshire, married in 1602 to Mary Birtles. Lawrence himself had children as early as 1629, and ten years later was church-warden. He was buried in the Abbey, 1673.

1091. My lamp to you I give. Allusion to the Λαμπαδêφορια which Plato (Legg. 776B) uses to illustrate the succession of generations. So Lucretius (ii. 77): Et quasi cursores vitaï lampada tradunt.

1092. Michael Oulsworth. Michael Oulsworth, Oldsworth or Oldisworth, graduated M.A. from Magdalen College, Oxford, in 1614. According to Wood, “he was afterwards Fellow of his College, Secretary to Earl of Pembroke, elected a burgess to serve in several Parliaments for Sarum and Old Sarum, and though in the Grand Rebellion he was no Colonel, yet he was Governor of Old Pembroke, and Montgomery led him by the nose as he pleased, to serve both their turns”. The partnership, however, was not eternal, for between 1648 and 1650 Oldisworth published at least eight virulent satires against his former master.

1094. Truth — her own simplicity. Seneca, Ep. 49: (Ut ille tragicus), Veritatis simplex oratio est.

1097. Kings must be dauntless. Seneca, Thyest. 388: Rex est qui metuit nihil.

1100. To his brother, Nicholas Herrick. Baptized April 22, 1589; a merchant trading to the Levant. He married Susanna Salter, to whom Herrick addresses two poems (522, 977).

1103. A King and no King. Seneca, Thyest. 214: Ubicunque tantùm honestè dominanti licet, Precario regnatur.

1118. Necessity makes dastards valiant men. Sallust, Catil. 58: Necessitudo . . . timidos fortes facit.

1119. Sauce for Sorrows. Printed in Witts Recreations, 1650. An equal mind. Plautus, Rudens, II. iii. 71: Animus aequus optimum est aerumnae condimentum.

1126. The End of his Work. Printed in Witts Recreations, 1650, under the title: Of this Book. From Ovid, Ars Am. i. 773, 774:—

Pars superest caepti, pars est exhausta laboris:

Hic teneat nostras anchora jacta rates.

1127. My wearied bark, etc. Ovid, Rem. Am. 811, 812:—

fessae date serta carinæ:

Contigimus portum, quo mihi cursus erat.

1128. The work is done. Ovid, Ars Am. ii. 733, 734:—

Finis adest operi: palmam date, grata juventus,

Sertaque odoratae myrtea ferte comae.

1130. His Muse. Cp. Note on 624.

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Title Page facsimile

Table of Contents

1. His Confession.
2. His Prayer for Absolution.
3. To Find God.
4. What God is.
5. Upon God.
6. Mercy and Love.
7. God’s Anger Without Affection.
8. God Not to Be Comprehended.
9. God’s Part.
10. Affliction.
11. Three Fatal Sisters.
12. Silence.
13. Mirth.
14. Loading and Unloading.
15. God’s Mercy.
16. Prayers Must have Poise.
17. To God: An Anthem Sung in the Chapel at Whitehall Before the King.
18. Upon God.
19. Calling and Correcting.
20. No Escaping the Scourging.
21. The Rod.
22. God has a Twofold Part.
23. God is One.
24. Persecutions Profitable.
25. To God.
26. Whips.
27. God’s Providence.
28. Temptation.
29. His Ejaculation to God.
30. God’s Gifts Not Soon Granted.
31. Persecutions Purify.
32. Pardon.
33. An Ode of the Birth of Our Saviour.
34. Lip-Labour.
35. The Heart.
36. Earrings.
37. Sin Seen.
38. Upon Time.
39. His Petition.
40. To God.
41. His Litany to the Holy Spirit.
42. Thanksgiving.
43. Cock-Crow.
44. All Things Run Well for the Righteous.
45. Pain Ends in Pleasure.
46. To God.
47. A Thanksgiving to God for His House.
48. To God.
49. Another to God.
50. None Truly Happy Here.
51. To His Ever-Loving God.
52. Another.
53. To Death.
54. Neutrality Loathsome.
55. Welcome what Comes.
56. To His Angry God.
57. Patience: Or, Comforts in Crosses.
58. Eternity.
59. To His Saviour, a Child: A Present by a Child.
60. The New-Year’s Gift.
61. To God.
62. God and the King.
63. God’s Mirth: Man’s Mourning.
64. Honours are Hindrances.
65. The Parasceve, or Preparation.
66. To God.
67. A Will to Be Working.
68. Christ’s Part.
69. Riches and Poverty.
70. Sobriety in Search.
71. Alms.
72. To His Conscience.
73. To His Saviour.
74. To God.
75. His Dream.
76. God’s Bounty.
77. To His Sweet Saviour.
78. His Creed.
79. Temptations.
80. The Lamp.
81. Sorrows.
82. Penitency.
83. The Dirge of Jephthah’s Daughter: Sung by the Virgins.
84. To God: On His Sickness.
85. Sins Loathed, and Yet Loved.
86. Sin.
87. Upon God.
88. Faith.
89. Humility.
90. Tears.
91. Sin and Strife.
92. An Ode, or Psalm to God.
93. Graces for Children.
94. God to Be First Served.
95. Another Grace for a Child.
96. A Christmas Carol Sung to the King in the Presence at Whitehall.
97. The New-Year’s Gift: Or, Circumcision’s Song. Sung to the King in the Presence at Whitehall.
98. Another New-Year’s Gift: Or, Song for the Circumcision.
99. God’s Pardon.
100. Sin.
101. Evil.
102. The Star-Song: A Carol to the King Sung at Whitehall.
103. To God.
104. To His Dear God.
105. To God: His Good Will.
106. On Heaven.
107. The Sum and the Satisfaction.
108. Good Men Afflicted Most.
109. Good Christians
110. The Will the Cause of Woe.
111. To Heaven.
112. The Recompense.
113. To God.
114. To God.
115. His Wish to God.
116. Satan.
117. Hell.
118. The Way.
119. Great Grief, Great Glory.
120. Hell.
121. The Bellman.
122. The Goodness of His God.
123. The Widows’ Tears: Or, Dirge of Dorcas.
124. To God in Time of Plundering.
125. To His Saviour. The New-Year’s Gift.
126. Doomsday.
127. The Poor’s Portion.
128. The White Island: Or, Place of the Blest.
129. To Christ.
130. To God.
131. Free Welcome.
132. God’s Grace.
133. Coming to Christ.
134. Correction.
135. God’s Bounty.
136. Knowledge.
137. Salutation.
138. Lasciviousness.
139. Tears.
140. God’s Blessing.
141. God, and Lord.
142. The Judgment-Day.
143. Angels.
144. Long Life.
145. Tears.
146. Manna.
147. Reverence.
148. Mercy.
149. Wages.
150. Temptation.
151. God’s Hands.
152. Labour.
153. Mora Sponsi, the Stay of the Bridegroom.
154. Roaring.
155. The Eucharist.
156. Sin Severely Punished.
157. Montes Scripturarum: The Mounts of the Scriptures.
158. Prayer.
159. Christ’s Sadness.
160. God Hears Us.
161. God.
162. Clouds.
163. Comforts in Contentions.
164. Heaven.
165. God.
166. His Power.
167. Christ’s Words on the Cross: My God, My God.
168. Jehovah.
169. Confusion of Face.
170. Another.
171. Beggars.
172. Good and Bad.
173. Sin.
174. Martha, Martha.
175. Youth and Age.
176. God’s Power.
177. Paradise.
178. Observation.
179. The Ass.
180. Observation.
181. Tapers.
182. Christ’s Birth.
183. The Virgin Mary.
184. Another.
185. God.
186. Another of God.
187. Another.
188. God’s Presence.
189. God’s Dwelling.
190. The Virgin Mary.
191. To God.
192. Upon Woman and Mary.
193. North and South.
194. Sabbaths.
195. The Fast, or Lent.
196. Sin.
197. God.
198. This, and the Next World.
199. Ease.
200. Beginnings and Endings.
201. Temporal Goods.
202. Hell Fire.
203. Abel’s Blood.
204. Another.
205. A Position in the Hebrew Divinity.
206. Penitence.
207. God’s Presence.
208. The Resurrection Possible and Probable.
209. Christ’s Suffering.
210. Sinners.
211. Temptations.
212. Pity and Punishment.
213. God’s Price and Man’s Price.
214. Christ’s Action.
215. Predestination.
216. Another.
217. Sin.
218. Another.
219. Another.
220. Prescience.
221. Christ.
222. Christ’s Incarnation.
223. Heaven.
224. God’s Keys
225. Sin.
226. Alms.
227. Hell Fire.
228. To Keep a True Lent.
229. No Time in Eternity.
230. His Meditation Upon Death.
231. Clothes for Continuance.
232. To God.
233. The Soul.
234. The Judgment-Day.
235. Sufferings.
236. Pain and Pleasure.
237. God’s Presence.
238. Another.
239. The Poor Man’s Part.
240. The Right Hand.
241. The Staff and Rod.
242. God Sparing in Scourging.
243. Confession.
244. God’s Descent.
245. No Coming to God Without Christ.
246. Another to God.
247. The Resurrection.
248. Co-Heirs.
249. The Number of Two.
250. Hardening of Hearts.
251. The Rose.
252. God’s Time Must End Our Trouble.
253. Baptism.
254. Gold and Frankincense.
255. To God.
256. The Chewing the Cud.
257. Christ’s Twofold Coming.
258. To God, His Gift.
259. God’s Anger.
260. God’s Commands.
261. To God.
262. To God.
263. Good Friday: Rex Tragicus; Or, Christ Going to His Cross.
264. His Words to Christ Going to the Cross.
265. Another to His Saviour.
266. His Saviour’s Words Going to the Cross.
267. His Anthem to Christ on the Cross.
269. To His Saviour’s Sepulchre: His Devotion.
270. His Offering, with the Rest, at the Sepulchre.
271. His Coming to the Sepulchre.




1. His Confession.

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.

2. His Prayer for Absolution.

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 rest shall be

The glory of my work and me.

3. To Find God.

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 me back that cloud again

Beshiver’d into seeds of rain;

Tell me the motes, dust, sands, and spears

Of corn, when summer shakes his ears;

Show me that world of stars, and whence

They noiseless spill their influence:

This if thou canst, then show me Him

That rides the glorious cherubim.

Keep, abide.

4. What God is.

God is above the sphere of our esteem,

And is the best known, not defining Him.

5. Upon God.

God is not only said to be

An Ens, but Supraentity.

6. Mercy and Love.

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.

7. God’s Anger Without Affection.

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.

8. God Not to Be Comprehended.

’Tis hard to find God, but to comprehend

Him, as He is, is labour without end.

9. God’s Part.

Prayers and praises are those spotless two

Lambs, by the law, which God requires as due.

10. Affliction.

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.

11. Three Fatal Sisters.

Three fatal sisters wait upon each sin;

First, fear and shame without, then guilt within.

12. Silence.

Suffer thy legs, but not thy tongue to walk:

God, the Most Wise, is sparing of His talk.

13. Mirth.

True mirth resides not in the smiling skin:

The sweetest solace is to act no sin.

14. Loading and Unloading.

God loads and unloads, thus His work begins,

To load with blessings and unload from sins.

15. God’s Mercy.

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.

16. Prayers Must have Poise.

God, He rejects all prayers that are slight

And want their poise: words ought to have their weight.

17. To God: An Anthem Sung in the Chapel at Whitehall Before the King.

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 with Thee

All saving health, and help for me.

Verse. Then reach Thou forth that hand of Thine,

That pours in oil, as well as wine,

Ver. Chor. And let it work, for I’ll endure

The utmost smart, so Thou wilt cure.

18. Upon God.

God is all fore-part; for, we never see

Any part backward in the Deity.

19. Calling and Correcting.

God is not only merciful to call

Men to repent, but when He strikes withal.

20. No Escaping the Scourging.

God scourgeth some severely, some He spares;

But all in smart have less or greater shares.

21. The Rod.

God’s rod doth watch while men do sleep, and then

The rod doth sleep, while vigilant are men.

22. God has a Twofold Part.

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.

23. God is One.

God, as He is most holy known,

So He is said to be most one.

24. Persecutions Profitable.

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.

25. To God.

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 night:

My sackcloth here; but there my stole of white.

Stroke, text strike.

26. Whips.

God has His whips here to a twofold end:

The bad to punish, and the good t’ amend.

27. God’s Providence.

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?

28. Temptation.

Those saints which God loves best,

The devil tempts not least.

29. His Ejaculation to God.

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 odious in Thy sight,

Speak but the word, and cure me quite.

30. God’s Gifts Not Soon Granted.

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.

31. Persecutions Purify.

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.

32. Pardon.

God pardons those who do through frailty sin,

But never those that persevere therein.

33. An Ode of the Birth of Our Saviour.

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,

Thy cradle, Kingly Stranger,

As Gospel tells,

Was nothing else

But here a homely manger.

But we with silks, not crewels,

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 plaister’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 freeborn of our city.

Crewels, worsteds.

Clouts, rags.

34. Lip-Labour.

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.

35. The Heart.

In prayer the lips ne’er act the winning part,

Without the sweet concurrence of the heart.

36. Earrings.

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.

37. Sin Seen.

When once the sin has fully acted been,

Then is the horror of the trespass seen.

38. 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 ought 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 show’d, and told me, too,

Mine end near was;

And so away he flew.

39. His Petition.

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.

40. To God.

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.

41. 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 prayed,

And I nod to what is said,

‘Cause my speech is now decayed,

Sweet Spirit, comfort me!

When, God knows, I’m toss’d 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!

42. Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving for a former, doth invite

God to bestow a second benefit.

43. Cock-Crow.

Bellman of night, if I about shall go

For to deny my Master, do thou crow.

Thou stop’dst St. 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.

44. All Things Run Well for the Righteous.

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.

45. Pain Ends in Pleasure.

Afflictions bring us joy in times to come,

When sins, by stripes, to us grow wearisome.

46. To God.

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 strike it through.

47. 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

Unclipt, 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.

Unflead, lit. unflay’d.

Purslain, an herb.

48. To God.

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, yet I will love Thee;

Nor shall Thou give so deep a wound

But I as patient will be found.

49. Another to God.

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.

50. None Truly Happy Here.

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.

51. To His Ever-Loving God.

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 way is, help me when I call,

And take me up; or else prevent the fall.

I ken my home, and it affords some ease

To see far off the smoking villages.

Fain would I rest, yet covet not to die

For fear of future biting penury:

No, no, my God, Thou know’st my wishes be

To leave this life, not loving it, but Thee.

Rids way, gets over the ground.

52. Another.

Thou bid’st me come; I cannot come; for why?

Thou dwell’st aloft, and I want wings to fly.

To mount my soul, she must have pinions given;

For ’tis no easy way from earth to heaven.

53. To Death.

Thou bid’st 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.

54. Neutrality Loathsome.

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.

55. Welcome what Comes.

Whatever comes, let’s be content withal:

Among God’s blessings there is no one small.

56. To His Angry God.

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 of steel,

Ah me! I feel

Upon me beating ever:

While my sick heart

With dismal smart

Is disacquainted never.

Long, long, I’m sure,

This can’t endure,

But in short time ’twill please Thee,

My gentle God,

To burn the rod,

Or strike so as to ease me.

57. Patience: Or, Comforts in Crosses.

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.

58. Eternity.

O years! and age! farewell:

Behold, I go

Where I do know

Infinity to dwell.

And these mine eyes shall see

All times, how they

Are lost i’ th’ sea

Of vast eternity.

Where never moon shall sway

The stars; but she

And night shall be

Drown’d in one endless day.

59. 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 strait 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 mellifluous lips of His;

Then never take a second on,

To spoil the first impression.

Handsel, earnest money.

60. The New-Year’s Gift.

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.

Tabbies, shot silks.

61. To God.

If anything delight me for to print

My book, ’tis this: that Thou, my God, art in’t.

62. God and the King.

How am I bound to Two! God, who doth give

The mind; the king, the means whereby I live.

63. God’s Mirth: Man’s Mourning.

Where God is merry, there write down thy fears:

What He with laughter speaks, hear thou with tears.

64. Honours are Hindrances.

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.

65. The Parasceve, or Preparation.

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 we have our parasceve.

Who to that sweet bread unprepar’d doth come,

Better be starv’d, than but to taste one crumb.

Parasceve, preparation.

66. To God.

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.

67. A Will to Be Working.

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.

68. Christ’s Part.

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.

69. Riches and Poverty.

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?

70. Sobriety in Search.

To seek of God more than we well can find,

Argues a strong distemper of the mind.

71. Alms.

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.

72. 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 ti’d

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.

Protonotary, once the title of the chief clerk in the Courts of Common Pleas and King’s Bench.

73. To His Saviour.

Lord, I confess, that Thou alone art able

To purify this my Augean stable:

Be the seas water, and the land all soap,

Yet if Thy blood not wash me, there’s no hope.

74. To God.

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.

75. His Dream.

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.

Then I could say that house is bare

That has not bread and some to spare.

76. God’s Bounty.

God’s bounty, that ebbs less and less

As men do wane in thankfulness.

77. 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.

78. His Creed.

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 do believe the good, and I,

Shall live with Him eternally:

I do believe I shall inherit

Heaven, by Christ’s mercies, not my merit.

I do believe the One in Three,

And Three in perfect unity:

Lastly, that JESUS is a deed

Of gift from God: and here’s my creed.

79. Temptations.

Temptations hurt not, though they have access:

Satan o’ercomes none, but by willingness.

80. The Lamp.

When a man’s faith is frozen up, as dead;

Then is the lamp and oil extinguished.

81. Sorrows.

Sorrows our portion are: ere hence we go,

Crosses we must have; or, hereafter woe.

82. Penitency.

A man’s transgressions God does then remit,

When man He makes a penitent for it.

83. 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 daffodil

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 ev’ry 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:

And 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

Wrapp’d 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 flow’rs:

May virgins, when they come to mourn,

Male-incense burn

Upon thine altar! then return,

And leave thee sleeping in thy urn.

Cauls, nets for the hair.

Falls, trimmings hanging loosely.

Male-incense, incense in globular drops.

84. To God: On His Sickness.

What though my harp and viol be

Both 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.

85. Sins Loathed, and Yet Loved.

Shame checks our first attempts; but then ’tis prov’d

Sins first dislik’d are after that belov’d.

86. Sin.

Sin leads the way, but as it goes, it feels

The following plague still treading on his heels.

87. Upon God.

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.

88. Faith.

What here we hope for, we shall once inherit;

By faith we all walk here, not by the Spirit.

89. Humility.

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.

90. Tears.

Our present tears here, not our present laughter,

Are but the handsels of our joys hereafter.

Handsels, earnest money, foretaste.

91. Sin and Strife.

After true sorrow for our sins, our strife

Must last with Satan to the end of life.

92. An Ode, or Psalm to God.

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 vices driven,

I may from hell

Fly up to dwell

With Thee and Thine in heaven.

93. Graces for Children.

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,

Make it ever flourishing.

94. God to Be First Served.

Honour thy parents; but good manners call

Thee to adore thy God the first of all.

95. Another 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.

Paddocks, frogs.

96. A Christmas Carol Sung to the King in the Presence at Whitehall.

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.


1. Dark and dull night, fly hence away

And give the honour to this day

That sees December turn’d to May.

2. If we may ask the reason, say

The why and wherefore all things here

Seem like the spring-time of the year.

3. Why does the chilling winter’s morn

Smile like a field beset with corn?

Or smell like to a mead new shorn,

Thus, on the sudden?

4. Come and see

The cause, why things thus fragrant be:

’Tis He is born, whose quick’ning birth

Gives life and lustre, public mirth,

To heaven and the under-earth.

Chor. We see Him come, and know Him ours,

Who, with His sunshine and His showers,

Turns all the patient ground to flowers.

1. The darling of the world is come,

And fit it is we find a room

To welcome Him.

2. The nobler part

Of all the house here is the heart,

Chor. Which we will give Him; and bequeath

This holly and this ivy wreath,

To do Him honour; who’s our King,

And Lord of all this revelling.

Division, a rapid passage of music sung in one breath or a single syllable.

97. The New-Year’s Gift: Or, Circumcision’s Song. 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. The altars all on fire be;

The storax fries; and ye may see

How heart and hand do all agree

To make things sweet. Chor. Yet all less sweet than He.

4. Bring Him along, most pious priest,

And tell us then, whenas thou seest

His gently-gliding, dove-like eyes,

And hear’st His whimpering and His cries;

How can’st thou this Babe circumcise?

5. Ye must not be more pitiful than wise;

For, now unless ye see Him bleed,

Which makes the bapti’m, ’tis decreed

The birth is fruitless. Chor. Then the work God speed.

1. Touch gently, gently touch; and here

Spring tulips up through all the year;

And from His sacred blood, here shed,

May roses grow to crown His own dear head.

Chor. Back, back again; each thing is done

With zeal alike, as ’twas begun;

Now singing, homeward let us carry

The Babe unto His mother Mary;

And when we have the Child commended

To her warm bosom, then our rites are ended.

Composed by M. Henry Lawes.

98. Another New-Year’s Gift: Or, Song for the Circumcision.

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, ears, and eyes.

3. Then, like a perfum’d altar, see

That all things sweet and clean may be:

For here’s a Babe that, like a bride,

Will blush to death if ought be spi’d

Ill-scenting, or unpurifi’d.

Chor. The room is ‘cens’d: help, help t’ invoke

Heaven to come down, the while we choke

The temple with a cloud of smoke.

4. Come then, and gently touch the birth

Of Him, who’s Lord of Heaven and Earth:

5. And softly handle Him; y’ad need,

Because the pretty Babe does bleed.

Poor pitied Child! who from Thy stall

Bring’st, in Thy blood, a balm that shall

Be the best New–Year’s gift to all.

1. Let’s bless the Babe: and, as we sing

His praise, so let us bless the King.

Chor. Long may He live till He hath told

His New–Years trebled to His old:

And when that’s done, to reaspire

A new-born Phœnix from His own chaste fire.

99. God’s Pardon.

When I shall sin, pardon my trespass here;

For once in hell, none knows remission there.

100. Sin.

Sin once reached up to God’s eternal sphere,

And was committed, not remitted there.

101. Evil.

Evil no nature hath; the loss of good

Is that which gives to sin a livelihood.

102. The Star-Song: A Carol to the King Sung at Whitehall.

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 where.

3. Declare to us, bright star, if we shall seek

Him in the morning’s blushing cheek,

Or search the beds of spices through,

To find him out.

Star. No, this ye need not do;

But only come and see Him rest

A Princely Babe in’s mother’s breast.

Chor. He’s seen, He’s seen! why then a round,

Let’s kiss the sweet and holy ground;

And all rejoice that we have found

A King before conception crown’d.

4. Come then, come then, and let us bring

Unto our pretty Twelfth-tide King,

Each one his several offering;

Chor. And when night comes, we’ll give Him wassailing;

And that His treble honours may be seen,

We’ll choose Him King, and make His mother Queen.

103. To God.

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 tally, and confess the score.

Ten thousand talents lent me, Thou dost write;

’Tis true, my God, but I can’t pay one mite.

Tally, the record of his score or debt.

104. To His Dear God.

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 stock Thy bounty gave or lent.

What may conduce

To my most healthful use,

Almighty God, me grant;

But that, or this,

That hurtful is,

Deny Thy suppliant.

105. To God: His Good Will.

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 rear’d by him, and crown’d

Both with the ruby, pearl, and diamond.

106. On Heaven.

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 harps and viols then

To voices say, Amen.

107. The Sum and the Satisfaction.

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, on the tree,

Made void for millions, as for me.

Then, if thou bidst me pay, or go

Unto the prison, I’ll say, no;

Christ having paid, I nothing owe:

For, this is sure, the debt is dead

By law, the bond once cancelled.

Score, debt or reckoning.

Band, bond.

Daring, frightening.

108. Good Men Afflicted Most.

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 these,

A poison, too, He has for Socrates;

Torments for high Attilius; and, with want,

Brings in Fabricius for a combatant:

But bastard-slips, and such as He dislikes,

He never brings them once to th’ push of pikes.

109. Good Christians

Play their offensive and defensive parts,

Till they be hid o’er with a wood of darts.

110. The Will the Cause of Woe.

When man is punish’d, he is plagued still,

Not for the fault of nature, but of will.

111. 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.

112. The Recompense.

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.

113. To God.

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 look,

But take no tincture from my sinful book:

Let but one beam of glory on it shine,

And that will make me and my work divine.

114. To God.

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 will I.

115. His Wish to God.

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,

Might me excite to fore and after-grace.

Thy Cross, my Christ, fix’d ‘fore mine eyes should be,

Not to adore that, but to worship Thee.

So, here the remnant of my days I’d spend,

Reading Thy Bible, and my Book; so end.

Piggin, a small wooden vessel.

116. Satan.

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.

117. Hell.

Hell is no other but a soundless pit,

Where no one beam of comfort peeps in it.

118. The Way.

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.

119. Great Grief, Great Glory.

The less our sorrows here and suff’rings cease,

The more our crowns of glory there increase.

120. Hell.

Hell is the place where whipping-cheer abounds,

But no one jailer there to wash the wounds.

121. The Bellman.

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 gen’ral session,

To whose dismal bar we there

All accounts must come to clear.

Scores of sins w’ave made here many,

Wip’d 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.

122. The Goodness of His God.

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;

Since mischiefs neither dare

To bark or bite without Thee?

123. 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 altogether.

For Tabitha, who dead lies here,

Clean washed, 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 ‘reaved 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’st 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 cruse 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 cloth the needy.

But, ah, alas! the almond bough

And olive branch is withered 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 turned to sadness.

How wise wast thou in all thy ways!

How worthy of respect and praise!

How matron-like didst thou go dressed!

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 li’st dead, we see

A deal of beauty yet in thee.

How sweetly shows 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 show these garments made by thee;

These were the coats, in these are read

The monuments of Dorcas dead.

These were thy acts, and thou shall 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.

Deal, portion.

Maundy, the alms given on Thursday in Holy Week.

Reaming, drawing out into threads.

Calamus, a fragrant plant, the sweet flag.

Chrysolite, the topaz.

124. To God in Time of Plundering.

Rapine has yet took nought from me;

But if it please my God I be

Brought at the last to th’ utmost bit,

God make me thankful still for it.

I have been grateful for my store:

Let me say grace when there’s no more.

125. To His Saviour. The New-Year’s Gift.

That little pretty bleeding part

Of foreskin send to me:

And I’ll return a bleeding heart

For New–Year’s gift to Thee.

Rich is the gem that Thou did’st send,

Mine’s faulty too and small;

But yet this gift Thou wilt commend

Because I send Thee all.

126. Doomsday.

Let not that day God’s friends and servants scare;

The bench is then their place, and not the bar.

127. The Poor’s Portion.

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 I to choose.

128. The White Island: Or, Place of the Blest.

In this world, the isle of dreams,

While we sit by sorrow’s streams,

Tears and terrors are our themes


But when once from hence we fly,

More and more approaching nigh

Unto young Eternity


In that whiter island, where

Things are evermore sincere;

Candour here, and lustre there


There no monstrous fancies shall

Out of hell an horror call,

To create, or cause at all,


There in calm and cooling sleep

We our eyes shall never steep;

But eternal watch shall keep,


Pleasures, such as shall pursue

Me immortalised, and you;

And fresh joys, as never to

Have ending.

129. To Christ.

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.

130. To God.

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.

131. Free Welcome.

God He refuseth no man, but makes way

For all that now come or hereafter may.

132. God’s Grace.

God’s grace deserves here to be daily fed

That, thus increased, it might be perfected.

133. Coming to Christ.

To him who longs unto his Christ to go,

Celerity even itself is slow.

134. Correction.

God had but one Son free from sin; but none

Of all His sons free from correction.

135. God’s Bounty.

God, as He’s potent, so He’s likewise known

To give us more than hope can fix upon.

136. Knowledge.

Science in God is known to be

A substance, not a quality.

137. Salutation.

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 we must nor strangers, kin, or friends.

Tardidation, sloth.

138. Lasciviousness.

Lasciviousness is known to be

The sister to saturity.

139. Tears.

God from our eyes all tears hereafter wipes,

And gives His children kisses then, not stripes.

140. God’s Blessing.

In vain our labours are whatsoe’er they be,

Unless God gives the benedicite.

141. God, and Lord.

God is His name of nature; but that word

Implies His power when He’s called the Lord.

142. The Judgment-Day.

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.

143. Angels.

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.

144. Long Life.

The longer thread of life we spin,

The more occasion still to sin.

145. Tears.

The tears of saints more sweet by far

Than all the songs of sinners are.

146. Manna.

That manna, which God on His people cast,

Fitted itself to ev’ry feeder’s taste.

147. Reverence.

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?

148. Mercy.

Mercy, the wise Athenians held to be

Not an affection, but a deity.

149. Wages.

After this life, the wages shall

Not shared alike be unto all.

150. Temptation.

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.

151. God’s Hands.

God’s hands are round and smooth, that gifts may fall

Freely from them and hold none back at all.

152. Labour.

Labour we must, and labour hard

I’ th’ forum here, or vineyard.

153. Mora Sponsi, the Stay of the Bridegroom.

The time the bridegroom stays from hence

Is but the time of penitence.

154. Roaring.

Roaring is nothing but a weeping part

Forced from the mighty dolour of the heart.

155. The Eucharist.

He that is hurt seeks help: sin is the wound;

The salve for this i’ th’ Eucharist is found.

156. Sin Severely Punished.

God in His own day will be then severe

To punish great sins, who small faults whipt here.

157. Montes Scripturarum: The Mounts of the Scriptures.

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.

158. Prayer.

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.

159. Christ’s Sadness.

Christ was not sad, i’ th’ garden, for His own

Passion, but for His sheep’s dispersion.

160. God Hears Us.

God, who’s in heaven, will hear from thence;

If not to th’ sound, yet to the sense.

161. God.

God, as the learned Damascene doth write,

A sea of substance is, indefinite.

The learned Damascene, i.e., St. John of Damascus.

162. Clouds.

He that ascended in a cloud, shall come

In clouds descending to the public doom.

163. Comforts in Contentions.

The same who crowns the conqueror, will be

A coadjutor in the agony.

164. Heaven.

Heaven is most fair; but fairer He

That made that fairest canopy.

165. God.

In God there’s nothing, but ’tis known to be

Even God Himself, in perfect entity.

166. His Power.

God can do all things, save but what are known

For to imply a contradiction.

167. Christ’s Words on the Cross: My God, My God.

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.

168. Jehovah.

Jehovah, as Boëtius saith,

No number of the plural hath.

169. Confusion of Face.

God then confounds man’s face when He not bears

The vows of those who are petitioners.

170. Another.

The shame of man’s face is no more

Than prayers repell’d, says Cassiodore.

171. Beggars.

Jacob God’s beggar was; and so we wait,

Though ne’er so rich, all beggars at His gate.

172. Good and Bad.

The bad among the good are here mix’d ever;

The good without the bad are here plac’d never.

173. Sin.

Sin no existence; nature none it hath,

Or good at all, as learned Aquinas saith.

174. Martha, Martha.

The repetition of the name made known

No other than Christ’s full affection.

175. Youth and Age.

God on our youth bestows but little ease;

But on our age most sweet indulgences.

176. God’s Power.

God is so potent, as His power can

Draw out of bad a sovereign good to man.

177. Paradise.

Paradise is, as from the learn’d I gather,

A choir of bless’d souls circling in the Father.

178. Observation.

The Jews, when they built houses, I have read,

One part thereof left still unfinished,

To make them thereby mindful of their own

City’s most sad and dire destruction.

179. The Ass.

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.

180. Observation.

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,

And th’ other Mary, Mary Magdalen,

Sat by the grave; and sadly sitting there,

Shed for their Master many a bitter tear;

But ’twas not till their dearest Lord was dead

And then to weep they both were licensed.

181. Tapers.

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.

182. Christ’s Birth.

One birth our Saviour had; the like none yet

Was, or will be a second like to it.

183. The Virgin Mary.

To work a wonder, God would have her shown

At once a bud and yet a rose full-blown.

184. Another.

As sunbeams pierce the glass, and streaming in,

No crack or schism leave i’ th’ subtle skin:

So the Divine Hand worked and brake no thread,

But, in a mother, kept a maidenhead.

185. God.

God, in the holy tongue, they call

The place that filleth all in all.

186. Another of God.

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.

187. Another.

God is Jehovah call’d: which name of His

Implies or Essence, or the He that Is.

188. God’s Presence.

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.

189. God’s Dwelling.

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.

190. The Virgin Mary.

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.

191. To God.

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.

192. Upon Woman and Mary.

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.

193. North and South.

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.

194. Sabbaths.

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.

195. The Fast, or Lent.

Noah the first was, as tradition says,

That did ordain the fast of forty days.

196. Sin.

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.

197. God.

God is more here than in another place,

Not by His essence, but commerce of grace.

198. This, and the Next World.

God hath this world for many made, ’tis true:

But He hath made the World to Come for few.

199. Ease.

God gives to none so absolute an ease

As not to know or feel some grievances.

200. Beginnings and Endings.

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.

201. Temporal Goods.

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.

202. Hell Fire.

The fire of hell this strange condition hath,

To burn, not shine, as learned Basil saith.

203. Abel’s Blood.

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.

204. 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.

205. A Position in the Hebrew Divinity.

One man repentant is of more esteem

With God, than one that never sinned ‘gainst Him.

206. Penitence.

The doctors, in the Talmud, say,

That in this world one only day

In true repentance spent will be

More worth than heaven’s eternity.

207. God’s Presence.

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.

208. The Resurrection Possible and Probable.

For each one body that i’ th’ earth is sown,

There’s an uprising but of one for one;

But for each grain that in the ground is thrown,

Threescore or fourscore spring up thence for one:

So that the wonder is not half so great

Of ours as is the rising of the wheat.

209. Christ’s Suffering.

Justly our dearest Saviour may abhor us,

Who hath more suffered by us far, than for us.

210. Sinners.

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.

211. Temptations.

No man is tempted so but may o’ercome,

If that he has a will to masterdom.

212. Pity and Punishment.

God doth embrace the good with love; and gains

The good by mercy, as the bad by pains.

213. God’s Price and Man’s Price.

God bought man here with His heart’s blood expense;

And man sold God here for base thirty pence.

214. Christ’s Action.

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.

215. Predestination.

Predestination is the cause alone

Of many standing, but of fall to none.

216. Another.

Art thou not destin’d? then with haste go on

To make thy fair predestination:

If thou can’st change thy life, God then will please

To change, or call back, His past sentences.

217. Sin.

Sin never slew a soul unless there went

Along with it some tempting blandishment.

218. Another.

Sin is an act so free, that if we shall

Say ’tis not free, ’tis then no sin at all.

219. Another.

Sin is the cause of death; and sin’s alone

The cause of God’s predestination:

And from God’s prescience of man’s sin doth flow

Our destination to eternal woe.

220. Prescience.

God’s prescience makes none sinful; but th’ offence

Of man’s the chief cause of God’s prescience.

221. Christ.

To all our wounds here, whatsoe’er they be,

Christ is the one sufficient remedy.

222. Christ’s Incarnation.

Christ took our nature on Him, not that He

‘Bove all things loved it for the purity:

No, but He dress’d Him with our human trim,

Because our flesh stood most in need of Him.

223. Heaven.

Heaven is not given for our good works here;

Yet it is given to the labourer.

224. God’s Keys

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.

225. Sin.

There’s no constraint to do amiss,

Whereas but one enforcement is.

226. Alms.

Give unto all, lest he, whom thou deni’st,

May chance to be no other man but Christ.

227. Hell Fire.

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.

228. To Keep a True Lent.

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 to dole

Thy sheaf of wheat,

And meat,

Unto the hungry soul.

It is to fast from strife,

From old debate

And hate;

To circumcise thy life.

To show a heart grief-rent;

To starve thy sin,

Not bin;

And that’s to keep thy Lent.

229. No Time in Eternity.

By hours we all live here; in Heaven is known

No spring of time, or time’s succession.

230. His Meditation Upon Death.

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,

Seldom brings order, but confusion.

Might I make choice, long life should be withstood;

Nor would I care how short it were, if good:

Which to effect, let ev’ry passing-bell

Possess my thoughts, “Next comes my doleful knell”:

And when the night persuades me to my bed,

I’ll think I’m going to be buried.

So shall the blankets which come over me

Present those turfs which once must cover me:

And with as firm behaviour I will meet

The sheet I sleep in as my winding-sheet.

When sleep shall bathe his body in mine eyes,

I will believe that then my body dies:

And if I chance to wake and rise thereon,

I’ll have in mind my resurrection,

Which must produce me to that General Doom,

To which the peasant, so the prince, must come,

To hear the Judge give sentence on the throne,

Without the least hope of affection.

Tears, at that day, shall make but weak defence,

When hell and horror fright the conscience.

Let me, though late, yet at the last, begin

To shun the least temptation to a sin;

Though to be tempted be no sin, until

Man to th’ alluring object gives his will.

Such let my life assure me, when my breath

Goes thieving from me, I am safe in death;

Which is the height of comfort: when I fall,

I rise triumphant in my funeral.

Affection, partiality.

231. Clothes for Continuance.

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.

232. To God.

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 Thy thunder-claps I hear,

I shall less swoon than die for fear.

Speak Thou of love and I’ll reply

By way of Epithalamy,

Or sing of mercy and I’ll suit

To it my viol and my lute;

Thus let Thy lips but love distil,

Then come, my God, and hap what will.

Mountain, orig. ed. mountains.

233. The Soul.

When once the soul has lost her way,

O then how restless does she stray!

And having not her God for light,

How does she err in endless night!

234. The Judgment-Day.

In doing justice God shall then be known,

Who showing mercy here, few prized, or none.

235. Sufferings.

We merit all we suffer, and by far

More stripes than God lays on the sufferer.

236. Pain and Pleasure.

God suffers not His saints and servants dear

To have continual pain or pleasure here;

But look how night succeeds the day, so He

Gives them by turns their grief and jollity.

237. God’s Presence.

God is all-present to whate’er we do,

And as all-present, so all-filling too.

238. Another.

That there’s a God we all do know,

But what God is we cannot show.

239. The Poor Man’s Part.

Tell me, rich man, for what intent

Thou load’st with gold thy vestiment?

Whenas the poor cry out: To us

Belongs all gold superfluous.

240. The Right Hand.

God has a right hand, but is quite bereft

Of that which we do nominate the left.

241. The Staff and Rod.

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.

242. God Sparing in Scourging.

God still rewards us more than our desert;

But when He strikes, He quarter-acts His part.

243. Confession.

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.

244. God’s Descent.

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.

245. No Coming to God Without Christ.

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.

246. Another to God.

Though Thou be’st all that active love

Which heats those ravished souls above;

And though all joys spring from the glance

Of Thy most winning countenance;

Yet sour and grim Thou’dst seem to me

If through my Christ I saw not Thee.

247. The Resurrection.

That Christ did die, the pagan saith;

But that He rose, that’s Christians’ faith.

248. Co-Heirs.

We are coheirs with Christ; nor shall His own

Heirship be less by our adoption.

The number here of heirs shall from the state

Of His great birthright nothing derogate.

249. The Number of Two.

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 pulpit read.

250. Hardening of Hearts.

God’s said our hearts to harden then,

Whenas His grace not supples men.

251. The Rose.

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.

252. God’s Time Must End Our Trouble.

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.

253. Baptism.

The strength of baptism that’s within,

It saves the soul by drowning sin.

254. Gold and Frankincense.

Gold serves for tribute to the king,

The frankincense for God’s off’ring.

255. To God.

God, who me gives a will for to repent,

Will add a power to keep me innocent;

That I shall ne’er that trespass recommit

When I have done true penance here for it.

256. The Chewing the Cud.

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.

257. Christ’s Twofold Coming.

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.

258. To God, His Gift.

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.

259. God’s Anger.

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.

260. God’s Commands.

In God’s commands ne’er ask the reason why;

Let thy obedience be the best reply.

261. To God.

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.

262. To God.

The work is done; now let my laurel be

Given by none but by Thyself to me:

That done, with honour Thou dost me create

Thy poet, and Thy prophet Laureate.

263. Good Friday: Rex Tragicus; Or, Christ Going to His Cross.

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 He defers, how loath He is to die!

Amongst this scum, the soldier with his spear

And that sour fellow with his vinegar,

His sponge, and stick, do ask why Thou dost stay;

So do the scurf and bran too. Go Thy way,

Thy way, Thou guiltless man, and satisfy

By Thine approach each their beholding eye.

Not as a thief shalt Thou ascend the mount,

But like a person of some high account;

The Cross shall be Thy stage, and Thou shalt there

The spacious field have for Thy theatre.

Thou art that Roscius and that marked-out man

That must this day act the tragedian

To wonder and affrightment: Thou art He

Whom all the flux of nations comes to see,

Not those poor thieves that act their parts with Thee;

Those act without regard, when once a king

And God, as Thou art, comes to suffering.

No, no; this scene from Thee takes life, and sense,

And soul, and spirit, plot and excellence.

Why then, begin, great King! ascend Thy throne,

And thence proceed to act Thy Passion

To such an height, to such a period raised,

As hell, and earth, and heav’n may stand amazed.

God and good angels guide Thee; and so bless

Thee in Thy several parts of bitterness,

That those who see Thee nail’d unto the tree

May, though they scorn Thee, praise and pity Thee.

And we, Thy lovers, while we see Thee keep

The laws of action, will both sigh and weep,

And bring our spices to embalm Thee dead;

That done, we’ll see Thee sweetly buried.

Scurf and bran, the rabble.

264. His Words to Christ Going to the Cross.

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.

265. Another to His Saviour.

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; or else, my God,

Thy stripes I’ll kiss, or burn the rod.

266. His Saviour’s Words Going to the Cross.

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 myrrh, the gall, the vinegar;

For Christ, your loving Saviour, hath

Drunk up the wine of God’s fierce wrath;

Only there’s left a little froth,

Less for to taste than for to show

What bitter cups had been your due,

Had He not drank them up for you.

267. His Anthem to Christ on the Cross.

When I behold Thee, almost slain,

With one and all parts full of pain:

When I Thy gentle heart do see

Pierced through and dropping blood for me,

I’ll call, and cry out, thanks to Thee.

Vers. But yet it wounds my soul to think

That for my sin Thou, Thou must drink,

Even Thou alone, the bitter cup

Of fury and of vengeance up.

Chor. Lord, I’ll not see Thee to drink all

The vinegar, the myrrh, the gall:

Vers. Chor. But I will sip a little wine;

Which done, Lord, say: The rest is Mine.


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;

Or ere dark clouds do dull or dead the mid-day’s sun.

Act when Thou wilt,

Blood will be spilt;

Pure balm, that shall

Bring health to all.

Why then, begin

To pour first in

Some drops of wine,

Instead of brine,

To search the wound

So long unsound:

And, when that’s done,

Let oil next run

To cure the sore

Sin made before.

And O! dear Christ,

E’en as Thou di’st,

Look down, and see

Us weep for Thee.

And tho’, love knows,

Thy dreadful woes

We cannot ease,

Yet do Thou please,

Who mercy art,

T’ accept each heart

That gladly would

Help if it could.

Meanwhile let me,

Beneath this tree,

This honour have,

To make my grave.

269. To His Saviour’s Sepulchre: His Devotion.

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 fear

Than full affection, enter here.

Thus, thus I come to kiss Thy stone

With a warm lip and solemn one:

And as I kiss I’ll here and there

Dress Thee with flow’ry diaper.

How sweet this place is! as from hence

Flowed all Panchaia’s frankincense;

Or rich Arabia did commix,

Here, all her rare aromatics.

Let me live ever here, and stir

No one step from this sepulchre.

Ravish’d I am! and down I lie

Confused in this brave ecstasy.

Here let me rest; and let me have

This for my heaven that was Thy grave:

And, coveting no higher sphere,

I’ll my eternity spend here.

Panchaia, a fabulous spice island in the Erythrean Sea.

270. His Offering, with the Rest, at the Sepulchre.

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.

271. His Coming to the Sepulchre.

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 follow without fear,

And live in hell if that my Christ stays there.

Of all the good things whatsoe’er we do,

God is the ΑΡΧE, and the ΤΕΛΟΣ too.

Notes to Noble Numbers.

3. Weigh me the Fire. 2 Esdras, iv. 5, 7; v. 9, 36: “Weigh me . . . the fire, or measure me . . . the wind,” etc.

4. God . . . is the best known, not. . . . August. de Ord. ii. 16: [Deus] scitur melius nesciendo.

5. Supraentity, το ηυπεροντôς ον, Plotinus.

7. His wrath is free from perturbation. August. de Civ. Dei, ix. 5: Ipse Deus secundum Scripturas irascitur, nec tamen ullâ passione turbatur. Enchir. ad Laurent. 33: Cum irasci dicitur Deus, non significatur perturbatio, qualis est in animo irascentis hominis.

9. Those Spotless two Lambs. “This is the offering made by fire which ye shall offer unto the Lord: two lambs of the first year without spot, day by day, for a continual burnt-offering.” (Numb. xxviii. 3.)

17. An Anthem sung in the Chapel of Whitehall. This may be added to Nos. 96–98, and 102, the poems on which Mr. Hazlitt bases his conjecture that Herrick may have held some subordinate post in the Chapel Royal.

37. When once the sin has fully acted been. Tacitus, Ann. xiv. 10: Perfecto demum scelere, magnitudo ejus intellecta est.

38. Upon Time. Were this poem anonymous it would probably be attributed rather to George Herbert than to Herrick.

41. His Litany to the Holy Spirit. We may quote again from Barron Field’s account in the Quarterly Review (1810) of his cross-examination of the Dean Prior villagers for Reminiscences of Herrick: “The person, however, who knows more of Herrick than all the rest of the neighbourhood we found to be a poor woman in the 99th year of her age, named Dorothy King. She repeated to us, with great exactness, five of his Noble Numbers, among which was his beautiful ‘Litany’. These she had learnt from her mother, who was apprenticed to Herrick’s successor at the vicarage. She called them her prayers, which she said she was in the habit of putting up in bed, whenever she could not sleep; and she therefore began the ‘Litany’ at the second stanza:—

‘When I lie within my bed,’ etc.”

Another of her midnight orisons was the poem beginning:—

“Every night Thou dost me fright,

And keep mine eyes from sleeping,” etc.

The last couplet, it should be noted, is misquoted from No. 56.

54. Spew out all neutralities. From the message to the Church of the Laodiceans, Rev. iii. 16.

59. A Present by a Child. Cp. “A pastoral upon the Birth of Prince Charles” (Hesperides 213), and Note.

63. God’s mirth: man’s mourning. Perhaps founded on Prov. i. 26: “I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh”.

65. My Alma. The name is probably suggested by its meaning “soul”. Cp. Prior’s Alma.

72. I’ll cast a mist and cloud. Cp. Hor. I. Ep. xvi. 62: Noctem peccatis et fraudibus objice nubem.

75. That house is bare. Horace, Ep. I. vi. 45: Exilis domus est, ubi non et multa supersunt.

77. Lighten my candle, etc. The phraseology of the next five lines is almost entirely from the Psalms and the Song of Solomon.

86. Sin leads the way. Hor. Odes, III. ii. 32: Raro antecedentem scelestum Deseruit pede Poena claudo.

88. By Faith we . . . walk . . ., not by the Spirit. 2 Cor. v. 7: “We walk by faith, not by sight”. ‘By the Spirit’ perhaps means, ‘in spiritual bodies’.

96. Sung to the King. See Note on 17.

Composed by M. Henry Lawes. See Hesperides 851, and Note.

102. The Star–Song. This may have been composed partly with reference to the noonday star during the Thanksgiving for Charles II.‘s birth. See Hesperides 213, and Note.

We’ll choose him King. A reference to the Twelfth Night games. See Hesperides 1035, and Note.

108. Good men afflicted most. Taken almost entirely from Seneca, de Provid. 3, 4: Ignem experitur [Fortuna] in Mucio, paupertatem in Fabricio, . . . tormenta in Regulo, venenum in Socrate, mortem in Catone. The allusions may be briefly explained for the unclassical. At the siege of Dyrrachium, Marcus Cassius Scæva caught 120 darts on his shield; Horatius Cocles is the hero of the bridge (see Macaulay’s Lays); C. Mucius Scævola held his hand in the fire to illustrate to Porsenna Roman fearlessness; Cato is Cato Uticensis, the philosophic suicide; “high Atilius” will be more easily recognised as the M. Atilius Regulus who defied the Carthaginians; Fabricius Luscinus refused not only the presents of Pyrrhus, but all reward of the State, and lived in poverty on his own farm.

109. A wood of darts. Cp. Virg. Æn. x. 886: Ter secum Troius heros Immanem aerato circumfert tegmine silvam.

112. The Recompense. Herrick is said to have assumed the lay habit on his return to London after his ejection, perhaps as a protection against further persecution. This quatrain may be taken as evidence that he did not throw off his religion with his cassock. Compare also 124.

All I have lost that could be rapt from me. From Ovid, III. Trist. vii. 414: Raptaque sint adimi quae potuere mihi.

123. Thy light that ne’er went out. Prov. xxxi. 18 (of ‘the Excellent Woman’): “Her candle goeth not out by night”. All set about with lilies. Cp. Cant. Canticorum, vii. 2: Venter tuus sicut acervus tritici, vallatus liliis.

Will show these garments. So Acts ix. 39.

134. God had but one son free from sin. Augustin. Confess. vi.: Deus unicum habet filium sine peccato, nullum sine flagello, quoted in Burton, II. iii. 1.

136. Science in God. Bp. Davenant, on Colossians, 166, ed. 1639; speaking of Omniscience: Proprietates Divinitatis non sunt accidentia, sed ipsa Dei essentia.

145. Tears. Augustin. Enarr. Ps. cxxvii.: Dulciores sunt lacrymae orantium quàm gaudia theatorum.

146. Manna. Wisdom xvi. 20, 21: “Angels’ food . . . agreeing to every taste”.

147. As Cassiodore doth prove. Reverentia est enim Domini timor cum amore permixtus. Cassiodor. Expos. in Psalt. xxxiv. 30; quoted by Dr. Grosart. My clerical predecessor has also hunted down with much industry the possible sources of most of the other patristic references in Noble Numbers, though I have been able to add a few. We may note that Herrick quotes Cassiodorus (twice), John of Damascus, Boethius, Thomas Aquinas, St. Bernard, St. Augustine (thrice), St. Basil, and St. Ambrose — a goodly list of Fathers, if we had any reason to suppose that the quotations were made at first hand.

148. Mercy . . . a Deity. Pausanias, Attic. I. xvii. 1.

153. Mora Sponsi, the stay of the bridegroom. Maldonatus, Comm. in Matth. xxv.: Hieronymus et Hilarius moram sponsi p[oe]nitentiae tempus esse dicunt.

157. Montes Scripturarum. See August. Enarr. in Ps. xxxix., and passim.

167. A dereliction. The word is from Ps. xxii. 1: Quare me dereliquisti? “Why hast Thou forsaken me?” Herrick took it from Gregory’s Notes and Observations (see infra), p. 5: ‘Our Saviour . . . in that great case of dereliction’.

174. Martha, Martha. See Luke x. 41, and August. Serm. cii. 3: Repetitio nominis indicium est dilectionis.

177. Paradise. Gregory, p. 75, on “the reverend Say of Zoroaster, Seek Paradise,” quotes from the Scholiast Psellus: “The Chaldæan Paradise (saith he) is a Quire of divine powers incircling the Father”.

178. The Jews when they built houses. Herrick’s rabbinical lore (cp. 180, 181, 193, 207, 224), like his patristic, was probably derived at second hand through some biblical commentary. Much of it certainly comes from the Notes and Observations upon some Passages of Scripture (Oxford, 1646) of John Gregory, chaplain of Christ Church, a prodigy of oriental learning, who died in his 39th year, March 13, 1646. Thus in his Address to the Reader (3rd page from end) Gregory remarks: “The Jews, when they build a house, are bound to leave some part of it unfinished in memory of the destruction of Jerusalem,” giving a reference to Leo of Modena, Degli Riti Hebraici, Part I.

180. Observation. The Virgin Mother, etc. Gregory, pp. 24–27, shows that Sitting, the usual posture of mourners, was forbidden by both Roman and Jewish Law “in capital causes”. “This was the reason why . . . she stood up still in a resolute and almost impossible compliance with the Law. . . . They sat . . . after leave obtained . . . to bury the body.”

181. Tapers. Cp. Gregory’s Notes, p. 111: “The funeral tapers (however thought of by some) are of the same harmless import. Their meaning is to show that the departed souls are not quite put out, but having walked here as the children of the Light are now gone to walk before God in the light of the living.”

185. God in the holy tongue. J. G., p. 135: “God is called in the Holy Tongue . . . the Place; or that Fulness which filleth All in All”.

186, 187, 188, 189, 197. God’s Presence, Dwelling, etc. J. G., pp. 135–9: “Shecinah, or God’s Dwelling Presence”. “God is said to be nearer to this man than to that, more in one place than in another. Thus he is said to depart from some and come to others, to leave this place and to abide in that, not by essential application of Himself, much less by local motion, but by impression of effect.” “With just men (saith St. Bernard) God is present, in veritate, in deed, but with the wicked, dissemblingly.” “He is called in the Holy Tongue, Jehovah, He that is, or Essence.” “He is said to dwell there (saith Maimon) where He putteth the marks . . . of His Majesty; and He doth this by His Grace and Holy Spirit.”

190. The Virgin Mary. J. G., p. 86: “St. Ephrem upon those words of Jacob, This is the House of God, and this is the Gate of Heaven. This saying (saith he) is to be meant of the Virgin Mary . . . truly to be called the House of God, as wherein the Son of God . . . inhabited, and as truly the Gate of Heaven, for the Lord of heaven and earth entered thereat; and it shall not be set open the second time, according to that of Ezekiel (xliv. 2): I saw (saith he) a gate in the East; the glorious Lord entered thereat; thenceforth that gate was shut, and is not any more to be opened (Catena Arab. c. 58).”

192. Upon Woman and Mary. The reference is to Christ’s appearance to St. Mary Magdalene in the Garden after the Resurrection, John xx. 15, 16.

193. North and South. Comp. Hesper. 429. Observation. J. G., pp. 92, 93: “Whosoever (say the Doctors in Berachoth) shall set his bed N. and S., shall beget male children. Therefore the Jews hold this rite of collocation . . . to this day. . . . They are bound to place their . . . house of office in the very same situation . . . that the uncomely necessities . . . might not fall into the Walk and Ways of God, whose Shecinah or dwelling presence lieth W. and E.”

195. Noah the first was, etc. Cp. Gregory, Notes, p. 28.

201. Temporal goods. August., quoted by Burton, II. iii. 3: Dantur quidem bonis, saith Austin, ne quis mala aestimet, malis autem ne quis nimis bona.

203. Speak, did the blood of Abel cry, etc. Cp. Gregory’s Notes, pp. 118: “But did the blood of Abel speak? saith Theophylact. Yes, it cried unto God for vengeance, as that of sprinkling for propitiation and mercy.”

204. A thing of such a reverend reckoning. Cp. Gregory, 118–9: “The blood of Abel was so holy and reverend a thing, in the sense and reputation of the old world, that the men of that time used to swear by it”.

205. A Position in the Hebrew Divinity. From Gregory’s Notes, pp. 134, 5: “That old position in the Hebrew Divinity . . . that a repenting man is of more esteem in the sight of God than one that never fell away”.

206. The Doctors in the Talmud. From Gregory’s Notes, l.c.: “The Doctors in the Talmud say, that one day spent here in true Repentance is more worth than eternity itself, or all the days of heaven in the other world”.

207. God’s Presence. Again from Gregory’s Notes, pp. 136 sq.

208. The Resurrection. Gregory’s Notes, pp. 128–29, translating from a Greek MS. of Mathæus Blastares in the Bodleian: “The wonder of this is far above that of the resurrection of our bodies; for then the earth giveth up her dead but one for one, but in the case of the corn she giveth up many living ones for one dead one”.

243. Confession twofold is. August, in Ps. xxix. Enarr. ii. 19: Confessio gemina est, aut peccati, aut laudis.

254. Gold and frankincense. St. Matt. ii. 11. St. Ambrose. Aurum Regi, thus Deo.

256. The Chewing the Cud. Cp. Lev. xi. 6.

258. As my little pot doth boil, etc. This far-fetched little poem is an instance of Herrick’s habit of jotting down his thoughts in verse. In cooking some food for a charitable purpose he seems to have noticed that the boiling pot tossed the meat to and fro, or “waved” it (the priest’s work), and that he himself was giving away the meat he lifted off the fire, the “heave-offering,” which was the priest’s perquisite. This is the confusion or “level-coil” to which he alludes.

Poems not included in Hesperides.


Whose head, befringed with bescattered tresses,

Shows like Apollo’s when the morn he dresses,1

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 vine,

Under whose shade two starry sparkling eyes

Are beautifi’d with fair fring’d canopies.

Her comely nose, with uniformal grace,

Like purest white, stands in the middle place,

Parting the pair, as we may well suppose.

Each cheek resembling still a damask rose,

Which like a garden manifestly show

How roses, lilies, and carnations grow,

Which sweetly mixed both with white and red,

Like rose leaves, white and red, seem2 mingled.

Then nature for a sweet allurement sets

Two smelling, swelling, bashful cherrylets,

The which with ruby redness being tipp’d,

Do speak a virgin, merry, cherry-lipp’d.

Over the which a neat, sweet skin is drawn,

Which makes them show like roses under lawn:

These be the ruby portals, and divine,

Which ope themselves to show a holy shrine

Whose breath is rich perfume, that to the sense

Smells like the burn’d Sabean frankincense:

In which the tongue, though but a member small,

Stands guarded with a rosy-hilly wall;

And her white teeth, which in the gums are set

Like pearl and gold, make one rich cabinet.

Next doth her chin with dimpled beauty strive

For his white, plump, and smooth prerogative;

At whose fair top, to please the sight, there grows

The fairest3 image of a blushing rose,

Mov’d by the chin, whose motion causeth this,

That both her lips do part, do meet, do kiss;

Her ears, which like two labyrinths are plac’d

On either side, with rich rare jewels grac’d,

Moving a question whether that by them

The gem is grac’d, or they grac’d by the gem.

But the foundation of the architect

Is the swan-staining, fair, rare, stately neck

Which with ambitious humbleness stands under,

Bearing aloft this rich, round world of wonder.

Her breast, a place for beauty’s throne most fit,

Bears up two globes where love and pleasure sit,

Which, headed with two rich, round rubies, show

Like wanton rosebuds growing out of snow;

And in the milky valley that’s between

Sits Cupid, kissing of his mother queen,

Fingering the paps that feel like sieved silk,

And press’d a little they will weep pure milk.

Then comes the belly, seated next below,

Like a fair mountain in Riphean snow,

Where Nature, in a whiteness without spot,

Hath in the middle tied a Gordian knot.

Now love invites me to survey her thighs,

Swelling in likeness like two crystal skies,

Which to the knees by Nature fastened on,

Derive their ever well ‘greed motion.

Her legs with two clear calves, like silver tri’d,

Kindly swell up with little pretty pride,

Leaving a distance for the comely4 small

To beautify the leg and foot withal.

Then lowly, yet most lovely stand the feet,

Round, short and clear, like pounded spices sweet,

And whatsoever thing they tread upon

They make it scent like bruised cinnamon.

The lovely shoulders now allure the eye

To see two tablets of pure ivory

From which two arms like branches seem to spread

With tender rind5 and silver coloured,

With little hands and fingers long and small

To grace a lute, a viol, virginal.

In length each finger doth his next excel,

Each richly headed with a pearly shell.

Thus every part in contrariety

Meet in the whole and make a harmony,

As divers strings do singly disagree,

But form’d by number make sw