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And all those airy silks to flow,
Alluring me, and tempting som
I must confess, mine eye and heart
Dotes less on nature than on art.
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.
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.
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, shalt be
Writ in my psalter.
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.
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.
Now is the time when all the lights wax dim;
And thou, Anthea, must withdraw from him
Who was thy servant : Dearest, bury me
Under that holy-oak, or gospel-tree;
Where, though thou see'st not, thou may’st think upon
Me, when thou yearly go’st procession;
Or, for mine honour, lay me in that tomb
In which thy sacred reliques shall have room ;
For my embalming, Sweetest, there will be
No spices wanting, when I'm laid by thee.
Ah, my Perilla ! dost thou grieve to see
Me, day by day, to steal away from thee?
Age calls me hence, and my gray hairs bid come,
And haste away to mine eternal home;
'Twill not be long, Perilla, after this,
That I must give thee the supremest kiss :-
Dead when I am, first cast in salt, and bring
Part of the cream from that religious spring,
With which, Perilla, wash my hands and feet;
That done, then wind me in that very
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.
Come, Anthea, let us two
Go to feast, as others do :
Tarts and custards, creams and cakes,
Are the junkets still at wakes ;
Unto which the tribes resort,
Where the business is the sport :
Morris-dancers thou shalt see,
Marian, too, in pageantry :
And a mimic to devise
Many grinning properties.
Players there will be, and 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,
Drench'd 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.
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 !
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
Blest 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.
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.