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When I shall voice aloud how good
He is, how great should be, Enlarged winds, that curl the flood,
Know no such liberty.
Stone walls do not a prison make, 25
Nor iron bars a cage;
That for an hermitage;
30 Angels alone, that soar above,
Enjoy such liberty.
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 5 By these to sing of cleanly wantonness; I sing of dews, of rains, and, piece by piece, Of balm, of oil, of spice and ambergris; I sing of times trans-shifting, and I write How roses first came red and lilies white; I write of groves, of twilights, and I sing 11 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.
The garlands wither on your brow;
Then boast no more your mighty deeds; Upon Death's purple altar now See where the victor-victim bleeds:
Your heads must come
To the cold tomb;
Upon her wings presents the god unshorn.
The dew bespangling herb and tree. Each flower has wept and bowed toward
the east Above an hour since: yet you not dressed;
Nay! not so much as out of bed ?
Nay, profanation, to keep in,
ROBERT HERRICK (1591-1674)
THE ARGUMENT OF HIS BOOK
I sing of brooks, of blossoms, birds and
bowers, Of April, May, of June and July-flowers;
Rise and put on your foliage, and be seen 15 To come forth, like the spring-time, fresh
Many a glance too has been sent
From out the eye, love's firmament; Many a jest told of the keys betraying 55 This night, and locks picked, yet we're
And sweet as Flora. Take no care
Gems in abundance upon you:
wept; Come and receive them while the light Hangs on the dew-locks of the night: And Titan on the eastern hill
25 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
Come, let us go while we are in our prime;
We shall grow old apace, and die
As fast away as does the sun;
So when or you or I are made 65
Lies drowned with us in endless night. Then while time serves, and we are but
decaying, Come, my Corinna, come, let's go a
Come, my Corinna, come; and, coming,
mark How each field turns a street, each street a park
30 Made green and trimmed 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;
35 As if here were those cooler shades of love.
Can such delights be in the street
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.
That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer; 10 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, 15
You may forever tarry.
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 45 Back, and with white-thorn laden home. Some have despatched their cakes and
cream Before that we have left to dream: And some have wept, and wooed, and
plighted troth, And chose their priest, ere we can cast off sloth:
50 Many a green-gown has been given; Many a kiss, both odd and even: 1 the sun.
HOW ROSES CAME RED
Roses at first were white,
Till they could not agree, Whether my Sapho's breast
Or they more white should be.
Is it to fast an hour,
Or ragg’d to go,
Or show A downcast look, and sour?
My lines and life are free; free as the road, Loose as the wind, as large as store. 5
Shall I be still in suit? Have I no harvest but a thorn
To let me blood, and not restore What I have lost with cordiala fruit?
Sure there was wine Before my sighs did dry it; there was
corn Before my tears did drown it; Is the year only lost to me?
Have I no bays to crown it,
And thou hast hands.
pute Of what is fit and not; forsake thy cage,
Thy rope of sands
made to thee
25 While thou didst wink3 and wouldst not
I will abroad.
30 To suit and serve his need
Deserves his load." But as I raved, and grew more fierce and
At every word, Methought I heard one calling, “Child!”
And I replied, "My Lord!”
To show a heart grief-rent;
To starve thy sin,
Not bin; And that's to keep thy Lent.
GEORGE HERBERT (1593–1633)
Sweet day, so cool, so calm, so bright,
The bridal of the earth and sky, The dew shall weep thy fall to-night;
For thou must die.
Sweet rose, whose hue, angry and brave, 5
Bids the rash gazer wipe his eye, Thy root is ever in its grave,
And thou must die.
Only a sweet and virtuous soul,
Like seasoned timber, never gives; But though the whole world turn to coal,15
Then chiefly lives.
The merry World did on a day
With his train-bands and mates agree To meet together where I lay,
And all in sport to jeer at me.
I will abroad!
First Beauty crept into a rose,
5 Which when I plucked not, “Sir," said
me, I pray, whose hands are those?” But Thou shalt answer, Lord, for me. plenty. : revivifying.
: shut the eyes.
Tell him we now can show him more
Than he e'er showed to mortal sight, When God at first made man,
Than he himself e'er saw before, Having a glass of blessings standing by; Which to be seen needs not his light. “Let us," said He, “pour on him all we Tell him, Tityrus, where th' hast been
Tell him, Thyrsis, what th' hast seen. 16 Let the world's riches, which dispersed lie,
TITYRUS. Gloomy night embraced the Contract into a span.”
Where the noble Infant lay. So Strength first made a way;
The Babe looked up and showed His Then Beauty flowed; then Wisdom, Honor, face; Pleasure.
In spite of darkness, it was day. When almost all was out, God made a It was Thy day, Sweet! and did rise stay,
Not from the east, but from Thine eyes. Perceiving that alone, of all His treasure, Rest in the bottom lay.
CHORUS. It was Thy day, Sweet, etc.