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BORN 1591-DIED ABOUT 1662.
HERRICK was the son of a goldsmith in London. He studied at Cambridge, took orders, and obtained the living of Dean Prior in Devonshire, which he lost on the commencement of the civil wars. At the Restoration he was reappointed to his vicarage, but died soon afterwards. There is a sparkling Anacreontic gaiety in some of Herrick's lighter effusions which places him at the head of
a class of English lyrists. Of this deposed churchman Philips says, with quaintness
not the less amusing for the slight infusion of party bitterness, “ He was not particularly influenced by any nymph or goddess, except his Maid Prue, though he has occasionally shewn a pretty flowery and pastoral gale of
Old Time is still a flying ;
To-morrow will be dying.
The glorious lamp of heav'n, the sun,
The higher he's a getting, The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he's to setting.
The age is best which
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, whilst ye may, go marry ; For having lost but once your prime,
You may for ever tarry.
THE NIGHTLY CHARM.
Her eyes the glow-worm lend thee,
And the elves also,
Whose little eyes glow
No Will o'th' Wisp mislight thee ;
But on, on thy way,
-Not making a stay, Since ghost there is none to affright thee.
Let not the dark thee cumber;
The stars of the night
Will lend thee their light, Like tapers clear without number.
Then, Julia, let me woo thee,
And when I shall meet
Thy silvery feet,
THE MAD MAID'S SONG.
Good morrow to the day so fair :
Good morning, sir, to you ;
Bedabbled with the dew:
Good morning to this primrose too ;
Good morrow to each maid,
Wherein my love is laid.
Ah, woe is me! woe, woe is me!
Alack, and well-a-day!
Which bore my love away.
I'll seek him in your bonnet brave,
I'll seek him in your eyes ; Nay, now I think they've made his grave
l' 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,
That I shall never find him !
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
Chor.--And makes more soft the bridal bed :
-2. It is an active flame, that flies
First to the babies of the eyes,
2. Then to the chin, the cheek, the ear,
It frisks, and flies ; now here, now there ;
1. Has it a speaking virtue ?-2. Yes.1. How speaks it, say ?-2. Do you but this. Part your join'd lips, then speaks your kiss ;
Chor.-And this love's sweetest language
1. Has it a body ?-2. Ay, and wings,
With thousand rare encolourings ;
Chor.-Love honey yields, but never stings.
Bid me to live, and I will live
Thy protestant to be ;
A loving heart to thee.
A heart as soft, a heart as kind,
A heart as sound and free,
That heart I'll give to thee.
Bid that heart stay, and it will stay
To honour thy decree ;
And 't shall do so for thee.
Bid me to weep, and I will weep,
While I have eyes to see ;
A heart to weep for thee.
Bid me despair, and I'll despair
Under that cypress tree;
E'en death, to die for thee.