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Be she fat, or be she lean ;
Be she sluttish, be she clean;
I'm a man for every scene."
The following is inserted, with some variations, in the collection of Carew's poems. There is also another poem, addressed by Herrick to Mrs. Elizabeth Wheeler, in the same collection, under the title of the Enquiry. But both appear to have been erroneously attributed to Carew.
“Ask me why I send you here
This sweet infanta of the year ?
Ask me why I send to you
This primrose, thus bepearld with dew?
I will whisper to your ears,
The sweets of love are mix'd with tears.
Ask me why this flow'r 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.”
Those which succeed are in a more pathetic strain.
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 lilly will not long endure,
Nor the snow continue pure;
The rose, the violet, one day
See; both these lady-flow'rs 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 ye shall see that I am dead,
For pity let a tear be shed;
And, with your mantle o'er me cast,
Give my cold lips a kiss at last:
If twice you kiss, you need not fear
That I shall stir, or live more here;
Next hollow out a tomb to cover
Me, me, the most despised lover,
And write thereon : “ this, reader, know, .
Love kill'd this man.” No more, but so.”
To Anthea, who may command him any thing.
“ Bid me to live, and I will live
l'hy 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 can'st 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."
“ 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."
Some of his descriptive pieces are characterized by the most exquisite moral pathos.
“ Fair daffodils, we weep to see
You haste away so soon;
As yet the early-rising sun
Has not attain'd his noon :
Until the hastning day
But to the even-song;
And, having pray'd together, we
Will go with you along !
We have short time to stay, as you ;
We have as short á spring,
As quick a growth to meet decay,
As you, or any thing :
As your hours do; and dry
Like to the summer's rain,
Or as the pearls of morning dew
Ne'er to be found again.”
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 show'r
That mars a flow'r;
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 flow'rs, 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
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.'”
“Fair pledges of a fruitful tree,
Why do ye fall so fast?
Your date is not so past,
But you may stay yet here awhile
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?
'Tis pity nature brought ye forth
Merely to shew 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, awhile; they glide
Into the grave."
He sings “how roses first came red, and lillies white;" how
flowers first sprung, and how they first received their different tints.
How the Wall-flower came first, and why so called.
“Why this flow'r is now call’d so,
List, sweet maids, and you shall know.
Understand, this firstling was
Once a brisk and bonny lass,
Kept as close as Danäe was,
Who a sprightly springal 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.”
How Pansies or Hearts-ease first came.
“ Frolick 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 of blooming years,
For their restless here-spent hours,
Gave them heart's ease turn'd to flow'rs.”
Herrick delights in the description of those elegant poetic creations—the fairies, whom he has delineated with a minuteness of detail and felicity of expression truly admirable. We shall make two quotations from these agreeable sports of fancy.
“ Thus to a grove
Sometimes devoted unto love,
Tinsell’d 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,