To Blossoms

- 1591-1674
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?
'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, awhile, they glide
      Into the grave.

More by Robert Herrick

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 Maypoles, 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 trans-shifting, 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.

To Sylvia, 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.

To Anthea Who May Command Him Any Thing

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.