Verse > Anthologies > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of English Verse
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Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. 1919. The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.
  
Robert Herrick. 1591–1674
  
266. To Anthea, who may command him Anything
  
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,         5
  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:  10
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 will I keep  15
  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.  20
 
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. 
 
 
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