Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. II. Ben Jonson to Dryden
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. II. The Seventeenth Century: Ben Jonson to Dryden
 
To Primroses Filled with Morning Dew
By Robert Herrick (1591–1674)
 
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?        5
Alas, you have not known that shower
        That mars a flower,
        Nor felt th’ unkind
    Breath of a blasting wind,
    Nor are ye worn with years;        10
        Or warp’d as we,
    Who think it strange to see,
Such pretty flowers, like to orphans young,
To speak by tears, before ye have a tongue.
 
Speak, whimp’ring younglings, and make known        15
        The reason why
        Ye droop and weep;
    Is it for want of sleep,
    Or childish lullaby?
Or that ye have not seen as yet        20
        The violet?
        Or brought a kiss
    From that Sweet-heart, to this?
    —No, no, this sorrow shown
        By your tears shed,        25
    Would have this lecture read,
That things of greatest, so of meanest worth,
Conceived with grief are, and with tears brought forth.
 
 
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