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 Anthea, I
By Robert Herrick (1591–1674)
 
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 I will 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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