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
 
The Wake
By Robert Herrick (1591–1674)
 
COME, Anthea, let us two
Go to feast, as others do:
Tarts and custards, creams and cakes,
Are the junkets still at wakes;
Unto which the tribes resort,        5
Where the business is the sport:
Morris-dancers thou shalt see,
Marian, too, in pageantry:
And a mimic to devise
Many grinning properties.        10
Players there will be, and those
Base in action as in clothes;
Yet with strutting they will please
The incurious villages.
Near the dying of the day        15
There will be a cudgel-play,
Where a coxcomb will be broke,
Ere a good word can be spoke:
But the anger ends all here,
Drench’d in ale, or drown’d in beer.        20
—Happy rustics! best content
With the cheapest merriment;
And possess no other fear,
Than to want the Wake next year.
 
 
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