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 Phillis
By Robert Herrick (1591–1674)
 
LIVE, live with me, and thou shalt see
The pleasures I’ll prepare for thee:
What sweets the country can afford
Shall bless thy bed, and bless thy board.
The soft sweet moss shall be thy bed,        5
With crawling woodbine over-spread:
By which the silver-shedding streams
Shall gently melt thee into dreams.
Thy clothing next, shall be a gown
Made of the fleeces’ purest down.        10
The tongues of kids shall be thy meat;
Their milk thy drink; and thou shalt eat
The paste of filberts for thy bread
With cream of cowslips butterèd:
Thy feasting-table shall be hills        15
With daisies spread, and daffadils;
Where thou shalt sit, and Red-breast by,
For meat, shall give thee melody.
I ’ll give thee chains and carcanets
Of primroses and violets.        20
A bag and bottle thou shalt have,
That richly wrought, and this as brave;
So that as either shall express
The wearer’s no mean shepherdess.
At shearing-times, and yearly wakes,        25
When Themilis his pastime makes,
There thou shalt be; and be the wit,
Nay more, the feast, and grace of it.
On holydays, when virgins meet
To dance the heys with nimble feet,        30
Thou shalt come forth, and then appear
The Queen of Roses for that year.
And having danced (’bove all the best)
Carry the garland from the rest,
In wicker-baskets maids shall bring        35
To thee, my dearest shepherdling,
The blushing apple, bashful pear,
And shame-faced plum, all simp’ring there.
Walk in the groves, and thou shalt find
The name of Phillis in the rind        40
Of every straight and smooth-skin tree;
Where kissing that, I’ll twice kiss thee.
To thee a sheep-hook I will send,
Be-prank’d with ribbands, to this end,
This, this alluring hook might be        45
Less for to catch a sheep, than me.
Thou shalt have possets, wassails fine,
Not made of ale, but spicèd wine;
To make thy maids and self free mirth,
All sitting near the glitt’ring hearth.        50
Thou shalt have ribbands, roses, rings,
Gloves, garters, stockings, shoes, and strings
Of winning colours, that shall move
Others to lust, but me to love.
—These, nay, and more, thine own shall be,        55
If thou wilt love, and live with me.
 
 
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