Verse > Anthologies > Harvard Classics > English Poetry I: From Chaucer to Gray
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   English Poetry I: From Chaucer to Gray.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
213. To Anthea who may Command Him Any Thing
 
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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