To Anthea, who may Command him Anything

By Robert Herrick 1591–1674 Robert Herrick
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,
         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;
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
         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.

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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Poet Robert Herrick 1591–1674


Subjects Relationships, Love, Men & Women, Romantic Love, Infatuation & Crushes

 Robert  Herrick


Almost forgotten in the eighteenth century, and in the nineteenth century alternately applauded for his poetry’s lyricism and condemned for its “obscenities,” Robert Herrick is, in the latter half of the twentieth century, finally becoming recognized as one of the most accomplished nondramatic poets of his age. Long dismissed as merely a “minor poet” and, as a consequence, neglected or underestimated by scholars and critics, the . . .

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SUBJECT Relationships, Love, Men & Women, Romantic Love, Infatuation & Crushes


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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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