A Ring Presented to Julia

By Robert Herrick 1591–1674 Robert Herrick
   Julia, I bring
   To thee this ring,
Made for thy finger fit;
   To show by this
   That our love is
(Or should be) like to it.

   Close though it be,
   The joint is free;
So when Love’s yoke is on,
   It must not gall,
   Or fret at all
With hard oppression.

   But it must play
   Still either way,
And be, too, such a yoke
   As not too wide
   To overslide,
Or be so strait to choke.

   So we who bear
   This beam must rear
Ourselves to such a height
   As that the stay
   Of either may
Create the burden light.

   And as this round
   Is nowhere found
To flaw, or else to sever;
   So let our love
   As endless prove,
And pure as gold for ever.

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Poet Robert Herrick 1591–1674


Subjects Love, Romantic Love

 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 Love, Romantic Love


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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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