To Anthea

By Robert Herrick 1591–1674 Robert Herrick
Let’s call for Hymen if agreed thou art –
Delays in love but crucify the heart.
Love’s thorny tapers yet neglected lie;
Speak thou the word, they’ll kindle by and by.
The nimble hours woo us on to wed,
And Genius waits to have us both to bed.
Behold, for us the naked Graces stay
With maunds of roses for us to strew the way.
Besides, the most religious prophet stands
Ready to join as well our hearts as hands.
June yet smiles; but if she chance to chide,
Ill luck ’twill bode to th’bridegroom and the bride.
Tell me Anthea, dost thou fondly dread
The loss of that we call a maidenhead?
Come, I’ll instruct thee. Know, the vestal fire
Is not by marriage quenched, but flames the higher.

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Poet Robert Herrick 1591–1674


Subjects Love, Desire

 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, Desire


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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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