To Anthea

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.

More Poems by Robert Herrick