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Best Famous Robert Herrick Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Robert Herrick poems. This is a select list of the best famous Robert Herrick poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Robert Herrick poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Robert Herrick poems.

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Written by Robert Herrick |

To Find God

Weigh me the fire; or canst thou find
A way to measure out the wind?
Distinguish all those floods that are
Mixed in that wat'ry theater,
And taste thou them as saltless there,
As in their channel first they were.
Tell me the people that do keep Within the kingdoms of the deep; Or fetch me back that cloud again, Beshivered into seeds of rain.
Tell me the motes, dust, sands, and spears Of corn, when summer shakes his ears; Show me that world of stars, and whence They noiseless spill their influence.
This if thou canst; then show me Him That rides the glorious cherubim.

Written by Robert Herrick |


 In man, ambition is the common'st thing;
Each one by nature loves to be a king.

Written by Robert Herrick |



Sweet country life, to such unknown,
Whose lives are others', not their own!
But serving courts and cities, be
Less happy, less enjoying thee.
Thou never plough'st the ocean's foam To seek and bring rough pepper home: Nor to the Eastern Ind dost rove To bring from thence the scorched clove: Nor, with the loss of thy loved rest, Bring'st home the ingot from the West.
No, thy ambition's master-piece Flies no thought higher than a fleece: Or how to pay thy hinds, and clear All scores: and so to end the year: But walk'st about thine own dear bounds, Not envying others' larger grounds: For well thou know'st, 'tis not th' extent Of land makes life, but sweet content.
When now the cock (the ploughman's horn) Calls forth the lily-wristed morn; Then to thy corn-fields thou dost go, Which though well soil'd, yet thou dost know That the best compost for the lands Is the wise master's feet, and hands.
There at the plough thou find'st thy team, With a hind whistling there to them: And cheer'st them up, by singing how The kingdom's portion is the plough.
This done, then to th' enamell'd meads Thou go'st; and as thy foot there treads, Thou seest a present God-like power Imprinted in each herb and flower: And smell'st the breath of great-eyed kine, Sweet as the blossoms of the vine.
Here thou behold'st thy large sleek neat Unto the dew-laps up in meat: And, as thou look'st, the wanton steer, The heifer, cow, and ox draw near, To make a pleasing pastime there.
These seen, thou go'st to view thy flocks Of sheep, safe from the wolf and fox, And find'st their bellies there as full Of short sweet grass, as backs with wool: And leav'st them, as they feed and fill, A shepherd piping on a hill.
For sports, for pageantry, and plays, Thou hast thy eves, and holydays: On which the young men and maids meet, To exercise their dancing feet: Tripping the comely country Round, With daffadils and daisies crown'd.
Thy wakes, thy quintels, here thou hast, Thy May-poles too with garlands graced; Thy Morris-dance; thy Whitsun-ale; Thy shearing-feast, which never fail.
Thy harvest home; thy wassail bowl, That's toss'd up after Fox i' th' hole: Thy mummeries; thy Twelve-tide kings And queens; thy Christmas revellings: Thy nut-brown mirth, thy russet wit, And no man pays too dear for it.
-- To these, thou hast thy times to go And trace the hare i' th' treacherous snow: Thy witty wiles to draw, and get The lark into the trammel net: Thou hast thy cockrood, and thy glade To take the precious pheasant made: Thy lime-twigs, snares, and pit-falls then To catch the pilfering birds, not men.
--O happy life! if that their good The husbandmen but understood! Who all the day themselves do please, And younglings, with such sports as these: And lying down, have nought t' affright Sweet Sleep, that makes more short the night.

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Written by Robert Herrick |


 Love is a circle, that doth restless move
In the same sweet eternity of Love.

Written by Robert Herrick |

His Meditation Upon Death

 BE those few hours, which I have yet to spend, 
Blest with the meditation of my end; 
Though they be few in number, I'm content; 
If otherwise, I stand indifferent, 
Nor makes it matter, Nestor's years to tell, 
If man lives long, and if he live not well.
A multitude of days still heaped on Seldom brings order, but confusion.
Might I make choice, long life should be with-stood; Nor would I care how short it were, if good; Which to effect, let ev'ry passing bell Possess my thoughts, next comes my doleful knell; And when the night persuades me to my bed, I'll think I'm going to be buried; So shall the blankets which come over me Present those turfs, which once must cover me; And with as firm behaviour I will meet The sheet I sleep in, as my winding-sheet.
When Sleep shall bathe his body in mine eyes, I will believe, that then my body dies; And if I chance to wake, and rise thereon, I'll have in mind my resurrection, Which must produce me to that Gen'ral Doom, To which the peasant, so the prince must come, To hear the Judge give sentence on the Throne, Without the least hope of affection.
Tears, at that day, shall make but weak defense, When Hell and horror fright the conscience.
Let me, though late, yet at the last, begin To shun the least temptation to a sin; Though to be tempted be no sin, until Man to th'alluring object gives his will.
Such let my life assure me, when my breath Goes thieving from me, I am safe in death; Which is the height of comfort, when I fall, I rise triumphant in my funeral.

Written by Robert Herrick |


 Thou art to all lost love the best,
The only true plant found,
Wherewith young men and maids distrest
And left of love, are crown'd.
When once the lover's rose is dead Or laid aside forlorn, Then willow-garlands, 'bout the head, Bedew'd with tears, are worn.
When with neglect, the lover's bane, Poor maids rewarded be, For their love lost their only gain Is but a wreath from thee.
And underneath thy cooling shade, When weary of the light, The love-spent youth, and love-sick maid, Come to weep out the night.

Written by Robert Herrick |


 1 Among thy fancies, tell me this,
What is the thing we call a kiss?
2 I shall resolve ye what it is:--

It is a creature born and bred
Between the lips, all cherry-red,
By love and warm desires fed,--
And makes more soft the bridal bed.
2 It is an active flame, that flies First to the babies of the eyes, And charms them there with lullabies,-- CHOR.
And stills the bride, too, when she cries.
2 Then to the chin, the cheek, the ear, It frisks and flies, now here, now there: 'Tis now far off, and then 'tis near,-- CHOR.
And here, and there, and every where.
1 Has it a speaking virtue? 2 Yes.
1 How speaks it, say? 2 Do you but this,-- Part your join'd lips, then speaks your kiss; CHOR.
And this Love's sweetest language is.
1 Has it a body? 2 Ay, and wings, With thousand rare encolourings; And as it flies, it gently sings-- CHOR.
Love honey yields, but never stings.

Written by Robert Herrick |

His Prayer To Ben Jonson

 When I a verse shall make,
Know I have pray'd thee,
For old religion's sake,
Saint Ben to aid me.
Make the way smooth for me, When I, thy Herrick, Honouring thee, on my knee Offer my lyric.
Candles I'll give to thee, And a new altar, And thou, Saint Ben, shalt be Writ in my psalter.

Written by Robert Herrick |

A Thanksgiving to God for His House

 Lord, Thou hast given me a cell 
Wherein to dwell; 
An little house, whose humble roof 
Is weather-proof; 
Under the spars of which I lie 
Both soft and dry; 
Where Thou my chamber for to ward 
Hast set a guard 
Of harmless thoughts, to watch and keep 
Me, while I sleep.
Low is my porch as is my fate, Both void of state; And yet the threshold of my door Is worn by'th' poor, Who thither come, and freely get Good words, or meat; Like as my parlour, so my hall And kitchen's small; A little butterie and therein A little bin, Which keeps my little loaf of bread Unchipp'd, unflay'd; Some brittle sticks of thorn or briar Make me a fire, Close by whose living coal I sit, And glow like it.
Lord, I confess too, when I dine, The pulse is Thine, And all those other bits that be There plac'd by Thee; The worts, the purslain, and the mess Of water-cress, Which of Thy kindness Thou hast sent; And my content Makes those, and my beloved beet, To be more sweet.
'Tis Thou that crown'st my glitt'ring hearth With guiltless mirth; And giv'st me wassail bowls to drink, Spic'd to the brink.
Lord, 'tis Thy plenty-dropping hand That soils my land; And giv'st me, for my bushel sown, Twice ten for one; Thou mak'st my teeming hen to lay Her egg each day; Besides my healthful ewes to bear Me twins each year; The while the conduits of my kine Run cream (for wine.
) All these, and better Thou dost send Me, to this end, That I should render, for my part, A thankful heart, Which, fir'd with incense, I resign As wholly Thine; But the acceptance, that must be, My Christ, by Thee.

Written by Robert Herrick |


 Honour to you who sit
Near to the well of wit,
And drink your fill of it!

Glory and worship be
To you, sweet Maids, thrice three,
Who still inspire me;

And teach me how to sing
Unto the lyric string,
My measures ravishing!

Then, while I sing your praise,
My priest-hood crown with bays
Green to the end of days!

Written by Robert Herrick |


 Who with a little cannot be content,
Endures an everlasting punishment.

Written by Robert Herrick |


 Those ends in war the best contentment bring,
Whose peace is made up with a pardoning.

Written by Robert Herrick |



Bad are the times.
And worse than they are we.
Troth, bad are both; worse fruit, and ill the tree: The feast of shepherds fail.
None crowns the cup Of wassail now, or sets the quintel up: And he, who used to lead the country-round, Youthful Mirtillo, here he comes, grief-drown'd.
Let's cheer him up.
Behold him weeping-ripe.
Ah, Amarillis! farewell mirth and pipe; Since thou art gone, no more I mean to play To these smooth lawns, my mirthful roundelay.
Dear Amarillis! MON.
Hark! SIL.
Mark! MIRT.
This earth grew sweet Where, Amarillis, thou didst set thy feet.
AMBO Poor pitied youth! MIRT.
And here the breath of kine And sheep grew more sweet by that breath of thine.
This dock of wool, and this rich lock of hair, This ball of cowslips, these she gave me here.
Words sweet as love itself.
Hark!-- MIRT.
This way she came, and this way too she went; How each thing smells divinely redolent! Like to a field of beans, when newly blown, Or like a meadow being lately mown.
A sweet sad passion---- MIRT.
In dewy mornings, when she came this way, Sweet bents would bow, to give my Love the day; And when at night she folded had her sheep, Daisies would shut, and closing, sigh and weep.
Besides (Ai me!) since she went hence to dwell, The Voice's Daughter ne'er spake syllable.
But she is gone.
Mirtillo, tell us whither? MIRT.
Where she and I shall never meet together.
Fore-fend it, Pan! and Pales, do thou please To give an end.
To what? SIL.
Such griefs as these.
Never, O never! Still I may endure The wound I suffer, never find a cure.
Love, for thy sake, will bring her to these hills And dales again.
No, I will languish still; And all the while my part shall be to weep; And with my sighs call home my bleating sheep; And in the rind of every comely tree I'll carve thy name, and in that name kiss thee.
Set with the sun, thy woes! SIL.
The day grows old; And time it is our full-fed flocks to fold.
The shades grow great; but greater grows our sorrow:-- But let's go steep Our eyes in sleep; And meet to weep To-morrow.

Written by Robert Herrick |

A Lyric to Mirth

 While the milder fates consent,
Let's enjoy our merriment :
Drink, and dance, and pipe, and play ;
Kiss our dollies night and day :
Crowned with clusters of the vine,
Let us sit, and quaff our wine.
Call on Bacchus, chant his praise ; Shake the thyrse, and bite the bays : Rouse Anacreon from the dead, And return him drunk to bed : Sing o'er Horace, for ere long Death will come and mar the song : Then shall Wilson and Gotiere Never sing or play more here.

Written by Robert Herrick |


 Come, Anthea, let us two
Go to feast, as others do:
Tarts and custards, creams and cakes,
Are the junkets still at wakes;
Unto which the tribes resort,
Where the business is the sport:
Morris-dancers thou shalt see,
Marian, too, in pageantry;
And a mimic to devise
Many grinning properties.
Players there will be, and those Base in action as in clothes; Yet with strutting they will please The incurious villages.
Near the dying of the day There will be a cudgel-play, Where a coxcomb will be broke, Ere a good word can be spoke: But the anger ends all here, Drench'd in ale, or drown'd in beer.
--Happy rusticks! best content With the cheapest merriment; And possess no other fear, Than to want the Wake next year.