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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 |

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 |


 Here, a little child, I stand,
Heaving up my either hand:
Cold as paddocks though they be,
Here I lift them up to thee,
For a benison to fall
On our meat, and on us all.

Written by Robert Herrick |


 Come pity us, all ye who see
Our harps hung on the willow-tree;
Come pity us, ye passers-by,
Who see or hear poor widows' cry;
Come pity us, and bring your ears
And eyes to pity widows' tears.
And when you are come hither, Then we will keep A fast, and weep Our eyes out all together, For Tabitha; who dead lies here, Clean wash'd, and laid out for the bier.
O modest matrons, weep and wail! For now the corn and wine must fail; The basket and the bin of bread, Wherewith so many souls were fed, CHOR.
Stand empty here for ever; And ah! the poor, At thy worn door, Shall be relieved never.
Woe worth the time, woe worth the day, That reft us of thee, Tabitha! For we have lost, with thee, the meal, The bits, the morsels, and the deal Of gentle paste and yielding dough, That thou on widows did bestow.
All's gone, and death hath taken Away from us Our maundy; thus Thy widows stand forsaken.
Ah, Dorcas, Dorcas! now adieu We bid the cruise and pannier too; Ay, and the flesh, for and the fish, Doled to us in that lordly dish.
We take our leaves now of the loom From whence the housewives' cloth did come; CHOR.
The web affords now nothing; Thou being dead, The worsted thread Is cut, that made us clothing.
Farewell the flax and reaming wool, With which thy house was plentiful; Farewell the coats, the garments, and The sheets, the rugs, made by thy hand; Farewell thy fire and thy light, That ne'er went out by day or night:-- CHOR.
No, or thy zeal so speedy, That found a way, By peep of day, To feed and clothe the needy.
But ah, alas! the almond-bough And olive-branch is wither'd now; The wine-press now is ta'en from us, The saffron and the calamus; The spice and spikenard hence is gone, The storax and the cinnamon; CHOR.
The carol of our gladness Has taken wing; And our late spring Of mirth is turn'd to sadness.
How wise wast thou in all thy ways! How worthy of respect and praise! How matron-like didst thou go drest! How soberly above the rest Of those that prank it with their plumes, And jet it with their choice perfumes! CHOR.
Thy vestures were not flowing; Nor did the street Accuse thy feet Of mincing in their going.
And though thou here liest dead, we see A deal of beauty yet in thee.
How sweetly shews thy smiling face, Thy lips with all diffused grace! Thy hands, though cold, yet spotless, white, And comely as the chrysolite.
Thy belly like a hill is, Or as a neat Clean heap of wheat, All set about with lilies.
Sleep with thy beauties here, while we Will shew these garments made by thee; These were the coats; in these are read The monuments of Dorcas dead: These were thy acts, and thou shalt have These hung as honours o'er thy grave:-- CHOR.
And after us, distressed, Should fame be dumb, Thy very tomb Would cry out, Thou art blessed.

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.

Written by Robert Herrick |


 In prayer the lips ne'er act the winning part
Without the sweet concurrence of the heart.

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 |


 Anthea, I am going hence
With some small stock of innocence;
But yet those blessed gates I see
Withstanding entrance unto me;
To pray for me do thou begin;--
The porter then will let me in.

Written by Robert Herrick |


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

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 |


 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 |


 Charm me asleep, and melt me so
With thy delicious numbers;
That being ravish'd, hence I go
Away in easy slumbers.
Ease my sick head, And make my bed, Thou Power that canst sever From me this ill;-- And quickly still, Though thou not kill My fever.
Thou sweetly canst convert the same From a consuming fire, Into a gentle-licking flame, And make it thus expire.
Then make me weep My pains asleep, And give me such reposes, That I, poor I, May think, thereby, I live and die 'Mongst roses.
Fall on me like a silent dew, Or like those maiden showers, Which, by the peep of day, do strew A baptism o'er the flowers.
Melt, melt my pains With thy soft strains; That having ease me given, With full delight, I leave this light, And take my flight For Heaven.