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Ask me why I send you here
This firstling of the infant year;
Ask me why I send to you
This primrose all bepearld with dew;
I straight will whisper in your ears,
The sweets of love are wash'd with tears;
Ask me why this flower doth show
So yellow, green, and sickly too;
Ask me why the stalk is weak,
And bending, yet it doth not break;
I must tell you, these discover
What doubts and fears are in a lover.

Thomas Carew.



"SHEPHERD, what's love? I pray thee, tell!”-
It is that fountain, and that well,
Where pleasure and repentance dwell;
It is, perhaps, that passing bell
That tolls us all to heaven or hell;
And this is love, as I heard tell.

“Yet, what is love? I pray thee, say!”—
It is a work on holiday:
It is December match'd with May,
When lusty woods, in fresh array,
Hear, ten months after, of the play;
And this is love, as I hear say.

Yet, what is love? good shepherd, saine !"-
It is a sunshine mix'd with rain;
It is a tooth-ache, or like pain;
It is a game where none doth gain,
The lass saith, No, and would full fain!
And this is love, as I hear saine.

"Yet, shepherd, what is love, I pray?"-
It is a “yea,” it is a nay,
A pretty kind of sporting fray;
It is a thing will soon away;
Then, nymphs, take vantage while ye may,
And this is love, as I hear say.
“ Yet, what is love? good shepherd, show!”–
A thing that creeps, it cannot go,
A prize that passeth to and fro,
A thing for one, a thing for moe;
And he that proves shall find it so;
And, shepherd, this is love I trow.

Ascribed to Sir Walter Raleigh.




You say I love not, 'cause I do not play
Still with your curls, and kiss the time away.
You blame me, too, because I can't devise
Some sport, to please those babies in your eyes;
By Love's religion, I must here confess it,
The most I love, when I the least express it.
Some griefs find tongues; full casks are ever found
To give, if any, yet but little sound.
Deep waters noiseless are; and this we know,
That chiding streams betray small depth below.
So when Love speechless is, she doth express
A depth in love, and that depth bottomless.
Now since my love is tongueless, know me such,
Who speak but little, 'cause I love so much.

Robert Herrick,


Ask me no more where Jove bestows,
When June is past, the fading rose;
For in your beauties, orient deep,
These Howers, as in their causes, sleep.

Ask me no more whither do stray
The golden atoms of the day;
For, in pure love, heaven did prepare
Those powders to enrich your hair.
Ask me no more whither doth haste
The nightingale when May is past;
For in your sweet dividing throat
She winters, and keeps warm her note.

Ask me no more where those stars light,
That downwards fall in dead of night;
For in your eyes they sit, and there
Fixed become, as in their sphere.

Ask me no more if east or west,
The phonix builds her spicy nest;
For unto you at last she fies,
And in your fragrant bosom dies !

Thomas Carew.


See'st thou that cloud as silver clear,
Plump, soft, and swelling everywhere ?
'Tis Julia's bed, and she sleeps there.

Robert Herrick.



When as in silks my Julia goes,
Then, then, methinks, how sweetly flows
That liquefaction of her clothes.

Next, when I cast mine eyes, and see
That brave vibration each way free;
O how that glittering taketh me!

Robert Herrick.



A SWEET disorder in the dress
Kindles in clothes a wantonness;
A lawn about the shoulders thrown
Into a fine distraction;
An erring lace, which here and there
Enthralls the crimson stomacher;
A cuff neglectful, and thereby
Ribbons to flow confusedly;
A winning wave, deserving note,
In the tempestuous petticoat;
A careless shoe-string, in whose tie
I see a wild civility;
Do more bewitch me, than when art
Is too precise in every part.

Robert Herrick.


My Love in her attire doth show her wit,

It doth so well become her:
For every season she hath dressings fit,

For winter, spring, and summer.
No beauty she doth miss

When all her robes are on:
But Beauty's self she is
When all her robes are gone.




THERE is a garden in her face

Where roses and white lilies blow; A heavenly paradise is that place,

Wherein all pleasant fruits do grow; There cherries grow that none may buy, Till cherry-ripe themselves do cry.


Those cherries fairly do enclose

Of orient pearl a double row,
Which when her lovely laughter shows,

They look like rose-buds fill’d with snow
Yet them no peer nor prince may buy,
Till cherry-ripe themselves do cry.
Her eyes like angels watch them still ;

Her brows like bended bows do stand,
Threatning with piercing frowns to kill

All that approach with eye or hand
These sacred cherries to come nigh,-
Till cherry-ripe themselves do cry!

Richard Allison.


Preserve thy sighs, unthristy girl !

To purify the air ;
Thy tears to thread, instead of pearl,

On bracelets of thy hair.
The trumpet makes the echo hoarse,

And wakes the louder drum ;
Expense of grief gains no remorse,

When sorrow should be dumb.
For I must go where lazy peace

Will hide her drowsy head ;
And, for the sport of kings, increase

The number of the dead.
But first I'll chide thy cruel theft :

Can I in war delight,
Who, being of my heart bereft,

Can have no heart to fight ?
Thou knowest the sacred laws of old,

Ordained a thief should pay,
To quit him of his theft, sevenfold

What he had stolen awav.

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