Bee

Monday, March 3, 2008

TO THE REVEREND SHADE OF HIS RELIGIOUS FATHER.

THAT for seven lusters I did never come
To do the rites to thy religious tomb ;
That neither hair was cut, or true tears shed
By me, o'er thee, as justments to the dead,
Forgive, forgive me ; since I did not know
Whether thy bones had here their rest or no.
But now 'tis known, behold! behold, I bring
Unto thy ghost th' effused offering :
And look what smallage, night-shade, cypress, yew,
Unto the shades have been, or now are due,
Here I devote ; and something more than so ;
I come to pay a debt of birth I owe.
Thou gav'st me life, but mortal ; for that one
Favour I'll make full satisfaction ;
For my life mortal rise from out thy herse,
And take a life immortal from my verse.

***
Seven lusters, five and thirty years.
Hair was cut, according to the Greek custom.
Justments, dues.
Smallage, water parsley.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Herrick, Robert.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------