Jerry's Cruising Poems

To Phyllis

Robert Herrick (1591-1674)

Live, live with me, and thou shalt see
The pleasures I'll prepare for thee;
What sweets the country can afford
Shall bless thy bed and bless thy board.

The soft sweet moss shall be thy bed
With crawling woodbine overspread:
By which the silver-shedding streams
Shall gently melt thee into dreams.

Thy clothing next shall be a gown
Made of the fleeces' purest down.
The tongues of kids shall be thy meat;
Their milk thy drink; and thou shall eat

The paste of filberts for thy bread,
With cream of cowslips buttered.
Thy feasting-tables shall be hills
With daisies spread and daffodils

Where thou shalt sit, and red-breast by
For meat shall give thee melody.
I'll give thee chains and carcanets
Of primroses and violets.

A bag and bottle thou shalt have,
That richly wrought and this as brave,
So that as either shall express
The wearer's no mean shepherdess.

At shearing-times and yearly wakes,
When Themilis his pastime makes,
There thou shalt be; and be the wit,
Nay more, the feast and grace of it.

On holidays when virgins meet
To dance the hays with nimble feet,
Thou shalt come forth and then appear
The queen of roses for that year;

And having danced ('bove all the best)
Carry the garland from the rest.
In wicker-baskets maids shall bring
To thee, my dearest shepherdling,

The blushing apple, bashful pear,
And shame-faced plum all simp'ring there:
Walk in the groves and thou shalt find
The name of Phyllis in the rind

Of every straight and smooth-skin tree,
Where kissing that I'll twice kiss thee.
To thee a sheep-hook I will send
Be-prankt with ribbands to this end,

This, this alluring hook might be
Less for to catch a sheep than me.
Thou shalt have possets, wassails fine,
Not made of ale but spiced wine;

To make thy maids and self free mirth,
All sitting near the glittering hearth.
Thou shalt have ribbands, roses, rings,
Gloves, garters, stockings, shoes and strings,

Of winning colours that shall move
Others to lust but me to love.
These, nay, and more, thine own shall be
If thou wilt love and live with me.

It is not known when Herrick composed this poem but it was published in 1648, long after Marlowe's The Passionate Shepherd to His Love.

Click to read The Passionate Shepherd to His Love, by Christopher Marlowe

Click to read The Nymph's Reply, perhaps by Sir Walter Raleigh

Click to read Another of the Same Nature, Made Since, by Anonymous

Click to read The Bait, by John Donne

Click to read The Passionate Sailor to His Love, by Jerry