by Robert Herrick

STAND forth, brave man, since fate has made thee here
The Hector over aged Exeter,
Who for a long, sad time has weeping stood
Like a poor lady lost in widowhood,
But fears not now to see her safety sold,
As other towns and cities were, for gold
By those ignoble births which shame the stem
That gave progermination unto them :
Whose restless ghosts shall hear their children sing,
“ Our sires betrayed their country and their king ”.
True, if this city seven times rounded was
With rock, and seven times circumflank'd with brass,
Yet if thou wert not, Berkley, loyal proof,
The senators, down tumbling with the roof,
Would into prais'd, but pitied, ruins fall,
Leaving no show where stood the capitol.
But thou art just and itchless, and dost please
Thy Genius with two strengthening buttresses,
Faith and affection, which will never slip
To weaken this thy great dictatorship.

Progermination, budding out.
Itchless, i.e., with no itch for bribes.

[Note, p.282:

     747.  To  Sir  John  Berkeley,  Governour of  Exeter.
  Youngest son of  Sir Maurice Berkeley, of  Bruton, in
  Somersetshire ;  knighted  in  Berwick  in 1638 ;  com-
  mander-in-chief  of  all  the Royalist  forces in Devon-
  shire, 1643 ;  captured Exeter Sept. 4 of  that year and
  held  it  till  April 13,  1646.   Created  Baron  Berkeley
  of  Stratton, in Cornwall, 1658 ;  died 1678.  ]

Herrick, Robert. Works of Robert Herrick. vol II.
Alfred Pollard, ed.
London, Lawrence & Bullen, 1891. 63-64; 282.

Backto Works of Robert Herrick

Site copyright ©1996-2002 Anniina Jokinen. All Rights Reserved.
Created by Anniina Jokinen on February 18, 2002.

Background from a tile by Stormi Wallpaper Boutique.