by Robert Herrick

THY azure robe I did behold
As airy as the leaves of gold,
Which, erring here, and wandring there,
Pleas'd with transgression ev'rywhere :
Sometimes 'twould pant, and sigh, and heave,
As if to stir it scarce had leave :
But, having got it, thereupon
'Twould make a brave expansion.
And pounc'd with stars it showed to me
Like a celestial canopy.
Sometimes 'twould blaze, and then abate,
Like to a flame grown moderate :
Sometimes away 'twould wildly fling,
Then to thy thighs so closely cling
That some conceit did melt me down
As lovers fall into a swoon :
And all confus'd, I there did lie
Drown'd in delights, but could not die.
That leading cloud I follow'd still,
Hoping t' have seen of it my fill ;
But ah ! I could not : should it move
To life eternal, I could love.

  Artemisia Gentileschi.  The Inclination. ca. 1616.
Artemisia Gentileschi.
The Inclination. ca. 1616.

Herrick, Robert. Works of Robert Herrick. vol I.
Alfred Pollard, ed.
London, Lawrence & Bullen, 1891. 80-81.

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