by Robert Herrick

WHY do ye weep, sweet babes ? can tears
                    Speak grief in you,
                    Who were but born
              Just as the modest morn
              Teem'd her refreshing dew ?
       Alas ! you have not known that shower
                    That mars a flower,
                    Nor felt th' unkind
              Breath of a blasting wind,
              Nor are ye worn with years,
                    Or warp'd as we,
              Who think it strange to see
Such pretty flowers, like to orphans young,
To speak thy tears before ye have a tongue.

Speak, whimp'ring younglings, and make known
                    The reason why
                    Ye droop and weep ;
              Is it for want of sleep ?
              Or childish lullaby ?
       Or that ye have not seen as yet
                    The violet ?
                    Or brought a kiss
              From that sweetheart to this ?
              No, no, this sorrow shown
                    By your tears shed
              Would have this lecture read :
That things of greatest, so of meanest worth,
Conceiv'd with grief are, and with tears brought forth.

Herrick, Robert. Works of Robert Herrick. vol I.
Alfred Pollard, ed.
London, Lawrence & Bullen, 1891. 129-130.

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