Robert Herrick


THOU know'st, my Julia, that it is thy turn
This morning's incense to prepare and burn.
The chaplet and Inarculum*  here be,
With the white vestures, all attending thee.
This day the queen-priest thou art made, t' appease
Love for our very many trespasses.
One chief transgression is, among the rest,
Because with flowers her temple was not dressed ;
The next, because her altars did not shine
With daily fires ;  the last, neglect of wine ;
For which her wrath is gone forth to consume
Us all, unless preserv'd by thy perfume.
Take then thy censer, put in fire, and thus,
O pious priestess !  make a peace for us.
For our neglect, Love did our death decree
That we escape.  Redemption comes by thee.

    * A twig of  a  pomegranate,  which  the  queen-priest
did use to wear on her head at sacrificing.    (Note in the
original edition.)

Statue of a Vestal Virgin, Rome.

Herrick, Robert. Works of Robert Herrick. vol I.
Alfred Pollard, ed.
London, Lawrence & Bullen, 1891. 247.

Backto Works of Robert Herrick

Site copyright ©1996-2002 Anniina Jokinen. All Rights Reserved.
Created by Anniina Jokinen on January 14, 2002.

Background from a tile by Stormi Wallpaper Boutique.