TO THE REVEREND SHADE
OF HIS RELIGIOUS FATHER.
by Robert Herrick
THAT for seven lusters I did never come
To do the rites to thy religious tomb ;
That neither hair was cut, or true tears shed
By me, o'er thee, as justments to the dead,
Forgive, forgive me ; since I did not know
Whether thy bones had here their rest or no.
But now 'tis known, behold! behold, I bring
Unto thy ghost th' effused offering :
And look what smallage, night-shade, cypress, yew,
Unto the shades have been, or now are due,
Here I devote ; and something more than so ;
I come to pay a debt of birth I owe.
Thou gav'st me life, but mortal ; for that one
Favour I'll make full satisfaction ;
For my life mortal rise from out thy herse,
And take a life immortal from my verse.
Seven lusters, five and thirty years.
Hair was cut, according to the Greek custom.
Smallage, water parsley.
Herrick, Robert. Works of Robert Herrick. vol I.
Alfred Pollard, ed.
London, Lawrence & Bullen, 1891. 31-32.
Created by Anniina Jokinen on October 9, 1998.