by Robert Herrick

WHY do not all fresh maids appear
To work love's sampler only here,
Where spring-time smiles throughout the year ?
Are not here rosebuds, pinks, all flowers
Nature begets by th' sun and showers,
Met in one hearse-cloth to o'erspread
The body of the under-dead ?
Phile, the late dead, the late dead dear,
O ! may no eye distil a tear
For you once lost, who weep not here !
Had Lesbia, too-too kind, but known
This sparrow, she had scorn'd her own :
And for this dead which under lies
Wept out her heart, as well as eyes.
But, endless peace, sit here and keep
My Phil the time he has to sleep ;
And thousand virgins come and weep
To make these flowery carpets show
Fresh as their blood, and ever grow,
Till passengers shall spend their doom,
Not Virgil's gnat had such a tomb.

Phil, otherwise Philip or Phip, was a pet name for a
sparrow.   [A.J. Note: cf. Skelton's "Phyllyp Sparowe"]
Virgil's gnat, the Culex attributed to Virgil.

Herrick, Robert. Works of Robert Herrick. vol I.
Alfred Pollard, ed.
London, Lawrence & Bullen, 1891. 128-129.

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