by Robert Herrick

YE pretty housewives, would ye know
The work that I would put ye to ?
This, this it should be : for to spin
A lawn for me, so fine and thin
As it might serve me for my skin.
For cruel love has me so whipp'd
That of my skin I all am stripp'd ;
And shall despair that any art
Can ease the rawness or the smart,
Unless you skin again each part.
Which mercy if you will but do,
I call all maids to witness to
What here I promise : that no broom
Shall now or ever after come
To wrong a spinner or her loom.

Spinners, spiders.

  Velazquez. Las Hilanderas (The Spinners). c. 1657
Velázquez. Las Hilanderas (The Spinners). c. 1657.

Herrick, Robert. Works of Robert Herrick. vol I.
Alfred Pollard, ed.
London, Lawrence & Bullen, 1891. 204.

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