by Robert Herrick

YE silent shades, whose each tree here
Some relique of a saint doth wear,
Who for some sweetheart's sake, did prove
The fire and martyrdom of Love :
Here is the legend of those saints
That died for love, and their complaints :
Their wounded hearts, and names we find
Encarv'd upon the leaves and rind.
Give way, give way to me, who come
Scorch'd with the self-same martyrdom :
And have deserv'd as much (love knows)
As to be canonis'd 'mongst those
Whose deeds and deaths here written are
Within your greeny calendar :
By all those virgins' fillets hung
Upon! your boughs, and requiems sung
For saints and souls departed hence
(Here honour'd still with frankincense) ;
By all those tears that have been shed,
As a drink-offering to the dead ;
By all those true love-knots that be
With mottoes carv'd on every tree ;
By sweet Saint Phyllis pity me :
By dear Saint Iphis, and the rest
Of all those other saints now blest,
Me, me, forsaken, here admit
Among your myrtles to be writ :
That my poor name may have the glory
To live remembered in your story.

Phyllis, the Thracian princess who hanged herself for
love of Demophoon.
Iphis, a Cyprian youth who hanged himself for love
of Anaxaretes.

Herrick, Robert. Works of Robert Herrick. vol I.
Alfred Pollard, ed.
London, Lawrence & Bullen, 1891. 211-212.

Backto Works of Robert Herrick

Site copyright © ;1996-2000 Anniina Jokinen. All Rights Reserved.
Created by Anniina Jokinen on March 15, 2000.