TO THE MAIDS, TO WALK ABROAD.|
by Robert Herrick
COME, sit we under yonder tree,
Where merry as the maids we'll be ;
And as on primroses we sit,
We'll venture, if we can, at wit :
If not, at draw-gloves we will play ;
So spend some minutes of the day :
Or else spin out the thread of sands,
Playing at questions and commands :
Or tell what strange tricks love can do,
By quickly making one of two.
Thus we will sit and talk, but tell
No cruel truths of Philomell,
Or Phyllis, whom hard fate forc'd on
To kill herself for Demophon.
But fables we'll relate : how Jove
Put on all shapes to get a love ;
As now a satyr, then a swan ;
A bull but then, and now a man.
Next we will act how young men woo,
And sigh, and kiss as lovers do ;
And talk of brides, and who shall make
That wedding-smock, this bridal-cake,
That dress, this sprig, that leaf, this vine,
That smooth and silken columbine.
This done, we'll draw lots who shall buy
And gild the bays and rosemary ;
What posies for our wedding rings ;
What gloves we'll give and ribandings :
And smiling at ourselves, decree,
Who then the joining priest shall be.
What short, sweet prayers shall be said ;
And how the posset shall be made
With cream of lilies, not of kine,
And maiden's-blush, for spiced wine.
Thus, having talked, we'll next commend
A kiss to each, and so we'll end.
Draw-gloves, talking on the fingers.
Philomela, daughter of Pandion, changed into a nightingale.
Phyllis, the S. Phyllis of a former lyric (to Groves).
Gild the bays, see Note to 481.
Herrick, Robert. Works of Robert Herrick. vol II.
Alfred Pollard, ed.
London, Lawrence & Bullen, 1891. 15-16.
Created by Anniina Jokinen on July 11, 1999.