UPON A FLY.
by Robert Herrick
A GOLDEN fly one show'd to me,
Clos'd in a box of ivory,
Where both seem'd proud : the fly to have
His burial in an ivory grave ;
The ivory took state to hold
A corpse as bright as burnish'd gold.
One fate had both, both equal grace ;
The buried, and the burying-place.
Not Virgil's gnat, to whom the spring
All flowers sent to's burying ;
Not Martial's bee, which in a bead
Of amber quick was buried ;
Nor that fine worm that does inter
Herself i' th' silken sepulchre ;
Nor my rare Phil,* that lately was
With lilies tomb'd up in a glass ;
More honour had than this same fly,
Dead, and closed up in ivory.
* Sparrow. (note in the original edition.)
Herrick, Robert. Works of Robert Herrick. vol I.
Alfred Pollard, ed.
London, Lawrence & Bullen, 1891. 233.