by Robert Herrick

I COULD never love indeed ;
Never see mine own heart bleed :
Never crucify my life,
Or for widow, maid, or wife.

I could never seek to please
One or many mistresses :
Never like their lips to swear
Oil of roses still smelt there.

I could never break my sleep,
Fold mine arms, sob, sigh, or weep :
Never beg, or humbly woo
With oaths and lies, as others do.

I could never walk alone ;
Put a shirt of sackcloth on :
Never keep a fast, or pray
For good luck in love that day.

But have hitherto liv'd free
As the air that circles me :
And kept credit with my heart,
Neither broke i' th' whole, or part.

Herrick, Robert. Works of Robert Herrick. vol I.
Alfred Pollard, ed.
London, Lawrence & Bullen, 1891. 228-229.

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