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Robert Herrick, der Sohn eines Goldschmiedes ward 1591 in London geboren, studirte zu Cambridge und widmete sich erst der Jurisprudenz, dann der Theologie. 1629 erhielt er die Pfründe zu Dean Prior in Devonshire, ward aber durch die Revolution von dort vertrieben,

worauf er als Privatmann in Westminster lebte und erst durch die Thronbesteigung Karls II. wieder eingesetzt. Er erreichte ein hohes Alter; sein desja ist jed nicht ermittelt.

Seine Poesieen sind nur lyrischer Gattung und erschienen in zwei Sammlungen, von denen die erstere unter dem Titel Hesperides (London 1618) weltliche, die zweite aber unter dem Titel Noble Numbers (London 1620) nur geistliche Gedichte enthält; diese letzteren stehen den ersteren mit wenigen Ausnahmen weit im Werthe nach. Warmes Gefühl, Anmuth und seltener Wohllaut sind Herrick eigen, aber er schwächt diese rühmlichen Eigenschaften durch den falschen Geschmack seiner Zeit, der ihn zu Künstelei und Gesuchtheit verleitete, so dass sich nur wenige Leistungen von ihm in Andenken der Nachwelt erhalten haben.

The Night Piece. To Julia.
Her eyes the glowworme lend thee,
The shooting starres attend thee;

And the elves also,

Whose little eyes glow,
Like the sparks of fire, befriend thee!

No will-o'-th’-wispe mislight thee;
Nor snake nor slowworme bite thee;

But on, on thy way,

Not making a stay,
Since ghost there's none to affright thee!

Let not the darke thee cumber; What though the moon does slumber,

The starres of the night

Will lend thee their light, Like tapers cleare without number.

We die,
As your hours doe; and drie


Like to the summer's raine. Or as the pearles of morning dew,

Ne'r to be found again.

Then, Julia, let me wooe thee, Thus, thus, to come unto me;

And when I shall meet

Thy silv'ry feet, My soule I'll poure into thee!

To Blossoms.

Faire pledges of a fruitfull tree,

Why do yee fall so fast?

Your date is not so past: But you may stay yet here awhile

To blush and gently smile,

And go at last.

What, were yee borne to be

An houre or half's delight,

And so to bid good night? 'Twas pitie nature brought yee forth

Meerly to shew your worth,

And lose you quite.

Corinna going a Maying.
Get up, get up for shame; the blooming morne
Upon her wings presents the God unshorne:

See how Aurora throwes her faire
Fresh-quilted colours through the aire:
Get up, sweet slug-a-bed, and see

The dew bespangling herbe and tree:
Each flower has wept, and bow'd toward the east,
Above an houre since : yet you are not drest;

Nay, not so much as out of bed;
When all the birds have mattens said,
And sung their thankfull hymnes; 'tis sin,

Nay, profanation, to keep in;
When as a thousand virgins on this day,
Spring sooner than the lark, to fetch in May!
Rise, and put on your foliage, and be seene
To come forth like the spring time, fresh and

And sweet as Flora. Take no care
For jewels for your gowne, or haire:
Feare not, the leaves will strew

Gems in abundance upon you:
Besides, the childhood of the day has kept,
Against you come, some orient pearl unwept:

Come, and receive them while the light
Hangs on the dew-locks of the night:
And Titan on the eastern hill

Retires himselfe, or else stands still
Till you come forth. Wash, dresse, be briefe in

praying Few beads are best, when once we goe a Maying!

But you are lovely leaves, where we

May read how soon things have

Their end, though ne'r so brave: And after they have shown their pride,

Like you, awhile, they glide

Into the grave.

To D a ffadils.

Faire daffadills, we weep to see
You haste away so soone;
As yet the early-rising sun

Has not attain'd his noone:

Stay, stay,
Untill the hast’ning day

Has run

But to the even-song; And, having pray'd together, we

Will goe with you along !

Come, my Corinna, come, and, comming marke
How each field turns a street, each street a parke

Made green, and trimm'd with trees, see how
Devotion gives each house a bough,
Or branch; each porch, each doore, ere this

An ark, a tabernacle is
Made up of whitethorn neatly interwove,
As if here were those cooler shades of love.

Can such delights be in the street
And open fields, and we not see't?
Come, we'll abroad; and let's obey

The proclamation made for May,
And sin no more, as we have done, by staying;
But, my Corinna, come, let's goe a Maying!

We have short time to stay, as you;
We have as short a spring,
As quick a growth to meet decay,

As you, or any thing:

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There's not a budding boy or girle this day

Or warp't, as we, But is got up, and gone to bring in May:

Who think it strange to see A deale of youth, ere this, is come

Such pretty flow'rs, (like to orphans young) Back, and with whitethorn laden home: To speak by teares before ye have a tongue. Some have dispatch't their cakes and creame,

Before that we have left to dreame; And some have wept, and woo'd and plighted Speak, whimp’ring younglings; and make known

The reason why troth,

Ye droop, and weep. And chose their priest, ere we can cast off sloth:

Is it for want of sleep; Many a green gown has been given;

Or childish lullabie? Many a kisse, both odde and even:

Or, that ye have not seen as yet Many a glance too has been sent

The violet? From out the eye, love's firmament;

Or brought a kisse Many a jest told of the keyes betraying

From that sweetheart to this?
This night, and locks pick't; yet w'are not a

No, no; this sorrow, shown

By your teares shed

Wo'd have this lecture read, Come, let us goe, while we are in our prime,

“That things of greatest, so of meanest worth, And take the harmlesse follie of the time: We shall grow old apace, and die

Conceiv'd with grief are, and with teares brought

forth." Before we know our liberty : Our life is short, and our dayes run

As fast away as do's the sunne
And, as a vapour, or a drop of raine
Once lost, can ne'r be found againe,
So when or you, or I, are made

A fable, song, or fleeting shade,
All love, all liking, all delight rose - buds while ye may,
Lies drown'd with us in endlesse night. -

Old Time is still a flying; Then, while time serves, and we are but de

And this same flower that smiles to-day, caying,

To-morrow will be dying. Come, my Corinna, come, let's goe a Maying!

The glorious lamp of heav'n, the sun,

The higher he's a getting,
The sooner will his race be run,

And neerer he's to setting.

To Primroses, filled with Morning-Dew.
Why doe ye weep, sweet babes? Can tears

Speak griefe in you,

Who were but borne
Just as the modest morne

Teem'd her refreshing dew?
Alas! you have not known that shower

That marres a flower;

Nor felt th' unkind
Breath of a blasting wind;
Nor are ye worne with yeares:

The age is best which is the first,

When youth and blood are warmer; But being spent, the worse and worst

Times still succeed the former.

Then be not coy, but use your time,

And while ye may, goe marry ;
For having lost but once your prime,

You may for ever tarry.


Francis Quarles ward 1592 zu Stewards bei Romford in Essex geboren, studirte in Cambridge und widmete sich dann in London der juristischen Praxis. Nachdem er eine Zeitlang Mundschenk der Königin von Böhmen, Tochter Jakob's I. und darauf Geheimschreiber des Erzbischof Usher gewesen, ernannte ihn die Stadt London 1639 zu ihrem Chronologen. Wegen seiner Gesinnungen ward er im Bürgerkriege gemishandelt und geplündert. Er starb am 8. Sept. 1644 und hinterliess viele meist religiöse Poesieen, wie z. B. Job Militant, Sion's Elegies, History of Queen Esther, Argalus and Parthenia, the Morning Muse, the Feast for Worms, Divine Emblems, eine Nachahmung der Pia Desideria des Jesuiten Hugo, welche ebenso reich an geschmacklosen artistischen Beilagen ist, wie ihr Vorbild u. A. m., die sämmtlich noch bei seinen Lebzeiten erschienen. Er besitzt grosse Kraft, Originalität und reiche Phantasie, sowie Herrschaft über Sprache und Form, aber er ist oft bombastisch und eben so oft prosaisch und flach und sein Streben, wie er sich selbst ausdrückt "die Fluthen des Jordan und des Helicon in demselben Becher zu mischen," verleiten ihn fortwährend zu Geschmacklosigkeiten, wie sie in jener Zeit vorherrschten und den Beifall der Menge gewannen.

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What if my soul should take the wings of day
And find some desert? if she springs away,

The wings of Vengeance clip as fast as they.

What if some solid rock should entertain

My frighted soul? can solid rocks restrain
The stroke of Justice and not cleare in twain?
Nor sea, nor shade, nor shield, nor rock, nor

Nor silent deserts, nor the sullen grave,
Where flame-ey'd Fury means to smite, can save.
The seas will part, groves open, rocks will split;
The shield will cleave; the frighted shadows flit:
Where Justice aims, her fiery darts must hit.

Is this that mistress, and that queen of nations? No, no, if stern-brow'd vengeance means to

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Great God! there is no safety here below; I know thy justice is thyself; I know,
Thou art my fortress, thou that seem'st my foe, Just God, thy very self is mercy too;
'Tis thou, that strik’st the stroke, must guard If not to thee, where, whither shall I go?

the blow.

Then work thy will; if passion bid me fee, Thou art my God! by thee I fall or stand;

My reason shall obey; my wings shall be Thy grace has giv'n me courage to withstand

Stretch'd out no further than from thee to thee. All tortures but my conscience, and thy hand


George Herbert, ein Bruder des berühmten Lord Herbert of Cherbury ward 1593 zu Montgomery-Castle in Wales geboren, studirte zu Cambridge und wurde 1619 Redner der Universität. Später trat er in den geistlichen Stand und erhielt eine Pfarre zu Bemerton, wo er 1632 starb. Seine Gedichte, religiösen Inhalts erschienen 1633 zu London unter dem Titel: the Temple or Sacred Poems and Private Ejaculations, und fanden zu jener Zeit ausserordentlichen Beifall. Tiefe Frömmigkeit ist der eigenthümlichste Character derselben, aber sie offenbart sich nicht selten auf so sonderbare Weise, dass sie gerade den entgegengesetzten Eindruck hervorbringen und doch, trotz allen Verirrungen lässt sich nicht verkennen, dass H. ein grosses poetisches Talent besass.


May both the work and workman show:

Then by a sunne-beam I will climbe to thee.
I cannot ope mine eyes,
But thou art ready there to catch

My morning-soul and sacrifice:
Then we must needs for that day make a match.

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