Robert Herrick 1591-1674

Robert Herrick

Robert Herrick worked initially for his uncle as an apprentice goldsmith in London before attending Cambridge. In 1623, he was ordained as a priest and acted as chaplain to the Duke of Buckingham on the expedition to La Rochelle. In 1629 he was appointed to the living of Dean Prior in Devon by Charles I, but was ejected in 1647 under the Commonwealth for refusing the Solemn League and Covenant. He was restored to the living in 1662 after the Restoration of the monarchy, having lived in the meantime in Westminster.

Herrick wrote some 2,500 poems, publishing his major collection, Hesperides, in 1648, which contains about half of them. His poetry shows considerable diversity of form, with imitations of the Roman poets Horace and Catallus, epistles, epigrams, love poetry, and folk songs, many of which were later set to music. Herrick was a consummate craftsman and "Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, Old Time is still a-flying" are his best-known lines. He died a bachelor at the age of 83.

Works include

To the Virgins, to make much of Time
Corinna's going a-Maying
To the Western Wind
To Electra
To Violets
To Daffodils
To Blossoms
The Primrose
The Funeral Rites of the Rose
A Meditation for his Mistress
Delight in Disorder
Upon Julia's Clothes
The Bracelet: To Julia
To Daisies, not to shut so soon


The Night-piece: To Julia
To Music, to becalm his Fever
To Dianeme
To Œnone
To Anthea, who may command him Anything
To the Willow-tree
The Mad Maid's Song
Comfort to a Youth that had lost his Love
To Meadows
A Child's Grace
Epitaph upon a Child that died (i)
Epitaph upon a Child that died (ii)
His Winding-sheet
Litany to the Holy Spirit

Books you might enjoy

Selected Poems Selected Poems
Robert Herrick


Robert Herrick Selected Poems (Bloomsbury Poetry Classics) Robert Herrick: Selected Poems (Bloomsbury Poetry Classics)
Robert Herrick

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