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Love Poems: Gather Ye Rosebuds

Here are two lovely poems for a lover's "Cupid lay among Roses."

From “Cupid in a Landscape” by Italian Renaissance painter Giovanni Antonio Bazzi, a.k.a., Il Sodoma, 1510s.

Because Valentine’s Day is imminent, here are two love poems popular with Robert Herrick (1591-1674).

“The Wounded Cupid Song” By Anacreon (6th Century BC), translated by Herrick.

Cupid as he lay among
Roses, by a bee was stung.
Whereupon in anger, flying
To his mother, said thus, crying;
Help! O help! Your boy’s a dying.
And why, my pretty lad, said she?
Then blubbering, replied he,
A winded snake has bitten me,
Which country people call a bee.
At which she smil’d; then with her hairs
And kisses drying up his tears:
Alas! Said she, my wag! If this
Such a pernicious torment is:
Come, tell me then, how great’s the smart
Of those thou woundest with thy dart!


Our next poem is entitled “To the Virgins: To Make Much of Time” written by Herrick.

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying:
And the same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.

The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he’s a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he’s to setting.

That 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, go merry:
For having lost but once your prime,
You may forever tarry.

Moya Andrews

, originally from Queensland, Australia, served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculties at Indiana University until 2004. In the same year, Moya began hosting Focus on Flowers for WFIU. In addition, Moya does interviews for Profiles, is a member of the Bloomington Hospital Board, and authored Perennials Short and Tall from Indiana University Press.

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