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.