Impossibilities: to his friend

Robert Herrick 1591 (London) – 1674 (Dean Prior)



My faithful friend, if you can see
The fruit to grow up, or the tree;
If you can see the colour come
Into the blushing pear or plum;
If you can see the water grow
To cakes of ice, or flakes of snow;
If you can see that drop of rain
Lost in the wild sea once again;
If you can see how dreams do creep
Into the brain by easy sleep:--
--Then there is hope that you may see
Her love me once, who now hates me.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on March 05, 2023

27 sec read
324

Quick analysis:

Scheme AABBCCDDEEAA
Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 402
Words 91
Stanzas 1
Stanza Lengths 12

Robert Herrick

Robert Herrick was born in London, England, in 1591. He was apprenticed to a goldsmith (his uncle, Sir William), but went to Cambridge, at St John's, in 1613. He was ordained at Peterborough in 1623 and became chaplain to the Duke of Buckingham a few years later. "Hesperides" - a collection of 1200 lyrical poems - was published in 1648 and it remained his magnum opus. Herrick died in 1674, aged 83. more…

All Robert Herrick poems | Robert Herrick Books

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