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To the willow-tree

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



Thou art to all lost love the best,
The only true plant found,
Wherewith young men and maids distrest
And left of love, are crown'd.

When once the lover's rose is dead
Or laid aside forlorn,
Then willow-garlands, 'bout the head,
Bedew'd with tears, are worn.

When with neglect, the lover's bane,
Poor maids rewarded be,
For their love lost their only gain
Is but a wreath from thee.

And underneath thy cooling shade,
When weary of the light,
The love-spent youth, and love-sick maid,
Come to weep out the night.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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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…

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    "To the willow-tree" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 27 Jan. 2022. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/31488/to-the-willow-tree>.

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