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What Kind Of Mistress He Would Have

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



Be the mistress of my choice,
Clean in manners, clear in voice;
Be she witty, more than wise,
Pure enough, though not precise;
Be she showing in her dress,
Like a civil wilderness,
That the curious may detect
Order in a sweet neglect;
Be she rolling in her eye,
Tempting all the passers by;
And each ringlet of her hair,
An enchantment, or a snare,
For to catch the lookers on;
But herself held fast by none.
Let her Lucrece all day be,
Thais in the night, to me.
Be she such, as neither will
Famish me, nor overfill.

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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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