Home  »  The Book of Elizabethan Verse  »  Robert Herrick (1591–1674)

William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Elizabethan Verse. 1907.

To Anthea, Who May Command Him Anything

Robert Herrick (1591–1674)

BID me to live, and I will live

Thy Protestant to be;

Or bid me love, and I will give

A loving heart to thee.

A heart as soft, a heart as kind,

A heart as sound and free

As in the whole world thou canst find,

That heart I’ll give to thee.

Bid that heart stay, and it will stay

To honour thy decree:

Or bid it languish quite away,

And ’t shall do so for thee.

Bid me to weep, and I will weep

While I have eyes to see:

And, having none, yet will I keep

A heart to weep for thee.

Bid me despair, and I’ll despair

Under that cypress-tree:

Or bid me die, and I will dare

E’en death to die for thee.

Thou art my life, my love, my heart,

The very eyes of me:

And hast command of every part

To live and die for thee.