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

His Winding-Sheet

Robert Herrick (1591–1674)

COME thou, who art the wine and wit

Of all I’ve writ:

The grace, the glory, and the best

Piece of the rest.

Thou art of what I did intend

The all and end;

And what was made, was made to meet

Thee, thee, my sheet.

Come then and be to my chaste side

Both bed and bride:

We two, as reliques left, will have

One rest, one grave:

And hugging close, we will not fear

Lust entering here:

Where all desires are dead or cold

As in the mould;

And all affections are forgot,

Or trouble not.

Here, here, the slaves and prisoners be

From shackles free:

And weeping widows long oppress’d

Do here find rest.

The wrongèd client ends his laws

Here, and his cause.

Here those long suits of Chancery lie

Quiet, or die:

And all Star-Chamber bills do cease

Or hold their peace.

Here needs no Court for our Request

Where all are best,

All wise, all equal, and all just

Alike i’ th’ dust.

Nor need we here to fear the frown

Of court or crown:

Where fortune bears no sway o’er things,

There all are kings.

In this securer place we’ll keep

As lull’d asleep;

Or for a little time we’ll lie

As robes laid by;

To be another day reworn,

Turn’d, but not torn;

Or like old testaments engross’d,

Lock’d up, not lost.

And for a while lie here conceal’d,

To be reveal’d

Next at the great Platonick year,

And then meet here.