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

The White Island

Robert Herrick (1591–1674)

IN this world, the Isle of Dreams,

While we sit by sorrow’s streams,

Tears and terror are our themes


But when once from hence we fly,

More and more approaching nigh

Unto young Eternity


In that whiter island, where

Things are evermore sincere;

Candour here, and lustre there


—There no monstrous fancies shall

Out of Hell an horror call,

To create (or cause at all)


There in calm and cooling sleep

We our eyes shall never steep;

But eternal watch shall keep


Pleasures such as shall pursue

Me immortalised, and you;

And fresh joys, as never too

Have ending.