Life of my life, ‘take not so soon thy flight

Robert Herrick, To His Dying Brother, Master William Herrick (d.1674)

LIFE of my life, ‘take not so soon thy flight,
But stay the time till we have bade good-night.
Thou hast both wind and tide with thee; thy way
As soon despatch’d is by the night as day.
Let us not then so rudely henceforth go
Till we have wept, kissed, sigh’d, shook hands, or so.
There’s pain in parting, and a kind of hell,
When once true lovers take their last farewell.
What ! shall we two our endless leaves take here
Without a sad look or a solemn tear?
He knows not love that hath not this truth proved,
Love is most loath to leave the thing beloved.
Pay we our vows, and go; yet when we part,
Then, even then, I will bequeath my heart
Into thy loving hands; for I’ll keep none
To warm my breast when thou, my pulse, art gone.
No, here I’ll last, and walk (a harmless shade)
About this urn, wherein thy dust is laid,
To guard it so as nothing here shall be
Heavy to hurt those secret seeds of thee.


Categories: Literature