Saturday, May 11, 2013

To Blossoms / Robert Herrick

To Blossoms

Fair pledges of a fruitful tree,
   Why do ye fall so fast?
   Your date is not so past,
But you may stay yet here awhile
   To blush and gently smile,
      And go at last.

What, were ye born to be
   An hour or half's delight,
   And so to bid good-night?
'Twas pity Nature brought ye forth
   Merely to show your worth,
      And lose you quite.

But you are lovely leaves, where we
   May read how soon things have
   Their end, though ne'er so brave:
And after they have shown their pride
   Like you, awhile, they glide
      Into the grave.

Robert Herrick
from Hesperides, 1648

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

Robert Herrick biography

1 comment:

  1. Herrick's poem is even more explicit on the tie between seasonal change and one's ultimate death. Both it and "The Cherry Tree" help make death a bit more acceptable, by making it more of a natural, familiar process.

    Not only do the poems go together thematically; both Herrick and Housman were faves of the late Dennis Hammes, which helps to connect them in my mind.