Herrick, if we were to fix our eyes on a small portion of his works, might be pronounced a writer of delightful Anacreontic spirit. He has passages where the thoughts seem to dance into numbers from his very heart, and where he frolics like a being made up of melody and pleasure; as when he sings,—
Gather ye rose-buds while ye mady,
Old Time is still a flying;
And this same flower that blossoms to-day,
To-morrow will be dying.
In the same spirit are his verses to Anthea, concluding—
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.
But his beauties are so deeply involved in surrounding coarseness and extravagance, as to constitute not a tenth part of his poetry; or rather it may be safely affirmed, that of 1400 pages of verse which he has left, not a hundred are worth reading.