1824 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Robert Herrick

Bryan Waller Procter, in Effigies Poeticae, or, the Portraits of the British Poets (1824) 44-45.



From a rare Print by Marshall, prefixed to his "Hesperides."

This likeness of HERRICK is engraved from a bust. The only thing remarkable in it is, that it is like the present poet-laureat, — Mr. Southey. There is a quick eye, a prominent nose, and a fine cut mouth; and the hair, curling close and all over the head, is as compact as some of the author's poems. Herrick was a great dealer in the bijouterie of verse, and some of his productions are, certainly, very beautifully fashioned, and are crusted all over with sparkling conceits. But he was not often serious; or if he was so, he fails to carry the conviction of his earnestness to our hearts.

The verses by Herrick, which Mr. Campbell quotes, are very elegant. The following are pretty: we quote them in preference to others only because they are less known.

UPON A LADY THAT DIED IN CHILDBED, AND LEFT A DAUGHTER.
As gillyflowers do but stay
To blow and seed, and so away;
So you, sweet lady, sweet as May,
The garden's glory lived awhile,
To lend the world your scent and smile:
But when your own fair print was set
Once in a virgin flosculet,
Sweet as yourself and newly blown,
To give that life, resigned your own;
But so, as still the mother's power,
Lives in the pretty lady-flower.