Verse > Anthologies > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of English Verse
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Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. 1919. The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.
  
Robert Herrick. 1591–1674
  
274. His Winding-sheet
  
COME thou, who are the wine and wit 
      Of all I've writ: 
The grace, the glory, and the best 
      Piece of the rest. 
Thou art of what I did intend         5
      The all and end; 
And what was made, was made to meet 
      Thee, thee, my sheet. 
Come then and be to my chaste side 
      Both bed and bride:  10
We two, as reliques left, will have 
      Once rest, one grave: 
And hugging close, we will not fear 
      Lust entering here: 
Where all desires are dead and cold  15
      As is the mould; 
And all affections are forgot, 
      Or trouble not. 
Here, here, the slaves and prisoners be 
      From shackles free:  20
And weeping widows long oppress'd 
      Do here find rest. 
The wrongèd client ends his laws 
      Here, and his cause. 
Here those long suits of Chancery lie  25
      Quiet, or die: 
And all Star-Chamber bills do cease 
      Or hold their peace. 
Here needs no Court for our Request 
      Where all are best,  30
All wise, all equal, and all just 
      Alike i' th' dust. 
Nor need we here to fear the frown 
      Of court or crown: 
Where fortune bears no sway o'er things,  35
      There all are kings. 
In this securer place we'll keep 
      As lull'd asleep; 
Or for a little time we'll lie 
      As robes laid by;  40
To be another day re-worn, 
      Turn'd, but not torn: 
Or like old testaments engross'd, 
      Lock'd up, not lost. 
And for a while lie here conceal'd,  45
      To be reveal'd 
Next at the great Platonick year, 
      And then meet here. 
 
GLOSS:  Platonick year] the perfect or cyclic year, when the sun, moon, and five planets end their revolutions together and start anew. See Timæus, p. 39.
 
 
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