Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. II. Ben Jonson to Dryden
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. II. The Seventeenth Century: Ben Jonson to Dryden
 
The Collar
By George Herbert (1593–1633)
 
I STRUCK the board, and cry’d, ‘No more;
                I will abroad!
What, shall I ever sigh and pine?
My lines and life are free; free as the road,
  Loose as the wind, as large as store.        5
                Shall I be still in suit?
  Have I no harvest but a thorn
  To let me blood, and not restore
What I have lost with cordial fruit?
                Sure there was wine        10
  Before my sighs did dry it; there was corn
    Before my tears did drown it;
  Is the year only lost to me?
    Have I no bays to crown it,
No flowers, no garlands gay? all blasted,        15
                All wasted?
  Not so, my heart; but there is fruit,
                And thou hast hands.
    Recover all thy sigh-blown age
On double pleasures; leave thy cold dispute        20
Of what is fit and not; forsake thy cage,
                Thy rope of sands
Which petty thoughts have made; and made to thee
  Good cable, to enforce and draw,
                And be thy law,        25
  While thou didst wink and wouldst not see.
                Away! take heed;
                I will abroad.
Call in thy death’s-head there, tie up thy fears;
                He that forbears        30
        To suit and serve his need
                Deserves his load.’
But as I rav’d, and grew more fierce and wild
                At every word,
  Methought I heard one calling, ‘Child’;        35
            And I reply’d, ‘My Lord.’
 
 
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