Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. II. Love
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume II. Love.  1904.
III. Love’s Beginnings
The Kiss
Robert Herrick (1591–1674)
1.  AMONG thy fancies tell me this:
  What is the thing we call a kiss?
2.  I shall resolve ye what it is:
  It is a creature born and bred
  Between the lips all cherry red,        5
  By love and warm desires fed;
Chor.  And makes more soft the bridal bed.
  It is an active flame, that flies
  First to the babies of the eyes,
  And charms them there with lullabies;        10
Chor.  And stills the bride too when she cries.
  Then to the chin, the cheek, the ear,
  It frisks and flies,—now here, now there;
  ’T is now far off, and then ’t is near;
Chor.  And here, and there, and everywhere.        15
1.  Has it a speaking virtue?—2.  Yes.
1.  How speaks it, say?—2.  Do you but this:
  Part your joined lips,—then speaks your kiss;
Chor.  And this love’s sweetest language is.
1.  Has it a body?—2.  Ay, and wings,        20
  With thousand rare encolorings;
  And as it flies it gently sings;
Chor.  Love honey yields, but never stings.

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