To his Conscience

Original Text: 
Robert Herrick, Hesperides (London: for John Williams and F. Eglesfield to be sold by Thomas Hunt, 1648), of which a section called "His Noble Numbers: or, his Pious Pieces" has a separate title-page dated 1647. Facs. edn. Menston: Scolar, 1969. PR 3512 H4 1648A ROBA
1Can I not sin, but thou wilt be
2My private protonotary?
3Can I not woo thee to pass by
4A short and sweet iniquity?
5I'll cast a mist and cloud upon
6My delicate transgression,
7So utter dark as that no eye
8Shall see the hugg'd impiety.
9Gifts blind the wise, and bribes do please,
10And wind all other witnesses;
11And wilt not thou with gold be tied
12To lay thy pen and ink aside,
13That in the murk and tongueless night
14Wanton I may, and thou not write?
15It will not be; and therefore, now,
16For times to come I'll make this vow,
17From aberrations to live free,
18So I'll not fear the Judge, or thee.
Publication Start Year: 
1648
RPO poem Editors: 
N. J. Endicott
RPO Edition: 
3RP 1.207.
Form: