The Argument of his Book

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
4Of bridegrooms, brides, and of their bridal-cakes.
5I write of youth, of love, and have access
6By these to sing of cleanly wantonness.
7I sing of dews, of rains, and piece by piece
8Of balm, of oil, of spice, and ambergris.
10How roses first came red, and lilies white.
11I write of groves, of twilights, and I sing
13I write of Hell; I sing (and ever shall)
14Of Heaven, and hope to have it after all.


1] Argument: subject-matter. Back to Line
2] July flowers: accented Júly flowers, "gillyflowers.'' Back to Line
3] hock-carts: carts bringing home the last load of the harvest.
wassails: drinking-bouts, drinking healths.
wakes: merrymaking during an all-night watch to celebrate the anniversary of the dedication of a church. Back to Line
9] Time's trans-shifting: the alternating seasons. Back to Line
12] Mab: queen of the fairies. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
N. J. Endicott
RPO Edition: 
3RP 1.195-96.