To Julia

By Robert Herrick. 1591–1674

Musical setting by Roger Quilter

 

The Bracelet

 

Why I tie about thy wrist,  

Julia, this silken twist;  

For what other reason is 't  

But to show thee how, in part,  

Thou my pretty captive art?  

But thy bond-slave is my heart:  

'Tis but silk that bindeth thee,  

Knap the thread and thou art free;  

But 'tis otherwise with me:  

I am bound and fast bound, so

That from thee I cannot go;  

If I could, I would not so.

 

 

So Look the Mornings

 

So look the mornings when the sun

paints them with fresh vermillion

So cherries blush and Kathryn Pears

and apricocks in youthful years

So corals look more lovely red

and rubies lately polished

So purest diaper doth shine

stained by the beads of claret wine

and Julia looks when she doth dress

her either cheek with bashfulness

 

 

To Daisies

 

Shut not so soon; the dull-eyed night  

Has not as yet begun  

To make a seizure on the light,  

Or to seal up the sun.  

 

No marigolds yet closèd are,

No shadows great appear;  

Nor doth the early shepherd's star  

Shine like a spangle here.  

 

Stay but till my Julia close  

Her life-begetting eye,

And let the whole world then dispose  

Itself to live or die.

 

 

The Night-piece

 

Her eyes the glow-worm lend thee,  

The shooting stars attend thee;  

And the elves also,  

Whose little eyes glow  

Like the sparks of fire, befriend thee.

 

No Will-o'-the-wisp mislight thee,  

Nor snake or slow-worm bite thee;  

But on, on thy way  

Not making a stay,  

Since ghost there 's none to affright thee. 

 

Let not the dark thee cumber:  

What though the moon does slumber?  

The stars of the night  

Will lend thee their light  

Like tapers clear without number. 

 

Then, Julia, let me woo thee,  

Thus, thus to come unto me;  

And when I shall meet  

Thy silv'ry feet,  

My soul I'll pour into thee.

 

 

Upon Julia's Hair

 

Dew sat on Julia's hair,

And spangled too,

Like leaves that laden are

With trembling dew.

 

Or glittered to my sight,

As when the beams

Have their reflected light

Danced by the streams.

 

 

Cherry Ripe

 

Cherry ripe, ripe, ripe, I cry, 

Full and fair ones; come and buy. 

If so be you ask me where 

They do grow, I answer: There 

Where my Julia’s lips do smile; 

There’s the land, or cherry-isle, 

Whose plantations fully show 

All the year where cherries grow.