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2012年5月11日 星期五

Robert Herrick's "To His Mistress"

      To His Mistress

 Help me! help me! now I call
 To my pretty witchcrafts all;
 Old I am, and cannot do
 That I was accustomed to do.
 Bring your magics, spells, and charms,
 To enflesh my thighs and arms;
  Is there no way to beget
  In my limbs their former heat?
  Aesop had, as poets fain,
  Baths that made him young again:
  Find that medicine, if you can,
  For your dry, decrepit man
  Who would fain his strength renew
  Were it but to pleasure you.

  Robert Herrick

 According to A. C. Swinburne, Robert Herrick  (1591-1674), was "The greatest song-writer ever born of English race.”. Son of a goldsmith and himself also one, he graduated with a BA in Cambridge in 1617, an MA in 1620 and became the the eldest of the so-called "Sons of Ben", cavalier poets who idolized Ben Jonson. He became an Episcopal minister in 1623 and acted as chaplain to Buckingham on the expedition to the Île de Ré and in 1629 was appointed by Charles I to the living of Dean Prior in the diocese of Exeter, a post he reluctantly accepted. There, in Devon, he lived in the seclusion of country life, and wrote some of his best work, never completely ceasing, however, to long for the pleasures of London. In 1648 Herrick published his major collection, Hesperides, consisting of 1200 poems. He died a bachelor at the age of 83. .