Robert Herrick Poems

Robert Herrick was a 17th-century poet whose work was finally recognized in the 20th century. It was, in the past, condemned for its sexual subject matter. For example, ‘To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time’ which is now considered a classic of the period. Read more of Robert Herrick’s Biography.

Corinna’s Going A-Maying

by Robert Herrick

‘Corinna’s Going A-Maying’ is a carpe diem (Latin for “seize the day”) poem in which the speaker urges his beloved, Corinna, to arise from bed and join him in the festivities of May Day already in progress.

This poem is one of the best and most important poems written by Robert Herrick. Outside of 'To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time,' it is probably Herrick's most famous work. It is also worth reading because it is an example of a poem in which Herrick delved in greater depth into a topic. Many of Herrick's other poems are quite short and do not provide the reader with as many opportunities to dig into his use of language and themes.

Get up, get up for shame, the Blooming Morne

Upon her wings presents the god unshorne.

See how Aurora throwes her faire

Fresh-quilted colours through the aire:

Upon Julia’s Voice

by Robert Herrick

‘Upon Julia’s Face’ by Robert Herrick is beautiful poem that tries to capture the speaker’s adoration for the voice of a woman they love and admire.

This short poem by Robert Herrick is just one of a series that explores the poet's rapt adoration of a woman named Julia. Like this poem, they gush with romantic and impassioned imagery that serves to illustrate the poet and speaker's infatuation. The result is a beautiful poem that lauds nothing but affectionate praise upon the voice of this unknown woman.

So smooth, so sweet, so silv'ry is thy voice,

As, could they hear, the damn'd would make no noise,

But listen to thee, walking in thy chamber,

Melting melodious words to lutes of amber.

No Man Without Money

by Robert Herrick

‘No Man Without Money’ by Robert Herrick is a short poem that lucidly voices the belief that people only succeed because of chance and circumstance.

This poem by Robert Herrick may not be one of the poet's most famous creations, but it is still a powerful and moving read. It is also representative of the way many of his poems are actually quite short. Yet despite their brevity, they still are capable of being quite affecting and incisive.

No man such rare parts hath, that he can swim,

If favour or occasion help not him.

The Hag

by Robert Herrick

‘The Hag’ by Robert Herrick is short poem that imagines with haunting detail a witch’s emergence into the night.

This poem by Robert Herrick explores the terrifying and occult world of the witch, a topic that was of much concern in the poet's life. Here they offer a shockingly detailed and sensational purview of the activities witches were believed to have engaged in. Relying on visceral imagery to create an ominous illustration of the way the night is altered by her passage.

The Hag is astride,

This night for to ride;

The Devill and shee together:

Through thick, and through thin,


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