Friday, April 21, 2006

Ah me, Herrick!

If it's Friday, it must be poetry blogging, or something, right? I give you:

Robert Herrick, "The Vine" (from Hesperides printed 1648)

I dreamed this mortal part of mine
Was metamorphosed to a vine,
Which, crawling one and every way,
Enthralled my dainty Lucia.
Methought, her long small legs and thighs
I with my tendrils did surprise;
Her belly, buttocks, and her waist
By my soft nervelets were embraced
About her head I writhing hung
And with rich clusters (hid among
The leaves) her temples I behung,
So that my Lucia seemed to me
Young Bacchus ravished by his tree.
My curls about her neck did crawl,
And arms and hands they did enthrall,
So that she could not freely stir
(All parts there made one prisoner).
But when I crept with leaves to hide
Those parts which maids keep unespied,
Such fleeting pleasures there I took
That with the fancy I awoke,
And found (ah me!) this flesh of mine
More like a stock than like a vine.

(I have to admit that seeing engravings of Herrick [look at the link above] ... well, my assumptions about hotness and poetry get challenged all over the place, I admit it.)

Ah me, I love this poem!


  1. my, that's both good and creepy.

    I like the "long small legs and thighs," though.

  2. I'm definitely teaching that one in my 17th century class next time!

  3. Kermit, it IS! I love the fantasy that the speaker has such power and control, and then wakes to a surprise about his lack of control!

    Heironimo, /nod it's a GREAT poem to teach, especially if your class thinks that no one had sex before 1950!