Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Robert Herrick (1591-1674)

Delight in Disorder

A sweet disorder in the dress
Kindles in clothes a wantonness :
A lawn about the shoulders thrown
Into a fine distraction :
An erring lace which here and there
Enthrals the crimson stomacher :
A cuff neglectful, and thereby
Ribbons to flow confusedly :
A winning wave (deserving note)
In the tempestuous petticoat :
A careless shoe-string, in whose tie
I see a wild civility :
Do more bewitch me than when art
Is too precise in every part.

Herrick is better known for his poem, To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time whose first line, Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, inspired Waterhouse's painting.


Christina said...

Favorite line? Mine is "A careless shoe-string, in whose tie I see a wild civility:"

Very cool poem--thanks, LB!

Stephen Bourque said...

That's a keen observation on the part of Mr. Herrick; the particular is always more sensual than the general. That "sweet disorder" in the lace or shoe-string calls attention to the exquisite form that it rests upon - the throat or shoulder or foot - and gives a man an opportunity to reach a trembling hand towards his beloved, to gently restore the offending garment and perhaps brush his hand against her skin in the process!

Thanks for the poem!

Lynne said...

I'm sorry. Did you say something? I think I was swooning.