To Anthea.

A poem by Robert Herrick

Let's call for Hymen, if agreed thou art;
Delays in love but crucify the heart.
Love's thorny tapers yet neglected lie:
Speak thou the word, they'll kindle by-and-bye.
The nimble hours woo us on to wed,
And Genius waits to have us both to bed.
Behold, for us the naked Graces stay
With maunds of roses for to strew the way:
Besides, the most religious prophet stands
Ready to join, as well our hearts as hands.
Juno yet smiles; but if she chance to chide,
Ill luck 'twill bode to th' bridegroom and the bride.
Tell me, Anthea, dost thou fondly dread
The loss of that we call a maidenhead?
Come, I'll instruct thee. Know, the vestal fire
Is not by marriage quench'd, but flames the higher.

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