- The Lyrical Robert Herrick [Biography]
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Robert Herrick

"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may, old Time is still a-flying: And this same flower that smiles today, tomorrow will be dying. "

Like Donne and Herbert, Herrick turned from a worldly life to holy orders. He loved London and the society of poets and wits like Ben Jonson, and when in 1629 he was appointed to a country parish in Devonshire, he considered it a bitter exile. Gradually, though, he came to delight in the life and customs of the West Country. As a Royalist, he lost his post during the Puritan upheaval and returned to London in 1647. The next year he published his only book, a collection of 1200 poems. Because the times were tempestuous (the country was obsessed with the trial and execution of King Charles I), Herrick's book was soon lost to public view. After the Restoration, Herrick was reinstated in this parish and resumed his quiet country life. His poetry was rediscovered only in the 19th century.

contributed by Gifford, Katya

8 March 2002

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