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Editor's Selection of Poems
Oberon's Palace

by Robert Herrick

After the Feast (my Shapcot) see,
The Fairie Court I give to thee:
Where we'le present our Oberon led
Halfe tipsie to the Fairie Bed,
Where Mab he finds; who there doth lie
Not without mickle majesty.
Which, done; and thence remov'd the light,
We'l wish both Them and Thee, good night.

Full as a Bee with Thyme, and Red,
As Cherry harvest, now high fed
For Lust and action; on he'l go,
To lye with Mab, though all say no.
Lust ha's no cares; He's sharpe as thorn;
And fretfull, carries Hay in's horne,
And lightning in his eyes; and flings
Among the Elves, (if mov'd) the stings
Of peltish wasps; we'l know his Guard
Kings through th'are hated, will be fear'd.
Wine lead him on. Thus to a Grove 
(Sometimes devoted unto Love)
Tinseld with Twilight, He, and They
Lead by the shine of Snails; a way
Beat with their num'rous feet, which by
Many a neat perplexity,
Many a turn, and man' a crosse-
Track they redeem a bank of mosse
Spungie and swelling, and farre more
Soft then the finest Lemster Ore.
Mildly disparkling, like those fiers,
Which break from the Injeweld tyres
Of curious Brides; or like those mites
Of Candi'd dew in Moony nights.
Upon this Convex, all the flowers
(Nature begets by th'Sun, and showers,)
Are to a wilde digestion brought,
As if Loves Sampler here was wrought:
Or Citherea's Ceston, which
All with temptation doth bewitch.
Sweet Aires move here; and more divine
Made by the breath of great-ey'd kine,
Who as they lowe empearl with milk
The four-leav'd grasse, or mosse-like silk.
The breath of Munkies met to mix
With Musk-flies, are th'Aromaticks.
Which cense this Arch; and here and there,
And farther off, and every where,
Throughout that Brave Mosaick yard
Those Picks or Diamonds in the Card:
With peeps of Harts, of Club and Spade
Are here most neatly inter-laid.
Many a Counter, many a Die,
Half rotten, and without an eye,
Lies here abouts; and for to pave
The excellency of this Cave,
Squirrils and childrens teeth late shed,
Are neatly here enchequered.
With brownest Toadstones, and the Gum
That shines upon the blewer Plum.
The nails faln off by Whit-flawes: Art's
Wise hand enchasing here those warts,
Which we to others (from our selves) 
Sell, and brought hither by the Elves.
The tempting Mole, stoln from the neck
Of the shie Virgin, seems to deck
The holy Entrance; where within
The roome is hung with the blew skin
Of shifted Snake: enfreez'd throughout
With eyes of Peacocks Trains, & Trout-
flies curious wings; and these among
Those silver-pence, that cut the tongue
Of the red infant, neatly hung.
The glow-wormes eyes; the shining scales
Of silv'rie fish; wheat-strawes, the snailes
Soft Candle-light; the Kitling's eyne;
Corrupted wood; serve here for shine.
No glaring light of bold-fac't Day,
Or other over radiant Ray
Ransacks this roome; but what weak beams
Can make reflected from these jems,
And multiply; Such is the light,
But ever doubfull Day, or night.
By this quaint Taper-light he winds
His Errours up; and now he finds
His Moon-tann'd Mab, as somewhat sick,
And (Love knowes) tender as a chick.
Upon six plump Dandillions, high-
Rear'd, lyes her Elvish-majestie:
Whose wollie-bubbles seem'd to drowne
Hir Mab-ship in obedient Downe.
For either sheet, was spread the Caule
That doth the Infants face enthrall,
When it is born: (by some enstyl'd
The luckie Omen of the child)
And next to these two blankets ore-
Cast of the finest Gossamore.
And then a Rug of carded wooll,
Which, Spunge-like drinking in the dull-
Light of the Moon, seem'd to comply,
Cloud-like, the daintie Deitie.
Thus soft she lies: and over-head
A Spinners circle is bespread,
With Cob-web-curtains: from the roof
So neatly sunck, as that no proof
Of any tackling can declare
What gives it hanging in the Aire.
The Fringe about this, are those Threds
Broke at the Losse of Maiden-heads:
And all behung with these pure Pearls,
Dropt from the eyes of ravisht Girles
Or writhing Brides; when, (panting) they
Give unto Love the straiter way.
For Musick now; He has the cries
Of fained-lost-Virginities;
The which the Elves make to excite
A more unconquer'd appetite.
The Kings undrest; and now upon
The Gnats-watch-word the Elves are gone.
And now the bed, and Mab possest
Of this great-little-kingly-Guest.
We'll nobly think, what's to be done,
He'll do no doubt; This flax is spun. 
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