A little poem by Robert Herrick

Poems of Herrick book

It’s the end of another year. I’ve been too busy to post here lately, not even to mark the arrival of winter. (If you want to see what I’ve been up to lately you can read my personal blog.) For my final post of 2011 at The Untended Garden, I’ve dug up a short poem by Robert Herrick (1591-1674).

It comes from a tiny book that I purchased for 50¢ at my library book sale. It was printed in Edinburgh with a green cloth cover and no date, and the image above is only slightly smaller than the actual book. It’s one of those mysterious little books that makes you wonder how many people have owned it and what an incredible journey it must have had. It’s amazing to think that a few dozen words inspired by a walk in the garden can still be appreciated four hundred years later.

* * *


Sadly I walked within the field,
To see what comfort it would yield;
And as I went my private way,
An Olive-branch before me lay;
And seeing it, I made a stay,
And took it up, and viewed it; then
Kissing the omen, said “Amen:
Be, be it so, and let this be
A divination unto me;
That in short time my woes shall cease,
And Love shall crown my end with peace.”

— Robert Herrick

* * *

I hope everyone has a great new year, and I look forward to further exploring art and nature in 2012. If you have a favorite artist or writer who uses nature in their work, feel free to share!