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The Succession of the Four Sweet Months
Robert Herrick


First, April, she with mellow showers
Opens the way for early flowers;
Then after her comes smiling May,
In a more rich and sweet array;
Next enters June, and brings us more
Gems than those two that went before;
Then, lastly, July comes, and she
More wealth brings in than all those three.

This poem is in the public domain.


Robert Herrick (1591 - 1674) was a British poet who tried his hand first at goldsmithing, then at the priesthood, before embracing his poetic destination. Deposed as a Devonshire vicar because of his loyalty to King Charles, Herrick was reinstated in that position when the king regained his throne after England's civil war and remained a vicar until his death. But the poetry writing that Herrick began during that enforced sabbatical launched a lifelong avocation. Though he was not particularly popular during his lifetime, Herrick is today considered a respected and accomplished lyric poet. Ironically, though many of Herrick's poems offer up passionate testaments on love and ladies, he was a lifelong bachelor--apparently, not by choice. There are those who suspect the poet's inspiration was limited to wishful thinking and his imagination; if so, his imagination was quite good!




Post New Comment:
Having lived in England, I can assure you that after a long, cold, wet winter, having a month like July of extra-long days and sunshine seems miraculous! There are days in the winter when you never see the sun. It rises late and sets early, and if it's overcast (which it almost always is), you don't actually see the sun. You know it's up because the clouds are brighter, and you know it's setting because the clouds get dark. I personally love that kind of winter, but many people don't, and prefer the brightness of summer!
Posted 05/25/2021 02:43 PM
Rhyming poetry has certainly been frowned on in the last years and now we hear how many are enjoying this art and wishing for more. Yes, rhyme is enjoyable and should be honored so.
Posted 05/25/2021 11:52 AM
michael escoubas:
Thank you for this post, Jayne. What I have read of Herrick, including this piece, I have loved because of his mastery of craft. We contemporary poets can take a lesson from this accomplished craftsman.
Posted 05/25/2021 09:49 AM
Gilbert Allen:
I don't think Herrick lived in South Carolina!
Posted 05/25/2021 09:12 AM
I like seeing those rhythms and rhymes from the 17th century.
Posted 05/25/2021 08:59 AM

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