Delight in Disorder

Robert Herrick

Robert Herrick

Robert Herrick was an English cleric and poet whose work was based on the revival of the spirit of the ancient classic lyric. The appeal of his poetry lies in its truth to human feelings and in its perfection of form and style. However, his poems were not really popular at the time when they were published. Although he was detached from the court, his short, fluent, graceful lyrics on love and his carpe diem philosophy are typical of the Cavalier style.

A sweet disorder in the dress
Kindles in clothes a wantonness;
A lawn about the shoulders thrown
Into a fine distraction;
An erring lace, which here and there
Enthrals the crimson stomacher;
A cuff neglectful, and thereby
Ribands to flow confusedly;
A winning wave (deserving note)
In the tempestuous petticoat;
A careless shoe-string, in whose tie
I see a wild civility:
Do more bewitch me, than when art
Is too precise in every part.
© Short Édition

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