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C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

To Primroses Filled with Morning Dew

By Robert Herrick (1591–1674)

WHY do ye weep, sweet babes? Can tears

Speak grief in you,

Who were but born

Just as the morn

Teemed her refreshing dew?

Alas! ye have not known that shower

That mars a flower;

Nor felt th’ unkind

Breath of the blasting wind;

Nor are ye worn with years;

Or warped, as we,

Who think it strange to see

Such pretty flowers, like unto orphans young,

Speaking by tears before ye have a tongue.

Speak, whimpering younglings, and make known

The reason why

Ye droop and weep.

Is it for want of sleep,

Or childish lullaby?

Or that ye have not seen as yet

The violet?

Or brought a kiss

From that sweetheart to this?

No, no; this sorrow, shown

By your tears shed,

Would have this lecture read:—

“That things of greatest, so of meanest worth,

Conceived with grief are, and with tears brought forth.”