Glow-worms, shooting stars, and elves: all can be found in ‘The Night Piece: To Julia’, a charming poem by the seventeenth-century poet Robert Herrick (and that’s just the first three lines). The last line invites a sexual reading, a sign of the thinly-veiled eroticism that pervades Herrick’s Julia poems. (Though here we might add foot-fetishism as well.)
The Night Piece: To Julia
Her eyes the glow-worm lend thee,
The shooting stars attend thee;
And the elves also,
Whose little eyes glow
Like the sparks of fire, befriend thee.
No Will-o’-th’-Wisp mis-light thee,
Nor snake or slow-worm bite thee;
But on, on thy way,
Not making a stay,
Since ghost there’s none to affright thee.
Let not the dark thee cumber;
What though the moon does slumber?
The stars of the night
Will lend thee their light,
Like tapers clear without number.
Then Julia let me woo thee,
Thus, thus to come unto me;
And when I shall meet
Thy silv’ry feet,
My soul I’ll pour into thee.
If you enjoyed Herrick’s ‘The Night Piece: To Julia’, you might also enjoy these great poems for night-time.