Robert Herrick (1591-1674), known as one of the ‘Cavalier poets’, was a Royalist who, following the English Civil War and the execution of King Charles I in 1649, penned this poem grieving for the loss of the king: ‘everything / Puts on the semblance here of sorrowing.’ For Herrick, the whole land seems to grieve for Charles and the loss to the kingdom that his death signifies.
The Bad Season Makes the Poet Sad
Dull to myself, and almost dead to these
My many fresh and fragrant mistresses;
Lost to all music now, since everything
Puts on the semblance here of sorrowing.
Sick is the land to th’ heart, and doth endure
More dangerous faintings by her desp’rate cure.
But if that golden age would come again
And Charles here rule, as he before did reign;
If smooth and unperplex’d the seasons were
As when the sweet Maria lived here;
I should delight to have my curls half drown’d
In Tyrian dews, and head with roses crown’d.
And once more yet (ere I am laid out dead)
Knock at a star with my exalted head.
If you liked ‘The Bad Season Makes the Poet Sad’, you can read more Robert Herrick poems here.