267. To the Willow-tree

Robert Herrick. 1591-1674

THOU art to all lost love the best,
  The only true plant found,
Wherewith young men and maids distrest,
  And left of love, are crown'd.

When once the lover's rose is dead,
  Or laid aside forlorn:
Then willow-garlands 'bout the head
  Bedew'd with tears are worn.

When with neglect, the lovers' bane,
  Poor maids rewarded be
For their love lost, their only gain
  Is but a wreath from thee.

And underneath thy cooling shade,
  When weary of the light,
The love-spent youth and love-sick maid
  Come to weep out the night.

The Oxford Book of English Verse, HTML edition