274. His Winding-sheet

Robert Herrick. 1591-1674

COME thou, who are the wine and wit
      Of all I've writ:
The grace, the glory, and the best
      Piece of the rest.
Thou art of what I did intend
      The all and end;
And what was made, was made to meet
      Thee, thee, my sheet.
Come then and be to my chaste side
      Both bed and bride:
We two, as reliques left, will have
      Once rest, one grave:
And hugging close, we will not fear
      Lust entering here:
Where all desires are dead and cold
      As is the mould;
And all affections are forgot,
      Or trouble not.
Here, here, the slaves and prisoners be
      From shackles free:
And weeping widows long oppress'd
      Do here find rest.
The wronged client ends his laws
      Here, and his cause.
Here those long suits of Chancery lie
      Quiet, or die:
And all Star-Chamber bills do cease
      Or hold their peace.
Here needs no Court for our Request
      Where all are best,
All wise, all equal, and all just
      Alike i' th' dust.
Nor need we here to fear the frown
      Of court or crown:
Where fortune bears no sway o'er things,
      There all are kings.
In this securer place we'll keep
      As lull'd asleep;
Or for a little time we'll lie
      As robes laid by;
To be another day re-worn,
      Turn'd, but not torn:
Or like old testaments engross'd,
      Lock'd up, not lost.
And for a while lie here conceal'd,
      To be reveal'd
Next at the great Platonick year,
      And then meet here.

Platonick year
the perfect or cyclic year, when the sun, moon, and five planets end their revolutions together and start anew. See Timaeus, p. 39
The Oxford Book of English Verse, HTML edition