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.
- From Hesperides (1648).
- glow-worm: likely the European firefly Lampyris noctiluca.
- Will o' th' wisp: "the phenomenon of ghostly lights sometimes seen at night or in twilight hovering over damp ground in still air, often over bogs."
- slow-worm : likely the snake-like lizard Anguis fragilis; Herrick seems to have understood that the slow-worm was not a snake species.
- This work is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.