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A Ring Presented To Julia

by Robert Herrick, 1648

Julia, I bring
    To thee this ring,
Made for thy finger fit;
    To show by this
    That our love is
(Or should be) like to it.

    Close though it be
    The joint is free;
So, when love’s yoke is on,
    It must not gall,
    Or fret at all
With hard oppression.

    But it must play
    Still either way,
And be, too, such a yoke
    As not too wide
    To overslide,
Or be so strait to choke.

    So we who bear
    This beam must rear
Ourselves to such a height
    As that the stay
    Of either may
Create the burden light.

    And as this round
    Is nowhere found
To flaw, or else to sever:
    So let our love
    As endless prove,
And pure as gold for ever.

Published in Hesperides

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