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Julia’s Churching, or Purification

by Robert Herrick, 1648

Put on thy holy filletings, and so
To th’ temple with the sober midwife go.
Attended thus, in a most solemn wise,
By those who serve the child-bed mysteries,
Burn first thine incense; next, whenas thou see’st
The candid stole thrown o’er the pious priest,
With reverend curtsies come, and to him bring
Thy free (and not decurted) offering.
All rites well ended, with fair auspice come
(As to the breaking of a bride-cake) home,
Where ceremonious Hymen shall for thee
Provide a second epithalamy.
She who keeps chastely to her husband’s side

Is not for one, but every night his bride;

And stealing still with love and fear to bed,

Brings him not one, but many a maidenhead.

Published in Hesperides

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