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Upon Julia’s Clothes(1648)

Robert Herrick

Whenas in silks my Julia goes,
MeterWhenas in silks my Julia goes,
Then, then (methinks) how sweetly flows
MeterThen, then (methinks) how sweetly flows
That liquefaction of her clothes.
MeterThat liquefaction of her clothes.

Next, when I cast mine eyes and see
MeterNext, when I cast mine eyes and see
That brave vibration each way free,
MeterThat brave vibration each way free,

Note on line 5:The spondaic stress on “way” is reinforced by assonance with the long “a” sounds in “brave vibration.” Each of those “a” sounds takes such strong stress that the metrically ambiguous “way” picks up stress too, almost on the rebound. Think of it as stress-by-association.

O how that glittering taketh me!
MeterO how that glittering taketh me!

Note on line 6:For “glittering,” this line’s key image, another edition might give “glitt’ring” to secure a regular iambic 3rd foot. But allowing the word its 3 syllables lets the word, and the line, twinkle. While using just one anapest, Herrick gets the skipping flicker effect of two. Brave vibration, indeed!


Rhyme
Show Stress    Foot division    Syncopation