Delight In Disorder: Robert Herrick

shutterstock_63646981

A sweet disorder in the dress
Kindles in clothes a wantonness:
A lawn about the shoulders thrown
Into a fine distraction—
An erring lace, which here and there
Enthrals the crimson stomacher
A cuff neglectful, and thereby
Ribbands to flow confusedly—
A winning wave, deserving note,
In the tempestuous petticoat—
A careless shoe-string, in whose tie
I see a wild civility—
Do more bewitch me than when art
Is too precise in every part.

Robert Herrick 1591-1674

I wonder whether what Herrick liked was really careless or, on the contrary, the art that conceals art. Most women I know spend hours trying to look as if they had thrown themselves together in a minute.

The illustration is copyright: Mayer George via Shutterstock
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About layanglicana

Author of books on Calcutta, Delhi and Dar es Salaam, I am now blogging as a lay person about the Church of England and the Anglican Communion. I am also blogging about the effects of World War One on the village of St Mary Bourne, Hampshire.
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